Another day, another Obama outburst against BP. and the BBC lovingly carry this story on, Just after 7.09am and then again at 8.10am, the BBC agenda is to out to project “Big Oil” as corrupt, reckless and in need of further regulation. I thought the BP spokesman did well, given the provocation of the line of questions, but it is clear that the BBC is just an echo chamber for Obama-angst on this issue. 10 days into the crisis in the Gulf, Obama is finally travelling down to see the devastation. 10 DAYS – can you imagine how the BBC would have commented on this had it taken Bush 10 DAYS to travel to the crisis site? One set of rules for when a liberal is in the White House…

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  1. Abandon Ship! says:

    Yes, Humphreys had his best “exasperated disbelief at the evil stupidity of the money grabbing anti-green big business interviewee” voice this morning.

    Hope Humph remembers all those evil oil people next time he jets off to his Greek holiday home


  2. Embersfire says:

    I thought the US had to admit the people with the expertise to deal with this were the oil people? What is Obama supposed to do when he gets there, exactly? Hang off a boat and block up the pipe with his finger? A bit different to whan Bush decided to ignor the New Orleans people for ages, when an appearance from the president may have been a boost to morale. Of course, Bush was oil people, so he would have been able to fix it personally, wouldn’t he? They would be better off perhaps offering assistance to the people who are trying to fix it, but a personal appearance by the president must be about as useful as a personal appearance by Tom Jones, and probably less entertaining!


    • Roland Deschain says:

      Obama could probably block up the pipe with his enormous ego.


  3. Grant says:

    Will Obama return all the donations he received from BP ?


  4. John Anderson says:

    David – it is way nore than 10 days into the crisis.  More like a month.

    This really is looking like Katrina for Obama,  his ratings have already been damaged,  there are a lot of Democrati people criticising the lack of Federal action to help prevent damage to the coastline,  and I think a lot of people will see that all he can display is petulance.   The guy is looking more and more brittle.


  5. Umbongo says:

    No one mentioned Transocean this morning – not even Andrew Gowers (the BP mouthpiece).  In fact Gowers was (understandably) on the defensive when discussing Obama’s grandstanding.  Gowers has got a difficult role to play: one word out of place and the heavens (or the remainder of the heavens) will fall on BP.

    But the BBC (through its “journalists”) has never clarified and rarely repeats that, although it was BP’s exploration drilling, all the hardware was leased from and operated by Transocean a well-known American outfit.  Of course, American xenophobia is off the leash but since the BBC is as anti-British as the Minute Men don’t expect Mardell to raise the point in any interviews with angry US citizens or politicos.  I’ve yet to hear Obama really slam into Transocean (I wonder how much they contributed to Obama’s election fund). As far as can be ascertained, the operational and hardware lapses are all down to Transocean and Halliburton.  Whatever BP has to cough up in the end it will probably turn round and sue Transocean for the lot.  Also, as a matter of some interest, were the US to allow exploratory drilling in safer (onshore or shallow water) there would be no immediate need to drill in precarious and dangerous environments like the deep-sea Gulf of Mexico.  Do we hear any of this from the BBC or Mardell?  Of course not, although we get this highly predictable


    juvenilia about corporate squabbling which anyone vaguely interested would know about: it’s Washington politics after all!  However, BBC Today trawled its address book this morning and alighted on a Dr. Manouchehr Takinsome (apparently an expert in these matters: for all I know he might have had something interesting to say had I been able to get past his accent) and a voluble rent-a-gob from Greenpeace said oil is evil and Humphrys agreed and regretted that we can’t stop using oil by next Friday.


    • Nick Name says:

      I agree about the anti-British spin that eminates from Washington & is enthusiastically echoed by the BBC.  It’s fair to say that BP are the ‘responsible party’, as they do own a 65% interest in the Macondo Prospect oilfield, and they did lease the drilling platform & its crew. It’s like when I contract a tree surgeon to cut down a tree, but he fells it onto my neighbour’s car. I would primarily be responsible, but I would in turn try to recover the costs from the tree surgeon (or his trade insurance).

      What is less edifying is the virulent anti-British spin, spouted by Washington, echoed by the BBC, and resonating as far away as YouTube comments. BP WAS ‘British Petroleum’ – but it’s two most recent mergers were with US oil companies (Amoco & Arco). THe previous mega merger was with TNK, a Russian producer. So the US (&UK) bile could as easily be directed against the US or Russia.

      As far as Obama’s popularity is concerned, he’s had his chance to make a mark, and failed. I strongly suspect he’ll be a one term wonder.


    • Umbongo says:

      Sure BP is the responsible party since it was BP’s subcontractors who caused the leak.  All I’m saying is that BP, although financially responsible for the damage, is entitled (if it can prove they were at fault) to sue its subcontractors:  I don’t believe anyone – except BP – can sue Transocean or would need to since BP’s pockets are deep enough to satisfy most complainants.

      As, I think, you imply it’s only an accident of history that BP is headquartered in the UK.  In the same way Shell is headquartered in the UK and Holland and Exxon in the US.  It’s foolish and mischievous to contend (as Obama and the BBC do) that, somehow, it’s really those evil Brits who are destroying the environment in the Gulf of Mexico.  I can see why Obama might do this – he’s a politician!  It’s quite another thing for the BBC to connive in this fantasy.


  6. Derek Buxton says:

    I believe also that in the USA the rules about foreign workers are extremely tight and that there are few British Nationals actually employed  in BP(USA).


  7. Ed (ex RSA) says:

    Isn’t this exactly the same sort of leftist demagoguery from Obama and co that we often see in Britain against America, but just the other way around?


  8. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Never mind, The Obamessiah has spoken, all is well now.  Never mind the fact that He did nothing for days about getting clean-up crews on the scene.  Of course He wasn’t going to plug the hole.  Nobody’s criticizing Him for that – it’s about the lack of action and urgency about the subsequent spill washing up on shore.

    Gov. Jindal’s call for a barrier is weeks too late, but the President should have gotten that moving from day one.  If Bush was in charge, the media would have been screaming about a lack of action from day one.  As it was, The Obamessiah took way too long to make an appearance down there, something for which Bush would have been relentlessly scolded.

    Now the President can grand-stand, and act like the Man In Charge.

    “My job right now is just to make sure everybody in the Gulf understands: This is what I wake up to in the morning, and this is what I go to bed at night thinking about. The spill.”

    He strongly stated that He was in charge, that BP was under His command now, and did His bidding, to the point of taking credit for a superfluous backup shaft.  Saying things like “we’re going to keep the boot on their neck” is just a lovely metaphor, the kind of thing which shows what a class act He truly is.

    All The Obamessiah has to do it show up and say, “I’m here now, and always have been,” and everyone is satisfied.  No problem, all is well.  He said that those of us who complain about His lack of action “don’t know the facts”.  Well, maybe, but there would have to be some pretty major facts involved to have kept Him sitting on His hands for so long.  But never mind, here’s Mark Mardell, right on schedule, to tell you all about the President’s “best performance”.  Mardell is satisfied, what more do you want?

    One fact I do know is that the President is the No. 1 recipient of campaign cash from BP, and that the Left would be screaming from the rooftops right now if a Republican with such a connection to “Big Oil” was in charge.  The BBC hasn’t mentioned this fact at all.

    Still, I guess the President thinks His work is done now that He’s given the “I’m in charge” speech.  He’s going on vacation – again – after a quick photo-op trip to Louisiana today.  Worse, apparently He’s decided to blow off joining the Memorial Day service at Arlington on Monday. Mark Mardell forgot to mention that, of course.


  9. John Q Public says:

    The British and the American tea bagger party share the same brain


  10. George R says:

    ‘Newsnight’ tonight includes:-

    Obama and BP, via BBC’s Watts (with marine life in Gulf of Mexico) and Esler.


    A non-BBC, American view, from a Republican:

    “Rand Paul: Obama BP criticism ‘un-American'”