Yesterday British Petroleum agreed to pay $4.5 billion in fines and other payments to the US government, while pleading guilty to 14 criminal charges connected to the April 2010 disaster which resulted in nearly 5 million barrels of crude being spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven workers were killed aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig. The fine is the biggest single criminal fine in corporate history.
Weeks after the calamity, the British Establishment was still lecturing Americans on the perils of blasphemy in the colonies. Lord Norman Tebbit, former Thatcher Employment Secretary, had the temerity to accuse President Obama of “a crude, bigoted, xenophobic display of partisan political presidential petulance against a multinational company”. Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black.
Daily Mail columnist Geoffrey Wheatcroft accused our seditious president of “hypocritical as well as demagogic” criticism of BP. Wheatcroft then went on to recount a pattern of disrespect that the US has shown the British dating to 1812. Disrespect? I guess Mr. Wheatcroft isn’t content with the “special relationship” that calls for US soldiers to die and US taxpayers to get soaked, whilst Royal Dutch/Shell gets the first Iraqi oil contract and British Petroleum the second. Read the rest of this entry »