Rod Dreher

I am truly amazed that so many Brits actually think American anger at BP is rooted in anti-British prejudice. But here’s the otherwise intelligent Geoffrey Wheatcroft going off like a tabloid loony in a loony tabloid:

Has the worm turned at last? As the oil continues to gush in the Gulf of Mexico, angry rhetoric has gushed from President Barack Obama’s lips. His rabid denunciations of BP have damaged the interests not only of that company but of most British people, in a way that must make us wonder whether he leads a friendly country.


As BP’s share price has plummeted, it has lost £55billion of its market value, and the company’s entire outlook is very bleak, which affects most of us. Every British insurance company, building society and pension fund has large holdings of BP shares in its portfolio.
If you have a pension, at present or in prospect, your income falls with every sour word Obama speaks. It’s a fine way for a friend to behave, if indeed we should regard the president as a friend.

This drunken nonsense appears under the childish headline: “America’s ALWAYS tried to do down Britain.” It is the Daily Mail, after all, so I suppose one should consider the source. Still, it’s distressing to see this kind of talk, which has no basis at all in reality. Nobody here blames the UK for the behavior of BP — and indeed, I have been equally angry at the US government for its pathetic excuse for regulation (did you see the latest news: that our incompetent US government regulators missed one-third of their required inspections of the Deepwater Horizon in the months leading up to the disaster?). BP’s share prices have been plummeting not because the US president made some mild comment about kicking ass, but because of the actual damage the reckless BP’s well is doing to the American land and people. It takes some nerve to expect people in this country to be polite over scenes like the one below (see more here) for the sake of protecting the stock portfolios of British citizens. If the situation were reversed, and a reckless US oil company’s accident was fouling British beaches, I couldn’t imagine calling angry Brits a bunch of anti-American bigots. You want to get mad at someone, British people? Try BP’s executives, for cutting so many corners, leading to this catastrophe. It’s not the fault of Barack Obama, the Mayor of Grand Isle, or this dying brown pelican that your BP stock is going into the toilet.
getty pelican.jpg
P.S. Hey Daily Mail, HA-ha!

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