Monday, July 05, 2010

Some thoughts about the Gulf Oil Spill

I was watching Fox news a couple of days ago, and they were lambasting BP yet again for 'ignoring offers of much larger oil skimming vessels'. Fox have been extremely militant in their anti-BP vitriol. So that wasn't too surprising. But BP don't have the big Dutch skimming vessels because a protectionist 1920's US law prevents them from operating in US waters and Fox know that.

Are Fox anti-British? Are American conservatives anti-British? I am beginning to think so. The Romans were famous for cossetting their allies, and were extremely careful to keep their side of the alliance alive and well. The Americans, not so much. What is worse than being an American enemy? Being an American ally, apparently. You get talked down to, sneered at, blamed and yet you still have your soldiers dying on a foreign field at the behest of the self-same people. Hmmm.

Out of all the conservatives I know in the UK, I'm the most pro-American. And yet I am now decidedly lukewarm. As America gets more cathartic, more cartel-like, more collectivist and dominated by the titanic culture clash, it also gets more insular (if that is possible). This oil-spill has been a bit of a revelation, actually. I had assumed that the anti-British venom would come exclusively from the Democrat enviro-bigot greenies. But it hasn't. Much more has come from the right.

This despite the fact that Barack Obama has used BP as his whipping boy from day one, and on the principle that your enemies enemy is (at least for today) your friend, you might have thought that there would be some small element of sympathy and understanding for the company which provides millions of Americans with their daily gas. Nope. Only occasionally leaving aside their barrage of hate against BP to have a go at Obama and FEMA, the right have had pretty much only one organisation in their sights.

All I can say is, if Obama does destroy BP, I will never support the US again, in any forum and for any reason. BP is Britains last great company, and taking it away would remove about ten percent of our economy. If being an ally to the US means that in the middle of two wars fought at their request they are happy to destroy the crown jewel of our countries business, forget being a US ally. Not worth it.

China, Russia and India don't bother with American alliances. Why should Britain? The aforementioned get on with serving the interests of their citizens alone. It must be getting on for time for Britain to do the same.

I can put up with being sneered at, denigrated and lied about. But remember this: even the new Russia only ripped off BP for £4.5 billion. We would be much better off allied them, apparently...

2 comments:

Sophist said...

Overcoming my astonishment at this post, BP is only a British Company in a historical sense. It was as much owned by Americans as by Brits - twice as many individual American shareholders.
http://www.bp.com/extendedsectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9010453&contentId=7019612

Edmund Ironside said...

Not if you take into account the disproportionate role that BP shares have in the Unit Trust holdings of most of the large British pension schemes.
My emotional attachment to America is not absolute, like my emotional attachment to Britain. If America decides that it will behave punitively towards my country, my response will be the same as if any country behaves punitively towards it.
Anti-Britishness seems to be a growing phenomenon in the US, rather than the reverse. As my belief is that the special relationship is between the British people and the American people, if Americans decide we are the enemy, then the special relationship ends. Sad but true.