That British reaction to Obama, shorter version - Macleans.ca

That British reaction to Obama, shorter version

COLBY COSH: Let’s not get caught up in technicalities

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British politicians should certainly be standing up for Britain’s largest corporation in the face of xenophobic attacks on British Petroleum’s management by the President of the United States! This is nothing more or less than an attack on British pensioners whose comfortable retirements depend on shares of good old British Petroleum! BP’s dividends are our lifeblood! Now is not the time for our leaders to be timid in defending a great British CEO and British corporate interests! Mrs. Thatcher didn’t play these sorts of games when the American-owned Piper Alpha blew up! I ask you, what happened to the so-called “special relationship”?

On the other hand, it would be totally outrageous to suggest that Britain bears any collective responsibility for the management of the rig! Are we going to point the finger of blame at British pensioners just because they stood to receive the profits if everything went well, but now that it hasn’t, it’s the Gulf Coast that must suffer? Isn’t President Obama aware of the rudimentary fact that BP is no longer “British Petroleum”, but a global brand? Plus, hello, the owner of the rig was Transocean Ltd.—pretty much an American company, although they’re technically based in Switzerland! But, remember, “BP” is not in any sense British, even though its head office is still in the City!

Look, let’s not get caught up in technicalities! The point is, we don’t necessarily like the tone of these anti-British attacks on a company that, by the way, isn’t even British! The oil was destined for your market! If you want it, maybe you should clean up the mess! But, uh, that’s not to say you should nationalize BP’s resources in the Gulf of Mexico or anything like that! We in Britain would regard that as an act of xenophobic belligerence! Although, again, there’s no necessary connection left between “BP” and Great Britain! That’s just a vestige of history! Pretty much a coincidence! Can’t we just blame the Koreans and move on?