- Who-whom? Heard during the course of a segment on Hugo Chavez during The World This Weekend, at about 1.25pm:
“The US depends on Venezuela for nearly a fifth of its oil imports.”
As Lenin was wont to ask about any political relationship, “Who – whom?” Meaning, who has power over whom? A quick Google is giving me that Venezuela depend son the US to buy between 60 and 80% of its oil exports. But of course the BBC wouldn’t put it that way.
In fact, as I understand it, there is a world oil market, so talk of either buyers or sellers boycotting specific countries is all a bit of a joke. You can either sell the stuff or leave it in the ground: those are the only real choices. About all a boycott of a single nation could do is impose extra costs by making some oil take the long way round, or by obliging refineries to cope with unaccustomed types of oil, or through increased fees to middlemen – but basically trying to control what happens to your oil once you’ve sold it is as futile as trying to control what happens to your dollars once you’ve used them to buy oil.
Be that as it may, the “dependency” of a customer on the guy who supplies him with a fifth of what he needs is much less than than the dependency of a supplier on the customer who buys three to four-fifths of what he supplies.
Hat tip to whoever made this point last time the alleged dependency of the US on Venezuelan oil came up on the BBC.
- “Not bias, just unbelievably shoddy,” writes a correspondent, pointing out this report of a tragedy in Glasgow. The age of the man killed is given as 21 at the beginning of the story, then as 28 half way through. His name is given – but at the end it says that he has not yet been named. UPDATE / CORRECTION: D. Burbage says it’s twoaccidents. Re-reading, he’s right. Archonix says it could have been clearer.