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Dear British Politicians: Shut The Hell Up

Dear British Politicians: Shut The Hell Up

I don’t feel like putting on my diplomatic hat for this one. Unfiltered language ahoy.

It’s come to my attention that British pols are upset that our president is saying nasty things about BP. In case you weren’t aware, BP stands for British Petroleum, and it’s one of the country’s biggest companies. Apparently a lot of retirement money and other nest eggs rest in BP stock. And if Obama keeps being SO MEEN about the oil giant it will ruin the company and a bunch of people will lose money.

While I wouldn’t want to bankrupt old people, especially in a financial climate such as this, the bottom line for me is: I don’t fucking care.

BP Broke The Ocean. Broke it. Dead Mayans are pointing fingers at us from the afterlife and saying “we told you so, assholes.”

The company deserves to go down in flames, especially since that’s a likely scenario for the ocean. The executives deserve to drown choking on oil and gas since that’s what’s happening right now to marine life. And politicians who find that kind of rhetoric distasteful can suck it.

It is no way xenophobic to rail against BP, mayor of London, so you can just put a button on your lip right now. This is not an anti-British crusade. I don’t think anyone particularly cares that the company responsible for the destruction of the Gulf has its headquarters in your country. (Though I find this What If It Was Citgo scenario pretty plausible.) Just because you’re friendly with Israel you are not allowed to borrow their rhetoric for your goddamn foolishness1.

If so many people are worried that their retirement funds are in danger of depletion as BP’s stock goes down the toilet, may I suggest something? SELL. This has been going on for almost two months, now. You’ve had plenty of warning. You should have sold that stock weeks ago.

And can I also point out that nothing is guaranteed with stock. Just ask ex-Enron employees. Diversify or hush up. And if someone besides you is making the decision to keep BP stock, then it’s their fault if your money goes away, not our president.

Of all the stupid shit I have heard come out of people’s mouths about this oil spill — including how “irresponsible” it was for the media to characterize this as potentially bigger than the Exxon Valdez disaster2 (and, oh look, IT IS) -– this is perhaps the stupidest. Putting financial considerations above protecting not just the Earth but people’s lives is what got us into this, remember? So why don’t you British pols just all sit down and shut up. You are not helping.

Jesus people, this is what happens when you let the Tories back in power.

Footnotes

  1. I’m referring to the practice of labeling any criticism of Israel as antisemitism, which not everyone does, but the comments from London’s Mayor totally reminded me of the meme. []
  2. I heard this weeks ago during On The Media and at the time thought that it was irresponsible to not characterize it thusly. And now I’ve been proven right. I feel good about that. No, really. []

19 comments to Dear British Politicians: Shut The Hell Up

  • Im a Brit how is a member of the Lib Dems who are also party of the government in the UK. I blogged on this disater here http://bracknellblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/bp-contractors-thoughts-and-questions.html

    The Mayor of London has always been an outspoken individual which is why we like him in the UK. or did at the moment thought I think hes losing it. In some of our dump right wring press they have attacked Obama for being anti British, of course he isn’t. I would ignore our dumb papers because they do not write what the people beleiveve or inteed report the truth.

    Our TV news is much better put our press is well some of it is plain poor.

    But it was not just BP it was also a number of contractors and I do feel some of them have been let of the hook. They are indeed American, not that I think it matters.

    Anyway Just thought I would let you know that not all Brits feell this way and I for one am very very sorry about what has happened

  • Rys

    Right ON, BW !!! You sum up my sentiments exactly. There’s a special circle in Dante’s Hell for BP, Transocean, Halliburton and other corporate execs (not to mention the Minerals Management Service, which issued drilling permits like Monopoly money). Let the mayor of London go swim in the Gulf.

  • Rys

    (typ0 — I meant ABW)

  • Ev Schlatter

    I am SO angry about what’s happening in the Gulf and I feel so utterly helpless. I don’t even know where to start with how majorly f***ed this whole thing is and yes, BP freakin’ broke the ocean. BP, like ABW says, you FREAKIN’ BROKE THE OCEAN! And you have totally screwed up thousands of jobs on this side of the pond, which thus devastates many of those communities along the coast. All because you decided to put a cheaper-ass, not-so-good part on your freakin’ well and now that the s*** has hit the fan, you’re running around blaming our administration and the media for dissing you.

    And to British pols–we have this thing in the US. It’s this policy you see on the walls of many stores still: “You broke it, you pay for it.” BP broke the ocean. BP pays. Simple as that. And to you BP execs who refuse to accept any responsibility for what you did, hey, here’s a thought. Go live in one of those coastal communities you screwed up and try to make a living fishing. See how long you last with your oil f***ing every fishing spot and ecosystem for miles, fouling lines and boats and killing tourism. BP is destroying thousands of jobs, nest eggs, and communities on this side of the pond. And those people don’t have the option to sell.

  • Keira

    It’s not the fact that Obama’s angry at BP, it’s that he keeps calling it British when it’s mostly owned by Americans and Kuwaitis. It used to be called Amoco and it employs far more Americans than it does British people, and most of the profits go to America. That’s why it’s on the US stock exchange after all.

  • Larry

    Most Americans know BP as “British Petroleum” because that was the company’s name for most of its existence. However, as part of its rebranding/greenwashing campaign of recent years, BP officially changed its name to “Beyond Petroleum.”

    Based in London, BP trades on the London and New York stock exchanges. It is the United Kingdom’s largest corporation. It has a U.S. subsidiary, BP America, with offices in Houston.

  • “BP Broke The Ocean. Broke it. Dead Mayans are pointing fingers at us from the afterlife and saying “we told you so, assholes.”

    Great writing and on point, as usual. Thanks for the link, too.

  • Munguin

    I wouldn’t worry about our politicians they are a pretty spineless crew (especially the Lib Dems). Watch David Cameron our Prime Minister fall into line after President Obama tells him what to do and think in their phone call this afternoon.

    It’s our pro-British press that have flagged this up to sell papers. Their is nothing the British like better than anti-forigner stories in the papers. But the bottom line is we do as you say.

  • All the executive, management and operations honchos of Beyond Petroleum have our permission to commit seppuku now.

    Since despite your transnationalsim you persist in adhering to the identity that you are not Japanense and not honor bound to suicide, we can return to the days of firing squad.

    PARTICULARLY SINCE YOU DIDN’T EVEN BOTHER TO HAVE A DISASTER MANAGEMENT PLAN THAT EVEN MY FUCKING LIBRARY HAS GOT.

    You may die now. All of you.

  • John Macadam

    First things, BP doesn’t stand for British Petroleum. It used to, but know the name of the company is just BP.

    The company is 1/3 owned by american investors and 2/3 by british investors and by investors I mean pension funds, Calpers in California. A lot of pension funds must invest in the top 100 shares in the UK in propoportion to their size. BP was a huge company and so it counted for a substantial part of their portfolios.

    It is listed in both the United States and in the UK, but 3 times as many of its employees are American as are British.

    We still dont’ know the causes of the blowout, the company managing the well is American, the company which designed the various safeguards is American, however under the standard contracts BP are liable for any accidents, which is standard operating procedure for the industry.

    So basically multiple safeguards have failed and BP are trying to clean up the mess.

    Every time Obama says “British Petroleum” instead of “BP”, he means dirty disgusting Brits are trying to poison pure innocent America, thats the nicer view, because he could also mean “dirty disgusting foreigners”. And when an american politician says that everytime the British CEO opens his mouth, he can’t trust him because of his accent, it seem and how can I put this, RACIST. The question that matters is whether the US would treat an american oil company the same, interfering in its dividend payment, calling for its senior executive to be sacked, and the general understanding is no.

    As for the accusation that “BP broke the ocean”, seriously. The largest polluter on the planet, with some of the laxest safeguards, with a history of environmental abuse in both civilian and military areas actually accuses BP of breaking the ocean?

    Pot, kettle, black.

    Also the Israel comments seemed more than a little racist.

    • John, I don’t think you’ll find many people that would argue that the rig management and etc. is also to blame for this mess. But beyond just legal liability, BP is on the hook for this because they are responsible for all the stuff that goes on under their purview. If they were lax in ensuring that the people under them were keeping everything safe, then they are at fault AS WELL AS the people under them.

      I know that many Americans work for BP as I remember when they merged with Amoco because of the ads they ran. I would assume that, if you looked at upper management, most are British, though. But ultimately: it doesn’t matter. I don’t buy that if this was a completely American company the rhetoric wouldn’t be the same. Dude, THE OCEAN IS BROKE.

      I would like you to show me 5 examples of American media or American politicians saying, right up (not implying) anti-British things regarding this situation. We certainly do have an issue with being gross about foreigners in this country, but usually just brown ones. As a country, we rarely have anti-foreign sentiments toward countries full of white people, like Britain. Plus, we think your accent is cute.

      Also, how can it be racist to be against someone because of their accent? There’s a different word for that, friend, because it doesn’t have anything to do with race.

      I, personally, am not the largest polluter on the planet, so I can say what I like about BP. All Western countries share the blame for being major polluters and users of resources. We happen to be a very big country, so America is responsible for a lot of it. But you’re going to tell me that, overall, the UK isn’t just as polluty? You just pollute less because there are fewer of you.

      Also, your comments about Israel are silly.

      • Mark

        Please,

        Carbon Dioxide per capita (most recent) by country.

        http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/env_pol_car_dio_per_cap-pollution-carbon-dioxide-per-capita

        The USA is ranked as being the worlds highest polluter PER PERSON in the world, you beat the UK by a factor of TWO.

        BP is not a British company, it is a multinational corperation.

        Feel free to hammer BP all you like, I hate them also – but we would prefer it if you’re media/president did not deliberatly exaggerate the “British” section in an attempt to move the blame away from you’re own contractors.

        It was built my Americans, run by Americans, saftly checked by Americans but owned by BP, a multinational company.

        I dispise oil companise, but let’s not forget that the USA is far from innocent.

        EG : The Bhopal disaster

        The Bhopal disaster (also referred to as the Bhopal gas tragedy) is the world’s worst industrial catastrophe.

        It is estimated 100,000 to 200,000 people have permanent injuries. Reported symptoms are eye problems, respiratory difficulties, immune and neurological disorders, cardiac failure secondary to lung injury, female reproductive difficulties and birth defects among children born to affected women

  • VV

    THANK YOU. You have said exactly what I’ve been thinking.

    I live on the Gulf Coast and no, it is NOT xenophobic to blame this UK-based (but obviously multinational) company for malfeasance.

    Along with the ocean, they broke my only asset too, my house value (which was already tanking thanks to the housing crash). So I can’t be too concerned about stock investments, frankly. There is always a risk with investment, which I guess I’m finding out by buying a house on the coast of a broken freaking ocean.

  • spindrift

    For an alternative account of those involved

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1287226/GULF-OIL-SPILL-Whys-BP-taking-blame.html

    So why is nothing said about TransOcean / Haliburton etc

    Why let the facts spoil a good story

  • Madam Yeong Yoon Ying

    Just stop calling it British Petroleum as it has no relevance to any side of the arguement (we have bigger problems at hand people!) and maybe we can move forward.

    A politician does not pick words randomly. They are a very tuned marketing machine.

    All this finger pointing is counter-productive.

  • Rys

    “all this finger pointing is counter-productive” — really? Tell that to the dead and dying wildlife, shorebirds, deep sea life, and human inhabitants of the Gulf Coast. Holding people accountable is THE ONLY way we will “move forward”. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

  • Shay

    Why is it that everyone keeps going on about all the people affected here? I know it is a HORRIBLE mess for the people on the coast. I used to live in Houston and have friends in New Iberia of cajun heritage. However, PEOPLE have a way of recovering from almost any kind of disaster. It is our nature to survive and adapt. The people on the coast will be alright in the long run. Life throws us curves at times. It is part of being alive. BUT, how can the animals and ecosystem there adapt? Sure, in time Mother Nature will fix things. But this will take a HUGE toll on the creatures in the ocean and on the coast that have no say or have not benefited from our freaking lust for oil! Does anyone out there care about them? I am an animal rescuer so maybe I am screwed up? What are your thoughts? I think this is bigger than just being about lost ways of life for people or jobs. Geez, Isn’t there a bigger picture here? I have had to go through multiple floods in Houston while in my early 20′s after having just bought our first house, newlywed and pregnant, had to have a baby and bring it home to cement floors and mold on the walls, had to give up the house because it was unfit to live in since it kept flooding every time it rained, My husband and I were young, naive, and bewildered. We hated to, but we moved on, and survived. The animals on the coast don’t have that option do they? Can anyone explain this to the dolphins? Let’s get past ourselves and think about the other creatures affected here. Everyone loves to fight and argue over this. It sucks, but shouldn’t we try to come up with constructive stuff instead of quarreling?

  • Madam Yeong Yoon Ying

    very well, enjoy your productive finger pointing. i will be here cleaning up some oil.