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Brits Mad at Americans for Anti-BP Rhetoric?

BP spill 2010 UK vs. US

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#1 QueenTiye

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 10:51 AM

http://www.theatlant...ti-BP-Talk-3950

Quote

British Commentators Irritated Over American Anti-BP Talk

By Heather Horn on June 11, 2010 10:10am
"U.S. Fury at BP Stirs Backlash Among British," reads the New York Times headline. What sort of backlash? Everyone from the mayor of London (a favorite of the Wire's for other reasons) to British columnists seems pretty irritated. They feel that anti-BP rhetoric in U.S. media and among American politicians is not only hurting a company many Brits have invested in, but is beginning to take on a jingoistic tone. Many were also unhappy to hear President Obama refer to BP as "British Petroleum," a name the company had given up. Here's the roundup of irritated British opinion.

Seriously?  If this is true, I'm at a complete loss. It's like the stupid American announcement years back to call french fries "Freedom Fries"(a suggestion most Americans ignored, thankfully).  EVEN the President's use of the historical name "British Petroleum" has nothing to do with anti-british sentiment, and everything to do with the president wanting to subtly remind the American people that he can't just nationalize a company which isn't in the first place an American company. (OK, I have no proof of that, but it makes way more sense then the assumption of anti British sentiment.)  Other than that - I'm all for roundly, firmly, loudly criticizing BP, and at a complete loss of understanding why the British folks would ask us, who are losing an entire ecosystem, to be less strident in our criticism.

British Ex Islers - is this true? Or is this nonsensical punditry looking for a story where one isn't?

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Edited by QueenTiye, 11 June 2010 - 10:59 AM.

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#2 Bad Wolf

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 11:06 AM

That lists, like what, a handful of people?

I hardly think this is indicative of the feelings of "Brits".  Yet another wonderful example of the US press at its best.
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#3 Pixiedust

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 11:12 AM

I haven't heard anything like that... :eh:
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#4 SparkyCola

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 11:16 AM

I made a post about this over in the other thread. Britain is certainly concerned about the British interests involved here. Of course. And yeah, Obama using "British Petroleum" does come across as quite noticeable since no one ever calls it anything but BP typically.

Like I said, our press is saying that our PM is going to ring Obama up and ask him to dial it back a bit, to ensure BP can keep going as a company. They feel he's going overboard and pointing the finger at Britain to detract from the fact that there's nothing he can do about it, really (which makes him look like a weak leader). It's hard for me to say if that's true or not, because I am not reading US news or watching US media re: the oil spill. But it's true that our government wants to protect British interests here.

Here's an article which sums it up I guess.

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Edited by SparkyCola, 11 June 2010 - 11:23 AM.

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#5 Godeskian

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 11:26 AM

I'm pretty sure the reason why several major newspapers carried front-page articles about this for the last couple of days is that 1 in every 7 pounds in pension funds is in BP stock, and every time Obama opens his mouth to bitch about British Petroleum (a phrase no one but him has used outside of standup in years) he wipes another 10 million off the stock value of BP, causing  a supposed devastation in the pension enviroment. (i say supposed because I haven't run the math on what the actual result is going to be)

Basically, the loss of 55 million pounds of stock value for BP, fed by Obama's retoric is doing damage to British pension interests, so it is something a lot of brits will feel.

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#6 QueenTiye

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 11:43 AM

Yeah, well, I'm betting a lot of Americans are invested in BP as well, through various mutual funds and the like.  And, I honestly don't give a crap.  The facts, as they are becoming known, are damning for BP.  The British government, if it has a interest in the company, can hold hearings as to BP's negligence and enact laws to make clear that continued investment in BP is a sound deal, because the British government has cleaned house.  I'd sure as heck like to see our government do the same - fix the years of deregulation that let BP get away with murder on our shores, and yes, hold BP's feet to the fire on the cost of cleanup.  Of COURSE that affects the bottom line of BP.  But then, do we care more about bottom lines than we do about justice?

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#7 QuiGon John

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 11:57 AM

I can see both sides here, sort of.

On the one hand, as an American and someone who lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida for several years, my gut reaction is to say "Who cares?  It's our freakin' environment that's suffering because of BP's safety violations!  We have the right to get angry!"

That's my gut instinct.  And I've certainly played the "Blame BP" game myself.  That "When BP Spills Coffee" video that's going around YouTube is the funniest thing I've seen in ages.  That said...

Is it entirely BP's fault?  Certainly, they were reckless and greedy, but that's what corporations do.  We're the ones who cheered for "Drill, baby, drill!" and lower oil prices.  We're the ones who consume mass quantities (as Dan Aykroyd would say) and show little inclination to change our lifestyles, even in the face of mounting evidence that the planet can't support them indefinitely.  I include myself in this; I drive around in cars all the time.  Didn't we, on some level, practically ask for this?

I guess what I'm saying is-- and by the way, I felt the say way about the thread where the Chamber of Commerce was talking about limiting BP's losses-- I'd feel much better about assessing to BP its full share of responsibility, and darn the consequences, if I felt like America was willing to take its share of the responsibility as well.  Unfortunately, we're not.  So it seems like we have a lot of nerve destabilizing the British economy over it.

#8 Themis

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 12:35 PM

Maybe it's my age but I know full well that "BP" came from "British Petroleum" (I think my father was on a pipeline job for them when I was a tween and lived in England) so I don't see the problem with using the name.   It's about the same to me as KFC (I know it's Kentucky Fried Chicken, or occasionally Kentucky Fried Grease) and FedEx (Federal Express) and, for that matter CMA Fest (forever Fan Fair).   It's certainly not derogatory, so why the fuss??   How long since BP dropped its full name??

I'm sure if a huge US company was causing havoc in the UK the UK officials would be equally as vocal, and most US pension funds would probably have a lot invested in said company.  That's just the nature of having funds invested in the stock market.  Sh*t happens and stock prices are vulnerable.  

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#9 NeuralClone

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 12:42 PM

^ I think it's been at least a decade since BP dropped its previous name and just became BP. So to say that Obama's usage is outdated is a bit of an understatement.
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#10 enTranced

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 12:51 PM

If they were so worried about their stock maybe they shouldn't have poisoned a national and environmental treasure?

Just a thought.

Sorry guys. They f**ked up and have to own it. No better way to say it, no better way to point out just how HORRIBLE their screw up was. Worse they have a laundry list of safety violations the only difference now is that they just didn't kill their employees this time they have ruined the Gulf and the lives of everyone who lives there. People are getting sick from just breathing in their backyard. No sympathy from me. I want them carved up and the pieces sold to mitigate the damages to our environment but even then we can't afford the childish hope that money will make this thing better. It will help yes, but only time and effort will get us through it.

So I am sorry that this is upsetting our British friends, but maybe you should turn on the news and see what is happening over here.

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Edited by enTranced, 11 June 2010 - 12:58 PM.

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#11 Balthamos

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 12:57 PM

My only "anger" is that this disaster only matters because it happened in America. There are other bigger oil disasters which have been given less attention. BP deserves ALL the crap it gets but that doesn't mean there aren't any other companies that aren't pulling the same stuff BP did and getting away with it. *shrug* on the other hand if you're going to deal near the richest nations on the earth it makes sense to take extra precautions not to mess with them.

#12 Balderdash

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 12:59 PM

How interesting.  BP IS British Petroleum.  My President isn't doing anything to the rhetoric, freakin' BP or British Petroleum has committed a crime against nature and the people of this country, they are going to have a lot to answer and pay for.  You guys want us to sit quietly with our hands folded, how can that possibly be?

Edited by Balderdash, 11 June 2010 - 12:59 PM.

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#13 Balthamos

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 01:04 PM

I don't think anyone has said that. BP is British Petroleum of course. The point is it sounds like they're trying to remind people that it's "British" and with that comes "Britain's Fault". At least that's one way of looking at it. No, I expect America to kick up a fuss about it. In fact I want to see BP crippled (not out of business) for making such a mess of things. I want to see things so bad for them that other oil companies start heeding the regulations and stopping this from happening again and I want to see every oil spill in the world treated with the same speed (or attempted speed) and same ferocity as this one.

#14 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 01:16 PM

View PostBalthamos, on 11 June 2010 - 01:04 PM, said:

I want to see things so bad for them that other oil companies start heeding the regulations
Regulations?  :unsure:  What regulations?  :blink:  

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#15 enTranced

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 01:18 PM

Honestly? In the blackest part of my heart, I want an example made out of BP. Everytime BP's CEO is on my TV screen sobbing and saying just how freaking SORRY he is I want him carted away in chains. I want him in prison for the rest of his worthless life.

*sigh*

It's a nice dream but he is far to rich to go to jail. But I do think that BP needs to be punished for this. I think jobs should be lost and criminal investigations done. And I want EVERY single BP rig and property on US soil to be closed and gone over with a fine tooth comb before being allowed to open again.

That said the fault isn't 100% BP's. There were mistakes made by the US Government as well. Minerals Management is already be reorganized. I also want the government to put some serious regulations in place for this.

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#16 enTranced

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 01:19 PM

View PostSci-Fi Girl, on 11 June 2010 - 01:16 PM, said:

View PostBalthamos, on 11 June 2010 - 01:04 PM, said:

I want to see things so bad for them that other oil companies start heeding the regulations
Regulations?  :unsure:  What regulations?  :blink:  

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That's it in a nutshell. :(

That is why this is *all* BP's fault.

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#17 G-man

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 01:30 PM

Well, yeah ... BP, Trans-Oceanic (which ran the oil rig), and Halliburton (amazing how these guys get around), were the ones who pulled the trigger that started this whole mess.  And Big Oil has always used its monies and influence over the decades to continue to maximize profit, neutralize regulation and oversite, and squelch any competition that might have lessen the US's appetite for their product.

The problem is, the US Government, through its lack of oversite and enforcement of the existing rules; and the courts for allowing Big Oil to get away with these catastrophies at relatively small cost to them, essentially ALLOWED the situation in the Gulf to happen in the first place.  

THIS is the inherent problem with the Free Market/Capitalist System that people continually laud.  And can one say that BP did anything different than the Banks and Brokerage firms did (and look at the mess those people got us into)?  And did the Banks and Brokerages do anything different from the old Savings and Loans back in the 1980's?

In short, this is a recurrent problem of our society where it is Greed versus the public good.  And with bailouts, laxity in enforcement of regs, etc. can anyone honestly tell me that our system isn't hopelessly broken.  At present, it just seems that all we have the attention span for in this society is to slap a bandaid on, and return to our distractions.

/s/

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#18 enTranced

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 01:36 PM

View PostG-man, on 11 June 2010 - 01:30 PM, said:


THIS is the inherent problem with the Free Market/Capitalist System that people continually laud.  And can one say that BP did anything different than the Banks and Brokerage firms did (and look at the mess those people got us into)?  And did the Banks and Brokerages do anything different from the old Savings and Loans back in the 1980's?

/s/

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I get what you are saying but the difference is that while money can and does ruin lives it does not poison our planet, at least not on a physical level anyway. ;)

Or, "To big to fail makes me wince but oil spills make me gag."

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#19 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 01:48 PM

Also, reminding people that the drilling has been done by a British company serves to expose the hypocrisy of the rhetoric of many American politicians.  We have been hearing for years (ever since 9/11) "reduce our dependency on foreign oil ! ! !" as a reason to allow more drilling on our own soil, a thing they obviously wanted any excuse to do.  The implication was against "arab" countries, or "enemy" countries.  Britain is anything but an enemy country, but the term "foreign oil" is clearly meaningless when oil from our own soil is drilled and owned by a corporation in another country, any other country.

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Edit to add:  My point is that when I hear "British Petroleum", it makes me angry at my own politicians for having implied that oil on American soil is somehow treated differently that all other oil, and using people's fears to get what they want, resulting in more drilling in sensitive areas like this one.

Edited by Sci-Fi Girl, 11 June 2010 - 01:59 PM.

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#20 Palisades

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 02:04 PM

What' interesting is that while oh so many people are calling for BP's head, very few are trying to hold the individual people who made bad decisions personally responsible.
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