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No Brit-bashing in US over BP imbroglio

Mark Mardell | 15:16 UK time, Thursday, 10 June 2010

Protest against BP in Washington DC

Should I be investing in a tin hat and boarding up my home? If I believe everything I read in the British press, it would be a wise move. According to them, there is a wave of anti-British sentiment sweeping the United States, on the back of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

It's news to me.

I have just come back from my third trip to the Gulf Coast and have not found a shred of evidence for this. I reported a couple of weeks ago on a few jokes about my accent and one historical jest. Not even that this time. Knowing the interest in this "story" back home, I deliberately asked if there was any such resentment. No-one took the bait.

I can't read every blog, every supermarket tabloid and listen to every radio talk show and cable channel, but I haven't heard or read anything to support the thesis. That may change. Indeed the media has a magic that sometimes turns what it wishes for into reality.

On the other hand, you can hardly underplay the fury towards BP and the dislike of the British energy giant's chief executive, Tony Hayward, in the US Gulf, in the media and among those politicians who deal with them. The fact that Mr Hayward is not American has probably made him all the more irritating to his US audience.

The fury directed at BP may be stronger because they are a foreign company. It's hard to say. The executives of Goldman Sachs may feel their American nationality has not helped them. The Japanese bosses of Toyota would probably see it slightly differently.
There is no doubt that the attacks on BP have made it very clear how much the company has been damaged and that may well have a huge effect in Britain.

Politicians and the public are rightly concerned about that. President Obama's increasingly harsh rhetoric, which now appears to be at an intensity and volume to satisfy the Washington press corps, may have played into this. His suggestion that BP should not pay dividends has hurt.

US Attorney General Eric Holder has said he will take "what ever steps necessary" to make sure BP pays the full cost of the clean up. A reporter asked Mr Holder if he was looking at measures to stop the company paying out a dividend to shareholders.

He replied: "It is our aim, and I can make a pledge to the American people that they will not pay a dime towards the clean up of the gulf region and BP will be held to its responsibility to pay for all damage, and we will take all necessary steps to make sure that occurs."

Pressed if that meant taking out an injunction, he said: "we will take whatever steps are necessary."

Hardly reassuring for BP shareholders.

But anti-British feeling?

I suspect the facts will never get in the way of a good story for some, but I'll forgo the tin hat for now.

Comments

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  • 1. At 4:06pm on 10 Jun 2010, Shawn wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 2. At 4:07pm on 10 Jun 2010, Jim1648 wrote:

    Not to worry. Most Americans don't even know that BP is a British company.

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  • 3. At 4:10pm on 10 Jun 2010, Aaron wrote:

    I'm a Brit living in Chicago (have been here 10 years or so) and haven't noticed any antiBritish feeling in the US. I think the British newspapers have gotten "american-ness" a bit wrong. Americans don't tend to be prejudiced against foreigners. Naive and sometimes pathetically uninformed, yes, but not prejudiced. That isn't to say there isn't lots of prejudice to go round here - there is. But it's reserved for Americans who are "others" - blacks, hispanics, whites, what-have-you. Foreigners they don't much think about, or care about, even in a situation like this.

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  • 4. At 4:16pm on 10 Jun 2010, tsigili wrote:

    Today's global corporation, hold no allegiance to any country, nor can anyone consider them as representing any particular country, in spite of the name association in this particular case.

    They are no worse, than any US global corporation, either, and all of us are more than aware of that.

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  • 5. At 4:20pm on 10 Jun 2010, Protocol417 wrote:

    I see no anti-British sentiment here in the Midwest, though we are very furious over what's happened (particularly myself and my family, as I spent half my life in the eastern Gulf region).
    "The fact that Mr Hayward is not American has probably made him all the more irritating to his US audience."
    Not the entire US audience. People tend to be a bit more reactionary in certain portions of the States but I don't think most of us would be any less ticked off were we being spoken to with an American accent. In fact, some of us might even be more upset. Perhaps we can somewhat understand the impression of a "foreigner" not caring much about our southern shores, but a fellow countryman? It would be too close to betrayal.

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  • 6. At 4:22pm on 10 Jun 2010, mswatk wrote:

    I do not know anyone who is bashing the British. The CEO of BP is not popular, though. We are not happy about the mess and the looming repercussions of millions on top of millions of barrels of oil ruining the gulf coast, but to bash Brit's is useless.

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  • 7. At 4:28pm on 10 Jun 2010, Operations wrote:

    I live in the U.S. north east, and travel frequently to Florida.

    There is certainly anger with BP, with the grandstanding and complaining of the CEO, and with what appears to be the deliberate under reporting of the magnitude and nature of the leak.

    I've seen no anger directed to BP nor the CEO regarding nationality. So many US companies are now foreign owned, it doesn't register as an issue of nationality.

    However, having witnessed the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez, I can say that the rhetoric being aimed at BP is less by comparison, despite the larger leak and tremendously larger financial and social impact on Florida versus Alaska.

    So, no. British citizens aren't being targeted for nasty comments. I don't think anyone blames the UK. I think they all blame BP. Which is only proper.

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  • 8. At 4:29pm on 10 Jun 2010, PragueImp wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 9. At 4:31pm on 10 Jun 2010, CamberwellBeauty wrote:

    Well, thank you Mark!! If you had read your own prior blog, you would have read many people posting that there has been no slagging off across the board.
    I'm an ex-pat, and I have not had one word said to me. I think the hysteria from the British contingent is so out of character. The Americans are supposed to be the hysterical ones!

    People, please differentiate between slimy politicians, reporters, newsrags, s**t stirrers, etc., normal people have no animosity toward Britain, only BP (and whoever owns the damn thing!).

    Forget the posturing politicians on both sides, they're all idiots; including Obama, our lame President, who needs to just shut his mouth & I suggest Cameron do the same thing.

    Please, let's find some more news Mark, we're dying here............

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  • 10. At 4:32pm on 10 Jun 2010, johnny o wrote:

    While we Americans do prefer both geologists and executives to be a little more masculine and commanding than Mr. Hayward, I don't think that Brit-bashing is at work here. If anything, Americans are perhaps relieved that someone else messed up for once.

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  • 11. At 4:33pm on 10 Jun 2010, Maureenrm wrote:

    This is the first I have even heard there was anti British sentiment and I live in the US. I think consumers know the company as BP and, however ignorant this may sound, don't think of it as "British Petroleum". They may not like Mr. Hayward or the company, but have not lashed out against the country where it is based.

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  • 12. At 4:33pm on 10 Jun 2010, Brian_NE37 wrote:

    Tony Hayward is, from what I can see, doing a very good job on the ground. But, he ain't a politician. Even Obama has had to ratchet up his rhetoric to match the media's demand for someone to blame. Such a pity when appearance is preferred to substance.

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  • 13. At 4:39pm on 10 Jun 2010, Wendy wrote:

    I have experienced no anti-Brit sentiment over here in the USA ...people have/and continue to be angry and frustrated at BP's handling of this situation and may lash out here and there which is very understandable ....but as a Brit living in the US, I continue to be treated with dignity and respect and most seem more concerned about finding resolutions, than wasting their time and energy on "Brit bashing".

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  • 14. At 4:39pm on 10 Jun 2010, Alisha wrote:

    We're mad at the people that allowed this to happen, but that has nothing to do with nationality. For example, just because WorldCom and Enron were irresponsible compnaies does not mean that all Americans are. The same is true with BP. The company made a mistake. A few people are responsible, but not an entire country. Personally, I believe that the US government holds much more resonsibility than any other as it happened here, where our government was responsible for protecting us. For me, the blame goes to BP executives and the US government.

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  • 15. At 4:43pm on 10 Jun 2010, Andrew Prescott wrote:

    I believe you are missing the point. I agree that so far there is no outright hostility from the majority of the American public to things British, I did pull into what had clearly been a BP station as postd on the freeway to find its BP logos overwritten with another company (may be coincidence) - apparently Tony Hayward's family does have police protection following phone threats, but where these threats are coming from was not mentioned.

    But it has been pointed out that the term British Petroleum is being used a lot and clearly very pointedly, and a lot of inflamatory language is in use for political gain. Goldman Sachs were not spared; but that does not remove the fact that there is a touch of xenophobia to everything from the Dubai Ports, the Toyotal recall, and now BP. And a lack of understanding of the multi-national nature of all these organiszation and of the modern world. Not to mention a double standard that is highlighted in the juxtapositon of the Bhopal news this last week and the BP news.

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  • 16. At 4:44pm on 10 Jun 2010, vladio wrote:

    I live in the US and the British media is certainly fanning the flames. There's a bit of anti-BPism going around. Just yesterday a friend posted a picture of a sign at a BP filling station that stated "You're responsible for spills" with a BP logo on it... it was well received. But as far as this being a British thing, that's not happening at all. The author of this is dead on! I hope those of you in the UK don't allow your media to turn this into a stone throwing affair. We feel as though Brits are our closest ally & friends.

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  • 17. At 4:48pm on 10 Jun 2010, Daniel Bunbury wrote:

    It has nothing to do with him being British, except for the fact that his asinine comments sound all the more arrogant when spoken with a British accent. To Americans, a British accent makes one sound intelligent, so when a Brit says stupid things, it is interpreted by Americans as arrogant. Have you considered that Tony Hayward - despite being British - is just an idiot?

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  • 18. At 4:50pm on 10 Jun 2010, Roger wrote:

    I am a Brit living in the USA for the past 11 years.

    BP Has got itself into a real mess and their CEO is only making things worse. He comes across as very arrogant and his asides are unbelievable. The suggestion that BP should stop dividend payments until the whole bill is paid seems to be a reasonable one. It is the equivilent of Wall Street and the world markets paying bonuses to staff while they borrow from the tax payers.

    As far as resentment toward Brits living here is concerned I have heard nothing at all. Most of my friends blame the Goverment regulators for allowing the well to be drilled as well as the owner, Haliburton and BP.

    Main thing is get on with it, plug the leak, clean up and pay up to the thousands of good people who are losing their livelihood.

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  • 19. At 4:53pm on 10 Jun 2010, Pincher Martin wrote:

    No anti-British sentiment? Mr Obama made specific used of the name "British Petroleum", a title that BP has not used for over 20 years! He has become even more shrill and now seems to want BP to not only pay damages for the oil spill but also to pay the salaries of oil workers thrown out of work because of the US President's decision to suspend all deep sea oil exploration around USA. As for wanting to replace Tony Hayward as CEO of BP and stop the Company paying dividends.... Seems to me that Mr Obama is going way too far. If you cannot detect anti-British feeling, then you have "gone native" and need some time back in Blighty!

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  • 20. At 4:55pm on 10 Jun 2010, Drew wrote:

    Americans don't hate the Brits, certainly not anywhere near a level that the Brits hate Americans. I have lived in both the US and UK and the level of unwarranted Anti-Americanism in the UK is shameful.

    I'm not saying Americans are so open and accepting of all people (ha obviously not true). I think Americans simply are too arrogant to spend their time hating the British or even caring about what they are doing. Meanwhile it seems that the Brits, love to spew Anti-American BS at any opportunity.

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  • 21. At 4:57pm on 10 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    After the way Americans went after the Wall Street guys, I'd hardly say this is "anti-British".



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  • 22. At 4:57pm on 10 Jun 2010, Justin150 wrote:

    Lets see about anti British sentiment

    1. Obama refers to BP as British Petroleum. Obama is not stupid he used that name deliberately to emphasise that it is not an American company (oh he forgot to mention the other companies involved or possibly liable for the disaster, would that be because they are American)

    2. US officials looking to prevent BP paying a dividend - so now they want to use their law to impose obligations on a company based overseas who has to comply with UK law not US law.

    3. US govt wants UK to start negotiations to hand over the Falklands. I suppose little details like history and the wishes of the inhabitants have nothing to do with this.

    All of this at a time when they want our help.

    Lets start with the Falklands. We will start negotiations with Argentina when the US hands back to Mexico all those bits of the country they annexed - why should it matter what the inhabitants of those states want or indeed that they have been living there for 100+ years after all it is only fair, US took those lands at gunpoint from the inhabitants rather more recently than UK took possession of unoccupied islands. In fact while we are at it why do you not give back all the lands US seized from the American Indians.

    As for BP, it could do the obvious and simply do the minimum required by law and then walk away from the problem and tell the US govt to handle it from then on. After all that is the great American way. BP for some strange reason is trying to do more.

    What the US people do not seem to understand is that the attitude of the politicians, seemingly parts of the Coast Guard merely confirms to many people outside of the US that there is one law for US companies and another for everyone else. I know many Americans and when abroad they are not Xenophobic bigots, wearing loud shirts, unable to understand why all these foreigners are speaking in a funny accent and not following American laws (actually I think they all have some very loud shirts). But the way the Obama administration is acting I wonder whether my American friends are the exception

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  • 23. At 5:02pm on 10 Jun 2010, Pat Gunn wrote:

    Americans can easily forget BP is a british company, partly becase their stations are across the country, partly because (for the more historically aware) it bought Sohio (and possibly other petrol companies), and partly because its name doesn't have a hint of foreignness.

    It would of course be absurd to blame Brits for the BP mess - businesses are quite international, and even were they not there's no connection from the average Briton to those who cut corners within the rig. People have been known to be irrational about these things though, and Hayward's accent probably gets him a tougher audience than an american accent would -- accents and class are touchy and complex topics for Americans, particularly as they're rarely discussed in large forums and it feels like dirty laundry whenever they come up.

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  • 24. At 5:04pm on 10 Jun 2010, readwriteandblue wrote:

    Why did you remove Jim1648 Comments.
    It was short, sweet, funny and i have to say accurate

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  • 25. At 5:06pm on 10 Jun 2010, Wendy wrote:

    noetus,tsigili ...... I'm in complete agreement with both of your posts. been her for 36 years ... I think Americans understand that big business is just that, and it really has no bearing on the source or it's origin.......

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  • 26. At 5:06pm on 10 Jun 2010, Pincher Martin wrote:

    Further to my earlier post, can I just ask why BP is taking all the flak for the oil spill? Is there no blame on the manufacturers and owners of Deepwater Horizon? Over the years, there have been many disasters and emergencies caused by slipshod maintenance of facilities in USA. So, I ask again, why is BP - who leased the ill-fated oil rig from its American owners - taking all the blame? When oil exploration ceases around the globe, oil begins to run short and prices start to rocket in the gas-guzzling USA, who will Mr Obama blame then? Yes, I thought so - BP!

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  • 27. At 5:07pm on 10 Jun 2010, readwriteandblue wrote:

    I think it was just Spike Lee's comments on CNN that BP are not from here. Shame really i would hope for more from some with his influence.

    @shawnbb

    BP is British Company it is not a democracy, It is a money making entity owned by stock holders some of which are of corse British, some have stock in companies that have stock in BP and may not even be aware of that. Others are Shareholders of different nationalities some of which are undoubtedly Americans.
    To blame the British for BP is like blaming the US for Halliburton.
    Do you have shares in Haliburton ?

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  • 28. At 5:08pm on 10 Jun 2010, Skip_NC wrote:

    Greetings from Raleigh, NC. I have to agree, there is little sign yet of the general public "Brit-bashing." However, it seems to me that the media have ramped up their righteous indignation in the past week or so. Such indignation is pretty widespread now. I have to wonder if it will lead to a widespread, co-ordinated boycott of BP.

    My American wife has already started boycotting them. In fact, after we got rear-ended at the weekend, the police officer directed us to a BP station to finish the paperwork. Rather than get gas there, my wife drove a mile down the road to make a U-turn and then drove a mile back up the road to get gas at the station across the road from the BP station.

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  • 29. At 5:08pm on 10 Jun 2010, Kalex wrote:

    Thank you Mark! The comments posted by some of your countrymen in reaction to this false story are dissappointing. The UK is highly respected in the U.S. and I have never encountered any anti-British rhetoric in my lifetime living in Wasshington, DC. Not to mention how many here worship your Queen. We even still like The Duchess of York! Yet, seeing all these anti-American comments makes me wonder if that respect is warranted.

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  • 30. At 5:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, 1petpat2 wrote:

    After the 1906 earthquake/fire in San Francisco, the London insurance market rebuilt the city, at that time America's biggest natural disaster. Likewise, I believe BP has every intention of cleaning up the Gulf. Yes, major mistakes have been made, plus some idiotic gaffes by the company's CEO. Yes, the response should have been readier (like banking, too little regulation?)But no, President Obama should keep his hands off BP. Hayward has made very precise commitments to compensating the communities/companies affected by the spill. I think BP should be taken at its word. It's the kind of thing we do, meet our commitments. Nothing else will be acceptable.

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  • 31. At 5:10pm on 10 Jun 2010, labman wrote:

    I still love you Britts! It is corporate greed that upsets me. Regardless of where they originate.

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  • 32. At 5:12pm on 10 Jun 2010, dwp22 wrote:

    As an expat living in the US for the past 12 years, I can say that I have personally not received any nastiness. I think American's Ire is justified, it just so happens that BP is British, a point that is not made that often actually as everyone calls it BP and not British Petroleum.

    If this was Texaco spewing thousands of gallons onto the south coast of England, I am sure people in the UK would be just as irate probably more so.

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  • 33. At 5:16pm on 10 Jun 2010, lwatcdr wrote:

    I am from the US and while I do find the comments that say we are "Naive and sometimes pathetically uninformed, yes" more than a little offensive let me just say this.
    I don't know a single person in the US that hates the British people because of this disaster.
    Yes our government will do it's best to roast BP alive for this no one hold the people of UK responsible for the actions of BP.
    It would be nice if your government joins in the investigation since does look like BP violated safety regulations but even if they don't since it happened in the US it will not really sour the feeling that most people have for the people of the UK.
    Of course the president of BPs comment that he wants his life back after the rig killed eleven people is really way out of line but he just one man and not all of the UK.
    Now the fact that BP isn't a US company does mean that our government will probably go after them tooth and nail but isn't that to be expected? Imagine if Chevron Oil was drilling off the Brighton and had one of it's rigs blow up an killed 11 people that where your citizens. Then you had millions of barrels of tar wash up on your beaches and kill your sea birds. And then imagine a man in a suit and a Texas accent saying that "he wanted his life back"...
    Wouldn't you want your government to go after that company tooth and nail?
    But no there is no bashing of your nation it's citizens. Just a lot of anger at BP and frankly all oil companies.


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  • 34. At 5:17pm on 10 Jun 2010, James wrote:

    I'm sure you're right about that (that teh US public hold nothing against the brits for what's going on) but there are those stirring it up, mostly for personal gain ahead of mid-terms I'm sure

    senator whats-his-face said "any BP employee with a british accent is lying". Pretty clear, that one

    then there's the fact that BP is the only involved company who is doing anything at all about the clean up

    then there's the fact that no-one stateside seems to be mentioning TransOcean or Halliburton in this, possibly because they are American not foreign companies? that's the way it feels

    Fact is, notwithstanding the international nature of all large public firms, BP is a British listed, British based, British managed company. Hell, it's even got British in the name. of course Brits are feeling emotion over this. First embarassement that a British form is messed up in such a public transgression, then guilt at the situation unfolding, then more embarrassement at some of Hayward's less diplomatic phrasing, then releif that at least BP are standing up and doing their bit to put what has gone wrong right ... then a creeping sense of dread as day after day the US administration, far from being pragmatic about the whole thing and working with BP to get this nightmare over as swiftly and efficiently as possible, seem to be using BP as a punching bag to gain notariety ahead of their own midterms (17 congressional committees?), cleverly forgetting that several other companies were involved, including government regulatory agencies

    then there's The US insistence on corporate responsibility in the same week as the Bopal rulings.

    So please forgive the British public if it feels like it's being made to feel like the villan in this when the main villan (BP) are not the only villan and are at least actually trying to do something about the mess they've made, unlike a certain chemical company one might mention.

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  • 35. At 5:19pm on 10 Jun 2010, kprochas wrote:

    Why would I want to be anti-British? If Texaco had caused a big spill in the North Sea area I would hope the Brits wouldn't blame it on me personally. So Brits are very welcome to be here in the US.

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  • 36. At 5:20pm on 10 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    1. shawnbb:

    "I have been increasingly annoyed over the years by the British public's childish and bitter anti-American nonsense,..."

    **************

    There is something rich about the Brits' complaint given the level of anti-Americanism we've had to endure for so many years. ;-)

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  • 37. At 5:22pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    shawnbb (#1) "... British company creating the worst eco-disaster in our nation's history and failing to stop the flow because they don't want to do anything that will render the well useless."

    This analysis doesn't make sense. It is costing BP far more while the well is spewing into the Gulf than it will cost to drill a new well after this one is finally killed. The flow is not yet been stopped because the oil industry generally, not merely BP, does not have an alternate means of shutting down a well when the blowout preventer fails.

    Here is a link to a discussion of the limitations of blowout preventers from CNN:

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/06/10/oil.well.preventers/index.html

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  • 38. At 5:29pm on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "The fact that Mr Hayward is not American has probably made him all the more irritating to his US audience."


    Not really: more his statement that he was mostly concerned about "getting is life back".

    Mr. Obama has also been recently "more irritating to his U.S. audience".

    But is also had more to do with his and his Administration reaction (or lack of) to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill than with a fact that he's from wherever.

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  • 39. At 5:37pm on 10 Jun 2010, Sir Lagerlout wrote:

    US anger is directed at BP. It seems odd that Brits take that personally, maybe because such blind loyalty to big corporations ended long ago in the US. But BP's apparent its-just-over-there-in-the-colonies attitude combined with the Brits complaining this is hurting their pensions looks like a callous lack of concern. Throwing that in the faces of people who have to live with the severe long-term damage the spill is causing might lead to Brit-bashing in the near future. If BP wants to hang on it should protect the shoreline and people hurt by this and cap the well as quickly as possible, not continue trying to profit from the well(duh!). Next it should reform it historically poor safety and maintenance behavior. If BP can't act ethically, the company doesn't deserve to work in our waters.

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  • 40. At 5:37pm on 10 Jun 2010, Alex Herr wrote:

    I have not heard of, nor do I have any resentment towards the British people, at least not where I live in Minnesota. As you say, we sometimes make jocular remarks about the British accent, or British tenancies, but it's always in good humor. It seems ridiculous to me to feel resentful towards the British people just because a British corporation has caused a mess here.

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  • 41. At 5:40pm on 10 Jun 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    I can't say I'm aware of any feeling that we're being blamed on this side of the Atlantic. There is a general feeling that the American people are inward looking as a rule, but no-one I know believes this translates at population level into anything worse than a slightly over-developed sense of national self importance.
    I work for an American company and adapting to US oriented attitudes is a daily activity. That said, I also live in Scotland and have to put up with the outlook from a London oriented UK news service. This has exposed no flaw in the US psyche that we do not suffer from over here.
    I find the reaction on this blog to the suggestion of Brit bashing to be over-the-top. Protesting a bit too much methinks.
    Also, Obama insisting on calling BP as "British Petroleum" is a bit disappointing. He should know better.
    P.S. I plan to holiday in Florida in October and this oil spill isn't going to stop me.

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  • 42. At 5:40pm on 10 Jun 2010, Margie Mack wrote:

    Obama's only knee-jerk reaction is to blame the always-evil "multi-national corporations". Mark my words - once some one whispers in Obama's ear that the fall in BP's share prices is affecting pensioners and other hard working people he will step all over himself for days to come saying that:

    1- Let me be clear. We as Americans do not blame the British people...
    2- We have a great, historical friendship between our two nations...
    3- We regret the plight of pensioners losing their incomes due to the disaster- my grandmother lived on a pension and....
    4- We need to build on our long-standing friendship to facc this disaster...
    5- Blah Blah Blah

    I just wrote is speech for him. Mark my words - I will score five out of five!

    His simplistic, left-wing attitude is clear - big business is bad. The "shareholders" are just greedy capitalists. He spends all of his time with his foot in his mouth, removing it only to back-peddle from his most recent irresponsible remarks.
    He does not speak for America even though he thinks he does. Americans are a little smarter than to think that just because the company title has the word "British" in it , the British people are not to blame. It is like blaming the French for the saturated oil in French Fries!

    There might be one tiny good thing about this disaster - the Brits are finally seeing Obama for what he is - or more clearly - for what he isn't. The man is a media creation pure and simple and the American media is busting its hump defending its Frankenstien Monster. Now perhaps the British public can see what more than half of us have been worried about for the past 18 months.

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  • 43. At 5:41pm on 10 Jun 2010, Lance K wrote:

    There is NO anti-British sentiment here in Leominster, Massachusetts. There is anti-corporate sentiment, and some anti-government. Tony Hayward was not helpful at all to BP, or the British image abroad. The less he says, the better.
    I have not heard a single verbal anti-British statement, nor have I seen one on television, internet sites, or in newspapers.
    We are too busy squabbling amongst ourselves - and worrying about Lindsay Lohan!

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  • 44. At 5:45pm on 10 Jun 2010, Guy wrote:

    I was surprised to see the headline about "Brit-Bashing". I live in the LA area; I have heard a lot of water-cooler talk about the oil spill without a single anti-British sentiment expressed! I think most of us see this incident as a terrible accident. I have thought BP was starting to become a bit of a convenient whipping boy for the US administration before important facts are really known. But BP may have brought some of this on themselves with some wildly optimistic press statements (re: plumes and volume, for instance). The "i want my life back" line was unfortunate, but over-played and out of context.

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  • 45. At 5:52pm on 10 Jun 2010, mrelmo1 wrote:

    As a U.S. citizen and also a Louisiana resident, let me assure my British friends that we hold no animosity whatsover towards you or your country. BP just happens to have it's corporate offices there; that's not your fault. Bottom line is that we do resent what BP has done, and many of the company officers are less than honorable. The lack of integrity in this awful disaster as it relates to telling the truth about all of the events that caused it and in presenting factual data on the oil gushing into the Gulf is at the heart of the matter. If anything, you Brits should be angry that someone like Tony represents such a poor image of your country.

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  • 46. At 5:53pm on 10 Jun 2010, Erin M wrote:

    I am an American, and have neither seen nor felt any anti-British sentiment here. Any anger and/or disappoinment is directed at BP execs....and not because they have a non-american accent. While some American's are woefully unaware of what goes on in the world, and as one comment stated, unaware that BP means "British Petroleum", I would like to say that this does not apply to ALL of us. This may also be worsened by the fact that BP is advertised as standing for BEYOND Petroleum here in the states (not sure why). Nonsensical ramblings aside, Americans are mad at the situation and the fact that all of the geological know-how and oil finding wizardry in the world cannot fix a leaky pipe, and entire ecosystems and commercial ways of life are dying.

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  • 47. At 5:54pm on 10 Jun 2010, AC wrote:

    Quite reassuring to read some of the blog comments- particularly those from people in the US.

    This shouldn't be a national debate- rather it should be a global economic and environmental one. First short term- how to resolve and restore livelihoods lost/effected and environmental damage to the ecosystems...second to look towards prevention in the future.

    I just hope Obama can take a step back from rhetoric which is simply destroying hope of resolution. Hope for Change right?? BP is an international company, its title almost a quirk of fate rather than any relevant reference to the here and now.

    BP need to get this sorted asap, thats a given but America also needs to realise and appreciate that this wasn't some corporate fiasco, it was a systemic failure in numerous areas, including oversight/regulation and the responsibility for that lands on Obamas door...the fear being that he's merely trying to distract from that fact.

    I think BP will pay, I think they can afford to-or, depending on how you look at it, can't afford not to. That won't change and if it does, the issue of fines and litigation can quickly be revisited. The far scarier debate is whether in the long term Americans and the world can stomach the risk in oil, or whether there's enough appetite to go green, or at least greener.

    So as great as it is to hear there's little or no anti-British sentiment, its also a little frustrating that an environmental cultural change isn't necessarily on the radar either. If it doesnt develop after this then what will it take...

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  • 48. At 5:57pm on 10 Jun 2010, marjorie12 wrote:

    I think the feeling that there is a lot of anti British feeling is the photos in the news last week of Americans stamping on the Union Jack. That is disrespectful to the people of the UK and I certainly do not remember similar shows in the UK when the American owned Pipa Alpha rig exploded killing 167 people. That the media reported this flag stamping it is true but if it didn't happen there wouldn't have been photo's to report.

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  • 49. At 5:57pm on 10 Jun 2010, Redhead wrote:

    Thank you Mark! I just made the same point, although less eloquently, on Have Your Say.

    I'm a Brit expat who has lived in NYC for 15 years. There is absolutely no Brit bashing here at all. Even the media, known for hyping the worst, is putting blame, mostly, where the blame should lie, at the feet of BP and the US government.

    All the American’s I know understand that this could have happened to any oil company out there.

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  • 50. At 6:06pm on 10 Jun 2010, Shiner39 wrote:

    Fact check

    British Petroleum merged with Amoco (US company) They formed the company now known as BP (Just BP).

    Most of the officers of the company are Americans , they employ 24,000 Americans and only 10,000 Brits.
    The Oil Rig built by an American company (Transocean) the same company that built the other oil rig that did the same thing in the gulf in 1999, (it took 9 months to cap it)

    Today’s rig was crewed by American, the engineers were American and the maintenance was carried out by another American company the same one that milked the American Tax payer in Iraq.

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  • 51. At 6:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, DavidTGregory wrote:

    I am aware of no anti-Brit sentiment whatsoever in Texas, now or at any time in the past. Further, we don't loathe BP especially, just because it's a foreign firm. This place is loaded with foreign firms, all contributing to our economy. We loathe BP because they did not appear to address themselves to the Deepwater Horizon situation with the immediacy and sense of urgency we believe was warranted. Whether that was actually the case is immaterial, because in realistic terms, appearance is everything.

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  • 52. At 6:13pm on 10 Jun 2010, nedafo2 wrote:

    # 35 - you don't have to raise a hypothetical example. Remember Piper Alpha? If not, try googling it. It was owned by Occidental, a US corporation. There may not have been the same pollution but 167 men died. The response was not an anti-American backlash but a genuine attempt by the industry to learn lessons and prevent the same happening again to another platform. I appreciate that the oil is still leaking in the Gulf but even so, would it not be more constructive if Obama would place more focus on this?

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  • 53. At 6:13pm on 10 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    #22 Justin150
    "3. US govt wants UK to start negotiations to hand over the Falklands. I suppose little details like history and the wishes of the inhabitants have nothing to do with this."

    Source? Or is this the March debacle?

    If more recent it does appear that although most US citizens do not have a problem with the UK, the current Obama administration is less than friendly. It would seem daft to be forced into a humiliating climb down only for Obama and Hilary to repeat the same mistake. Only deep anti-British sentiment would explain diplomatic incompetence of that level.

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  • 54. At 6:14pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Pincher Martin (#26) "Further to my earlier post, can I just ask why BP is taking all the flak for the oil spill?"

    Because they are the prime contractor. They are responsible for the entire operation, even if they delegate some of the job to subcontractors. BP is responsible for shutting off the well and cleaning up the mess. The contribution of other parties to the accident will be determined in due course.

    This question has been answered several times already.

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  • 55. At 6:14pm on 10 Jun 2010, Gaurav Sharma wrote:

    Dear Mark,

    I cannot say that I agree entirely with you but to an extent you are right. The wider American public is decidedly angry and so they should be. The situation has been exasperated by laxity both on the Obama administration’s as well as BP’s part. Subsequently, whatever both parties do now is greeted with scepticism. As a consequence, US politicians, like others of their species elsewhere, are indulging in cheap points scoring in an election year. Unquestionably, because it is a foreign firm, the vitriol is a little more vitriolic.

    Whether or not there is anti-British sentiment at the moment, I don’t know as I am not on the ground. Based on my past experience of travelling and working in America, I’d say it would be incredibly silly to say that the average American would suddenly turn anti-British.

    However, in the wider discussion on the Oil spill, including the world of the President – both Transocean and Halliburton are strangely missing from the narrative, more often than not. This rig was leased by BP on a build, op, run basis – only 8 employees were BP employees. The other 126 were not BP employees, nor was the equipment. Yet, bashing the only party to admit responsibility, whether under duress or otherwise, for political points scoring is unhelpful. This is whats upsetting people in the City; not that BP is being taken to task.

    Furthermore, elements going round the mile here in London point out the environmental and human damage by American companies. Here’s a Nigerian example:

    http://saharareporters.com/real-news/sr-headlines/6244-exxonmobil-oil-spill-in-niger-delta-exposes-nigerians-to-poisoned-fish.html

    And the Union Carbide, Bhopal Gas Tragedy in India is also being floated around as an example. While the accusation is one of US hypocrisy, I think it’s a case of "it hurts more when the tragedy is closer to home." That’s human nature and not an emotion exclusive to Americans.

    BP employs over 22,000 people in the US; it employs 9,800 in the UK. Things should be taken into perspective. So there is some Brit-bashing going on, but not in all quarters. Ultimately, it hurts on both sides of the Atlantic.

    The much reviled Tony Hayward told your BBC colleague Andrew Marr that once the cameras and the world’s glare is gone, BP will still be there restoring the Gulf to what it was and standing by the Gulf. I suspect that it will be, in more ways than one. America needs BP and BP needs America. Only its not a "special relationship" at the moment,

    Kind regards,
    Gaurav Sharma
    Author,
    The Oilholics Synonymous Report
    (www.oilholicssynonymous.com)

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  • 56. At 6:15pm on 10 Jun 2010, d_m wrote:

    No one is blaming the British, but they are blaming BP. Given BP's record on saftey and maintenance and more they're getting just what they deserve. For anyone who doubts BP's dismal record, you might find thsi article enlightening.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/10274260.stm

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  • 57. At 6:18pm on 10 Jun 2010, T FOUNDER CURTIN wrote:

    There isnt a bit of anti British sentiment none.

    There is great indignation at the failure of the industry and government regulators to in place effective counter measures in the event of an explosion. There is a mistrust of BP
    executives especially in light of the ever-changing flow of oil estimates.

    We love your country its people and your Queen.

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  • 58. At 6:19pm on 10 Jun 2010, Mike wrote:

    As usual, the mainstream media creates the narrative, and whether there's any reality or truth to the thing is secondary or tertiary. Generally the citizenry (be they British or American or whatever) are more sophisticated than they are given credit for. I've not heard anyone discussing Britain as it relates to the Gulf disaster, here in the American midwest. In fact, some of the more thoughtful people I've talked to have suggested that BP has been about as responsible in dealing with this cataclysm as you could expect from any oil company. What's insane is that we drill a mile beneath the surface of the ocean and then even miles below that and think that is reasonable risk, should something go horribly wrong. And I say "we" because we as a society have created this Frankenstein monster of oil dependency. It isn't all BP's fault.

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  • 59. At 6:21pm on 10 Jun 2010, maz wrote:

    I am truly sickened by the comments that are coming out of the Obama administration with regard to BP. We all know that a hugh environmental disaster has occured, and that most of the responsibility for that disaster is to be laid at BP's door. The double standards practised by governments all over the globe is nothing new, but how any decent politician can go on about 'keeping his boot on the neck of BP' when 25 years ago an american company was involved with the deaths of an estimated 15,000 people and it's management never truly called to account, is beyond me. If Obama and Co justifiably want compensation for Louisana, surely the victims of Bhopal deserve decent and fair recompence.

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  • 60. At 6:29pm on 10 Jun 2010, readwriteandblue wrote:

    @labman

    Thanks labman and we still love you.

    It's just the world would not be right without a bit of Yank baiting.
    The reverse must also be true of corse.

    As for Obama's Comments you have to consider he is under a lot of pressure right now (and it's not like he had any empty desk before this happened poor guy) so you really can`t blame him for hammering BP, but it's really a storm in a tea cup. This will likley become the catalyst for far more stringent regulation, perhaps even a push towards getting us off oil.
    But eventually the oil will again flow, the bills will be paid and status quo returned. (and another missed opportunity will have passed us by)
    Of corse that might not happen till after the hurricane season Yikes!!

    I have felt no anti-brit sentiment, but i will be happy if BP is held responsible for the gulf Clean Up (at least the mess they caused)
    - Brit living in SoCal

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  • 61. At 6:30pm on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "When oil exploration ceases around the globe, oil begins to run short and prices start to rocket in the gas-guzzling USA, who will Mr Obama blame then? Yes, I thought so - BP!"


    BP may be no more by then (as a result of bankruptcy).

    Dutch Shell more likely. or GAZPROM :)))

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  • 62. At 6:31pm on 10 Jun 2010, Saki33 wrote:

    As a "Yank," I find the topic a little insulting, and am tired of the "naive American" label. To think we would have anger at Tony Hayward's countrymen and unable to place the blame where it belongs makes us seem stupid and is naive in itself. This situation is typical of the actions of many large corporations, and is unrelated to nationality. These corporations are the very ones who are always trying to convince us that less regulation of business is better for the average person. The irony of it is that in this case the proper regulatory actions might have saved BP from self-destructing and consequent lower stock value.

    Regarding the bullcrap being issued with an "English" accent (I know, I know, you can't speak English with an English accent), perhaps the American public will now learn to stop buying everything that is said with an "English" accent, including the awful ones. Even the bad American accents are easier to understand than the bad British accents, and there are plenty of both.

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  • 63. At 6:35pm on 10 Jun 2010, dnwake wrote:

    You are right that there is no Brit-bashing in the US. However, you wouldn't know this from reading the Daily Telegraph, whiich is seemingly intent on convincing its readership that there is an ant-British backlash in the USA. Other British media seem to have joined in the fun. No idea why -- perhaps something to get passions inflamed with the World Cup clash coming up on Saturday?

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  • 64. At 6:41pm on 10 Jun 2010, PensivePeter wrote:

    The "Polluter Pays Principle" should mean that BP are responsible for clearing up the mess they make but it seems that only US technology is being allowed to do this. Despite the fact that a number of European firms have the technology and the means to help the clean up, they are prevented by the provisions of the so called "Jones Act" which prevents non US flag carriers, goods or personnel assisting.

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  • 65. At 6:41pm on 10 Jun 2010, tyytse wrote:

    There is little to no Brit Bashing here in the US. Even President Obama's comments about "knowing who's ass to kick" are taken out of context. BP is taking the brunt because they are front and center, but Congress dragged people from Transocean and Halliburton in for hearings as well. You don't hear bashing against Halliburton because that would be beating a dead horse. Americans already have an extremely low opinion of them after Former VP Cheney ran them and for their war profiteering in the Iraq war. Now if BP were a French company there would be a lot of bashing...

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  • 66. At 6:43pm on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #37



    There's no guarantee that relief wells will stop the current leak 100%.

    They may substantially relieve the pressure in the orginal well, but to what extent is everybody's guess.


    Also, BP is still silent re recent claims that spillage rate is closer to 100,000 barrels than to 10 000 per day.

    With heaviest crude traveling long distances deeply under the surface.

    And therefore not counted.

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  • 67. At 6:44pm on 10 Jun 2010, ejester wrote:

    i'm an american, and i am absolutely furious with BP. the company has a long track record of shoddy procedure and cutting corners. one happened to bite them in the a**.

    not sure where the 'anti-british' nonsense is coming from. one illuminating facet of this crisis; i see your press is no less immune to the trivial and hysterical than ours.

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  • 68. At 6:46pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Sir Lagerlout (#39) "Next it should reform it's historically poor safety and maintenance behavior."

    Sure, but it is not reasonable to expect businesses to police themselves. There is no question that the regulation of this industry in the US has been inadequate, in my opinion.

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  • 69. At 6:49pm on 10 Jun 2010, grapes1234 wrote:

    I thought BP stood for Boone Pickens (a US oilman). In an era of multi-nationals considered too big to fail, no one cares if it is Brit, US, French or Dutch. Change the name. Hire an American as top executive. It will not make any difference.

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  • 70. At 6:49pm on 10 Jun 2010, enzo11 wrote:

    Mark:

    The majority of Americans could care less where the company's headquarters are. Of course, there will always be a few who make noise - especially politicians looking for a sound bite - but that problem is universal.

    For the most part, Americans respect Britain, it's people, and it's history. They DO get a bit annoyed by the uninformed anti-American rhetoric that seems to spill out of the average Brits mouth all too often - especially from those who have never been over here for anything more than a weeks vacation at Disney World.

    Americans are in reality no more or no less uninformed or ignorant about Britain and the rest of Europe than Brits and Europeans are ignorant or uninformed about the US, Mexico, and Canada. I've spent a lot of time on both continents, and am as constantly amazed by what is not known on both.

    What you WILL get next month will be some good-natured ribbing about the Revolutionary War this coming July 4th!

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  • 71. At 6:50pm on 10 Jun 2010, Davef wrote:

    No Brit bashing here in oklahoma, being a brit living here i find the people make light hearted jokes about the British in the bygone days and of course i always apologize for burning the white house down (all in good jest of course). It seems to me the only people fanning the flames and creating hysteria are CNN other news media tend to copy them, they have been bashing BP from the start trying to make the news instead of reporting it, Dont get me wrong BP needs a bash on the head so this will never happen again and after new regulations are in force i am sure it won`t,,, then we can get back to being the 2 greatest nations in the world
    ps,, If you want good unbiased reported go to BBC news.

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  • 72. At 6:53pm on 10 Jun 2010, Alex Rose wrote:

    I've lived here in the US since 1995 and am originally from Scotland, haven't heard a whisper of Brit bashing since this incident - whats with the thin skin in England of late ? If anything, I hear a LOT of US bashing by the British Press. It was obviously at its height during the Bush admin and rightfully so but the arrogance and superiority complex many in the UK seem to exhibit when discussing US matters is rather common and silly.

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  • 73. At 6:57pm on 10 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    I see on the Beeb that Pelosi is all aboard the bandwagon now....she must be slipping with that delay. ^^

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  • 74. At 6:58pm on 10 Jun 2010, DrBillBushing wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 75. At 6:59pm on 10 Jun 2010, Celia wrote:

    I was really surprised to come across this article. I live in D.C. and haven't heard or seen any anti-British sentiment. We consider ourselves great friends with the Brits and I can't imagine that anyone would hold the British people responsible for something like this.

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  • 76. At 7:04pm on 10 Jun 2010, zatknight wrote:

    BP totally deserve all the flak they get. They have created an ecological disaster and thought they could get away with it in the USA as they and most other oil companies have in third world countries. I am glad President Obama is putting pressure on them to not only solve the problem but make sure they foot the bill for the cleanup and provide adequate compensation for local people affected by their incompetence. I think it's just typical British paranoia
    about the whole comedy surrounding so called anti-British feeling. It's simple really for BP and other British companies operating in the USA and the rest of the world. DON'T CUT CORNERS AND MAKE SURE CEO'S DON'T MAKE SILLY REMARKS THAT DON'T GO DOWN TOO WELL WITH THE LOCALS WHO ARE FACING SERIOUS ECONOMIC HARSHIPS!!!

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  • 77. At 7:06pm on 10 Jun 2010, midwestwill wrote:

    I have not seen nor heard any Brit bashing on this issue at all. BP CEO bashing, yes. Perhaps it would be a bit different if the company still used the moniker British Petroleum, but I don't really think so. Seriously, BBC readers should not worry that any such bashing exists. Now, if it were the French ... ;-)

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  • 78. At 7:10pm on 10 Jun 2010, MW001 wrote:

    As a Brit who has lived in the US for over 30 years I agree with those who feel there is no anti-British sentiment related to the BP disaster. perhaps someone could inform Boris Johnson of that fact. Unforunately Mr Hayward's chirpy British responses have greatly increased the anger and distrust of BP. Perhaps those living in the UK aren't fully aware of BP's previous safety related spills and fires which had already generated animosity in this country.

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  • 79. At 7:12pm on 10 Jun 2010, t-dog wrote:

    I have lived in the USA since 1998 and at no time have I seen any anti British sentiment and what is being reported on does not reflect the daily attitude of the American people that are my friends and work colleagues.

    The British press needs to give this a rest but as always they wade in feet first with their huge size 11's making something out of nothing.

    Sure BP is unpopular but that does not mean that it will result in 1812 all over again.. please give it a rest...

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  • 80. At 7:13pm on 10 Jun 2010, andy wrote:

    Americans in general are lot more tolerant of Foreigners and even more for Brits. I can't say the same is true for ill informed, anti everything Brits. Remember Nanny case. When I visit London I feel they all can use some education on humility. In this oil spill case I am surprised people have not taken to streets yet. This infuriates me tremendously. But our anger is aimed at the company and of-course people who are decision makers are the company. We make no exceptions for wall street CEOs either. I think we have let their arrogance gone on too long.

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  • 81. At 7:16pm on 10 Jun 2010, Hoovertac wrote:

    I slightly resent the implication that we'd make such a sloppy association. I think popular US sentiment makes an appropriate distinction between BP and the UK. Besides, I thought world wide corporations have more or less transcended their original nationalities anyway.

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  • 82. At 7:17pm on 10 Jun 2010, Humanperson wrote:

    I can assure you that if this monstrosity of a leak were to happen off the shores of Scotland and if it were an ExxonMobil rig that exploded and caused the deaths of 11 local workers, there would surely be a lot more outrage over "the Americans and their arrogance." You would have demonstrators every day in front of symbols of America. As many commenters have stated, Americans have ZERO animosity towards Brits and like them a great deal as a people. It is BP's apparent incompetence that they object to, in that they have the technology and expertise to create an deep sea engineering marvel, but apparently failed to build in multiple layers of backup emergency plans, as modern jetliners or other technology has. But obviously, this will change in the near future.

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  • 83. At 7:19pm on 10 Jun 2010, chavezbrex wrote:

    Everyone is looking for someone to blame. As a US citizen living in Southern Mexico it is interesting to see this all unfold on Mexican national news. Their reporting is bent towards US-bashing daily so took this opportunity to throw more ammunition at their neighbors to the north. I know BP is a British company but you can bet most Mexicans hadn't ever heard of it before this so they don't know it is. I think they would be quite disappointed to find out it is a British company, then they would have to look at other ways to blame the US. As Americans we are used to the rest of the world hating us (as ironically the US is made up of citizens from all over the world) so I am used to the anti-US sentiment that is being thrown around down here. I was surprised to hear that the British are so hyped up about the US blaming their country. Come on people, why are we looking for more reasons to hate in this world?

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  • 84. At 7:20pm on 10 Jun 2010, carsafrica wrote:

    Among ordinary Americans there is no anti British bias . However the media and sadly the politicians are a different matter.
    I agree BP has obvious responsibility but at this stage there are equal question marks over Transocean and Halliburton but there has been limited coverage from the media or the White House on these two companies . This could be indicative of bias.

    More important it is critical the Media and the Administration study more profoundly the role of Transocean and Halliburton in this disaster as both these companies have deployed their technology and expertise at other Rigs and we cannot afford another disaster .

    Last but not least BP has made many mistakes Tony Hayward should step down. This will facilitate more objective coverage of BP.

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  • 85. At 7:21pm on 10 Jun 2010, jfwf wrote:

    Yes, unfortunately I have received two nasty comments. I'm British, I still have my accent after 18 years, I live in Washington DC, I'm afraid it's only going to get worse. The hypocrits here have a scapegoat so they don't look to their own greedy oil addiction.

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  • 86. At 7:31pm on 10 Jun 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    You know, I was just kidding yesterday when I made that request for Britain's absorbent sheep.

    Although, I understand you have quite a few golf balls...?

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  • 87. At 7:33pm on 10 Jun 2010, Jim wrote:

    I live near Kissimmee, Florida which seems to be half owner by British folk. There is no emnity, in fact we love them. BP is the focus of our rage, with our own government a close second. The only Brits being 'bashed' are the BP execs. Now, what our government officials and president may have said that was considered offensive, we have no control over. If its safe to assume politicians are equally slimy the world over, you'll have to consider the source. But as for the common,everyday Americans our problem is with BP not the British people. Now.... if BP were French.... :)

    It will be interesting to see how the Atlantic Hurricane season messes things up. Since the economy here in Florida is hurting already, there are likely tough months ahead. A bit more important than worrying about non-existant "Brit bashing"

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  • 88. At 7:36pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    maz (#59) "... how any decent politician can go on about 'keeping his boot on the neck of BP' when 25 years ago an american company was involved with the deaths of an estimated 15,000 people and it's management never truly called to account, is beyond me. If Obama and Co justifiably want compensation for Louisana, surely the victims of Bhopal deserve decent and fair recompence."

    That remark was made by Secretary Salazar, and disavowed by President Obama.

    As for the Bhopal disaster, that has nothing to do with this. Union Carbide India Ltd. was 51% American and 49% Indian. The civil cases were settled in 1989 and agreed to by the Indian government and Indian Supreme Court. The US government was not involved. If the settlement was unfair, which I won't dispute, complaints should be directed to the Indian government (representing the victims), which settled for much less than it originally claimed.

    As for "... its management never truly called to account, ...", eight persons associated with Union Carbide India Ltd. were convicted of crimes just recently. They were given rather light (two year) sentences, but, again, complaints should be directed to the Indian courts. The US has nothing to do with the Indian justice system.

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  • 89. At 7:38pm on 10 Jun 2010, James wrote:

    As an Brit living in Florida, no issues or snide comments at all towards me or about the UK for that matter. Its often discussed at work, but its general conversation about the mess. I don't feel anyone is at all concerned who owns BP, they just want the bloody thing to stop and get the mess cleaned up.

    Its the usual UK tabloid press making up stories to sell news papers, all I want to see printed in the headlines is "BP STOPS THE OIL LEAK"

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  • 90. At 7:42pm on 10 Jun 2010, dssssi wrote:

    We are no more angry at BP executives and their lack of a clean-up plan than we are at Cheney ( former CEO of Halliburton) for his secret meetings with the oil companies and the deregulation that followed. The total disregard for the environment and population in lieu of profits is criminal.

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  • 91. At 7:42pm on 10 Jun 2010, mick721 wrote:

    I am a Brit and I've lived in Alabama for fourteen years, so I vacation regularly on the beaches that are now being hit by the BP oil disaster. Almost everyone I know vacations at these beaches too; so we are all directly impacted by the spill. Given this, I have experienced absolutely zero anti-British sentiment. People are furious at BP, and disappointed at the failure to stem the flow; but the Britishness of BP has not been raised as an issue by anyone I know, nor by any of the local media.

    The Americans seem very accepting of British immigrants such as myself, and even show a genuine affection for our wit and slightly different perspective on life. I have witnessed no change in this attitude at all since the BP fiasco began.

    This hysterical reporting by the British press is simply not backed up by the facts.

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  • 92. At 7:56pm on 10 Jun 2010, ElCar wrote:

    Hi Mark. Actually your blog today is the first mention I've noticed about anti-British feelings here. I'd read last week that pensioners over there will be hit hard, and felt terrible about that- that they should have to suffer for BP's negligence (only installing 6 gas leak detectors when they had been told to install 21 detectors, and such). In fact there seems to be a lot of anti-American sentiment in these comments, rather than anti-British. It's like some brits are mad at Americans for the oil spill or something.

    And, to Justin150, your list of "facts" are a little spotty, but that's beside the point. You listed a bunch of ways in which you see the US government as being anti-UK, whereas, Mark's post is about the US public's feelings about the UK public. And Mark is right- there is no animosity there.

    Oh, and someone questioned how the US gov't would treat an American company in this situation? Look at how they treated Exxon, Enron, Wall Street, Madoff, etc.- much harsher.

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  • 93. At 7:57pm on 10 Jun 2010, cirvine11 wrote:

    I'm so glad you wrote about this. There is not anti-British feeling here. So, I was very surprised at the tone of this morning's BP article on the BBC News front page. The dateline was in Washington... however... the story seemed divorced from reality.

    There is genuine and growing fury at BP. But most Americans couldn't care less where the headquarters are. We just want accountability. We want this fixed.

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  • 94. At 7:59pm on 10 Jun 2010, Cassandra wrote:

    The simple fact is that this was a cock up by BP in the first place and their handling of the fall out has been abysmal. They deserve everything they get!!

    This is about the incompetence of a leading multi national and has nothing to do with Brit bashing. Are we now so insecure about our place in the world that we will defend an environmental crime simply because UK pension funds have invested in the company?

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  • 95. At 8:02pm on 10 Jun 2010, BobbyWood wrote:

    I fully endorse Mark Mardell's comment, which is a helful counterpoint to the ostrich like tone of most of the BBC's coverage of BP and the spill. As a Brit living in New York, I turn to the BBC for the type of rational and balanced coverage of world events that is often hard to find here, but the coverage of this issue has been nothing short of embarassing.

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  • 96. At 8:06pm on 10 Jun 2010, bmunster wrote:

    As an Irish ex-pat on the West Coast, it grieves me deeply that there is no Brit bashing. Absolutely none. Zero.

    I live in hope :-)

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  • 97. At 8:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, Rick in Atlanta wrote:

    I'm an American living in the Gulf region. I think we're sophisticated enough here to be able to distinguish the British people (of whom I think most Americans are very fond) from BP. I certainly don't feel there's a lack of empathy in the British media for what we're going through here (our family regularly vacations at one of the hardest-hit coastal towns, but not this year. I feel for the shop owners and rental agencies down there, but we're not about to go bob about in the surf with tar patties). But it's fair to say that we're all disgusted with BP and particularly the tactic of trying to blame a subcontractor for carrying out the will of BP engineers.

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  • 98. At 8:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, richardjordan wrote:

    BP's media response has been terrible from the outset.
    They should have adopted a more sophisticated pr/crisis management strategy at the start of this by immediately fielding telegenic pr specialists to handle inquiries etc, instead of a series of senior executives. BP's core competence is engineering rather than media relations, so as a result of the low-key, matter-of-fact, 'calm in a crisis' image that the CEO, COO et al have delivered in the 24-hour news cycle that US media now is, the company's leadership are being perceived as incompetent at best. It's reminiscent of how British Airways initially tried to deal with Richard Branson when the 'dirty tricks' allegations first surfaced.
    While I've not seen or experienced 'Brit-bashing' yet in North Carolina, I have heard a number of US politicians and media people emphasising 'British' Petroleum when referring to the company. In an election year during a bleak recession the politicians and their media pals are eager to find ways to inflame, channel, interpret, exploit and re-direct the public's hostility. BP has helped them to do it.

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  • 99. At 8:13pm on 10 Jun 2010, wshurtle wrote:

    Hi,

    I am in Houston, TX, the USA's oil-town. I feel sad that the Deepwater Horizon Well explosion happened to BP. It potentially could have happened to any one of the companies in the Gulf.

    To state some facts:
    1 qt. pollutes 10 000 gallons of water ==> 1 qt. pollutes 40 000 qts.
    Similarly, 1 liter pollutes 4 X 10 exp 5 liters of water

    Know 1 barrel = 42 gallons = 168 qts.
    Before pipe cap, estimated 100 000 barrels /day
    Rate: 168 X 10 exp 5 qts./ day

    Approximating a qt w/ liters ...
    Rate=672 X 10 exp 10

    For one month ...
    Amount approx. 2016 X 10 exp 11 liters of water polluted

    That's a lot of oil pollution in the water!

    All the best,
    Bill Shurtleff







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  • 100. At 8:18pm on 10 Jun 2010, 2 cents worth wrote:

    I also live in the US and I’m sorry but I see another picture. The US media is to blame for ratcheting up this rhetoric. In the culture of CNN and other large broadcasters needing to ‘sex up’ an issue for dramatic effect, they have openly criticized BP and demanded the American public do the same. As BP is not an ‘Exxon or Chevron’ it is now being referred to as ‘British Petroleum’ in an overly hostile way. Prior to this disaster, it was simply BP - the big oil major. This name calling suggests that it’s a foreign and unwanted company, that’s wrecked the American way of life and to blame for all the economic and environmental problems on the Gulf of Mexico (and beyond).

    To put it simply, Obama is using BP as his well timed scapegoat for everything that’s currently wrong. He is quite willing to lay blame squarely on BP without any clear evidence they are infact accountable for the accident. I see no scorn or media attacks launched on Transocean or Halliburton, both partners of BP in this mess and possibly also to blame. Whatever happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty?’ – or perhaps that’s only something that works for Americans?

    The Obama administration is also guilty of chasing the ‘popular’ vote by talking tough and promising to ‘kick someone’s butt’ – not exactly the eloquent Presidential talk that encourages global investment in America. His actions are sending a screaming message to other countries that it’s ok to mess up if you’re American (Bhopal, Piper Alpha etc) but hell hath no fury if you do it in America and you’re a foreign company.

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  • 101. At 8:23pm on 10 Jun 2010, tomdickharry wrote:

    I have been living in the States for 6 months or so, and my experience is that there is no general anti-british feeling from the people I have spoken to. However there are some cultural differences to understand.
    Firstly, Americans live and breathe politics. The media and populous love to analyse, re-analyse and dig through an issue from every possible angle and extrapolate often fairly tenuous links. The volume of analysis and media coverage seems much higher here, something we can perhaps look forward to in the UK as we adopt more american culture in our politics?
    In this culture, there is often a story of the moment which gets analysed to death. Perhaps timing is BP's biggest mistake. A few months ago it was healthcare; now, in the vacuum of any other big story, its BP.
    The politics coming out of such a culture often involves a lot of posturing, hot air, blaming, and voicing of opinions by everyone under the sun, often from more politicised groups. It seems like the average intelligent office worker takes all this on board, enjoys the debate, and goes out for dinner with friends, safe in the knowledge that he/she has had his chance to be involved in the political process, and that the story has been told in a lively enough fashion to keep conversation flowing nicely, even to Brits.
    Secondly, I think Obama has learned whilst he is very capable of understanding the objective facts, America and its media and political groups are not necessarily interested in this. Take healthcare: the US very nearly didn't get what most first world countries would consider an absolute no-brainer in terms of priorities for a civilised country: universal healthcare. His arguments on healthcare sounded patently logical to an outsider, yet every group with an axe to grind dug their oar in, and the only way to win that debate was to play the politics right in Washington. We are now seeing a very different style from pre-healthcare Obama. It is transparent that he is playing the political bully right now, for his own purposes, and that it is just a matter of time before reality returns to the debate and he realises that someone has to produce this stuff that people want in their trucks (albeit in a safe manner). Most americans seem quite relaxed about listening to this venting whilst getting on with life, happy that the hyperpole will calm down before too long, and knowing the same core facts and frustrations about the disaster as we all know.

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  • 102. At 8:35pm on 10 Jun 2010, Bill Baur wrote:

    I have heard Americans say negative things about almost every country in my 40+ years, but never anything against England. What we will go after is the leadership of BP, along with our own inept Government. Why would we hold your nation accountable for a stupid company? We have plenty of dumb corporations here in the USA, after all.

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  • 103. At 8:43pm on 10 Jun 2010, EarthicanDan wrote:

    I have heard many of my fellow Americans criticize BP on a daily basis since this disaster began, but not once have I heard any generalized anti-British statement. Whatever you may think Americans feel about the British, the reality is that most of us consider the UK our closest ally and we have the ability to see the difference between a country and a company based out of that country.

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  • 104. At 8:48pm on 10 Jun 2010, Frank wrote:

    The British people are loved in America. It is an alliance that was forged in blood and iron. This could never be undone by a "corporate incident". I live just a few miles from where the original British settlers arrived in the New World. We always know its Summer here when UK visitors arrive in June. There is no anti UK sentiment here at all. Don't listen to the media over there. Its just more sensationalistic journalism, no different from the media here. It's just a business and political mess with everyone trying to blame somebody else. As far as the British people are concerned, we love them and always wish them "health and long life".

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  • 105. At 8:54pm on 10 Jun 2010, dubious wrote:

    As a proud Welsh-American, I can also attest that there is no hostility toward Britain. American anger is directly squarely at the large, multinational corporations whose greed has decimated our savings and economy, left us with 10% unemployment, and has now destroyed one of the most unique and productive ecosystems on the planet for decades to come. Time after time, we have seen these corporations given a free pass or massive financial bailouts with our tax dollars whilst the individuals responsible laugh all the way to the bank. Right now, Americans want someone's scalp. Tony Hayward should keep his head down.

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  • 106. At 8:55pm on 10 Jun 2010, BILLNVAUSA wrote:

    I AM AN AMERICAN AND HAVE NO SUCH ILL-FEELINGS TOWARD THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM, THE COMPANY...MAYBE A LITTLE. THE NATION THAT GAVE US EXISTENCE IS AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN HELD IN HIGH REGARD. MUCH LIKE A PARENT. MOST OF US ARE AWARE OF, THE SOMEWHAT DESERVED, ANTI-AMERICAN MOVEMENT IN YOUR COUNTRY. DUE TO YOUR FFIENDSHIP AND TRYING TO BE A GOOD LOYAL PARTNER, GOT YOU BURNED AND LEFT FEELING DISENCHANTED W/ THE US. OUR NEW GOVERNMENT, WHICH I HAVE FAITH IN AND VOTED FOR, COULD HAVE DONE MORE TO HELP THE HEALING PROCESS, BUT MR. OBAMA TAKES ALOT OF UNDUE CRITICISM IN ENGLAND AND THE US. AMERICA HAS TO EARN OUR BEST FRIENDS FAITH BACK. I BELIEVE THAT MANY IF NOT MOST UNDERSTAND THAT. THEIR MAY BE SOME RESENTMENT IF YOU BEAT US BY MORE THAN 3 GOALS ON JUNE 12TH AROUND 4PM EST ;)

    GOOD LUCK FRIENDS, BILLNVAUSA

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  • 107. At 8:59pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    wshurtle (#99) "It potentially could have happened to any one of the companies in the Gulf."

    You seem to be implying that it could have happened to any company with equal probability. I don't think so. There are objective measures which indicate that there are significant differences between oil companies on safety matters:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/...

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  • 108. At 9:02pm on 10 Jun 2010, organicbitsandpeaces wrote:

    @Jim1648: We ARE smart enough to recognize that, when a company's initials stand for British Petroleum, they probably have some tie to Britain. But thanks for the vote of confidence, there, Jim...

    We're also rational enough to realize that a country's large corporations are rarely an accurate reflection of the values and principles of it's people. We would not be happy if, for example, everyone in the world judged us by Blackwater or Exxon's actions. We recognize that this issue is a global one, regardless of the fact that it's in our waters because, quite simply, the pollution of this planet effects every single person on it. I feel more inclined to apologize for our lax standards than despise Britains for starting up the company that is involved.

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  • 109. At 9:07pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    2 cents worth (#100) "To put it simply, Obama is using BP as his well timed scapegoat for everything that’s currently wrong. He is quite willing to lay blame squarely on BP without any clear evidence they are infact accountable for the accident. I see no scorn or media attacks launched on Transocean or Halliburton, both partners of BP in this mess and possibly also to blame. Whatever happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty?’ – or perhaps that’s only something that works for Americans?"

    This point keeps coming up again and again, but I will explain it again. BP is the prime contractor and is therefore responsible for getting the well turned off and the mess cleaned up. There is no question about this, whatever is eventually determined regarding culpability and legal liability.

    "Innocent until proven guilty" is a legal concept which means that juries must demand proof beyond reasonable doubt before convicting a defendant for a crime. We are a long ways from criminal trials, if indeed there are ever any, so the term has no applicability now.

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  • 110. At 9:12pm on 10 Jun 2010, Kurdtus wrote:

    U.S. backlash against Great Britian?? That's a load of crap. It sounds like B.P. media spin to get the British public and government to come stand by their side. No one here is saying that the British people or government have anything to do with this crisis. If they are, I'm not hearing it, and I check the papers, TV and radio news daily. In wake of the economic crisis that began on Wall Street, many do view it as another example of greedy giant corporations taking unnecessary risks that lead to disaster for the greater public (or now the environment). Our cousins on the other side of the pond should not take the bait for such hogwash.

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  • 111. At 9:13pm on 10 Jun 2010, ChangeOfState wrote:

    Speaking as an American, I can say categorically that there are no anti-British sentiments being expressed in the U.S. - and I travel extensively around the country. Humanperson (#82) is completely right about one thing, however: were an American-owned company to be guilty of anything as egregious as BP's recent wrongdoing, our entire country and everyone in it would be excoriated by a majority of Brits hose who post comments to the BBC. It's a strange double standard. As a friend of mine said when he read another piece of on-line hand-wringing by Brits, worried about how they're perceived in America these days, "Seems they can dish it out, but they can't take it."

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  • 112. At 9:21pm on 10 Jun 2010, Murdochdnb wrote:

    Birnbaum, Director of the U.S. Minerals Management Service is the Obama-appointed official responsible for " the environmentally safe exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas. ”

    She had absolutely no experience in the field when she was appointed to oversee the safe development of offshore oil in July 2009. Birnbaum quit as soon as disaster struck. Employees at her agency in Louisiana were " part of the industry ". Many of them had worked for the companies whose operations they were responsible for monitoring.

    Birnbaum assumed duties as the Obama administration's Director of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) on July 15, 2009. As MMS Director, Birnbaum was responsible for mining of energy and mineral resources on the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf, including “ the environmentally safe exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas. ” She quit as soon as the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened.

    Why is Birnbaum not held accountable for her negligence?

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  • 113. At 9:21pm on 10 Jun 2010, steamer wrote:

    US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accuses BP of a "lack of integrity" when it made its original case to drill deep in the Gulf of Mexico.
    That comment needs picking at.

    Okay; then why was BP granted a licence to drill deep in that sector ? She doesn't mention safety but theres something else lacking.

    I think the US should really examine it's own ways of doing things and not always blaming others.

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  • 114. At 9:25pm on 10 Jun 2010, CamberwellBeauty wrote:

    I am over the moon to see so many ex-pat Brits posting and reiterating that there has been no across-the-board Anti-British comments. I too ex-pat, 40 years in Virginia, and not a derogatory word have I heard either from co-workers or friends.
    The "love affair" has always be stronger Americans for Brits than vice-versa - I witness it still nearly every day, after 40 years - I can get away with murder! Still a strong cockney accent after all these years.

    Have you noticed, no reference to "Limeys" most American posters have graciously used Brits or British....on the other hand, Yanky, Yanks, Yankee, (some other nasty things) runs riot! Most Americans don't mind that generally but not chucked in as an obvious smirky insult!

    Wait until the game Saturday, gawd help us!!!!

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  • 115. At 9:34pm on 10 Jun 2010, JR Lewis wrote:

    In these deeply unstable economic times, the danger is that the rage being whipped up in the US against BP could backfire and cause a panic run on the company's stocks, pushing it into bankruptcy.

    Who will pay for the clean-up then? The US tax payers will.

    The best way to ensure that BP fulfills its obligations to clean up this disaster is for the administration to tone down the rhetoric and let the company do it. Putting BP out of business, as some are calling for, would only leave the US to foot the bill for billions.

    There is also more than enough blame to go around for the corporate misconduct that plagues our planet. The US government has been complicit with Big Oil for decades, and US multi-nationals have done just as much damage in other countries as BP has here.

    This week in India Union Carbide, a US company, received a slap on the wrist for its own negligence in an accident that killed 10,000 Indians. Where is the anger in the US about that? Is Mr Obama and his colleagues in Congress just as outraged?

    The problem is not just BP. It is our whole unsustainable way of life and our demands for oil and chemicals that cannot be safely met.



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  • 116. At 9:42pm on 10 Jun 2010, Benito wrote:

    No anti-Brits here in Los Angeles and Orange County, just people offended by the CEO's comments after short cuts taken, obvious warning signs and safety procedures ignored and 11 people killed. Watching BP try to stop the leak and limit the damage is like watching a monkey make love to a football - you already know it won't amount to much.

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  • 117. At 9:44pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Here's that Business Insider link again (see post #107):

    http://www.businessinsider.com/bp-has-been-fined-by-osha-760-times-has-an-awful-track-record-for-safety-2010-6

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  • 118. At 9:46pm on 10 Jun 2010, Peter wrote:

    I was very pleased to read the comments here that there are little or no anti British sentiments until I came across the comments on the New York Times which suggest things are changing rapidly. There are references to nukeing the UK, dumping oil off our coast and in the Thames just to see how we would react, boycotting Britain for visits etc etc. Follow the link below to get a flavour.
    http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2010/06/11/business/11bp.html

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  • 119. At 9:57pm on 10 Jun 2010, Al wrote:

    Not noticed any anti-Brit comments. When you think about it, the drilling is licensed by the US. Remember "drill baby, drill"? About 50% of Americans support off shore drilling.Most of the employees are probably US nationals as the work is being done offshore US. And the cause? Maybe we should blame the rig manufacturer and operator, as it was this event that triggered the blowout. Difficult to place blame when one has a hand in it and a lot of Americans want drilling to happen, maybe invest in it. BP's corporate response however seems to have gone down like a lead balloon. It was probably bound to happen sometime whoever drilled. It just happened to be BP owned.

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  • 120. At 9:59pm on 10 Jun 2010, astrea333 wrote:

    I live on the Gulf Coast and have heard not one peep of anti-Brit sentiment. Anti-BP, you bet! But I think over here, and certainly here in Houston, BP is viewed as simply another greedy corporation concerned only about their own pocketbooks - something we have in abundance in our own house. We would hardly be in a position to throw stones in any event. Anti-Brit? No, but hoping for some sort of retribution for a corporation known as BP? Definitely.

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  • 121. At 10:01pm on 10 Jun 2010, Kelley wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 122. At 10:01pm on 10 Jun 2010, Bobtheliberal wrote:

    I have to agree that the President is trying to stoke up anti British feeling by his continual reference to British Petroleum rather than BP - otherwise why do it? It's also strange that the American companies involved in the manufacture, installation and operation of the defective equipment and plant seem not to be in the picture at all - shades of Union Carbide perhaps - so we can't be blamed for feeling that something is not right. By the way could our American cousins understand that the name Brits is highly insulting and was designed to be so.

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  • 123. At 10:04pm on 10 Jun 2010, NH_Owl wrote:

    No, there is no anti-British sentiment here. It is just the British press making up crap as usual.

    I did notice that having not heard BP referred to as British Petroleum for many years, the US media has used the full name a number of times recently, almost as if to deflect any blame from the US oil industry. But certainly no intent is apparent with regard to blaming it on Britain.

    One other thing that I have noticed however is the number of people who continuously berate BP but have made no effort to stop driving petrol driven cars, or move to non-oil heating systems at home, or stop using plastic (an oil derivative).

    BP has screwed up big time. No doubt. But it is a shame that so many people are quick to criticise loud and long, yet so slow to take personal responsibility for reducing oil demand in the first place.

    There are calls to boycott BP. What, and move over to cuddly, fuzzy Exxon as if that will solve the problem? The answer is to take personal responsibility by not using oil products in the first place, or stop whining about something for which we are all guilty by association.

    That is what the press should be talking about, not some made up jingoistic story.



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  • 124. At 10:08pm on 10 Jun 2010, mnichols wrote:

    Anti-British sentiment in the US? That sounds so ridiculous that one suspects some overly insular UK tabloid made up the story on a slow news day! Here in California there is ample agreement that BP must be held accountable - just as any other company in its position would be. The disaster has also made us more vehemently against any future oil drilling in the areas off our own coast. However, since most people here have only a minimal awareness of what the letters 'BP' stand for, I cannot imagine any of the negative publicity or blame will attach to anyone or anything else from the UK even if the situation in the Gulf of Mexico continues to become worse.

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  • 125. At 10:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Murdochdnb (#112) "Why is Birnbaum not held accountable for her negligence?"

    She was, as you yourself stated. She was forced to resign.

    By the way, the lease for the well which has blown out was granted in 2008, before Obama and Birnbaum. More rigorous oversight than was practiced under the Bush administration might have avoided this, but that is speculative. The Federal government has a great deal of inertia in its bureaucracy. The government doesn't get reformed top to bottom when we change administrations. That's neither possible nor desirable, and there are constraints on what can be done written into law, as has been reported.

    Let's wait to see whether the reorganized Minerals Management Service operates more effectively, and whether we get better laws and regulations in response to this incident.

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  • 126. At 10:13pm on 10 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    camberwell beauty, I have never even heard of the word limey, but it makes me think of lima beans.

    Yankee is derogatory is some countries, but in USA we are proud of the word, Yankee, obviously, as we have a baseball team, the New York Yankees. There is also the song, 'Yankee Doodle Dandee.'

    I despise the word Gringo(what some Mexicans call white people), because it makes me think of another old-fashioned word, just the opposite color of skin.

    I also despise the word migrant, which is the word the Mexican President used. Immigrant sounds better than migrant. Of course, there are legal and illegal immigrants.

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  • 127. At 10:15pm on 10 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    As for the soccer game on Saturday, it is on!!!

    Go USA!!! :)

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  • 128. At 10:16pm on 10 Jun 2010, Kelley wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 129. At 10:17pm on 10 Jun 2010, FLPenn wrote:

    Nonsense. There is no anti British rhetoric going on in the US. In fact I find it quite comical that the usually pragmatic and mature Brits are even so sensitive to this thought. It really seems like the corporate and political elite of Britain are fanning these flames in an effort to save any further devaluation on their BP shares. That's whats really happening here. As a Floridian I have no anger to the Brits and appreciate their wit and genuine friendship. If we have any irritation, let us leave it for the football pitch on Saturday!!!!

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  • 130. At 10:17pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    VforVictory (#115) "In these deeply unstable economic times, the danger is that the rage being whipped up in the US against BP could backfire and cause a panic run on the company's stocks, pushing it into bankruptcy."

    I'm not the financial expert here, but I don't think the stock price has anything to do with whether a company is bankrupt.

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  • 131. At 10:22pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    VforVictory (#115) "This week in India Union Carbide, a US company, received a slap on the wrist for its own negligence ..."

    To borrow a phrase from Ronald Reagan, "there you go again." Those who received the token sentences recently were officials and employees of Union Carbide India Ltd., a company which was 51% owned by Union Carbide and 49% owned by Indians. The prosecution of these persons was entirely an Indian matter. The US was not involved in the prosecutions, as it has no jurisdiction whatever.

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  • 132. At 10:23pm on 10 Jun 2010, Robbie wrote:

    This debate has lost its focus. The USA has an unquenchable thirst for oil and were happy to allow these offshore developments to help quench this thirst. Suddenly we have an undeniable ecological disaster - and equally suddenly those involved in authorising the exploitation of these oilfields want to distance themselves from any responsibility. Fair weather friends? BP may not have met the expectations of the US but it seems to me that they have done, and are doing, all that they could be expected to do by any reasonable international standards.

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  • 133. At 10:26pm on 10 Jun 2010, enzo11 wrote:

    #67 powermeerkat:

    The "relief" wells are not a pressure relieving scheme, in spite of their being named in a way that makes it sound so.

    Actually, the new wells' purpose is to intersect the old well down very near the oil reservoir, after which it is used as a conduit to pump cement and so forth into the old well so as to plug it.

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  • 134. At 10:31pm on 10 Jun 2010, darran wrote:

    I think a lot of people here and Mark's article are missing the real gripe that Boris/other Brits have about the whole situation.

    Obama and senior US officials have gone out of their way to attack BP itself and from reading the comments above there does seem to be a sense of genuine anger against BP, which is understandable for those affected by the spill.

    But having followed this spill for the last several weeks on the BBC website i'm left asking the question what on earth more do they expect BP to do? I'm left in no doubt that if they could just 'fix it' then they would have done so, you have to face facts that this is a unique situation for which there is no easy solution.

    They have made attempt after attempt and promised to cover the costs above and beyond what could be expected of them and yet they still seem to be in the firing line.

    The clean up costs stand at around 1 billion at present, and yet over 50 billion has been wiped off there share price and herein the real issue lies.

    It seems the comments above are saying that Americans are capable of making the distinction between BP and British people. The problem is, the amount of UK pension funds invested in BP and the scale of their dividends means that as far as most Brits are concerned there is no distinction.

    As Obama's rhetoric becomes more and more aggressive the greater impact this has on the British shareholders who are rightly concerned that he seems to be trying to save his own skin against allegations within the US that he wasn't doing enough at the cost of British pension funds.

    Americans may be able to detach themselves from the role of large multinational companies that call America home, but BP and the British are much more tightly connected.

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  • 135. At 10:34pm on 10 Jun 2010, diverticulosis wrote:

    And now for a little levity from UCB:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AAa0gd7ClM&feature=player_embedded

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  • 136. At 10:36pm on 10 Jun 2010, basilbrown wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 137. At 10:38pm on 10 Jun 2010, ag42b wrote:

    The last time people in my state got exercised about Britain was after the St. Albans Raid in 1864. Some Confederate soldiers robbed the banks, shot up the town (and some citizens), and escaped by horse to Canada, burning some bridges along the way. Canada was then a province of Britain, and the refusal of the courts there to extradite the "robbers" was seen as recognition of the Confederacy as a belligerent.

    Here there is no hostility toward Britain, only disbelief that a large multinational corporation has been so inept and cavalier about damaging a precious environment. My heart goes out to the folks in the Gulf area whose livelihoods have been ruined.

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  • 138. At 10:49pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Peter (#118), your link is merely blog comments. Most of the comments are critical of BP. Only a few show any animosity to the UK generally. Surely you realize that blog comments, including those here, are not representative. A few people with strong opinions post them on the internet because they can get wide distribution of their ideas, no matter how outlandish.

    More telling, I think, are the reports of British citizens in the US who write that they are not experiencing any general hostility because of their nationality.

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  • 139. At 10:55pm on 10 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #114. At 9:25pm on 10 Jun 2010, CamberwellBeauty wrote:
    "Have you noticed, no reference to "Limeys" most American posters have graciously used Brits or British....on the other hand, Yanky, Yanks, Yankee, (some other nasty things) runs riot! Most Americans don't mind that generally but not chucked in as an obvious smirky insult!"

    Yank or Yankee is not an insult unless the American in question is from the South. The spelling "Yanky" however should be avoided since it is not only incorrect but carries a sexual undertone.

    The term "cowboy" is also not an insult, in fact many Americans would consider it a compliment since here it indicates a rugged individualist as much as it does an occupation involving cattle. If you want to insult an American compare him to a Frenchman, just be sure you can handle the response.

    And don't worry, if by some miracle England beats USA there won't be a wave of British bashing here--we don't take soccer seriously.

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  • 140. At 10:57pm on 10 Jun 2010, SamAdamsAmerican wrote:

    I am from the Gulf Coast area of the U.S. and I am seeing a little Brit bashing going on. This almost immediately began after the British media printed stories about the British citizens having invested large portions of pensions into BP stock and complaining that the British citizens are loosing large sums because of this disaster. I believe that both American and British forms of media are of blame in this matter. However, I believe that most British and American citizens are sensible enough to look past the few on both sides who have made sarcastic and damaging remarks that fuel this type of sentiment. I have viewed these types of comments from both sides on numerous sites. Americans and Brits have both enjoyed the fruits of our friendship. I see no reason why we cannot continue to do this. Any attempts by either side to disrupt this should be ignored!Long live the Queen and the President!!!

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  • 141. At 11:00pm on 10 Jun 2010, nolaperson2 wrote:

    I am a resident of New Orleans. I have found no anti-British sentiment among my friends and coworkers.
    Many of us are frustrated by the BP organization, just as many of us are frustrated with the handling of this disaster by President Obama.
    It is important to remember that this crisis is a crisis for the world, not simply citizens of the United States or Great Britain.

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  • 142. At 11:05pm on 10 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #113. At 9:21pm on 10 Jun 2010, steamdriver wrote:
    "US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accuses BP of a "lack of integrity" when it made its original case to drill deep in the Gulf of Mexico.
    That comment needs picking at."

    Indeed it does. Where was Congress when the government was playing footsie with big oil? It's a cheap shot on Ms Pelosi's part to question BP's integrity but of course she is up for re-election this year and sound bites for the media are a time honored tactic for politicians. Given Congress' abysmal approval numbers it's a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black.

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  • 143. At 11:06pm on 10 Jun 2010, A_Yelvington wrote:

    I live in gas and oil country in the NW corner of the state of Pennsylvania. We know the difference between a nation and a corporation, and we're mostly concerned about the ramifications of the concrete sealing process since we had a gas well go out of control here last week.

    Nope, you Brits are fine, it's the shareholder driven managers and workers that take shortcuts that worry us.

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  • 144. At 11:07pm on 10 Jun 2010, brazilwatcher wrote:

    What Obama fails to realise is that BP is a Corporation, not a Government, it can only pay for the Gulf clean-up if it continues to make profits, (there is nowhere else for the money to come from, so for Americans to boycott BP gas stations is rather like shooting themselves in the foot. BP is doing the best it can under extremely difficult circumstances, but at worst, only its US arm can be held accountable to US law, the rest is a UK based company.

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  • 145. At 11:10pm on 10 Jun 2010, hockubs wrote:

    118: Peter

    You're being a little disingenuous here. Those comments were in response to the British worry that their name is being sullied simply because BP was known as British Petroleum. While I don't agree with the comments to that article, I do understand the sentiment. It is incredibly disheartening that while people in the US South are hurting and will be hurting for decades to come in ways I can't even describe, it seems that all the Brits care about is PR. "Yes, entire ecosystems are being destroyed, but... are they saying mean stuff about us?"

    Priorities, people.

    And no, Americans are not British-bashing. And no, BP is not getting the brunt of this because it's a foreign company. Of course, it doesn't matter how many times people say this or how many people confirm this, many Britons will believe the worst about Americans because it fits in with their prejudices. People ignore evidence that contradicts their stereotypes.

    Regardless, I like the British and find them a pleasant, quirky people. I just wish many of them would stop hating on an entire country.

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  • 146. At 11:16pm on 10 Jun 2010, cbcronin wrote:

    I haven't witnessed any anti-British sentiment as a result of this incident.

    If in the near future though; Americans see the British government, British pensioners, and British companies standing with BP irregardless of evidence of wrong doing/incompetence/etc...... I imagine such views will materialize.

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  • 147. At 11:29pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    darran (#134) "As Obama's rhetoric becomes more and more aggressive the greater impact this has on the British shareholders who are rightly concerned that he seems to be trying to save his own skin against allegations within the US that he wasn't doing enough at the cost of British pension funds."

    This is poppycock. There is sufficient cause for the share price of BP to go down without any help from the President or anyone else.

    "But having followed this spill for the last several weeks on the BBC website i'm left asking the question what on earth more do they expect BP to do?"

    One thing BP could do is to be more forthcoming with accurate information.

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  • 148. At 11:29pm on 10 Jun 2010, jabberwookie wrote:

    After some 14 years living in the US, all of them in the South and the last 13 on the Gulf Coast I can honestly say I have never received any negative comments about being a Brit. There is the occasional banter with friends, of course, all of it good humored. Even with the current BP situation this remains the same. I had a report, however, from a colleague in New Orleans that he came across a demonstration where local people were stamping on a Union Jack. He did not try and intervene but this was a disturbing image for him.
    I am not sure how much of the US Operations management of BP is British and how much American however I have no doubt that there are a number of former Amoco employees who became BP employees when the company was bought (It was BP-Amoco for quite a while). It's probably time for them to raise their heads and demonstrate that, as with all multinationals, there is no real "home" country any more irrespective of the name. A bit like British Broadcasting Company America for example.

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  • 149. At 11:31pm on 10 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 15. AAPrescott:

    There are two BP stations near my house and neither has changed their logo. In fact, I'll continue to buy my gas there. I don't think there is an iota of difference in attitude towards the environment among the major oil companies so I don't see the point in a boycott. And we don't want them to go into bankruptcy and slide out from under their responsibility, do we?

    About the frequent repetition of "British Petroleum." I suspect that most Americans are unaware that is not the formal name of the company and are under the impression that "BP" is an acronymn. American use abbreviations for so many things that we assume that the mere initials couldn't be the actual company name.

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  • 150. At 11:33pm on 10 Jun 2010, hockubs wrote:

    118: Peter

    And just to reiterate. I don't agree that any action should be taken against the British people. Whoever wrote those things is seriously unhinged. I assume they're just really upset...

    To be honest, Americans just hate oil companies in general. In the same way a drug addict hates their dealer, I imagine.

    I do find it funny that people think we find the appellation "Yankee" or any derivative insulting. We called ourselves Yankees during the American Revolutionary War. The Yankees were the Northerners in the American Civil War. Our USMNT nickname are "The Yanks." I like the name.

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  • 151. At 11:34pm on 10 Jun 2010, DaveFL wrote:

    I was born and raised on the US Gulf Coast and currently living on the SE Florida coast. I have followed US media coverage of this event from the beginning. BP took responsibility for cleanup early on for a very good reason. It was reported that the Deepwater Horizon crew were in a lengthy and heated argument with a BP official over whether to seal the well top with cement-like "mud," as the man made substance is known in the industry. The man from BP insisted on doing things on the cheap by capping the well with seawater. Mr. BP won the fight. The Deepwater Horizon vessel was built in South Korea, by the way.

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  • 152. At 11:34pm on 10 Jun 2010, Graham wrote:

    I scan through a lot of news sites daily including this one, and wake up to BBC news on PBS every morning at 5:30. This is the first I have heard from either side of the Atlantic about Brit-bashing. I hadn't even considered the possibility of it, nor has anybody I know. So where did this come from? Did papers in the UK simply make this up? If so, is this typical? If so, it sounds even worse than Fox News.

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  • 153. At 11:35pm on 10 Jun 2010, Drilling Ahead wrote:

    The mainstream media here has tried to make this an anti Brit event but has been unsuccessful from all accounts I read. I have a website by the same name as my user name here-we have the best forum on the net discussing this event with the oil and gas professionals on our site. In the thousands of comments,topics and posts not once has anyone tried to make this an anti Brit event-we are all concerned about stopping the flow and WE ALL UNDERSTAND IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ANY COMPANY Including American companies. Despite the media here, mainstream America knows that BP is doing all that is possible to stop this

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  • 154. At 11:40pm on 10 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 126. LucyJ:

    Lucy, migrant and immigrant mean two different things. A migrant is someone who migrates from place to place, like migratory birds. We have migrant farm workers, for example, who move around the country following the harvest season. We have migrant academics too, who move from place to place as their one- and two-year teaching contracts expire. An immigrant is someone who has entered the country from outside our borders, usually with the intention of at least staying for a number of years if not actually seeking citizenship.

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  • 155. At 11:42pm on 10 Jun 2010, David Jones wrote:

    In 1998 BP renamed itself after a merger to BP Amoco plc. Then in 2001 once again to BP plc. It even states now BP stands from Beyond Petroleum. BP is headquartered in London and listed on the London stock exchange but I wouldn't say it is British anymore.

    I have seen a few anti British comments on message boards but that is about this. As an Ex-pat people are going on more about the England v USA match on Saturday then BP being British.

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  • 156. At 11:43pm on 10 Jun 2010, Aberdeenman wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 157. At 11:51pm on 10 Jun 2010, DrBillBushing wrote:

    Some have mentioned the fact that companies from other nations including the U.S. are potentially involved in this mishap and perhaps should have more focus on their actions. Perhaps this is true since I thought TransOcean is a Swiss corporation (although I see references to it being US) and Halliburton is (or was?) a U.S. corporation.

    However, if reports of the dispute between the BP and TransOcean officials on the actual rig itself prior to the explosion are accurate, BP over rode the recommendations of the TransOcean people on board and elected to use the lighter drilling mud instead of the recommended heavier mud following the "sealing" of the well casing by Halliburton. This would seem to make BP responsible for the consequences by going against the advice of the drill rig manufacturer's representatives.

    There was talk that Halliburton may have done a poor job of cementing the well casing, but I have not heard much about that lately.

    BP certainly shot itself in the foot with the comments by CEO Tony Hayward in the first month. However, if the facts of the case prove that TransOcean and Halliburton also have responsibility, then they will (hopefully) be subject to legal action as well.

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  • 158. At 11:53pm on 10 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 126. LucyJ:

    About derogatory nicknames: Limey comes from the 19th century practice of the Royal Navy of giving lime juice to their sailors to prevent scurvy (which is a disease caused by a vitamin C deficency).

    Yankee was not always a proud term throughout the US. It originally meant only people from New England. During the Civil War is was a term used by Confederate soldiers to describe their adversaries in the North. After the war there was a certain amount of hostility attached to the name in the South. I think that when American troops arrived in Europe during WWI they found that the term was used to describe them all, which the Southerners were not happy about. It's been a long time since I've been in Britain, but I think the common usage might be "Yank" more than "Yankee." And of course in Latin America it's "yanqui" and it's not a term of endearment.

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  • 159. At 00:00am on 11 Jun 2010, Tyler wrote:

    Americans in general have a very favorable opinion of Britain, and even the more ignorant among us understand that this sort of thing could have happened to a company based out of any country. The idea that there is anti-British sentiment sweeping the country is hysteria invented by the British press.

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  • 160. At 00:03am on 11 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 118. Peter:

    I wouldn't take the New York Times comment page as meaning much. Blogs can attract the extremes of opinion and anyone with an internet connection can unload their bile. This blog is relatively civilized, but even here there is occasionally a bit of cross-Atlantic unpleasantness.

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  • 161. At 00:04am on 11 Jun 2010, Bill Atkins wrote:

    Way to go Mr Obama. Hard to believe that the world's most powerful man, having halved the BP stock price with shrill petulence aimed to cover up his own inability, is not aware that every US 401k, public and private sector pension plan has huge BP holdings, als0 that BP employs twice as many Americans as Brits. Thanks Mr. President for wrecking my retirement and threatening more US jobs.

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  • 162. At 00:06am on 11 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Personally I do not detest Britain more than I did before this incident nor more than I detest the rest of Europe. I still haven't forgotten Megrahi. I think before it's over, we will take BP down. I don't expect it to survive this episode. I'm surprised Americans even buy their gas anymore. I'll be very surprised if there aren't criminal prosecutions. I expect many pension funds to sell BP if it doesn't pay a dividend. Some according to their charter will have no choice. That could drive the stock down further.

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  • 163. At 00:07am on 11 Jun 2010, brazilwatcher wrote:

    Ref #66. Surely it can't be difficult to calculate the amount of oil coming out of a 6 inch pipe at a constant flow? I don't see the reason for these estimates of between 10.000 & 100.000 barrels a day. I'm not clever enough to do the maths myself, but commonsense would tell me it's nearer to the lower figure than the higher!

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  • 164. At 00:12am on 11 Jun 2010, Moonborne wrote:

    There has been no anti-British sentiment here in the Carolinas. However, there is plenty of anger towards bp. My guess would be that the British papers are trying to protect the investment interests of its British citizens. But please remember that as shareholders (whereever you may resside)

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  • 165. At 00:12am on 11 Jun 2010, JWilson wrote:

    Americans will pay a lot more than a dime for the clean up and rightly so. They wanted the oil so they will pay through lower dividends from BP to the US shareholders, they will pay from the inevitably higher costs that will now arise if they wish to continue their offshore drilling programme, and they will pay if Halliburton has to suffer its share of the costs. Anger and frustration at BP is understandable but it is unhelpful and we certainly don't yet know if it is justified. We also have no idea yet of the environmental impact. Instead of spending time whingeing about what might happen and how they are going to punish those who may be responsible, politicians and others concerned should be working to minimise the effects. Not surpringly shouting from the sidelines doesn't do the trick. The punishments, if any, can come later and apply fairly to all those responsible - not much hope for that where US politicians are concerned, however.

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  • 166. At 00:19am on 11 Jun 2010, goodcommonsense wrote:

    To say that Americans are are pissed off about this because BP is British is a copout and example of trying to make excuses instead of facing the facts. Keep it up with that line of nonsense, and we may just become anti-British, because people who are getting screwed don't like being fed nonsense. We are pissed off because of the undeniable disaster that BP has brought upon a huge area of our country's waterways, coastlines, and ocean(s). I must say I do not think the European press has taken this as seriously as it should, and therefore the public in Europe and England is not on the same page as the American public. This is not anti-British, this is a completely justified anger at BP, just like the American public was and continues to hold anger and contempt towards Exxon for what happened in Alaska with the Exxon Valdez. What BP has done is an unknown order of magnitude worse and we may only be halfway there. To protest cutting BP's dividend because it will effect shareholders who include pensioners, is to make excuses not to take responsibility for the people who are victims of the disaster. As victims they deserve to be compensated first and in full before shareholders share in any of BP's revenue. Eliminating BP's dividend, at least temporarily, is a reasonable expectation at a time when every effort and every dime BP makes should be focused on making things right for the people, wildlife, and environment of the Gulf. The fact is it is not humanly possible to turn back the clock and return this environment back to where it was before this disaster took place. This is destruction and death to wildlife on a massive environmental scale. The least of everyone's concerns should be if this brings about the end of BP and its shareholders.

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  • 167. At 00:20am on 11 Jun 2010, west44 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 168. At 00:21am on 11 Jun 2010, Moonborne wrote:

    Here in the Carolinas there has been no anti-British sentiment. However, there is an enormous amount of anger and frustration directed towards BP. It is understandable that investors (no matter where you live) are feeling queasy about their BP stock investments. However, you must remember that, as shareholders, you also own this company. BP management (or lack thereof) created this calamity and as shareholders/owners you are responsible for it.

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  • 169. At 00:23am on 11 Jun 2010, west44 wrote:

    Go USA! If there is any Brit bashing to be done- let's do it on the pitch! Here's hoping our boys will be up to the task.... must say I do admire Wayne Rooney as a player though! Can't wait till the World Cup begins!

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  • 170. At 00:30am on 11 Jun 2010, Amerimanx wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 171. At 00:30am on 11 Jun 2010, johncotton wrote:

    As an American I have not seen or heard any anti-British sentiment (other than perhaps from President Obama). And there is no more more anger directed toward BP than there was toward Exxon after their spill. Domestic or foreign ownership is not the issue. I think we are more saddened and concerned than angry. We need to stop the leak, and take steps to prevent recurrence.

    In my opinion President Obama is looking to deflect criticism from himself by talking tough toward BP. In the end this will not serve him well.

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  • 172. At 00:34am on 11 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    I would like to ask all the commentators blasting BP for "causing" the mess in the gulf.."would you know what to do with a screwdriver if it was given to you?"

    Because thats my impression of these poeple ranting on about BP destroying everything along the southern coastline and being bad and even criminal.

    Get it into your heads that this is an industrial accident where the technical aspects of drilling a mile down on the seabed for oil by its nature is high risk. It is an accident not a criminal offence.

    It is also not corporate priority to make billions of dollars at all costs,it is a major resource engineering company with the mission of providing energy "at risk".

    Lets for a change hear some reports from qualified poeple on the difficulties of attempting to repair this well with data that some of the political and just plain technical ignorant commentators just may understand.

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  • 173. At 00:39am on 11 Jun 2010, JMM_for_now wrote:

    48. At 5:57pm on 10 Jun 2010, marjorie12 wrote:
    "I think the feeling that there is a lot of anti British feeling is the photos in the news last week of Americans stamping on the Union Jack. That is disrespectful to the people of the UK and I certainly do not remember similar shows in the UK when the American owned Pipa Alpha rig exploded killing 167 people. That the media reported this flag stamping it is true but if it didn't happen there wouldn't have been photo's to report."

    Are you so sure the photo wasn't staged? I am largely of Irish-American heritage, and a patriotic Bostonian, to boot. If any demographic is more likely to be anti-UK than the one I am a member of, I don't know of it. However, neither I nor anyone I know has any anti-British reaction to the BP Oil catastrophy. Anti-BP, yes and anti-soft-on-big-business, yes, anti-corruption, yes. Anti-British, no.

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  • 174. At 00:42am on 11 Jun 2010, expatbrit wrote:

    As a US Federal Government employee here in the US for the past ten years I meet a large number of people in my job. As soon as I open my mouth it's pretty obvious to one and all I'm from across the pond. Having discussed the oil spill with at least 50 individuals since it erupted, not one single person has been critical of Britain... only BP the company and Tony Hayward, their inept CEO who gives every impression of permanently wearing his foot in his mouth. The media are always quick to fan the flames of a non-story into something approaching a controversy. This is a good example.

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  • 175. At 00:45am on 11 Jun 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    Bashing the Brittish is too daft for most of us to take seriously. Whenever large corporations act irresponsibly, BP, Union Carbide,Shell,Goldman Sachs.... the fact is, wherever their origins, they degrade us all, and to put an end to this, should all be held to account.

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  • 176. At 00:46am on 11 Jun 2010, IP_Address_Conflict wrote:

    I'm sorry, but I will have to agree with the anti-British bias. My wife (Scottish) and I (American) live here in DC and the only "anti-Brit" sentiment I see around here is, as people mentioned before, the politicians.

    And as for the person asking why Birnbaum wasn't punished? Couldn't be farther from the truth. I work for the Department of the Interior and I get to see the body count daily - the muck is finally being cleaned from the MMS and it's painful. Hell, my wife is more vehement about the whole BP situation than I am (only because I'm seeing some innocent people leaving the MMS along with the guilty).

    But no, the only time anyone here was anti-British was (maybe) the War of 1812. To assume that we're all out to nuke London (the aforementioned idiots at that particular NY Times article notwithstanding) is a fallacy and worse, only serves to undermine the historic nature between our two countries.

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  • 177. At 00:46am on 11 Jun 2010, Jumper wrote:

    Anti-British feelings? What? Of course not.

    On the other hand, anti-BP feelings? Yes, of course. Not for the obvious reason, however. BP is hiring clean up people for U.S. beaches. Those clean up people are being told to keep photographers and press away from oil-fouled birds, other wildlife and beaches.

    I don't know what BP PR folks think they accomplish by this but to the rest of us it looks like BP, once again, trying to use its money to thwart recognition of the problem and its scope.

    Americans can accept disaster if everyone then pitches in to set things right. A corporation trying to use its money to hide things to reduce its liability or boost its profits during the disaster, however, makes itself the lightning rod for all the anger about the disaster.


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  • 178. At 00:49am on 11 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    109. GH1618:

    "2 cents worth (#100) "To put it simply, Obama is using BP as his well timed scapegoat for everything that’s currently wrong."

    This point keeps coming up again and again, but I will explain it again. BP is the prime contractor and is therefore responsible for getting the well turned off and the mess cleaned up. There is no question about this, whatever is eventually determined regarding culpability and legal liability.

    ******************************
    You are missing the point that keeps coming up. It is not that BP is responsible. (Does anyone dispute this?) It is Obama's handling of the situation. Trying to look tough on BP only makes him appear weak. He looks like he's in PR mode to save himself...because he is.

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  • 179. At 00:55am on 11 Jun 2010, TexasArtist wrote:

    I live in Texas, USA - a state that shares the Gulf Coast.

    A few years back when bp's lack of maintenance and rush for expedited production resulted in a Houston refinery explosion killing 26 people and severely injuring 10 more, I saw the signs on local gas stations here in Dallas change quietly from "British Petroleum" to "bp". Soon, most people around here didn't even realize that bp actually referred to British Petroleum.

    This recent disaster in the Gulf has brought back the memories of that explosion and multiplies it daily with the horror of seeing our beaches, wildlife, jobs and lifestyles destroyed. Is there resentment and animosity toward British Petroleum/bp? YES! Without question. Here in the Southern United States, we're not quite as enlightened as the Washington politicians. A foreign corporation has demonstrated a pattern and penchant for death and destruction in the Gulf while pushing to maintain the record profits for its shareholders.

    Today I read about a letter sent from a British Industrialist to President Obama accusing our President of "treading on the backs of British Pensioners". I don't know how Washington will respond, but here in the Gulf states, you're likely to find less compassion for the continued dividend checks of "British Pensioners."

    After years of record dividends, those Pensioners would do well to take their banked profits and vacation here on the sunny Gulf shores while they bag up dead birds and shovel endless bags of sludge for disposal. And then, when those British investors have enjoyed a long day of smelly, terrible work; maybe they can share a meal with one of the countless families who no longer have resources...jobs...and soon, probably won't have a place to live.

    In the Gulf States, "British Petroleum" is running neck and neck with "Al Qaeda" for most hated foreign entity. Maybe this time "bp" will fade simply to ---. But this time, the memory will linger for generations. And no matter how much money is invested in the PR, "BRITISH Petroleum" will be equated with the terrorism of our Gulf by those generations of all who live here.

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  • 180. At 01:03am on 11 Jun 2010, Rorb wrote:

    All this just because BP has British in the name.

    Still, I'm quite happy to become less liked by the Americans, then maybe we can stop following them around and taking scraps from them.

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  • 181. At 01:03am on 11 Jun 2010, missy1134 wrote:

    I am from Louisiana. My brothers have all worked in the oil industry at some point in their careers. I can personally say that no person that I have spoken to, or that they have spoken to, relates this disaster to the British people. Of course there is animosity towards BP. However, the people in this state understand that things happen, even horrible things. The oil industry is a huge part of our economy. All we want is to stop the leak and begin to try to clean up the oil that is destroying our economy, our wildlife, and our people's way of life. BP is not the only company responsible. Any sensible person understands that. Trans-ocean has one of the worst records and reputations in the industry. I personally know people who refuse to work on their rigs because it is so unsafe. We need to stop throwing stones internationally and start cleaning up the mess. I have to say that blaming the British people for something they had nothing to do with is the last thing on my mind. I only heard about this fuss today. People in Louisiana are ready to get our lives back. Here's hoping this comes to an end soon and the US and Britain can survive it.

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  • 182. At 01:04am on 11 Jun 2010, Raff wrote:

    I'm an American also living off the Gulf Coast here in the state of Alabama. Like everyone else that has actually been in the US during this catastrophe, I also haven't heard, read, or seen anything (even on the Facebook newsreel) that said anything directed towards the UK, its people, or its culture. In fact, British folks aren't ever poorly talked about. In the American context, I might even go so far to say that anti-Britishism (at least compared to anti-Americanism is in the UK) is a complete fabrication lacking any real evidence. Now, "anti-Britishism" (which probably only the UK's former colonies would have right to express) is not Obama saying "British Petroleum." That is ridiculous. If Americans were anti-Brit the way Brits are anti-American, then it would be much nastier. We can be quite capable of that.

    I am curious though why Brits are so anti-American. I get the developing world's animosity; they do have a legitimate claim, but British and European anti-Americanism in general perplexes me. Any Brit want to offer some insight into that? However, I don't care to hear the usual BS where you aggregate an entire, vast, and diverse country into some ridiculous stereotypical anecdote that goes "one time this American...blah blah blah."

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  • 183. At 01:07am on 11 Jun 2010, cybervigilante wrote:

    I'm sure Tony does a fine job of annoying people all by himself If he were Swedish I'm sure he'd be just as clueless and annoying - maybe more so ;')

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  • 184. At 01:11am on 11 Jun 2010, cybervigilante wrote:

    I think this business of whining about dividends or a slight cut to pensions might lead to bashing if it keeps up. There are people on the Gulf who don't know how they are going to feed their families. And the US doesn't have anything like the social safety net that Britain has. If you're out of work or your business is shut down, you can end up living in a shopping cart.

    Besides, hard-working Americans know that nearly everyone in socialist Britain is either retired or on the dole.

    Oops, Brit bashing - just slipped out ;') But you might end up hearing that from Rush Limbaugh.

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  • 185. At 01:13am on 11 Jun 2010, Quiet_Angel wrote:

    Angry at the British? What for? If we are angry at anyone it would be BP and our government for not taking fast enough action. I think the most irritating thing is that we have to watch helplessly on the sidelines while thousands of animals in our waters die. We just want the oil spill fixed. I personally, do not care who's fault it is, I just want the mess cleaned up already. Discrimination against the British is the last thing on our minds.

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  • 186. At 01:14am on 11 Jun 2010, streaky wrote:

    I think we're all getting a bit confused. Nobody is saying that there is general anti-British feeling in the US. Maybe there is but who really gives a damn.

    The issue is that the political rhetoric is a direct, unveiled attack on the UK economy, I'm sure i don't need to list the reasons why. Every time Obama talks about BP he says "British Petroleum" - British Petroleum hasn't existed since 1998 and if these people want to be taken seriously they should stop calling it such.

    I've not seen any evidence of bad faith on the part of BP, if they've broken laws they should be punished, and they should pay compensation for the damage and the clean-up either way. I've not heard any suggestion that this wouldn't be the case. Indeed if they didn't it's not likely they'd get permission to drill anywhere again.

    That said, there's a real risk with the US of retroactive prosecution, or make up some way to link entity x with law y just so we can feel some kind of absurd justice. If the oversight is broken, or there wasn't the legal framework for preventing the incident - remember it next time you bang on about small government.

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  • 187. At 01:21am on 11 Jun 2010, Matt wrote:

    I'm a Brit living in Boulder, Colorado, and there's no anti-British sentiment here. I haven't even experienced anyone making jokes about it. There are a lot of Brits here and I think Americans are pretty used to hearing the accent. As other people have said, the criticism is of the company, not the country.

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  • 188. At 01:34am on 11 Jun 2010, zeevbmhalevi wrote:

    most americans feel that BP is doing as little as possible and could care less about what happens to the Louisiana environment. even if they end up paying the fisherman for their losses, what about the hotels, restaurants, etc that are losing money? are they going to send money to every seafood restaurant in america to make up for the rise in price of lobster, shrimp and other shell fish?

    interestingly, in my area (New England) BP is always the most expensive gas. but lately, their prices are much more competitive. conspiracy? or just a little PR?

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  • 189. At 01:37am on 11 Jun 2010, lochraven wrote:

    #132 Robbie
    " This debate has lost its focus. The USA has an unquenchable thirst for oil and were happy to allow these offshore developments to help quench this thirst. "

    So now you're bashing the US because we have "an unquenchable thirst for oil." Why not mention the rest of the lot, China, India, Russia, UK, Germany, France.....the list goes on. Do you think your country could survive with out oil?

    And I don't see any reason why Americans on this blog are bending over backwards to convince the Brits that we harbor no resentment toward them, when all we get from your side is a daily dose of criticism.

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  • 190. At 01:42am on 11 Jun 2010, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Actually, many Americans are pointing outraged fingers at Halliburton, who was responsible for the cement job which went on just about 20 hours before the explosion.

    Halliburton is currently being investigated for a cementing failure that may have caused a similar explosion in a recent catastrophe in another ocean.

    And there have been reports from former employees of the MMS detailing the culture of corruption & negligence in oversight: perfunctory inspections by cavalier inspectors with a thoroughly lackadaisical approach to the check-list.

    There is plenty of blame to go around. BP should not have jumped the gun & immediately taken all the blame. It was a gallant thing to do, but proclaimed in the heat of the moment.

    A thorough review of everything is called for and then blame can be apportioned appropriately, including to specific employees & inspectors, if necessary.

    As for retroactively rewriting laws: that simply won't fly in any country of the world. The laws on oil company liability for accidents should never have been revised down. Once revised down, they cannot then be suddenly revised upwards again after an accident, with retroactive application.

    That would make as much sense as handing Kosovo over to Albanianns without consulting with the legal owners of the property. Yes, an attempt was foolishly made to impose such an illogical concept on the world. Well, it didn't exactly fly -- and it won't.

    There is a reason we call it Reason. It is logical, coherent & makes sense.

    There are consequences for writing bad legislation. You live with it until you change it, and then you live with the changes you enact from that date forward. This is not a schoolyard game, where you get do-overs if you have a tantrum.

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  • 191. At 01:45am on 11 Jun 2010, Jeff wrote:

    Hello,

    I registered with this site just to make this comment, because reading other comments on another front-page article here saddened me greatly.

    I'd like to explain the general American perspective on the oil spill, what is in the media here, and the political factors driving the situation.

    1. Nobody here is aware that folks in the UK are upset with the US government's comments about BP. I think it is safe to say that those who are aware that BP is (mostly) British, would assume that Brits would identify personally with BP about as much as Americans would identify with Exxon or Chevron. "Oil companies are bad guys."

    2. At first, the bad guys (per the media) were Transocean, who operated the rig. The big story was that Transocean kept the workers from seeing their loved ones for many hours while their lawyers wrote up waivers for them to sign. BP were just the folks leasing the rig, who were going to display their technical prowess to fix the issue. That was the story for the first several days.

    3. A combination of the high oil prices a couple years ago, plus war fatigue, has established a political consensus that dependence on foreign oil is unsustainable. The political compromise is more renewable investments for the long term, and more domestic drilling for the short term. Obama famously said drilling was safe a few days before the rig blew up. So the backdrop of the media and political narrative is that domestic drilling is a necessary evil. So the political parties can't go after each other to channel the public's outrage at the nightly photos of oil-soaked pelicans. Thus there is a widespread feeling of anger and helplessness, with no bad guy.

    4. Another important political backdrop is the bank bailouts. Both political parties had skin in that game, with Bush starting the bailouts and Obama continuing them. Polls and primary elections thus far indicate that the public believes the big corporations own both parties, and make big profits while sticking "the little guy" with the bill when they make mistakes. The congressional elections are this November, and both parties are trying to make the case that they are more anti-bailout and anti-big-bad-business than the other. Woe to any company (Toyota etc) that is seen to be cutting corners and hurting the taxpayer or consumer. Basically, every politician is looking for the next AIG or Goldman Sachs to strongly condemn, to burnish their populist credentials (and avoid being one of the bums thrown out this November).

    5. The same situation affects President Obama. The knock on him is that he is Vulcan, very rational but with no fire or anger. The public is generally upset in the first place, they feel helpless that more little guys will have their livelihoods ruined, losing businesses and houses, and they want someone in power to fix it. After a health care "win" that polarized the nation but showed his effectiveness, Obama again seems ineffectual. The majority of the public think that he has handled the crisis poorly, and what they criticize him for is being too deferential to BP (sitting back and waiting while BP fixed things). If BP had been able to fix the leak, it would have been fine, but now Obama appears to be like George W Bush, telling BP they are doing a "heckuva job". Of course this is unfair (Obama hasn't been complimentary), but essentially at this point the Obama presidency and Democratic control of Congress probably depends on whether BP fixes things or, if they don't, if Obama was seen as being "in control" and "tough" enough.

    6. Finally, as time has passed, and BP has failed to fix the leak, they have become the villain in the media story. More investigations have revealed more embarrassing news. Perhaps most visibly, on The Daily Show with John Stewart (the influential liberal comedian and commentator, and certainly no xenophobe), they discussed BP getting several hundred flagrant environmental safety violations in the past few years, when several other oil companies had less than ten (Exxon had one). The other high-publicity story was of a BP representative changing standard operating procedure, over arguments from the rig operator, to hurry up the transition of the well just hours before the blowout, allegedly because they were weeks behind in another well. That accusation I believe was from the well operator, and could be a total lie, but the image painted in the last 2-3 weeks is one of BP as a company that aggressively cuts corners on safety leading to a series of accidents. So, BP is being painted as basically another Goldman Sachs.

    And this is the point I wanted to make, and why I registered. Everything I hear in the news, and all the people I know (many of whom live on the coast and are already being impacted financially) don't consider BP to be any different from Shell or Exxon or Chevron.

    For now, though, Tony Hayward is being cast as the ineffectual over-his-head "Brownie" from Katrina, BP is being cast as the perpetually negligent corporate malfeasant, and politicians are playing the white knights struggling to save the voters from the next attack of the bad guys who ruined the economy.

    Generally, Americans wouldn't understand that Brits would personally identify with a large oil company, and while Americans would sympathize with pensioners, they sympathize more with the people and pictures they see on their TV screens.

    Anyway, I hope that helps explain the mentality here. I know plenty of very culturally conservative folks on the Gulf coast who are very vocal about things they dislike, including liberals and hippies and socialists and Obama. Nobody has said anything even vaguely anti-British. It's anti-Big Oil. BP was just unlucky (or sloppy) to be the Big Oil in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Regards,
    Jeff in Houston

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  • 192. At 01:56am on 11 Jun 2010, Auldabrass wrote:

    As an American living in the US there is no harsh feelings towards the Brits, althought the guys on Top Gear seem to think that all Americans are huge fat blobs, but we don't think twice about the British being an enemy of any sorts. BP on the other hand and the regulations that mandate how and where they must drill are the bigger issue. If Microsoft had a major glitch in their software that shut down the London Stock exchange I doubt England would hate Americans, but they might have an issue with Microsoft.

    I will be honest I don't purchase gas from BP and if you have ever been to the States BP makes up a large part of the gas stations. Why do I boycott BP? It's due to the Tony Hayward's passive attitude and the fact that he feels bothered by something that will impact our economy and environment for years to come.

    As you know the press is sure to twist things and try and pit both countries against each other as it make for good ratings. Also if you see Jeremy from Top Gear tell him I'm one American that isn't fat!

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  • 193. At 02:06am on 11 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 186. streaky:

    Every time Obama talks about BP he says "British Petroleum"

    No, actually he doesn't. I've been paying attention to the news and I have distinctly heard him saying "BP" a lot recently. Maybe he made a mistake at the beginning, but he had corrected that.

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  • 194. At 02:07am on 11 Jun 2010, Neil wrote:

    Of course, it's always been fashionable for any Brit to have a go at the Americans, who rightly don't give a crap, about being ignorant, gas-guzzling polluters. Its sadly ironic that the shoe is somewhat now on the other foot, and people are sniffing around for "anti british" sentiment in America (which DOESN'T exist), nobody in the UK suddenly gives a crap about the environment or the 11 people who died but it's all about "the pension fund being ruined"....

    The hypocrisy is astounding.

    I think the Brits are exposed for their true colours!

    And yes i am a Brit!

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  • 195. At 02:22am on 11 Jun 2010, cybervigilante wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 196. At 02:25am on 11 Jun 2010, golfingsailor wrote:

    BP is suffering the fate of Arthur Andersen.... but fortunately has a lot bigger balance sheet and should survive. It could have happened to many of the big companies but BP were at the switch when the lights when off... and politicians and press love to publicly beat the guy holding the switch. It is interesting that regular Americans seem to be much more rational about all the issues. BP will do as good a job as any at cleaning things up. It's a good thing for America that it wasn't one of their numerous small exploration companies leasing that rig. Who would pay the cleanup then? Tony Hayward was paid the big bucks and he should go....no Gravitas and he must have viewed the Crisis Management class put on for execs by the HR dept as beneath him. Total BP future focus needs to be on operational excellence and safety. Their track record shows that aggressive cost cutters can pay a terrible price if their luck runs out.

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  • 197. At 02:26am on 11 Jun 2010, TexasArtist wrote:

    Well, everybody's entitled to their opinions.

    It's my opinion that this event is going a long way toward making that "Special Relationship" between the U.S. and Britain a lot more "Ordinary".

    ...And if you're an investor thinking about buying a few shares of bp while it's cheap, let me interest you in a few acres of Alabama coastal property coastal property I own, it's (almost) guaranteed to go up...

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  • 198. At 02:50am on 11 Jun 2010, halikaa wrote:

    I'm an American from the deep south, and I live in New Orleans. No one hates you guys here--that's pretty far from reality. Indeed, I think you'd be better off spending your money on a plane ticket to this great city so you can hear the priceless notes of great musicians. There's only one rule--no final sphincters .

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  • 199. At 02:52am on 11 Jun 2010, mereengineer wrote:

    Darran #134 is correct.

    BPs fault is not having a viable plan to stop the leak if one happened.

    US citizens are justifiably angry at BP. Not angry at UK

    BP are NOW doing everything they can and are saying that they will pay up. But their underlying blunder is so bad that nothing works

    US govt is chastising BP. But this is not helping as BPs fundamental no-plan mistake cant be corrected. All they can do is try and stop the leak with fancy equipment that cant do the job.

    This is suggesting fallout of BP and US govt. At this point the markets work their magic and come to conclusion that BP has no future in US. Share price tanks. Hedge funds short BP.

    UK pensioners and pension funds see their pensions evaporate and blame US govt for making situation worse with rhetoric.

    So apart from the horrendous mess in the gulf, we now have additional collateral damage to UK pensions. US citizens boycotting BP fuel stations is unwittingly destroying UK pensions (and not stopping BP CEO taking his salary). This all fired up with US govt rhetoric. So its actually UK citizens angry at US govt

    This is capitalism at work. everyone suffering and destroying each other except for the asinine management that caused the problems in the first place.

    The solution is

    - BP and US govt co-operate to solve problem. BP pay up

    - less rhetoric from US govt so markets behave sensibly and BP share price not destroyed. bankrupt BP will not help clear up mess

    - stop 6M moratorium (that isnt wanted by folk in gulf anyway as they need the jobs).

    - Make sure all oil companies have workable plans to fix leaks. (sounds obvious BUT clearly it isn't to management)



    Just the views of a UK citizen who, with many others, has seen his job, savings, pension and environment destroyed by the asinine overpaid management of various companies (eg BP, Nortel, RBS, Northern Rock, HBOS, Lehmans, Equitable life and so on) who still get massive pay, bonuses and pensions.

    Its a funny world

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  • 200. At 03:10am on 11 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    On the other hand, we need to have a very serious session of Brit bashing on a rather more important topic:

    Ice hockey: Chicago end Stanley Cup drought

    For the umpteenth time, stop making this stupid, inexcusable mistake. We do not play "ice hockey" in North America. We play "Hockey" that is why it is called the NHL.

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  • 201. At 03:18am on 11 Jun 2010, hudsoni wrote:

    Wow...some of the comments questioning what more BP could do are completely naive about corporations and their practices but to hear citizens not even question corporate motives shows a level of passivity that's breathtaking -- must be BP shareholders. The backlash here in the states is in part against a detached and arrogant sounding CEO who comes across as a whiner (I want my life back too) against a backdrop of loss of life, environmental damage and lost livelihoods. Corporate incompetence isn't solely a British trait and Americans have plenty of experience and are very good at recognizing it when they see it and it's all here on display in the Gulf for the world to see.

    To be concerned about a British backlash from this disaster seems to be a bit oversensitive and out of touch with those truly effected -- we are just getting news tonight that the amount of oil coming from the well is 40,000 barrels a day -- BP originally said that maybe 1000 barrels were escaping. How can anyone defend such corporate incompetency?



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  • 202. At 03:21am on 11 Jun 2010, jeff wrote:

    @ Jim 1648 As an American I can tell you that everyone I know does know that BP is a British company---hello! BRITISH Petroleum; it's in the name!

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  • 203. At 03:27am on 11 Jun 2010, TexasArtist wrote:

    "Accountability" is not about re-writing laws. It's about investigating the mess and making responsible parties clean up after themselves.

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  • 204. At 03:43am on 11 Jun 2010, wise-guy wrote:

    Americans don't like CEOs right now, especially CEOs of companies that do bad things. It has nothing to do with him being British. He's actually kind of charming in a Hugh Grant sort of way.

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  • 205. At 03:49am on 11 Jun 2010, clarissa wrote:

    i find that there is far more anti-american retoric from my fellow brits than anti-british talk from the amricans. you`ll find quite a large number of people from the u.k. use whatever has happened anywhere in the world to have a go at the americans; one wonders why?
    come on now - it`s only obama who`s emphasising the british in b.p., and i have yet to read or hear of anywhere where he`s said anything negative about anything/one else from the u.k.
    for the americans who get so hurt by all the anti-us talk welcome to the club- it`s your turn now - once it was the european counties that everyone hated - now it`s you - later it will be china - with great power comes great hate (from others)

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  • 206. At 03:51am on 11 Jun 2010, DustyPockets wrote:

    Sorry no Brit-Bashing here . Sure people are frustrated and angry at the spill as they should be, but nobody is going to direct any anger toward the British people. I do wonder if we would be extended the same courtesy.

    Wish the French had caused the spill..........



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  • 207. At 04:00am on 11 Jun 2010, gibben wrote:

    Im an American citizen and none of us hate the British in fact i love the Brits they are nice people but we really don't care about foreigners, but yeah there is a lot of anti BP (British Petroleum) thats for the guy who said Americans don't know that BP is a British company we all know it's a British company we talk about it all the time.

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  • 208. At 04:08am on 11 Jun 2010, del_walesuk wrote:

    I do not think there is any Brit-bashing going on at all. I believe that the British media is stirring things up as usual.
    I do think that BP should be doing everything in their power to put a cap on the oil spill. This mess that the company has got themselves into will only escalate if they do not do more about it. The hostility is completely aimed at the company, not the UK itself.
    As far as any anti-Brit or anti-American comments go, I have not heard of any at all. The friendship and respect between the UK and the USA is incredible and very vast, and I for one hope that this special relationship continues well into the future.
    - D.J, North Wales, UK

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  • 209. At 04:11am on 11 Jun 2010, ElCar wrote:

    What in the world is all this nonsense about Americans not knowing what BP stands for? I've known since about 1998. I thought it was common knowledge. What in the world??

    I have to be honest and agree with one of the above posters- I'm just glad it's not America for once. And furthermore, now I understand why all the little nations get off on feeling so victimized and vitriolic toward the US- ohh, it's now just becoming a bit palatable, ooo the sweetness of victimhood, mmm. (I hope this doesn't mean I'm about to explode in an anti-brit climax!)

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  • 210. At 04:13am on 11 Jun 2010, gla_90000 wrote:

    Give me a break. No self-respecting American would allow Britain to claim bragging rights to most reckless, irresponsible and generally despicable player in the petroleum industry. We Americans invented and perfected the model of reckless, irresponsible and all-around despicable petroleum companies, and our government has gone to great lengths to ensure American supremacy in this field. When it comes to destructive behavior, British petrol companies, and their government, are rank amateurs by comparison.

    A little perspective is in order. It was OUR oil magnate, John Rockefeller, who really put the petrol industry behemoth in motion. Betcha never learned about him, huh? You guys probably spent all your schooling leaning about Sir Cecil Pittingsworth to the detriment of A-mur-i-cans like Ol' Rocky. Exxon/Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhilips, Union 76, Arco (now owned by wannabee BP) – all the legacy of Standard Oil. Ever see an Esso off the M1, buster? Who's your daddy? Think it was easy getting 90%+ of market share in petrol refining and gasoline sales? Takes a lot of hard work, graft and skull-cracking. Have a little respect for the elders, buddy.

    Of course, after the Standard Oil break-up (Damn you, Progressives!), the government needed to make some amends for those Commies in the (Theodore) Roosevelt Administration and its Bolshevik allies in the courts. Ever hear of Teapot Dome? OK, we can agree that the Brits did play their little part in Iraq and Kuwait, but with Aramco in Saudi Arabia, we really got into the act. And yes, we did follow UK goading before toppling the government in Iran, but ultimately that was our play, baby. And Gulf War and Iraq? Has any other country sent so much materiel and so many of its young soldiers to be maimed and die in Third World hellholes that just happen to sit atop the world's largest oil reserves?

    Naturally, the US petrol industry's world-class detestable corporate behavior is really only possible through government collaboration – itself the by-product of open graft in the form of unlimited election campaign contributions by a trillion dollar industry. Proportional voting and parliamentarian democracy? Phooey. Makes it tougher to buy off your politicians. Why do you think BP has to put an extra level shut-off valves on its rigs in the North Sea, as opposed to its rigs in the Gulf of Mexico? And the "tort reform" embodied in the 1990 Oil Protection Act, capping damages at $75 million to ensure that oil companies would not be financially devastated for causing environmental cataclysm? We're damned proud of those unlimited campaign contributions – it's a matter of First Amendment freedom that Euro-Commies can't begin to appreciate.

    What's a little oil in the water, anyway? Public opinion polls show that Americans (excepting a few granola-heads in California, of course) haven't been put off one bit by having a few gazillion barrels of toxins dumped in the water off the coast. Ever sensitive to public opinion, Louisiana's political representatives have begun even complaining vociferously that the Obama Administration's suspension of off-shore drilling permits imposes a new hardship upon the state. Drill, baby, dill. More benzene, baby – puts a little hair on your chest!

    While we may not win on the football/soccer field on Saturday, that hardly detracts from our dominance in what really counts -- we have the most loathsome oil apparatus bar none.

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  • 211. At 04:18am on 11 Jun 2010, Mono20 wrote:

    Contrary to popular British opinion many Americans are well informed on topics of interest. As an Englishmen living in the North West USA I know that Americans note the difference between a private company and a nationality. They blame BP, but not Britain, for the gulf. I would argue there is more anger at an administration which talked of change, but seeks only compromise on the most important issues, which are much needed.

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  • 212. At 04:29am on 11 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    TexasArtist Wrote

    In the Gulf States, "British Petroleum" is running neck and neck with "Al Qaeda" for most hated foreign entity

    ********************************************************
    OK then. So maybe we should reconsider supporting
    your wars.

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  • 213. At 04:30am on 11 Jun 2010, VancouverBob wrote:

    Anyone who has tried to enter Point Roberts, Washington, using a British passport, will know that anti-British sentiment is alive and well in at least one part of the United States.

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  • 214. At 04:32am on 11 Jun 2010, mnpoor wrote:

    Some caution may be advised. When Jay Leno goes out and asks people what countries border the US, he gets answers like Cuba and Japan and France. The people dumb enough to be prejudiced might think the UK is a state. Like New Zealand and Singapore.

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  • 215. At 04:35am on 11 Jun 2010, John wrote:

    As an American, I have to say that I am repulsed by the coverage the British press has given the disaster in the gulf. I haven't witnessed any anti-British sentiment, nor would I tolerate any anti-British sentiment in my presence. Americans are not naive--we understand that BP is a multinational corporation that exists to turn a profit--the disaster isn't the fault of the British public; it is the fault of a company that puts profit before safety and the environment and government regulators who look the other way.

    I normally don't comment on these things, but this time I feel I must. The level of condescension from some posters is unbelievable. To try to generalize the American population as a group of naive, arrogant or otherwise uninformed bunch of self-absorbed gas guzzling idiots is insane and offensive. You would be surprised at how many people in this country genuinely do care about the news and are able to participate in informed political discourse.

    As far as anti-Americanism in Britain--my sister just returned from a medical relief trip to Kenya and was appalled at the way that she was treated while in the UK. Waiters and restaurants actually refused to serve her--because she is American. In the interest of improving trans-Atlantic relations, let's stow the attitude that Americans are somehow inferior or uninformed and learn to treat everyone with the dignity that they deserve.

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  • 216. At 04:35am on 11 Jun 2010, Amerimanx wrote:

    So you've had about 4 hours to give my comment 'further consideration' and still you don't have the guts to post it (#170). Does my honest and truthful assessment make the BBC uncomfortable?

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  • 217. At 04:35am on 11 Jun 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:

    It seems to me this topic has become a really lame effort at sensationalism by the media in both countries. Let's move on. Please.

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  • 218. At 04:49am on 11 Jun 2010, Texiyank wrote:

    Why are you worried about Brit-bashing? Most of us Yanks are fed up with corporate greed and irresponsibility, but these things seem problems of international commerce and, with Enron, Bernie Madoff, and the greedy bank and insurance stuff we've had in our glass house, we're not throwing stones at y'all, as we say in Texas. Rather, we're trying not to feel guilty that we're all not on bicycles instead of in cars. Texiyank.

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  • 219. At 04:51am on 11 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    Neil Wrote,

    "nobody in the UK suddenly gives a crap about the environment or the 11 people who died but it's all about "the pension fund being ruined"....
    ************************

    All i can say to this quote is rubbish,how can he say that,and there is hardly nothing worse than hearing a Brit upping himself against his own poeple...shame.

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  • 220. At 05:13am on 11 Jun 2010, Arthur Brede wrote:

    That's a good Pinball Wizard, Mark - fight the good rearguard fight against Obama stessing the 'British' in 'British Petroleum' with increasing vitriol every time he remembers how many seats are up for grabs in the November mid-terms. Of course, the demonisation of the world 'British' holds no fears for the BBC, otherwise known as the ????? Broadcasting whatever, does it?

    I'll allow that Americans aren't usually dumb xenophobic like the Brits, er Anglos, er, inhabitants of the (heck doesn't work either) Isles, but Obama has been anglophobic from the very first, among other calculated insults maundering on about the French as 'America's first friends' while Brits were fighting for US foreign 'policy' in Afghanistans and Iraq. But then the ghost tentacles of long-dead colonialism reach through his family to tickle his victim button from distant Kenya, so oppressed in past times and putting up such a brave struggle (against Britain) on Moscow's behalf through the caring, sharing, humanitarian Mau-Mau , forerunners of Hizbolla, Hamas, and all the other nice people responding so well to his 'outreach programme'.....

    The Anerican people, as many other visitors and expats have confirmed on this thread, are not basically anti-British beyond a couple of repetitive jokes, but their presidents have made a lot of political capital (and national cash) out of anti-British Empire rhetoric and actions over the years and it's always a useful dog to wake up when the press need a red herring. And boy, does he ever need a really big Russian kipper with the mid-terms comning up and American eyes opening to what a useless little bigot he is.....

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  • 221. At 05:22am on 11 Jun 2010, DP wrote:

    I am a bit surprised at your naivety, being a journalist and a man in the media, perhaps you've gone native, as they say.

    As you very well know, perception is reality. Photos and news clips of people dismembering a Union Jack, making insulting remarks about 'the foreigners running BP', being critical of Tony Hayward for his Britishness, the reference to 'British' Petroleum, and all that we know about Obama's real attitude to Britain and the status of that misnomer the 'special relationship' since Obama and Clinton came to office. It is all of these things considered that have created a sense or this perception by the British people that Obama has it in for us, big time.

    We feel that that this mistake, this oil disaster for which BP has not actually accepted responsibility for (only the attempts to stop it, and to clear it up) has become a venomous attack on us, indeed many of us feel so strongly that www.bpbarackspatsy.wordpress.com has become a vehicle for our frustrations.

    Many of us are friends of America, with more in common actually with Americans than Europeans, but we feel that our friendship, our support of America through thick and thin, is being eroded by Obama's incompetent approach to this disaster and his dismissive attitude towards America's staunchest ally.

    Allowed to continue, the backlash in the UK could be immense. If BP falls as a consequence of the vindictive and belligerent utterances of Obama, the significance will truly be felt, as most British people would, rightly in our view, blame the US president for destroying this company.

    What we dislike, almost as much, is the hypocrisy of the criticisms of BP, by so many in the US including Obama. When one compares how it has behaved compared to Exxon at the time of Exxon-Valdez, Chevron in Ecuador, ExxonMobil/Shell in the Niger Delta (far bigger than the Gulf of Mexico) and Union Carbide/Dow Chemicals, the contrast couldn't be greater.

    Take Bhopal, 15,000 died and 500,000 were harmed. These were, in anyone's book massive, murderous, unnecessary losses and injuries. But, where was the clean-up operation? Where was the compensation? Where was the CEO of Union Carbide? Where were the rantings and ravings of the US consumer? The answer to all these questions is nowhere to be seen. The double standards are amazing.

    Now look at BP. It has fronted up, is trying its damnest to close down the leak, it's clearing up the mess, it's paying compensation, and it has stated it will not cease from doing these things until the spill has been cleared up adequately. Tony Hayward has been visible, cool, calm and collected - sorry, but that's what's needed in a crisis, so sorry if he's failed to show more sound bite, for the tv emotion - and he has led his American company through very turbulent times, in the face of unprecedented, personal and unprofessional attacks not least from Obama.

    The US needs to get a grip and control it's collective tongue. What's needed is to keep the blame attacks down, there'll be time a-plenty very soon for that, cool heads, focus and support for BP's efforts. All these factors will go a long way to resolving the leak, clearing up the mess and settling compensation.

    So, Mr Mardell, there is a strong feeling, now aired by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, that the relentless attack on BP is now Britain's Problem, and there is every reason why we should be taking it personally: the value of British pensions tied up in BP have been destroyed, the dent in tax revenues to the exchequer will be huge and furthermore, the attack on the nature, style and deportment of British people in executive positions, is verging on the racist or xenophobic.



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  • 222. At 05:24am on 11 Jun 2010, EH wrote:

    I am an American working as a research assistant to one of my environmental law professors this summer. We have been discussing the BP spill quite a bit and one of my side projects is to research liability issues arising from the spill. I have not come across one shred of anti-British sentiment in my discussions with colleagues, in my reading about the spill or elsewhere. The frustration is primarily aimed at BP and the federal government and no other entity.

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  • 223. At 05:32am on 11 Jun 2010, lizzieh wrote:

    Sounds to me like a typical British press tempest in a teapot!!!
    As an American with strong ties to Britain, a frequent visitor and with many friends there, I am appalled at Brits thinking we are anti-Britain.
    As far as people are being affected in the UK by the fall in the share price of BP, Americans are affected as well!!! This is a commonly held stock in lots of mutual funds and pension funds in the USA. Why do Brits
    hold this narrow view and are so anti-American? The first thing I did when this crisis started was to sell my shares of BP!! Who would hold on to them? I am a retired widow and cannot afford to lose any capital. I do not consider this action anti-British by any stretch of imagination. I have been gradually selling my shares anyway as BP has had a number of severe problems in their US operations in recent years.

    The comment of "I want my life back" was one of the most ill-advised I have ever heard. It is enough to make your blood boil. What about the lives of those men who were killed by probable BP negligence (if we are to believe the BP survuvors on this rig)?

    I think the analogy made by another person about British reaction if an
    American company did this in the waters off the British coast are very true. So
    let's not be so thin-skinned and anti-American......a trait often evidenced by British people's comments on this site. And thank you Mr. Mardell!

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  • 224. At 05:34am on 11 Jun 2010, Granten wrote:

    To be honest, there are several reasons why the public probably isn't feeling as angry at the U.K. To start we really don't have any issues with the United Kingdom. If it was France, Russia, China or Syria there might be problems, but Brits aren't really disliked by anyone. Second we don't really see Britain when we see BP. We just see another generic oil company. Lastly, this really doesn't have anything to do with nationality. This has to do with business, public safety and slowness of solutions. I'm north of the spill so it might be different here, but I can't imagine the U.S public blaming our cousins for this.

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  • 225. At 05:39am on 11 Jun 2010, Wordherd wrote:

    There is no-guy-on-the-street American animosity towards the UK.

    But turn the tables a bit, have an oil company from China or from Mexico involved, and the reaction from certain quarters in America would be completely different.

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  • 226. At 05:47am on 11 Jun 2010, Abacus wrote:

    Mark,

    If you want to know what the citizens of the US really think of the British, have a look at the comments here:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100610/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_britain_bp_shares#mwpphu-container

    Admittedly, the average IQ seems to be single digit but I suspect these people are more representative of the US than the intellectuals with which you come into contact.

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  • 227. At 05:52am on 11 Jun 2010, SoonerBorn wrote:

    It would make no difference if Mr. Hayward was from Britain or Mars. "I want my life back" guaranteed Americans would despise him. But really, we are intelligent enough not to confuse a British corporation, even one with an atrocious safety record in the States, with Great Britain and the British people.

    Fifteen dead at a Texas oil refinery cited for more safety violoations than any other refinery in the U.S., a crude oil spill on the Alaskan tundra due to aged pipeline BP acknowledged four years prior needed to be replaced, and now reports from the crew that survived the sunken rig that BP ordered ordered circumvention of good practices-- yes, President Obama is "riding herd" on BP-- someone has to.

    I read today British pensioners are losing money as the price of BP shares plummet. This is blamed on President Obama's remarks. But the pensions investors should have look at more than BP's profits before investing so heavily in the corporation.

    Interesting the BBC front page photo is of a worker in HazMat suit vaccuuming a piece of coastline. We are inundated with video showing wave after wave of oil washing into delicate marshes, brown pelicans saturated with crude and gasping for breath, dead dolphins, and tar balls washing up on sugar white sand beaches. We see the extent of the oil visible on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico and know the worst is yet to come.

    My family and I know these areas well and this is a tragedy. BP has oil and blood on its greedy and indifferent hands. But never do I or will I equate BP with the excellent people of Great Briain.

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  • 228. At 06:00am on 11 Jun 2010, natmass wrote:

    I'm English and living in the San Francisco Bay area.
    No anti-British sentiment expressed towards me, or expressed in any local media that I've seen or heard.

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  • 229. At 06:06am on 11 Jun 2010, friedemann wrote:

    They are doing the responsible thing. What more can be asked of them than that? They could have paid the 75 million and walked away from it, but they didn't. Now they are approaching 2 billion dollars. Many firms would have claimed bankruptcy by now. And yet they are sticking to their guns to clean it all up. The only other choice is no drilling for oil underwater.

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  • 230. At 06:24am on 11 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I don't think it's Americans in general who are particularly fed up with the British although there's been a strong anti-Europe sentiment in the US ever since Iraq. I think it is President Obama. In the aftermath of Megrahi he snubbed Gordon Brown making him wait 30 minutes in a waiting room in the White House and refusing to see him at all at Copenhagen. He makes a point of callling BP "British Petroleum."

    It's interesting about American law. Juries are not supposed to be prejudiced or have prior sentiments towards criminal defendants but President Nixon who was an attorney and should have known better said before the the trial that Charles Manson (the mastermind of the Sharon Tate murders) should go to prison. You'd think that might have made a fair trial in the US impossible but it went ahead anyway. President Obama has indicted, tried, convicted, and sentenced BP already and we don't even know the actual cause of the accident yet. BTW, Manson went to prison probably for the rest of his life.

    The CEO of WorldCom Bernie Ebbers and Bernie Madoff killed no one yet they will spend the rest of their lives in prison. Martha Steward only got a slap on the wrist with 4 months in prison and 4 months under house arrest. Evidently the amount of money and the number of people affected is taken into consideration in how seriously the charges are viewed and in sentencing. That does not bode well for BP and its executives. Nor has the imperious attitude of BP's CEO Tony Hayward been helpful to him. Americans put strong stock in contrition but it must be genuine and not phony. We can tell the difference. America is a country that places much value in its culture on redemption of the sinner when he's seen the error of his ways. Hayward doesn't seem to fit the role very well to get off with a light sentence if he's convicted.

    The spill is now estimated to have been 40,000 barrels a day, 8 times what BP said it was initially. that's over 1,600,000 gallons a day. Who knows what the "cap" is really capturing. One thing is certain, you can't trust what BP claims for it. Not until independent verification gives us an unbiased informed report. I don't think BP has much credibility left in the US and markets are beginning to have serious doubts too.

    So for all the enthusiasm Europeans had when Barack Obama was elected, he may do the impossible. That would be to make Europeans in general and Brits in particular long for the good old days of President Bush when Brits could still cherish their self invented illusion that they had a special relationship with America. At least some may yet still have one...as criminal defendants.

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  • 231. At 06:25am on 11 Jun 2010, GWBridge wrote:

    Hello? Has Mr. Mardell ever actually been to the United States? Everyone her knows that BP is BRITISH Petroleum, and I would estimate that you have several days before you start hearing calls to freeze all of BP's assets both in the USA and in the UK. If BP goes belly up and tries to avoid footing the cost of this disaster, people will then look to the UK government even if there is no precedent for it. Mr Mardell has no conception whatsoever how angry Americans are, especially after Jon Stewart quoted the quintessential upper class twit on tonight's Daily Show. No one is going to attack any Brits or take out their anger on an individual, but as soon as the UK government allows BP to pay out that $10 billion dividend, you'll start seeing protesters with signs and posturing U.S. politicians. Finally, when you hear the term "l*mey b*st**ds" on two separate television shows as I did tonight, you know something's coming round the bend. And the snide comments made by Brits right here will feed into it. By the way, we've had "Eastenders" and "Are You Being Served" here for years here, so we understand you Brits extremely well. And thank God BP wasn't in charge of the D-Day invasion. Thank God for Eisenhower.

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  • 232. At 06:30am on 11 Jun 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    Americans appear to have become very familiar with the notion of the callously incompetent mega-corporation in recent years. We have seen several, and BP has appeared among them more than once.

    We are accepting the challenge of securing our own institutional integrity, both public and private, so that we do not have to accept or anticipate such losses again and again. We are already overhauling our financial and medical systems, our management of natural resources demands our whole nation's attention.

    Great nations all over the world are pressed by similar necessities - old models must be revived or new ones found that build on honesty and responsibility.

    BP failed to perform at that level - and is struggling to maintain the reputation necessary to deserve the position it held recently.

    But that has nothing to do with the British people. As we see them from this shore in 2010, they have never failed to perform with integrity or show their greatness. Nation to nation, I count you our closest kin and frequent inspiration.

    KScurmudgeon
    English speaker

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  • 233. At 06:37am on 11 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Abacus;

    From the article in your link;

    "British lawmakers are even pushing Prime Minister David Cameron to get President Barack Obama to tone down his stinging criticism of the oil company, complaining that the hostile rhetoric will have severe implications for pensioners with nest eggs in the company."

    It's rather interesting that when Europeans demanded that the US comply with Kyoto, they were furious because of what impact American refusal might one day cause to the environment in the long run, over a period of many decades. They couldn't have cared less what it would do to the American economy or the income of Americans. But now that BP has created a catastrophe for America's environment that is real, immediate, and massive, suddenly Brits are very worried about the consequences for their own incomes due to the impact on BP stock prices and dividends. The song is exactly the opposite when the shoe is on the other foot. It is just one more clear cut case of European hypocricy and contempt for America. It's a wonder there hasn't been a real American backlash...yet.

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  • 234. At 06:39am on 11 Jun 2010, Mudrock63 wrote:

    I am a native of Pensacola, Florida. We truly have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world that are now under threat from this disaster. I am angry about it and everyone I know is angry about it. But we are certainly not angry at the British people or the country as a whole. We are angry at a multi-national corporation who did not have even a Plan A on file to deal with a potential catastrophe. We are angry that short-sighted short-cuts were employed in the drilling process that ultimately cause the blow-out and the loss of 11 lives. We are now angry that the oil is still spewing, many people are out of work because of it, and the seashore (a national treasure) is under great risk of long-lasting damage. All in the name of profit. At the moment, there is loads of anti-BP sentiment, but not one iota of anti-British sentiment.

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  • 235. At 07:09am on 11 Jun 2010, ranger47 wrote:

    I heard on NPR today about anti-British sentiment in the United States, and I was surprised. I have not seen a shred of anti-British sentiment anywhere. Yes, many people (most people) are angry about the oil spill, and a large percentage are angry at BP and the US government for failing to actively regulate this kind of deep sea drilling and thus allowing BP to cut corners in building its wells. If there is anger towards any government, it is the US government.

    People in the US respect and admire the UK, and this respect is pretty much universal. I rarely hear British jokes.

    Alex -- Tucson, Arizona, USA

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  • 236. At 07:14am on 11 Jun 2010, EUturn-Uberne wrote:

    I used to be an avid Anglophile and Euro-phile, however the increased tempo in American bashing has turned me sour. While I do not engage in the gratuitous Brit or Euro bashing, I do now look at all people and things coming out of the UK and EU with a skeptical eye, and urge my peers to do so as well. I seek to insure that you lose heart and minds here in "the colonies," in all ways that I can.

    You have lost a friend.

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  • 237. At 07:16am on 11 Jun 2010, nstratt88 wrote:

    Well I thought I might put my two cents in. First I would like to say that I am an American, and I can say I have not encounter or felt any ill will against the British, there is an obvious understanding that a corporation doesn't speak or act for a nation.

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  • 238. At 07:19am on 11 Jun 2010, Matt wrote:

    i'm laughing a little over the notion that there's an anti-British element in the US. the Beatles came and went and England just hasn't been remotely on the radar of most in the US since. the issue in the Gulf is for the general public is entirely a 'homeland' issue.
    i can't speak for President Obama, but don't get started thinking he speaks for me either.
    i can clue you in a bit about what's going on with the focus on BP. you see, there's a bunch of lawyers there on Capitol Hill, and what they're going to do is very simply and very predictably focus very intently on the DEEPEST POCKETS. and that's BP. that won't help much with those who have had their way of life blasted to bits along with that oil rig. money doesn't help at all to replace the loss of meaning and purpose in one's life and it won't restore the environmental quality of the Gulf area. they talk about 'recovery' in Washington in ref. to something which already amounts to a corpse in a morgue somewhere.
    re. punitive issues, myself, i'm concerned about the bureaucrats who didn't do their oversight job, sat around watching XXX rated stuff on the internet. i'm envious of how China dealt with some of those involved in the tainted milk scandals over there; we could learn a little from them.
    i am dismayed though to hear that our issue with BP is having an adverse impact across the pond; i'm quite certain that this would not be anyone's intent here. but any impact there might get completely ignored here, not out of a dislike for the British, but simply that rage insists on keeping things simple. But if what's happening with BP here is hurting you there, i suspect you should maybe say something about that, probably to Hillary; Obama's a bit busy at the moment.
    cheers, mates,
    matt
    USA

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  • 239. At 07:35am on 11 Jun 2010, EUturn-Uberne wrote:

    Not all of us Americans are ignorant of the pervasive churning of Anti-American sentiment clearly shown by the EU and UK populous, many of their elite, and their media.

    Mind you, not all of us are fat, stupid, and gluttons for abuse. Tony Hayward represents the utter contempt that many of you have for us. It is indeed a shame that I am reconsidering my affections for your nation as a whole.

    I am presently considering how, as an individual, to respond. Boycotts, and other 'soft power' measures come to mind. Word of mouth can be very effective. If I had to chose between burning the Dollar or the Euro, you don't have to think hard which one I'll chose.

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  • 240. At 07:35am on 11 Jun 2010, Richard wrote:

    Although this BP situation is a true disaster, economically, environmentally and so on, the rhetoric coming out of the US administration towards BP seems a little over the top. The situation seems to have been a terrible accident that caused the loss of 11 lives and that due to the technicalities and depths involved made the crisis escalate to where we find ourselves today.
    BP have clearly stated that they will compensate and clean up the mess. It will take time and money. What more is there to say about this.
    I just wonder how the US would respond to criticism over the current financial crisis originally caused by the Made in USA "sub-prime". Are the US authorities (oversight, compliancy and control failures, all the way to the top) ultimately not responsible for the global crisis?
    How would the reaction be in the US, if the effected banks and institutions and governments start demanding full compensation for the economic havoc and mess the US have created globally?
    Should there be some US bashing for the economic crisis?

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  • 241. At 07:37am on 11 Jun 2010, steven johnson wrote:

    From what i gather it was a us part that failed, so any comments about the firm that made it, you will get on here anti american and anti british on here,alot of americans do not like obama anyway. Maybe he should be as forceful to the american company that made it.

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  • 242. At 07:42am on 11 Jun 2010, The United Way wrote:

    Who'd have thought it? The British media misrepresenting reality?!

    I do notice, however, that in speeches, that Obama continually refers to the "British energy company, British Petroleum", in an attempt to shift blame... However, the fact I am actively looking for an ounce of truth in their anti-Britishness probably does not help!

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  • 243. At 07:56am on 11 Jun 2010, Mikehollobon wrote:

    Interesting article. Where is Transearch in all this? I thought they were the owners of the rig and surely they must have some responsibility for this mess? I read that their track record leaves a lot to be desired and perhaps I am missing something, so can anyone enlighten me?

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  • 244. At 08:12am on 11 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    Why blame BP. It is the US outfit Transoceans fault (us is the operative abbreviation). They have a record of incompetance.

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  • 245. At 08:15am on 11 Jun 2010, syrtis wrote:

    It's probably true that some Americans don't know that BP is a British company. That being said I seriously doubt that many would care. Many of us Americans feel very disconnected from big companies. We feel no since of pride for American companies. Most of them moved all of their manufacturing jobs to other countries. For those of us who didn't fork out the big bucks for business school they only left one job, selling these “American” products for minimum wage. The overwhelming majority of Americans feel we have no influence over the way “American” companies do business so why should we blame the British people for BP.

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  • 246. At 08:20am on 11 Jun 2010, deepak wrote:

    do you see some parallels of sorts with the Bhopal Tragedy, which was a human catastrophe and the oil spill which is an environmental disaster. should the US now not insist to let go of BP?

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  • 247. At 08:21am on 11 Jun 2010, RichardNYC wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 248. At 08:35am on 11 Jun 2010, Londonbedu wrote:

    Large amount of Obama/US hypocrisy here. The cleanup and compensation price tag for BP: unlimited. The price tag for Union Carbide (a US company) killing 15,000 Indians in Bhopal? $450million. Companies that pollute and kill should of course pay but the vitriol heaped on BP is a sideshow, and is disproportionate.

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  • 249. At 08:36am on 11 Jun 2010, Yank in the UK wrote:

    I'm certain the reverse would be happening if a giant US company had the same problem off the coast of Great Britain, or any other big foreign corporation for that matter. In fact, I'm sure it's happened in reverse, at least once. What is key here is that there is a very big problem in the US Gulf of Mexico and people are scared, they want someone to blame, and they are looking for someone to pay them for their loss. Simple human nature. I doubt it's really Brit bashing. I think it's simply "bp" bashing and the "b" part of "bp" makes a nice big emotional target. It think this will all pass when everything is back the way it was the morning of 20 April.

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  • 250. At 08:42am on 11 Jun 2010, ck wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 251. At 08:43am on 11 Jun 2010, ChrisMM wrote:

    Hmm sounds like somebodies gone native !

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  • 252. At 08:44am on 11 Jun 2010, Spicerlad wrote:

    Politics is Political so let em get on with it.

    Business is Business so let all get on with it. OK so Tony isn't a PR poodle, no really he's a business man.

    As a Limey that loves the American dream let me assure our friends across the pond we love ya really.

    I would gladly, seriously, come over to those gorgeous beaches and work for beer money for the next ten years if someone can let me have a green card, as an Englishman I cannot even try the Green Card Lottery, were barred.

    Now who can direct me to evidence of what happened after the last spill in the Gulf that I believe spewed far more oil. Did nature clear it up?

    Lets talk about positive action to get beyond this mess. Clear it up then improve the safety and technical issues folks so our kids can enjoy.

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  • 253. At 08:54am on 11 Jun 2010, samrao wrote:

    Mark, Why is there no mention anywhere about TRANSCO. surely the sub-contractor will also come in to criminal investigation for possible sub-standard equipment? The rig and the blow out preventer belongs to Transco... so is there a reason why TRANSCO seems to be escaping american attention?

    Transco CEO is also British and has been seen to be celebrating, bollywood style, in India. Surely with loss of 11 lives and the massive failure of its equipment in the Gulf of Mexico......is it because it is an American company?

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  • 254. At 08:55am on 11 Jun 2010, davemack999 wrote:

    When the President and all his men say "we will ensure that BP pays every cent of the cost", can we expect them to apply the same criteria to the Banks for the pollution of the economy? Can we ask whey american firms whoich have polluted the shores fo the rest of the world thorugh their errors or otherwise seem able to walk away with a cursory effort ?
    Cant we ask Why David Cameron isnt on the phone to Obama to put an end to his Political rhetoric Spouting Anti BP rubbish and therefore harming the British economy?. Did he jump up and down and spit his dummy out when his American banks the very outfit that fund the American parties caused so much Harm?...I think not...

    Stop the rubbish...suspend the Jones act and let the people with the technology bring this awful situation to an end then sit around and work out who's paying what and stop Brit Bashing!

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  • 255. At 09:00am on 11 Jun 2010, pidgeonpost wrote:

    I was under the impression that a disaster of this type hadn't happened before. If that's the case then the operators, irrespective of their nationality, have to 'make it up as they go along' as someone said. If Obama thinks that the U.S. is better equipped to tackle the problem than BP why doesn't it tell BP to move over, fix the leak itself (presumably in a faster and more efficient way), and send BP the bill? Given that it's the U.S. coastline and its inhabitants (human and otherwise) that are suffering surely it would make more sense for the U.S. to throw their weight into helping BP if they aren't already doing so.

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  • 256. At 09:03am on 11 Jun 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Am I missing something?
    Up to this point there have been a small number of reports in the right wing leaning type of British newspapers that spend most of their time getting worked up about children wearing jackets with hoods.
    This is a attempt to generate a story. There is no sentiment behind it in the UK population and for various posters to get worked up about this demonstrates a failure to grasp the facts.

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  • 257. At 09:05am on 11 Jun 2010, Ubique in Ohio wrote:

    Nearly all Mid West Americans are extremely friendly to us Brits, they just love our accents!. I've lived here for 8 years and I'm fairly certain that most Americans are unaware that BP (Beyond Petroleum) is a British company - they also are not aware that England play USA in the World Cup on Saturday. As this rather large dollop of oil is in the Gulf, it will be interesting to see what long term effect it will have on the Gulf Stream that keeps UK from being a frozen mass in the wintertime! We might even score an own goal, with Cornwall and Devon coastlines being knee deep in the (other) black stuff in years to come. Happy Days!

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  • 258. At 09:05am on 11 Jun 2010, Conceicao3 wrote:

    The comments here have confirmed what I largely expected. Anti-British feeling is generally rare among Americans. I find this relieving as I usually get annoyed at the snobbery directed at Americans (and Latin Americans) from people here in Europe.

    However this point does need to be raised. President Obama is a disgrace. It is disgusting how he is using the response to this disaster to rack up political support ahead of mid-terms.

    The fact is BP CAN afford to pay a dividend as well as covering the huge costs of this tragedy, if you don't believe me, look at their financial statements. I'd be amazed if Obama and his party didn't know this. I can understand why people are annoyed at Hayward, but just remember one thing. He's an oil man - a geologist - not the well-oiled (excuse the pun) PR machine that is President Obama. Obama is meddling in affairs that are none of his business, that is what is making some British people angry.

    He really is arrogant. Not once has Obama apologised or encouraged US banks to compensate for the global economic crisis they caused. And before you blame it all on Bush, the sub-prime crisis was brought about by Democrat legislation on housing as much as the lax regulation on CDS trading.

    And if Obama is so angry about oil, maybe he should a) let the Iraqis keep their own, and b) stop flying around in his personal 747.

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  • 259. At 09:06am on 11 Jun 2010, The_Bounder wrote:

    If it was any other country I might have a shred of sympathy, but not the yanks. Shame about the wildlife but otherwise no tears from me.

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  • 260. At 09:10am on 11 Jun 2010, paul wrote:

    So who was the American "gentleman" in Louisiana shown on Sky News about 10 days ago standing on the Union Jack ? - it angered and upset myself and my wife very much , especially since we consider ourselves friends of America. Was that staged by Sky News ? It didn't look it. America should remember who its most loyal ally has been. I am still seething after seeing that. I note that Obama has had not much to say about Union Carbide (Bhopal) which has been in the news recently (3-4000 dead and people still dying).

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  • 261. At 09:12am on 11 Jun 2010, arrbee wrote:

    There is no point Obama going after the other companies involved; the oil rig owners are (legally) based in Switzerland and Halliburton mostly in Dubai - I suspect neither will volunteer a cent without a major legal battle.
    Probably unhelpful to mention Bhopal as a comparison...

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  • 262. At 09:15am on 11 Jun 2010, p_leriche wrote:

    BP has done badly, no question. But what about the regulators who cosied up to the oil industry, encouraging them to explore in ever deeper water, close to environmentally sensitive areas? And what about the great American public's addiction to oil? It's easy to make a whipping boy of BP, but Obama and the American public need to shoulder their part of the responsibility too.

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  • 263. At 09:15am on 11 Jun 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    I don't know how big some of the subsidiary companys are, but if BP comes knocking for damages after the facts have been established, the sums involved may result in these companies going under or taken over and/or American jobs being lost.
    How would American attitudes to this crisis change then?

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  • 264. At 09:17am on 11 Jun 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Given the current siuation, if there are criminal proceedng resulting from this, how far from Louisiana will the trial have to be moved to get an impartial (for this read: unaffected by the crisis) jury?

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  • 265. At 09:19am on 11 Jun 2010, BayAreaBeaker wrote:

    I've lived in the US for 10yrs, and am currently on a visit to the UK, marvelling at this alleged anti-Brit sentiment. I think that David Cameron needs to be careful not to over-react here, as his position may seem surprising to the US public and might inadvertently generate some anti-British sentiment.
    What I think is lost in the British media coverage is the sheer scale of the problem - people's livelihoods lost, economic and environmental distaster on a significant scale. It's clear that people are very angry about this, rightly so, and the pressure on Obama to be seen as coming out more strongly on this issue has been building for several weeks. I'm sure that he is mindful that this doesn't become his Katrina. People are hopping mad at BP because they have corporate responsibility for the rig, but not because the "B" stands for "British".
    To put it another way, if a US based oil producer ran a rig, with several British subcontracters that desecrated say, the coastline from Cornwall to Brighton and the government was seen to have done little to contain that spill over the course of 2 months, don't you think that David Cameron would be well within his rights to use similar language to that of Barack Obama?

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  • 266. At 09:21am on 11 Jun 2010, Pete wrote:

    Wasn't an American company hired by BP to do the drilling in the first place? I trust they're under as much scrutiny...

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  • 267. At 09:34am on 11 Jun 2010, newageoracle wrote:

    Once again, it is beginning to look as though the media, with the BBC to the fore until Mark Mardell their US correspondent gave an objective report, have been stirring up anti-American panic. The question that should be asked now is...what do political editors hope to gain by approving unsubstantiated and exaggerated reports of anti-Brit...rather than anti-BP and anti-deep sea drilling sentiments amongst Americans who are understandably distressed about what has happened.
    If I still have an income next year, I shall be taking another holiday in the USA and expecting to encounter the usual good natured and good humoured reception wherever I go. If Obama has gone over the top..cut the guy a bit of slack (in the circumstances) and give him a chance to correct or pull back his knee jerk rhetoric gracefully. Now, let's get the international community pulling together to help in any way they can.

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  • 268. At 09:36am on 11 Jun 2010, Handyunion wrote:

    Interesting to hear all these Americans on here and those Brits living over there coming out with comments about non anti British sentiment. Maybe you should listen to your politicians and news. They say ignorance is bliss and there certainly is a lot of it in the US. I've lived there and saw how they treated the French because they didn;t support the Iraq War. Americans don;t like the fact BP is a non American company. They have shown themselves to be bigoted and racist society. Special relationship! One sided relationship as long as they get what they want.

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  • 269. At 09:41am on 11 Jun 2010, Protesteilus of Edinburgh wrote:

    Thank you Mark for a thoughtful article written without hysteria or hyperbole. Thank you also for being the only person who didn't use the horrible moniker "Brits"! Maybe it's an ex-pat thing.
    I thought that "Brit Bashing" was something the IRA did.

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  • 270. At 09:48am on 11 Jun 2010, starofthesouth wrote:

    So this what one can call a real catastrophy. Millions of real people and animals are victims, an area bigger than the north-sea including the irish and british islands poluted.

    And what are you talking about? Your money and wether some americans now may dislike you?

    Couldn't it be, that the financing of pensions via the private insurance and finance sector is not the victim of such an accident, but more or less the trigger mechanism?
    Might the inherent greed for ever bigger interests and dividends that are needed to fulfill pensioners demands in an enviroment with aging populations, force the real industrie to cut not only workforce and wages, but also expensive security?

    People, that is a real and much more global problem than any of our last years bank, currency and real-estate crashes, this problem is obvious to big to be succesful handled by one of the biggest companies of the world and not even the United States of America.

    It will at least force the global oil prices to rise, but it could be the end of Wall Street and London City as we know it as well. Because the costs of this enviroment damage are growing day by day and the end is not in sight. Because, after housing, banking, insurances, now the real industry sector has shown, that one cannot be shure with private sector investments for ones retirements. Now there is nothing left were you can invest in at young age and be sure, that you at least get your money back when you retire, not even spoken about getting a profit.

    That will change the politics in western nations and it will diminish strength and influence of stockmarkets globaly, because the faith of ordinary people to invest a share of their income every month into the private sector will be destroyed for decades.

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  • 271. At 09:53am on 11 Jun 2010, NyotaNYC wrote:

    There is no UK bashing going on over here. This is sad paranoia and misplaced guilt by association. It's possible, of course, that such tensions might grow... especially if the British press keeps playing that note.

    This is so far from the dialog in the USA, that most Americans still probably don't even realize what the B in BP stands for...

    That said, there are several dimensions to this that people abroad may want to better understand.

    The USA national media is not focusing on the international aspect of this, BUT the local media and communities down in the coastal south may have sour feelings about the long history of foreign businesses involved in local industries.

    More importantly, the drama between Transocean (the rig operator) and BP could stir up real anger. There's a very ugly story that's just now emerging and could lead to very serious criminal investigations. This will put BP executives even more directly in the line of fire... and if any resentment about "foreigners" emerge (most likely from right-wing politicians and radio commentators), then that's where to expect it.

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  • 272. At 09:58am on 11 Jun 2010, dateman wrote:

    I assume you mean "you can hardly OVERplay the fury towards BP etc" - not underplay.

    Anyway. The American people are probably the most generous and least xenophobic in the world, I wouldn't expect any anti-British sentiment. The UK media as usual is writing a load of drivel. But Tony Hayward has been so outrageously insensitive and stupid in almost all his public statements so far that it seems astonishing he's still in his job. How on earth did he get to be CEO of one of the world's biggest corporations?

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  • 273. At 10:01am on 11 Jun 2010, NyotaNYC wrote:

    For the record, somebody above mentioned political pressure from the UK to get Obama to tone down his anti-BP rhetoric. There is big money at stake, and all the paranoia about anti-British sentiment in the USA seems to me to be entirely about that fear.

    People in the UK:

    Crimes were committed, apparently by both Transocean and BP. They were not being safe and people died. The nationalities of the companies or the employees really doesn't matter. This took place off the USA's shores and our government MUST take it seriously.

    This is going to prove to be one of the greatest natural disasters in our history. This is a very, very bad situation that needs to be respected and acknowledged without a lot of non-sense deflection and USA-bashing.

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  • 274. At 10:03am on 11 Jun 2010, JohnL wrote:

    I don't doubt your observations. Haywood has been particularly inept in this situation and needs to be sacked, but by the shareholders of BP who will have seen that his pronouncements have poured oil not only in the Gulf but on the fire of American anger. Maybe BP was pre-emptively stupid to put its hand up so soon, whatever the contractual obligations. Better PR management would have ensured that questions were asked of Halliburton among others who had been maintaining the blow-out preventer shortly before it blew out.

    But it still behoves the President to hold his counsel. His statements have played very badly over here and he is stupid to think that America is that big that nothing anybody else thinks or does actually matters. The previous incumbent made that mistake, guided of course by Halliburton.

    Obama is a lawyer and should know better.

    BP will ride the storm even if our pension funds (and a lot of US pension funds) take a hit due to the lemming-like activities of the stock market.

    But it may be a good idea for them to consider selling all their US assets. To the Chinese who must be looking on with their cheque books ready. They have the necessary leverage over the US in the form of massive holdings in dollars that, should the same occur, they could just delink their currency which has been propping the US dollar up for a long time now.

    Clearly the US is not a place to do business where there is any risk that you will be prosecuted by politicians or in the press before all the facts are known. A BP that can explore and invest elsewhere in the world with some degree of security is a much better bet for shareholders than working in the Wild West where you may get shot for no real reason at all. Even working in Russia is a better option.

    The big question is whether Obama will survive the mid-terms and 2012. A lot of what he has said is in response to domestic pressure but the statements of the so-called leader of the (western) world echo everywhere. The people - who cannot vote for BP or any other oil company - may well take their anger out at the ballot box. I suspect that his present pronouncements are a reflection of this but the facts are not all known.

    And the ghost of Bhopal ia still there.

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  • 275. At 10:03am on 11 Jun 2010, JohnM wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 276. At 10:11am on 11 Jun 2010, dellboy1950 wrote:

    I have lived in Texas for ten years,and have never heard any anti Brit stuff even with this BP disaster, mind you shrimp is still only five dollars a pound at the moment.Tony could do with a few PR lessons,if I remember right it was loose cannons that sank the Mary Rose.

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  • 277. At 10:21am on 11 Jun 2010, EUturn-Uberne wrote:

    It was the KRAKEN!! Ever since Liam Neeson said "release the Kraken!" - in the latest rendition of Clash of the Titans - really strange things have been happening at sea. First the Cheonan, the South Korean corvette was mysteriously cut in half. Then the Oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Next, the Israelis stormed an aid convoy.

    There may very well be a giant squid behind all of this.

    While NATO still exists, we should have our navies hunt this Kraken down before things really get out of hand! OR will the squid manage to bring down NATO?

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  • 278. At 10:22am on 11 Jun 2010, will wrote:

    I live in the UK and I hear the Brit bashing, not from American citizens maybe but from their politicians. The point here is not that Americans are becoming anti-British necessarily but that as the politicians continue to bash us Brits we are increasingly becoming anti-American.

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  • 279. At 10:23am on 11 Jun 2010, Tim Gould wrote:

    Anti-Britishness? Do Americans know about Britain or where it is?

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  • 280. At 10:29am on 11 Jun 2010, Anglophone wrote:

    BP are absolutely culpable in law for this mess and will have to clear it up. The problem will lie in determining reasonable damages for livelihoods affected. The risk at present for BP is the probability that State Courts will award punitive damages and this will turn it into a an entirely different sort of gold-rush.

    But that's for the future! BP and its contractors have got to stem this leak. This is a pure and simple engineering issue, albeit fiendishly tricky one mile down! The problem is that the media appear to see it as more of a public relations problem...as if in some way good spin and overt acts of contrition by abashed execs somehow stops the oil flowing out of the blow-out preventer. I would prefer to see Tony Hayward closely involved with the remedial efforts rather than bobbing and weaving on TV where his personal style seems to rub too many people up the wrong way.

    The problem from this side of the pond may be one of over-sensitivity. We only get to see selected snippets of reportage and reporters are always trying to "brew up" there story to a fever pitch. The story we get is one of Obama stopping just short of accusing Tony Hayward, possibly accompanied by the Queen, of deliberately cutting the riser from a midget submarine! This is of course nonsense!

    Now BP are responsible for this mess, but as an oilman myself I know that BP's actual role in drilling the well beyond picking the spot will have been relatively small. Should any of Obama's ire be directed at Transocean (the rig owner) of Halliburton, the drilling company? I think so. The latter of course is a stalwart of "good 'ol boys" much loved by the previous administration and a giant home-grown corporation where, I suspect, if you stand outside and listen carefully you will hear the distant hum of shredders working furiously.

    When all this goes to court I wonder what legal redress BP will have against its US contractors? Precisely none I suspect!

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  • 281. At 10:31am on 11 Jun 2010, AndyW wrote:

    I think it is fair to say that there is not really any ire being direct at Britain generally. Americans are clear that this is directed at BP. Although, it is ofcourse not an accident that Obama referred to "British Petroleum" - he is under a lot of pressure from home - the fact that is was a "British" company relieves a bit of this, particularly if he his seen to deliver the necessary strong retoric - although he would have had to do this also if it was an American company.

    However it seems, some of us British, take personally the criticism put to BP. Actually if we are to be fair, this criticism is justified! BP were careless and had no contigency plans in place for such a disaster which was always a possibility. A high risk business strategy! We do have a vested interest in not seeing BP fail - in terms of shares held, jobs and British industry in general. So this is what is driving this counter from the UK.

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  • 282. At 10:35am on 11 Jun 2010, Jacques Cartier wrote:

    @ 22. At 4:57pm on 10 Jun 2010, Justin150 wrote:

    > As for BP, it could do the obvious and simply do the minimum required by
    > law and then walk away from the problem and tell the US govt to handle it
    > from then on. After all that is the great American way. BP for some
    > strange reason is trying to do more.

    Why is BP being so altruistic to these strangers across the sea? They should
    give them the $75m max, and leave it at that. They had a permit to get at
    that oil, and US inspectors said fine. We owe them nothing.



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  • 283. At 10:40am on 11 Jun 2010, NyotaNYC wrote:

    As for the perception that Obama has "gone too far," I would SERIOUSLY request that people step back and think more critically.

    People died. One of the worst natural disasters in our history.

    THE ENTIRE POPULACE OF THE UNITED STATES correctly criticized OBAMA for not saying enough, being too passive, holding back on criticism, letting BP take over the analysis and response, etc.

    Obama rightly started bashing them as facts came to light about serious negligence in actions leading to the crisis and in BP's response (and i highly doubt the UK media is objectively reporting the concerns those on the coast here have had about their response).

    What all of our UK friends need to appreciate is that a lot of the POWER that you might think the USA's President has is actually in the hands of Congress and the judicial branches. On domestic matters, the Presidency is often nothing more than a bully pulpit. There is strong anti-Federal government sentiment in the USA and hence the debate here has centered much more on the role of business, state governments, and the federal government.

    BP has been absolutely irresponsible. The fact that it's a British company and stock prices might tumble is secondary to the reality of the damages and the decisions leading to this crisis.

    It was not a mere accident and the emotional attachment to this company is something that the UK press, politicians, and populace need to reconsider.

    As somebody above mentioned, their stock collapse would cause serious pain in the USA and not just in the UK. Investments are risks. Investing in a company that takes large risks in their oil refining was perhaps a bad choice. Yes, pensions on both sides of the Atlantic will likely suffer. That should have nothing to do with how we handle the actions of BP and the natural disaster.

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  • 284. At 10:47am on 11 Jun 2010, usert3938 wrote:

    i work offshore in the gulf and i do see some anti British sentiment especially in the media, before it all started British Petroleum was always referred to as BP but now when they are referred to in the news it is now British Petroleum emphasis on the BRITISH also there is no mention ever of the drilling company that actually caused this in the first place Transocean

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  • 285. At 10:58am on 11 Jun 2010, Helena Handcarte wrote:

    Look at the general tone on the posts on the spill in the 'Huffington Post' Mark and you would see that there is little focus on the multinational nature of BP - and certainly not a recognition among postees that Americans and American institutions own virtually as much of BP as UK ones (39% and 40% respectively).
    The Obama administration, I suspect, will not go out of its way to discourage this fallacy. It would seem that they have decided to actively encourage it.

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  • 286. At 11:05am on 11 Jun 2010, d_m wrote:

    Nice try Mark, but the regrettable anti-US bashing pouring from British keyboards seems to be gushing faster than the BP oil well (check peston's blog). Disappointing.

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  • 287. At 11:27am on 11 Jun 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    I think the consensus appears to be that normal Americans do not hate the British, nor indeed vice versa - only a small minority of racist xenophobic extremists feel that way.

    "162 MAII - Personally I do not detest Britain more than I did before this incident nor more than I detest the rest of Europe"

    As [I think] Terri Garr put it, in that classic [American] film Young Frankenstein - 'Zer feelink is moochal'.

    [I'm spelling phonetically there - ie I haven't contracted MK Syndrome...]

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  • 288. At 11:29am on 11 Jun 2010, steamer wrote:

    191. At 01:45am on 11 Jun 2010, Jeff wrote:

    2. At first, the bad guys (per the media) were Transocean, who operated the rig. The big story was that Transocean kept the workers from seeing their loved ones for many hours while their lawyers wrote up waivers for them to sign.

    That's a scandal in it's own right.I worked for a time in Old Iraq (1960)and it was never as bad as that.
    There's something in this whole affair that don't fit. TransOcean are getting off scot free.I would have thought they were the vendors doing the drilling so one would have thought they would be be liable more than BP is. Or maybe something is still resting on the sea bed that I've missed.

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  • 289. At 11:36am on 11 Jun 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 269 Protesteilus of Edinburgh wrote:

    "Thank you Mark for a thoughtful article written without hysteria or hyperbole. Thank you also for being the only person who didn't use the horrible moniker "Brits"! Maybe it's an ex-pat thing.
    I thought that "Brit Bashing" was something the IRA did."

    Well, the headline is "No Brit-bashing in US over BP imbroglio" - though of course that may be the work of a sub-editor.

    The first time I recall hearing 'Brit' was indeed from the IRA and their supporters - 'eg 'Brits Out'. They certainly didn't use it as a term of affection.

    However I have noticed it being used increasingly in recent years by British people. In fact I did wonder whether this was a clever ploy - ie if you adopt your enemy's insult, it ceases to have effect. [Some African-Americans seem to have done something similar with the notorious 'N-Word', eg the rap group NWA.]

    I concede that it isn't a very mellifluous word, but what is the alternative? "Briton"? It doesn't seem to be widely used - maybe because it sounds v like 'Britain'. And to me it either summons up chaps in animal skins and woad, or 'Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves, Britons never never never shall be slaves' - something of a relic of years gone by...

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  • 290. At 12:02pm on 11 Jun 2010, Peter wrote:

    Although you may feel there is no anti British feeling in general in the USA the same cannot be said about the reverse. I think many of us very strongly resent the comments by Obama and Co. I read a very good article on page 6 of the Daily Mail today (not usually my kind of paper!) I found myself agreeing with every word. For too long the "special relationship" has been too much give by the UK and too much take by the USA. We have many grievances going back over the last 100 years and I think these are now crystalising. It is time we severed our ties with the USA and looked to Europe (I never thought I woud l hear myself say that!). We need a strong Europe to counte the arrogance of the USA. And as for Afghanistan; well please let us just cut our loses and get out.

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  • 291. At 12:05pm on 11 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    #259 You have an appropriate pseudonym there.

    I think we can put you in the same category as the fool attacking the British flag, MA2, etc.

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  • 292. At 12:21pm on 11 Jun 2010, MGB wrote:

    Just registered to comment on this...
    Firstly on anti-Americanism in UK/Europe yes it exists but I would say a large part of it is that those who don't like America (for whatever reason) shout the loudest whereas those of us who on the whole like America just ignore them and carry on. I think its similar to most things, if your thinking of buying something and look around for reviews your more likely to come across those who have bad experiences or negative opinions and felt the need to post something on the internet than those who are happy and enjoying the product. People in my experience, who aren't happy or are negative about something always tend to be louder in expressing their opinions (which they have every right to hold given the nature our of societies) than those who are happy with things.
    So to those Americans posting/reading this site I would say don't take the anti-American loudmouths as representing everyone in Europe, I may not agree with everything America does or has done, but I certainly don't have a blanket hate for the country and people as a whole. By the same token we shouldn't view your share of idiots as being representative of America.
    The comments from British people in America and Americans on here have been pretty reassuring that this is mostly down to our pathetic media trying to make a story out of something as usual.
    I do think Obama himself is anti-British, but then I thought that before this disaster began, but I don't take his attitude as being that of the entire country. My feelings on this are mostly because of his way of trampling all over America's longtime allies when it suits him as he attempts to cuddle up to those who are genuinely hostile to America. An example would be the attitude towards the Falklands issue and his refusal to back Britain's position that the people who actually live there should decide whether they want complete independence, to stay with the UK or to join Argentina (friends of your good friend Hugo Chavez as I understand it) and that it isn't for either of our governments to just hand them over in a negotiation. It gives the feeling that whilst we back America over Iran or with our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama wouldn't back us if we needed it in return.
    Obviously wars aren't too popular and it seems everytime I turn on the news I hear 'A British soldier has been killed in Afghanistan...' and it is largely seen as America's war by many people, although I believe it's in our interest too. But I guess any hint of anti-Britishness from America is hard to take and the newspapers know they'll get a big reaction to any story they can put together along these lines provoking further arguments and ill-feeling in the process. I hope it is just a case of our awful media playing its usual games I really do.
    BP should obviously pay compensation and the cleanup costs etc, and as far as I'm aware they've said they will. Hayward or whatever his name is should clearly keep his mouth shut or better yet just say he'll resign once this is over, but Obama's constant emphasising of BRITISH in the company's old title just stinks of political buck passing i.e. he's basically saying 'hey guys it's not my fault it's those nasty British people' and we fear he'll lead people in America to tar us all with the same brush. There is also the fact that the company is not simply a British company, it is a multi-national with a large percentage owned by Americans and with a large number of American employees. They should of course be held to account but I think the rhetoric has gone too far and they should stop pointing fingers, passing the blame and political point-scoring and instead focus on what they can do to prevent the oil affecting more areas and to stop the leak itself.
    The whole incident is a tragedy and I hope it ends soon and that the people and areas caught up in this are helped out as needed to make things right.

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  • 293. At 12:34pm on 11 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The reason that Americans have not reacted more negatively to Britain (and other Europeans) I think is in part do to American naivete, their failure to understand that this or something like it was entirely predictable. That Europeans have a culture of lying, corruption, hubris, do whatever they please because they alway get a way with it and think themselves infallable and untouchable. They merely pay lip service themselves to what the promise or insist on from others. Therefore their indifference to the real necessity to take the greatest care and most conservative approach to what they built because of the consequence of failure, their belief that in the long run their exemption from the consequences of failure would not offset the huge profits they made by cutting corners, that they could act with their usual characteristic imperiousness and hubris and get away with it with impunity. Had Americans kept their eyes open, paid attention to the corruption that pervades all of European culture as was evident from example after example whether circumventing the UN sanctions in Iraq, money paid to Saudi shiekhs for British military contracts, German corporate bribes by its largest companies to sell their overpriced products, and so on and so on. The best thing America can do is to either block the import of all European goods with high tarrifs or at the very least to rigorously enforce every law, code, regulation we have and extract enormous fines for violating them as a deterrant. Europe will only know the US is serious when it revokes the licenses of all of the remaining BP assets in the US including all of the offshore rigs, seizes them, and sells them off to BPs competitors. BP should not be allowed to conduct business in the US for at least the next 25 years. It will likely cease to exist long before that time.

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  • 294. At 12:42pm on 11 Jun 2010, stewart wrote:

    Who is to blame?. Transocean, Halliburton and Cameron are 100% American companies. BP in the USA is an amalgamation of Amoco, Arco and Sohio.
    They are all to blame, however BP is seen as "foreign" and is a convenient target by a President who despite his election phrase of "yes we can", has been found out to be no more than an American Tony Blair.

    In 1988, the Piper Alpha Platform owned by Occidental exploded killing 176 workers. There were no demonstraions in Aberdeen against the Company despite at the later enquiry the Company being found guilty of serious safety violations which caused the explosion.

    Obama should be grateful that BP has the financial resources to pay for the cleanup and compensation. With the exception of Exxon Mobil and Chevron Texaco the remaining Oil Companies would be facing bankruptcy.
    The only people who will make money out of the BP Horizon debacle will be the lawyers.


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  • 295. At 12:43pm on 11 Jun 2010, J Maynard wrote:

    Obama, Pelosi etc's righteous indignation would be a little more paletable if we hadn't just been reminded what an American Chemical company had done to the citizens of Bhopal.
    In comparison to the deaths of 11000 people, this spill pales in comparison.
    Also, BP have never once said that they would not cover all the expense of the clean up and compensation, whereas Union Carbide fought tooth and nail not to be held accountable and people are still dying today becuase they refused to clean up their mess.
    I dont remember the US govt of the day demanding that Union Carbide clean up its mess do you?

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  • 296. At 12:46pm on 11 Jun 2010, gra_2010 wrote:

    We seem to be forgeting something here. That although a UK multi national is the operator there are other factors that are contributing to this. One is TRANSOCEAN - The cow boys of the sea, who seem to be getting off very lightly, there is also the US Government who are are far from blameless. The workers on the rig were US citizens, the BP arm responsible for the field managed by americans and over all the project been run to american safety laws (which there is very little)

    Maybe if had tighter checks and regulation and check like in the UK Industry this wouldnt have happened. I think the governments rhetoric is aimed at deflecting issues that show them and Transocean up.

    However, BP are not be excused for the incompentance here, however there are faults closer to home....

    Also lets not forget the thousands of wells being depleted for a quick buck in less than safe circumstances else where in the world by US oil companies, hundreds of which are pushing out more capacity than there designed for.

    And lest we forget the workers that perished that day, for what little recognition they have recieved.

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  • 297. At 12:46pm on 11 Jun 2010, carolinalady wrote:

    Thank you, Mark! After reading some of the hysterical response from the other side of the Atlantic, I rather wanted to go hibernate for a while. Look, y'all, Americans are a large, diverse, contentious bunch of folk and some of us are pretty ignorant and stubborn about our ignorant opinions (not me, of course!). BUT, we know who we're mad at in the case of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico...and it's NOT British people.

    BP is the poster child for the OIL INDUSTRY which you can read alternatively as the Bush/Cheney Administration(s). They have turned out to be pretty much interchangeable; with oil industry lobbyists LITERALLY in bed with MMS officials (as opposed to use of the figurative). So, while Americans in general are quite of a charitable and loving nature to our British cousins, we are absolutely out for Wall Street and Global Corporation/Big Oil scalps! We're in an unforgiving mood right now and we're very unhappy with tineared CEO's who whine about wanting their lives back when hardscrabble fishermen aren't fishing and pelican rookeries are dying and NOBODY bothered to update/research 30-year-old technology for spill remediation while they built high-tech, ultra deep-water drilling rigs!

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  • 298. At 12:52pm on 11 Jun 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    Like you, I didn't notice Brit-bashing in the United States arising from the BP disaster. Yesterday, however, I paid more attention, and there it was: across American stations, the company was (for the most part) not "BP" but British Petroleum.
    In my opinion, I think this psychological ploy is washing right over the heads of most Americans – as well as this one Canadian who failed to notice (me).
    This subtle Brit-bashing doesn’t bother me as much as BP's shares losing value. I know that almost every UK pension fund owns shares in BP. It’s imossible to believe that the value of retirement & pension plans are not slipping.
    If the “angry” President Barack Obama blocks the next BP dividend payment in order to ensure victims of the spill get compensation, won’t it also block dividend payments into these retirement and pension funds? It's like robbing Peter to pay Paul.
    If this overall situation damages the relationship between UK and US, I can’t see that as a bad thing, but if I was The Coalition Government I'd take immediate action to remove Brits from Afghanistan and wherever else the Americans have deployed them.
    Obama declared “what I don’t want to hear is, when they’re spending that kind of money on their shareholders and … TV advertising, that they’re nickel-and-diming fishermen or small businesses here in the Gulf.” Well, my goodness, Mr. Obama, this was a nice sound bite, but are you really telling the world that you do not know understand the consequences of non-dividend payment? Surely some Americans, like Brits, will be involved in losing part of their retirment/pension benefits?
    So, here’s what we got on this BP (British Petroleum) didaster:
    - an American President who cannot not see consequernces beyond the end of his fingers-pointing,
    - a gaffe-prone Chief Executive, Tony Hayward, who makes his gaffes in an accent that sounds…well…British, and
    - the Coalition Government Leader, David Cameron who will call Obama. From which call, something will happen (or not).
    If you’ve read Obama’s book 'Dreams Of My Father', you will see the anti-British slant even before Obama became President. E.g. Obama alleges that his grandfather was tortured by British authorities in Kenya in the 1950s and this “fact” “helped to shape his feelings about Britain.”
    And then there's that bust of Winston Churchill that Obama promptly disdpatched back to the UK after taking over the White House.

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  • 299. At 1:17pm on 11 Jun 2010, Bosda wrote:

    Nobody in the US is bashing the British.

    We aren't fond of BP, & Obama made a dated reference, but so what?

    Lot of hostility from both the club set & the soccer hooligans in the UK, though, & imaginary insults attributed to the US by those parties.

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  • 300. At 1:27pm on 11 Jun 2010, stewart wrote:

    Historical facts would appear to be lacking in some of our American contributors. Montgomery was in charge of planning the D Day landings and more British troops were involved than American.
    Of the 8 BP employees on the rig when the explosion took place all were America. The well planning was done by BP America. At the end of the day it does not matter who was to blame, Transocean, Halliburton, Cameron or BP as long as the spill is stopped and the oil cleaned up.
    At least BP accepts its resposibility unlike Union Carbide who managed to kill 18,000 Indians with no one from the Amarican management being brought to Court.

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  • 301. At 1:28pm on 11 Jun 2010, Tim wrote:

    That there is no groundswell of anti-British sentiment in the US over this issue is deeply reassuring. Sadly, here in the UK we have only the reactions of politicians to go by, and they certainly have played the "foreign" card as much as they could. Why else revive the name "British Petroleum", which the company ditched over a decade ago when acquisitions in the US made the name irrelevant to its actual structure?

    Obama has certainly lost all of his vast store of goodwill on these shores. The special relationship may only ever have been special to us in the UK, but its long-overdue end now seems imminent. And then I think we may find that both sides appreciated it more than we realised.

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  • 302. At 1:30pm on 11 Jun 2010, Blacksmith wrote:

    There may not be too much ire in the US about little England. There is a certain amount of ire in the UK though and it could get a great deal bigger.

    The UK has been sticking its neck out in defence of the US since 9/11. It cost us a great deal in our relationships with Europe and it continues to do so. We get no return from this support - none.

    The fact is that Obama has acted in a high handed and thoroughly undiplomatic manner regarding the incident and it is those waves that are being felt over here. Imagine if, when the Americans spilled an Hbomb - yes, an Hbomb, for goodness sake - off the Spanish coast some decades ago Spanish leaders had come out with the sort of contemptuous "let's kick ass" rhetoric of Obama. Would that have achieved anything? America, once again, is giving the impression that when they suffer the same problems as others, then it's superspecial and someone else has to pay.

    This - and worse - is the French view. It is a view, that as I said, the UK has sought to counter. A little more respect - just that - for our position is in order. If that means a little lip biting from a US president then so be it. It's called diplomacy.

    Incidentally I'd have expected a good deal more speechmaking from American leaders about the eleven good men who lost their lives in this American accident than their fury at not being able to control what happens to their territorial waters.

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  • 303. At 1:34pm on 11 Jun 2010, Alex Worrall wrote:

    I gladly let Obama kick my 'ass' one the African authorities have done the same to him for US Oil Companies' handling of accidents over there. What a hypocrite.

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  • 304. At 1:39pm on 11 Jun 2010, nettoa wrote:

    I am glad that so many individuals say that they are not anti-British and have not come across such sentiments in their private lives, but to say that this is not an element in the US reaction just belies the facts. Just listen to the remarks of congressmen Cohen and Weiner or to the US academic interviewed on the Today programme (referred to in a letter to the FT of 9 June), not to mention the endless vituperation in any number of blogs.
    There seems to be an almost universal assumption among US commentators and politicians that BP is not only legally responsible for the damage but also culpable. Yet we do not know what fault, if any , lies with each of the various parties to the drilling and to the public authorities.
    In these circumstances, it is regrettable that President Obama appears to have decided to become a cheer-leader to what looks increasingly like a public lynching of BP, lending it legitimacy including to its elements of anti-British and racial prejudice.
    Moreover, how can his and many other remarks not be prejudicial to the possibility of justice in the trials that will no doubt ensue?
    It is inconceivable, to me at least, that PM Cameron can act as if it is business as usual in UK/US relations as long as this situation persists. This is his poodle test.
    Incidentally, I support suspension of the dividend to ensure that BP has the funds to cover its liabilities. I also support replacing the CEO with an American - one has to be realistic about what is acceptable in the US at this time.

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  • 305. At 1:40pm on 11 Jun 2010, SMOW wrote:

    There will NEVER be anti-British feeling in America. Despite celebrating our "freedom" from the King every year at the beginning of July, Americans, on the whole, love the British. Most Americans are closet Anglophiles.

    BP, however, is a different matter. Since there were things that BP could have done to prevent the disaster, I have no problem demanding that BP cover it. And were I a Brit dependent on BP for any of my pension, I would be mad at BP too. How dare BP endanger so many people on so many levels just for money? As a tax payer I have no problem paying for natural disasters, but this is not a natural disaster. The way I was raised you clean up your messes, and BP should too. Do unto others and all that. Why is it that we want our children to learn this, but we are never really willing to force big business to live by this Golden Rule of life? If investigators further determine that Transocean and Haliburton are also culpable, they should help pay for the clean up too. But if it means that BP can't pay dividends, too bad. My family (part of which lives in Florida) likes their beaches and birds and fish and plants, and and and. And those life forms deserve our care too. I'm sure plenty of other families agree. Their livelihoods are endanger as much as any British pensioner.

    Mr. Cameron, I suggest that you initiate (or help DC initiate) an investigation into what responsibility the other two companies have as a way to help BP shoulder the burden of the cost. We all know that Haliburton has made piles of money in the last decade. Maybe they can be made to spend some of it on something really worthwhile.

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  • 306. At 1:43pm on 11 Jun 2010, redwards36 wrote:

    233. At 06:37am on 11 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII

    MAII... America's non compliance with the Kyoto accord demonstrates a long term continual disregard for the environment; that is the issue that many people have.
    The real hypocrisy lies with America because they only appear to get concerned when something is in their back yard. The US has showed scant regard for Bhopal and the human and environmental effects of the disaster there. Warren Anderson the CEO fled the country and the US has protected him ever since. After the Exxon Valdez disaster American courts reduced the fine issued to Exxon from $5bn to $500mm to protect the US company (will the courts be that generous to BP.) In 1967 the US oil tanker the Torey Canyon crashed and polluted the Cornish coastline in the UK. The US company only paid a fraction of the clean up costs and even sought protection form US courts to limit their costs to $50.

    I have been heartened by the vast majority of comments on here today but you stand alone as wanting to blame Britain for the mistakes of a multi-national company. I believe that BP need to be puished and made to clean upo the area, but I also believe in fairness. As long as they continue to pay compensation and help clean up why has the US Government got the right to dictate whether or not they pay a dividend.

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  • 307. At 1:52pm on 11 Jun 2010, 4U2145 wrote:

    For those who blogged that the name BP is somehow an accident or that the company is American, I refer you to the BP website and recommend that you read about its history. British Petroleum was originally Anglo- Persian Oil Company founded in 1908. Founder William Knox D'Arcy, a British citizen, traveled to the oil rich fields of Persia, or present day Iran.
    Was President Obama fanning anti-British sentiment when he referred to BP as "British Petroleum"? No, unless you feel that it is an anti-American sentiment to refer to the USA as the "United States of America."

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  • 308. At 1:56pm on 11 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    BP does not represent the U.K or even U.K business anymore than George Galloway , Ken Livingston and Sinead O'Conner represent the majority of Breitish people.

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  • 309. At 1:57pm on 11 Jun 2010, pacicca wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 310. At 2:03pm on 11 Jun 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    This incident has raised some home truths about attitudes in both countries.
    From a British point of view, there are three major issues:
    1. Why is it so important to the US that BP is labelled as a UK company? Obama's choice to deliberately mis-name the company is calculated to reinforce that label. It shows that somewhere in the American psyche, it's nice to have a non-US company to blame. Obama has clearly recognised this and his adpoting of this reprehensible tactic demonstrates complicity in that quite frankly xenophobic attitude. That its the UK in the firing line is irrelevant. It could just as easliy have been any other country. Had this been a US company, where US pension funds and investors were the main shareholders hit, would Obama have come out with his statement about BP not issuing a dividend? Also, would the appetite to risk the future of a US company by moving to remove the $75m liability cap?
    2. Why has everyone rushed to judgement? The facts are not fully known. There is a vacuum here because BP and the US govt are rightly concentrating on stopping the leak and on the clean up. Govt comments on "who's ass to kick" are not helpful, because the government will eventually have to stage an inquiry about culpability for this. Justice will not be done unless there is objectivity about this. The final outcome will eventually be decided by the nature of the contracts between BP and it's contractors. Any law suit launched before this is made plain could founder because BP may be the wrong company to sue. It would be foolish to take such a risk until the facts are known.
    Also BP are being sneeky by paying out now so that anyone who received money now has to waive their right to further legal recourse, so in the long run, if they can recover some costs from their contractors it is still unclear as to how much it will cost BP to have assumed responsibility from the get go. One thing that is clear. Had BP deposited $75m with the govt, and concentrated on nothing more than closing the well, the backlash would have hurt them far more in the long run.
    3. Any long term liabilities that BP are forced to meet outwith current legal expectations could change the nature of non-US companies doing business in the US. Profit margins would have to be able to meet the risk level that laws may be changed for populist and punitive reasons. This could end up being a very isolationist move. Quid pro quo, US companies investing abroad would come under a similar microscope. If the "home of capitalism and free trade" changes the rules because bad things happened to them on this occassion, any existing liability limiting contracts that US companies may try to hide behind will be open to question.

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  • 311. At 2:09pm on 11 Jun 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Question: Is anyone in the US picking Obama up on his use of incorrect nomenclature?

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  • 312. At 2:38pm on 11 Jun 2010, turningblueandgrey wrote:

    Working in a design and construction related profession I'm keenly aware that safety and 'loss prevention' (avoiding mistakes in what is built, not having spills, accidents, injuries, maintenance failures, etc., whcih result in clean-up, lost time, or corrective costs coming out of profits) are incumbent on the site manager in action and the top-tier contractor in liability. A proper safety and loss prevention culture requires company-wide investment in training to teach consistent attitudes and to have and use all necessary equipment. The best workplaces put constant, daily attention on this to instill a safety (and loss prevention) attitude or 'culture' in every employee and every subcontractor.

    Safety performance records are used as a factor in ranking many bids and increasingly are a prerequisite to bid. Because the cost and damaged credibility from accidents or mistakes is much greater than the cost of prevention, cutting back on this investment is 'penny-wise and pound-foolish' (something my American Mom often said along with a half-dozen other maxims I'll never forget). The initial investigation findings as reported raise some red flags here about equipment condition when drilling began and decisions made in the day leading up to the blow-out.

    So BP is getting a lot of heat because it's the top tier of the team that contracted and managed this well. That has a lot to do with the particular well and not much to do with corporate names or nationalities.

    BP as a subject for ire might be a stand-in for some of the skepticism the US 'man in the street' has always felt about big oil companies and gasoline prices, etc. Seldom is heard a discouraging word or a less than extravagantly profitable year for any oil company (this year might be an exception). The expectation that BP should pay for the cleanup, for which it can afford to pay, is being clearly laid out in public.

    Going forward I hope that relative 'pennies' of protection - performance testing of the blow-out preventer, redundant safety systems, stricter inspections - are required, as a positive legacy from this spill, to prevent another multi-billion pound loss by any oil producer on or off US shores.

    Finally, I think there will always be a 'special relationship' between the USA and Britain, the UK and almost any member of the Commonwealth, not just because of shared language but shared values of democracy, individual rights and freedoms, and so on - a cultural legacy from the 18th and 19th centuries that's grown in different ways around the world and been tempered by world wars and independence replacing empire, but still a unifying heritage and shared set of values.

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  • 313. At 2:47pm on 11 Jun 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 293 MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "The reason that Americans have not reacted more negatively to Britain (and other Europeans) I think is in part do to (sic) American naivete, their failure to understand that this or something like it was entirely predictable. That Europeans have a culture of lying, corruption, hubris, do whatever they please because they alway (sic) get a way (sic) with it and think themselves infallable (sic) and untouchable"

    And on and on and on and on and on...

    I know, one shouldn't feed the trolls, but - essentially this was the same old tedious, predictable, bigoted racist tripe.

    [Perhaps, since MA claims "this or something like it was entirely predictable", he could point out where exactly in his voluminous, endless verbiage he actually predicted it?]

    Quite recently MA was throwing around accusations of Nazi sympathy at, as I recall, someone who dared question his line on the recent flotilla killings. This is heavily ironic from one who never tires of telling us that the Americans are the master race and the Europeans the inferior untermensch.

    Imagine if someone wrote here "Jews/Africans/Americans [delete as applicable] have a culture of lying, corruption, hubris, do whatever they please because they always get away with it and think themselves infallible and untouchable." No doubt they would rightly be condemned as a bigoted racist. How can it thus be acceptable to say the same of the 100s of millions of inhabitants of Europe?

    MA also repeats his favourite piece of advice to Obama - that he should solve all the economic problems of the US, and indeed the world, by starting a trade war with the richest trading bloc on the planet. I'm sure Obama is even now mulling over said advice, in his quest not to lose that valuable 'xenophobes so right wing they make Cheney look like a moderate' demographic'...

    And, while I'm at it, a refutation of some of MA's favourite come backs

    "I'm rude about Brits and Europeans because they are rude about the US!". No, you're rude because you enjoy it.

    "They object because what I say is true!" No, we object because what you say is patently false

    "Doubled Over In Dublin, pubs, Guinness, priests, tedious stereotypes, tedious stereotypes". Yawn

    "You don't have a sense of humour." You're not funny.

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  • 314. At 2:55pm on 11 Jun 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    300+ Comments? Insane.
    Why all the fuss? This spill hasn't resulted in anti-Brit...

    Oh.
    I see. That makes sense.
    I don't watch TV.
    I'm a working mom. I don't have time for all that crap.

    Hmmmm.... So, cousins - you don't actually think CNN/FOX etc actually depict American Sentiment, do you? They don't. They are ratings-based shows designed to capture the attention of specific TV-watching sub-sets of our society.
    That's all. Nothing else.

    Move along, move along, nothing to see here...

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  • 315. At 2:56pm on 11 Jun 2010, Slapdaddy187 wrote:

    As an American I feel no ill will towards Brits over the oil spill. I am rather upset that BP is trashing our gulf coast and they should be responsible for clean up, footing all of the bill. If my tax dollars go to pay for their mistake, I will be far more upset. I'm already unhappy with the allocation of my tax dollars. Furthermore, the gulf was in rough shape before, its fragile ecosystems straining on the brink, and this disaster has multiplied the problems. Do I expect BP to make the gulf pristine? No, just clean up your oil. It is our land to destroy and we are quite capable of doing it ourselves, thank you very much.
    Back to the Brits . . . You all rock. Most Americans delight in things British and think well of you. Our governments get along well, we have a rich history of fighting alongside your troops in numerous conflicts the world over (some more ideologically pure than others), and we share many of the same democratic values.
    As long as BP cleans up the spill and pays for it, as long as responsibility is practiced, and as long as there is no Yank-bashing I can't imagine the general population begrudging Brits.

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  • 316. At 3:06pm on 11 Jun 2010, sidrich wrote:

    This post is fascinating. If I had not been reading your other posts, and the comments that followed, I would have no idea what you were talking about. I certainly haven't heard any anti-British sentiment. From the comments section of earlier articles, however, it's clear that many who post feel that Americans, merely by saying the full name of the company, are being "anti-British." Which is, frankly, absurd. It's not like the company was called "Petroleum" and the media adds the "British" just to make sure we all know that the CEO is from the UK. It's the official name of the company, and definitely makes the anchors sound more like they know what's going on than "BP". Anyone who claims that using it shows some hidden anti-British sentiment is being overly sensitive. Last Christmas we also called BA "British Airways", and I didn't see anyone shouting about anti-British sentiments then. If you really want to see American "anti-" sentiment, go ask the Latinos in Arizona.

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  • 317. At 3:13pm on 11 Jun 2010, vagueofgodalming wrote:

    we've had "Eastenders" and "Are You Being Served" here for years here, so we understand you Brits extremely well

    The most frightening words I have read for a long time.

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  • 318. At 3:13pm on 11 Jun 2010, Finnifog wrote:

    A key problem is that many press reports use the words 'British Petroleum', not 'BP', so Britain is being tainted with the anger against the company. Even the wonderful and much respected Diane Rehm, on the US's National Public Radio, made the same error in her programme yesterday.

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  • 319. At 3:15pm on 11 Jun 2010, Jeffdesertfox420 wrote:

    For what it is worth, I am an American, and most people (all that I know) have no hard feelings against Brits. Politicians are a different beast though. Shifting blame is an easy way to get the attention off of yourself, and peoples eyes on something else. BP is not the only one to blame, if anybody it was good ol' G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney who passed laws to allow things to exist in the condition that they did. The average Americans opinion of Brits. As far as I know, have not changed one bit. There is no need to bring riot gear or anything if you plan on visiting. That's not to say that politicians aren't afraid to point the finger. Pardon the cliché, but politicians are kinda greasy.

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  • 320. At 3:27pm on 11 Jun 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    I've only gotten thru 100 so far, but I found this comment very interesting:
    ___________

    (#100) 2 cents worth wrote:
    "I also live in the US and I’m sorry but I see another picture. The US media is to blame for ratcheting up this rhetoric. In the culture of CNN and other large broadcasters needing to ‘sex up’ an issue for dramatic effect, they have openly criticized BP and demanded the American public do the same."

    Interesting. Makes sense. And, it's unfortunate.
    See, if news is sexy, it sells.
    If it sells, you can charge more for your commercials.
    If you can charge more, you make more money.
    -- Remember? The US doesn't provide public funding to our news folks.

    This is important:
    When you watching American TV News, you are not watching Journalists, you are watching Entertainers.


    "To put it simply, Obama is using BP as his well timed scapegoat for everything that’s currently wrong. He is quite willing to lay blame squarely on BP without any clear evidence they are infact accountable for the accident. I see no scorn or media attacks launched on Transocean or Halliburton, both partners of BP in this mess and possibly also to blame."

    I disagree. The popular news might be crucifying BP, but Obama is not.
    You would be remiss to blame Obama for what the broadcasters spin.

    Obama has
    a) accepted personal fault,
    b) tried to find out what happened,
    c) tried to collaborate with local and corporate groups to facilitate clean-up, and
    d) angrily stated that he 'doesn't know who's a$$ to kick'.

    So... what's your point again please?

    "... not exactly the eloquent Presidential talk that encourages global investment in America. His actions are sending a screaming message to other countries that it’s ok to mess up if you’re American (Bhopal, Piper Alpha etc) but hell hath no fury if you do it in America and you’re a foreign company."

    Well -- we don't elect presidents for being eloquent.
    And -- you shouldn't blame Obama for the message that our Newscasters toss out there.
    But -- you have a good point. A bad message is going out to our international investors. That's a problem. That COULD be a BIG problem.

    Interesting.
    The US does not seem to have an effective media face representing our great nation to the rest of the world. That's a problem. I agree.
    That should be given some thought.

    -- Thanks for the 2cents!

    __________________
    Philly-Mom Out! Thaaaaat's All Folk! See you real soon.
    But, I've got too much work on my desk today to hang out and play.
    So, Have a great weekend, yall
    -- Oh, and that goes to folks on BOTH hemispheres. Honest.

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  • 321. At 3:46pm on 11 Jun 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Oops... Sry. The keyboard... it... calls to me.
    ________________________

    Food for thought regarding International Trade, Economic/Business Holdings, and Domestic MacroEconomics:

    Who owns Iceland these days?
    And, do popular concerns in the USA regarding foreign economic competition, foreign business holdings, international trade regulation and domestic macro-economy align with our green-trending eco-concerns regarding energy means and might in order to make this leak 'The Perfect Storm*' of energy angst?

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

    ________
    * never saw the movie. never read the book. but I figured a popular media reference would be amusing.

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  • 322. At 3:49pm on 11 Jun 2010, Robert_Hansen wrote:

    British Petroleum is an international corporation. It could very easily be called Halliburton Petroleum, Transocean Petroleum or The Peoples Petroleum. Regardless of the name, British Petroleum is fully responsible for the cleanup of this massive oil spill. Also, the CEO of British Petroleum is not helping anything by acting like this massive oil spill is disrupting his golf game.

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  • 323. At 4:05pm on 11 Jun 2010, redwards36 wrote:

    293. At 12:34pm on 11 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII

    MAII - the Gross naivete is all yours I'm afraid. Your xenophobic diatribes really do you or your country no service. Thankfully as nearly every other American on this site does not seem to have your views I do not for one minute hold your views to be representative of America in general. I think if you open your blinkered eyes that you will find lies and corruption across companies globally, even in the "Good Old US of A." I'll just say one word Eron.. I rest my case.

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  • 324. At 4:05pm on 11 Jun 2010, Barbara wrote:

    I'm reading the Financial Times and watching CNBC. This escalation of anti-Britishism is brought by the English themselves.

    So the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. backyard, has an area bigger than England, perhaps 5X the area of the British Isle, mucked up with British Petroleum's insipid lack of due diligence where safety is concerned. Its an ECOLOGICAL DISASTER people, caused by BP aka British Petroleum.

    Another really stupid disconnect that the Brits have is to say "Don't call it British Petroleum, its BP". As if BP is not short for British Petroleum. How stupid does that sound. Its like saying its US not United States. Truly beyond the pale.

    So the Brits are boo-hooing because Americans are kicking Tony Hayward, deservedly so, to the curb.

    Puh-lease. Man-up!!! Your "sensitivity" is showing.

    And call us "hysterical"

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  • 325. At 4:41pm on 11 Jun 2010, Mike wrote:

    As another of the comments suggested, most American's don't even know BP stands for "British Petroleum." Anyway, I think we're more likely to just be angry at the situation in general and at consumerism and big business instead of focus our feelings at people of a particular nationality. Everyone I know likes British people and many have family ties to that country.

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  • 326. At 4:56pm on 11 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Here is a link to the Oil Pollution Act, subchapter on liability and compensation:

    USC Title 33, Chapter 40, Subchapter 1

    Note under "Limits on liability":

    "(c) Exceptions

    (1) Acts of responsible party

    Subsection (a) of this section does not apply if the incident was proximately caused by—

    (A) gross negligence or willful misconduct of, or

    (B) the violation of an applicable Federal safety, construction, or operating regulation by, the responsible party, an agent or employee of the responsible party, or a person acting pursuant to a contractual relationship with the responsible party ...
    "

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  • 327. At 4:58pm on 11 Jun 2010, hms_shannon wrote:




    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AAa0gd7ClM

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  • 328. At 5:04pm on 11 Jun 2010, Guy wrote:

    Come on chaps...Let's be reasonable here.

    BP has agreed to fund the lot...Which is admirable. Of course, to have done other would be despicable.

    They are genuinely giving this effort serious attention.

    Many companies have walked away from their responsibilities in this business, citing even sovereign immunity!

    BP dare not, and does not. Hats off, one must say.

    I recommend you look up the list of spills over the years...It's shocking!

    I had no idea!

    And see what happened when the Ixtoc 1 well blew in 1979. the parallels are astonishing. And see what the company involved did to avoid liability.

    As for the poor BP shareholders...I care not. Thats the nature of the capitalist game...You risk your dosh for your dividend. Sometimes you lose. Thats inherent risk. Get over it.


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  • 329. At 5:06pm on 11 Jun 2010, jay144 wrote:

    I live in the state of Maryland, just outside Washington D.C., and I haven't heard any anger directed towards the British at all. If anything, it's directed at the idiots in the Bush administration that relaxed the regulations that allowed this to happen in the first place. Anger at BP, of course, for their lax attitude.

    Just goes to show that we should all take what we read in the papers with several grains of salt!

    We may have our differences from time to time, but the Brits are steadfast friends and allies, and always will be.

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  • 330. At 5:16pm on 11 Jun 2010, Justin150 wrote:

    #324 "Another really stupid disconnect that the Brits have is to say "Don't call it British Petroleum, its BP". As if BP is not short for British Petroleum. How stupid does that sound. Its like saying its US not United States. Truly beyond the pale."

    Of course if you bothered doing some research you would find BP is not short for British Petroleum - it changed its name nearly 12 years ago. I will make an assumption that you are American, your president is not stupid he referred to it as British Petroleum deliberately to highlight it was British not American.

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  • 331. At 5:25pm on 11 Jun 2010, Chunk McBeefsteak wrote:

    Barbara @324:
    "Another really stupid disconnect that the Brits have is to say "Don't call it British Petroleum, its BP". As if BP is not short for British Petroleum. How stupid does that sound."

    Doesn't sound stupid at all since the BP website states that the name was officially changed in 1998 from "British Petroleum" to "BP Amoco" following its merger and then in 2000 to simply "BP"

    sidrich @316:
    "It's not like the company was called "Petroleum" and the media adds the "British" just to make sure we all know that the CEO is from the UK. It's the official name of the company, and definitely makes the anchors sound more like they know what's going on than "BP"."

    Actually since it's not been the official name of the company since the last millenium it makes them sound over a decade out-of-date and surely undermines any confidence you can have in anything else they may be reporting on. If they can't even get the name of the company involved correct can you really trust any other facts they state?

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  • 332. At 5:27pm on 11 Jun 2010, GWBridge wrote:

    I am sorry to say that I have very little sympathy for people who make well above average profits from enterprises that put someone else's welfare at risk and then cry when it all goes wrong. Petroleum stocks are not a stable and conservative long-term investment, and that's where anyone's pension should be: somewhere safe. These people saw oil prices shooting through the roof a few years ago and jumped on the bandwagon to make quick profit. Now, after their investment of capital financed this risky undertaking, they are crying for protection. They have no moral grounds for anything of the sort. If there is any money left, it should go to the fisherman and other individuals whose livelihood has been ruined and to doing whatever is possible to remediate the damage that has been done to the environment.

    Louisiana has a substantial Vietnamese population. These people were Catholics who fled North Vietnam as the Communists gained control. Then the Communists overran South Vietnam, and they fled to the United States, many still in a cohesive community from when they lived in the North. Once they got to the USA, they overcame prejudice and persecution to build lives for themselves as fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, their lives have been ruined again by BP's avarice and shoddy safety practices. Tell that to the pensioners who saw a chance for a quick killing in the markets.

    They gambled their retirement funds and the livelihoods of people they didn't even know. Nope. No sympathy, here.

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  • 333. At 5:35pm on 11 Jun 2010, _jane_ wrote:

    I can't speak for other Americans, but I've always known that BP stood for British Petroleum. As to the supposed Brit-bashing, it's hogwash. We were understandably put off by Hayward's insensitive remarks at the beginning of the crisis, but he is one individual with his own attitudes. Obama's unfortunate remarks- boot to the throat of BP and kick a** are likewise his own and not shared by most of us.
    No, collectively we are more incensed at the implementation of policies begun by the Clinton administration and upheld by Bush and Obama that contributed to the disaster. Each in turn kow-towed to environmentalists that lobbied for bans on drilling above ground anywhere or in shallow waters, resulting in platforms too far out to sea. We all understand the need to move away from fossil-fuels, but this was a disaster in the making. Until we have the technology to deal with potential disasters like this, or are entirely independent of fossil-fuels (which everybody agrees won't happen for many years), we need to do our drilling in more accessible areas.

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  • 334. At 5:41pm on 11 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Guy (#328) "Many companies have walked away from their responsibilities in this business, citing even sovereign immunity!

    BP dare not, and does not. Hats off, one must say.
    "

    I don't think so. I'm a hat wearer, but I'm not tipping it to BP. BP's cooperation in dealing with this is not a matter of their generosity, it is a matter of law. BP is the "responsible party" under the law, and as they have a large US presence, they are in no position to walk away even if they wish to (I don't say that they do).

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  • 335. At 6:01pm on 11 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    _jane_ (#333) "Obama's unfortunate remarks- boot to the throat ..."

    President Obama did not say that. The remark was made by Secretary of Interior Salazar and Obama disavowed it.

    As for the other remark, I don't see it as "unfortunate." A bit crude, but not in the same category at all.

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  • 336. At 6:16pm on 11 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    334. At 5:41pm on 11 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Guy (#328) "Many companies have walked away from their responsibilities in this business, citing even sovereign immunity!

    BP dare not, and does not. Hats off, one must say."

    I don't think so. I'm a hat wearer, but I'm not tipping it to BP. BP's cooperation in dealing with this is not a matter of their generosity, it is a matter of law. BP is the "responsible party" under the law, and as they have a large US presence, they are in no position to walk away even if they wish to (I don't say that they do).

    ____________

    Agreed.

    I'm still at a loss, though, to understand how a publicly traded private corporation would be in a position ever to claim "sovereign immunity".

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  • 337. At 6:18pm on 11 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    friedemann (#229) "They are doing the responsible thing. What more can be asked of them than that? They could have paid the 75 million and walked away from it, but they didn't."

    You have this wrong. BP is responsible under the law for the entire cost of shutting down the well and cleaning up.

    The supposed $75 million liability cap applies to incidental damages, such are being claimed by businesses. This limitation on liability will not apply if gross negligence or a violation of a safety rule is shown (see post #326).

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  • 338. At 6:19pm on 11 Jun 2010, pat wrote:

    Americans dislike and distrust of BP has nothing to do with BP being a foreign company. Exxon an American company responsible for a much smaller oil spill by the Exxon Valdez came under incredible pressure by the government and public, boycotts by the public. No our outrage is not that BP is foreign, but that its wanton disregard for safety of their workers and the environment. They have racked up hundreds of times more violations in their plants in the USA than Exxon or the other US oil companies. We are flat disgusted by BP not the British people.

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  • 339. At 6:32pm on 11 Jun 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    While most Americans don't blame the British people for what happened in the Gulf of Mexico, it is evident that some do. Those that do should consider a few facts before they blame others for what we helped create.

    1. BP was the owner of the lease, but Transocean and Halliburton, two American companies, were operating the rig and doing the drilling on their behalf. The people that were on that rig when it exploded were American citizens.
    2. The drilling and safety standards used by oil companies involved in offshore drilling in the US were changed by the Bush Administration in 2004 when they relaxed to expedite offshore drilling to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
    3. The Obama administration reacted to the crisis by appointing a Coast Guard admiral to coordinate operations, assembled a team of engineers and scientists to work with BP in their efforts to cap the well, deployed equipment and personnel to conduct cleanup operations, requested additional material from Canada to help with the cleanup, and has kept up the pressure to ensure BP, the owner of the lease, compensates those affected by this disaster.
    4. The Obama administration declared a moratorium on deep sea offshore drilling until the causes of the accident are known and changes to applicable standards are made to minimize the probability of a recurrence.
    5. Gov. Jindal and several GOP politicians have asked President Obama to lift the moratorium because it is affecting the livelihood of oil workers and the interests of oil companies. Clearly, pocket book issues are far more important to them than our eco-system and the solvency of other industries in the region.
    6. President Obama was attacked relentlessly during the last presidential campaign because of his opposition to offshore drilling. Drill baby drill became one of the most popular battle cries of the McCain team, with Sarah Palin as the standard bearer then and now.

    BP, a multinational company, is not being blamed because it used to be British, it is being blamed because as holders of the lease they are responsible for its operation, and because this tragedy highlights the arrogance and irresponsibility of the oil industry in general.

    Incredibly, the politicians who continue to support deep sea offshore drilling before knowing what caused this accident and ensuring precautions are taken to avoid another, are being cast as popular heroes and visionary leaders by some; and those who had the least to do with this mess are being held responsible for what happened along with BP.

    In the interim, we have a team of highly qualified engineers and scientists working tirelessly to cap the well and hundreds of people, including many volunteers are working long hours cleaning up and trying to repair the damage caused by this accident.




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  • 340. At 6:51pm on 11 Jun 2010, _jane_ wrote:

    GH1618(335)re "boot to throat" I stand corrected. I still maintain that the whole deep sea drilling scenario needs to be re addressed. We need leaders that honestly and realistically deal with our energy needs. The environmentalist's incessant demands to remove all drilling in the USA led to their own worst nightmare. If there were no demand for oil, BP and others would not go to the trouble and expense to drill. If the environmentalists would admit that we need realistic policies instead of their insane agenda that makes us entirely dependent upon other countries or drilling in deep seas, we wouldn't be cleaning up oil in the Gulf now and have our troops in the middle east.

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  • 341. At 6:59pm on 11 Jun 2010, jep6714 wrote:

    If what I am hearing from British PM and Mrk Mardell is true, and I read Mark's article above, then the British are nieve, uneducated and in general not very bright. I of course do NOT know what the British are being told overall. But here in the US we see Tony Hayward, BP CEO, putting out TV commercials that are contrary to what at least 3 seperate university research teams have discovered in the Gulf Of Mexico, when we see his statements that are blatenly false, and when we see copies of BP internal communications that contradict what he says to the US. Then YES we do NOT believe BP. Yesterday on TV Hayward made a statement, that was so obviously false, that one of his subordinates came right out an contradicted Hayward. this comment is not well written but I have not the time to tidy up what I have written. I hope the British public goes online to US news sites to get the truth.

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  • 342. At 7:16pm on 11 Jun 2010, turningblueandgrey wrote:

    333 _Jane_

    The idea that the 'environmentalists' forced oil & gas drilling into deep water seems to be the AM radio and Fox news talking point of the moment. Is it true? I thnk there are other factors involved, such as moving to new oil fields in deeper water that are more appealing targets to develop in terms of new oil or gas reserves, than drilling just to fill in between the many platforms now operating in more shallow water (the existance of which seems to rebut your point).

    There is plenty of above ground drillig in the USA. I've seen the scars from decades-old oil production in the Midwest USA where brine was dumped to the ground to create still-dead patches in the midst of cropland. The same problem is the subject of regulatory fights about brine disposal from coal-bed methane production on the high plains.

    There is another entirely new resource on land, shale-bed methane, that is getting some environmental scrutiny because the 'worst case' outcome of using high pressure to fracture the shale before gas extraction is to drive some of the hydrocarbons and metal sulfides from the shale into the nearest drinking water aquifer. That's not blind opposition, it's a concern about making sure things are done right because of the consequences of a mistake.

    I agree with T Boone Pickens that domestic natural gas is a huge part of our energy future and an important leg of the journey to greater energy independence. Some domestic oil will be co-produced with much of the gas extraction. But rather than rail against 'environmentalists' or 'big government' I'd pay a few pennies more to have the gas & oil extracted right, without spoiling rangeland or poisoning water supplies - or wreaking havoc in our coastal wetlands and estuaries. I feel the same way about coal or hard rock mining and the need to prevent acid drainage that persists long after the mine is closed, or the need for emissions control on fossil-fueled powerplants. The best practices that prevent those types of pollution are relatively inexpensive, but they fall on the overhead side of the balance sheet and tend to be vigorously opposed as exaggerated attacks on business and the American way, instead of responsibly accepted as a small added cost of doing things right.

    The question of whether everything was being done right is the technical and field management key of the BP (and BP subcontractors) Horizon investigation. Was the BOP tested and working properly? Was well completion rushed or mis-managed on the day of the explosion?

    We in the USA pay far less for gasoline than most of the world. I'd like to see the federal road tax - kept at about 18 cents per gallon for almost 20 years - double now so it can keep up with for new interstates and bridge and road repairs (and jobs!). And I'd be glad to pay a few pennies more per gasoline fill-up if that meant that every oil and gas rig had a fully tested BOP, redundant triggers, better grade casing, more deliberate and safety conscious work approach, etc. etc.

    All the 'environmentalists' are asking, so to speak, is that oil rigs have air bags, wear their seat belts, have their brakes and tires checked, and drive the speed limit without texting... Given today's proof of a mistake or accident's consequences, expecting that much of a safety improvement is a cheap and reasonable alternative.

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  • 343. At 7:17pm on 11 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    Regarding "British" Petroleum: I'm only 33 and for most of my life it was called British Petroleum. I still call it that. President Obama has likely used that name even longer than I have, so I wouldn't ascribe any motive to using a form the corporation cynically deprecated.

    When I call a certain fast food chicken franchise by the name I grew up with instead of "KFC", I don't do it to denigrate the fine citizens of Kentucky.

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  • 344. At 7:22pm on 11 Jun 2010, willa wrote:

    British bashing? Not at all. BP Bashing?..Absolutely! Everyone here is very upset and I hope I speak for all fellow Americans when I say our anger and frustration is primarily directed at BP. BP appears to have had a cavalier disregard for the safety of its employees and has caused a catastrophic environmental disaster of epic proportions. BP is also proving to be grossly incompetent in its repeated, inadequate attempts at remediation. Comments made by BP's "leadership" have only enraged people further. Before he can ever presume to get his own pusilanimous life back, BP's CEO should first think about the eleven people who died, and the many more lives (both human and marine) that continue to be lost or adversely impacted. Why doesn't he say how he can get those lives back?

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  • 345. At 7:33pm on 11 Jun 2010, Marvin wrote:

    Oh please, they love you Brits out here (even if they know very little about you). No other group of foreigners has it as good as you guys, so just be thankful. Imagine the uproar if this was a Chinese or Indian company, or horror of horrors, an Arab firm.

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  • 346. At 9:07pm on 11 Jun 2010, jamesfoster wrote:

    As a BP shareholder I was non-plussed when the Board appointed Hayward to run the company. Look at his bio. The only notable overseas assignment he'd been on was in Venezuela. With 60 per cent of BP's assets in the US I couldn't believe they would appoint someone with no significant US experience!
    And who was in charge of the Exploration and Production business when BP suffered its debacle around Thunder Horse and Alaska a few years ago? Oh yes, Tony Hayward. But he wasn't the one who had to face a public flogging from Congress. If he had, that might have at least taught him something about the US, US public opinion and US politics.
    Wouldn't it be good if BP employees were allowed a vote of confidence in their CEO. They're seeing their shares and options sink under water, their pensions at risk and their jobs on the line - thanks as much to Mr Hayward's sticking his foot in his mouth on more than one occasion.

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  • 347. At 9:08pm on 11 Jun 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Well, looks like Boehner no longer backs up the Chamber of Commerce suggestion to use taxpayers money for the cleanup, and Vitter agrees to lifting to liability cap this time, but not for future disasters. I guess that's the price the GOP has to pay for the $188M they have received in political donations from the oil industry thus far.

    Anyway, it is good to see that the guy who is expected to replace Pelosi as Speaker of the House changed his mind and made one of his beloved benefactors responsible for damages they are at least partly responsible for.

    Not surprisingly, there is no talk of questioning key members of the previous administration for the policy changes that contributed to this tragedy.

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  • 348. At 9:25pm on 11 Jun 2010, InThe Middle wrote:

    If you think Obama is too macho by looking for (BP) "ass" to kick, wait until you see what we do to your football team tomorrow in the World Cup.

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  • 349. At 9:34pm on 11 Jun 2010, SFSister wrote:

    As an American with an English husband living in the US, we spend a lot of time in the UK. Despite my love for the UK and our friends and family there, I've encountered plenty of hostility, even hate, as an American during our stays there over the years, usually in the form of a kind of cool, superior contempt. On the other hand, my husband tells me he has never once encountered a single Anglophobic remark or attitude the entire 11 years he's been here. BP makes no difference whatsoever. America is still very much an Anglophile country. The rage is against the BP corporation, not the British people. Indeed, why should they be blamed?

    I wonder, though, if an American corporation had thoroughly trashed one of the most unusual, beautiful, and vast ecosystems in the UK, the way BP has tragically ruined our Gulf, whether the British people would blame the corporation and not us.

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  • 350. At 9:41pm on 11 Jun 2010, Mary wrote:

    I am in Boston. Here are my two cents:

    First, have not heard a whisper of anger against the British in all the weeks this spill has taken place. Most folks I know are furious solely at Tony Hayward and the board at BP headquarters in London: I do not know if people across the sea are aware of it, but there are commercials featuring Hayward saying (paraphrasing) "we are sorry for the people of the Gulf and BP is dedicated to cleaning up the Gulf...." with schmaltzy music and everything. Meanwhile, Americans know the oil continues to flow, even with a cap on, and see it every morning on the news and every evening before bed. Meanwhile, tar balls have been showing up in Pensacola, Florida: that is a distance of 280 km. Local and national journalists have been begging for interviews from the cleanup crews on the shores of Louisiana east towards Florida: gagged by their employers. Government seems hogtied in gridlock and debate and for the foreseeable future shall remain so. The mix of anger, grief, and fear is palpable, but none of it is directed at the British people. It is more or less directed at the infernal fool who has the sheer gall to say "I feel your pain" when he clearly does not and refuses to speak to the press or allow any under his employ, no matter how far removed, to do the same. (Is it just me, or does anyone find it suspicious that this second well they are drilling will likely gain them profit and help them recover an asset, even if in the short term? )

    Tony Hayward has likely spent a pretty penny making ads to be cycled on US television throughout the summer. He hasn't spent a penny on guaranteeing the fishermen won't go starving this year (they make all their yearly salary in one shot over 3 months & now that is ruined, and every state except Florida in the Gulf ranks near the bottom of the list in per capita income as it is.) and Louisiana was already bleeding badly because of Katrina before this mess-now it may outright die. Hayward cannot promise any of this back. Obama is not doing much better. The ads are insulting, like tasting poisoned honey.

    Second, I wonder at the lack of understanding overseas of this oil spill, it's impact. The oil is already by now several million gallons. It is known to already be in the Gulf Stream. BP says they won't have it contained until September. The impact such a spill already is having shall pale in comparison to what is ahead. The Gulf Stream has already taken the spill to Florida. By the end of July, this means the oil shall reach Miami and the Keys (Gulf Stream goes right past it.) All of the coral reefs in this area are in extreme danger: these are some of the only tropical reefs America has and they are important ecosystems for a huge amount of animals. By August, the spill could reach up the Eastern Seaboard, and by September it becomes even more dangerous as migration begins for birds around this time (a lot of them use estuaries to rest in and others use it as a home for winter if we are talking about the South.)

    This is not over.

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  • 351. At 9:51pm on 11 Jun 2010, Simon09 wrote:

    We still love you guys, even secretly admire you guys most of the time.

    This is about a company and their destruction and poor response to our coastline. My guess is this supposed "Anti-Brit" hysteria was drummed up by your media (Sun, Mail) & some very worried fund managers. BP has not been handing out their promised payments to the businesses devasted which is only compounding the rage.

    The average payout checks are £3,500. Now, for a business that has a monthly overhead of £40,000 is this realistic? Of course there is anger. It's focused on BP executives where it belongs. I'm troubled there isn't any mention of support from the British government.

    If this had been Texaco drilling off the coast of England, what would your reaction be? Assuming it'd be handled the same way?

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  • 352. At 10:10pm on 11 Jun 2010, dtrudeau wrote:

    I've read thru these posts and have concluded that Americans and British expats have consistently said that there's no Brit bashing going on. British posters, on the other hand, are consistently bashing America even though America is suffering the disaster! In the UK and here in Canada, yank bashing is the rule. In fact we had a program here called "talking to Americans" who's whole purpose was to make Americans look stupid.

    Canadians bash the U.S. because they watch too much American TV and actually believe what they see and because Americans, for the most part, don't even know we exist. I think the Brits are just jealous of American power. In my time in America I never heard any bashing of any country, except, of course, France….

    Americans naively believe we’re their friends. They particularly like the British because they are thankful for British rule of law and because they perceive them as staunch allies. If they only knew….

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  • 353. At 10:18pm on 11 Jun 2010, lochraven wrote:

    This love fest is making me sick.

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  • 354. At 10:44pm on 11 Jun 2010, SunnyinAmerica wrote:

    All anti American comments are like water off a duck's back. Americans do not really care who likes them or not. But they do care about who they really like and with that said, they love the British. Most of us look at BP as a British-American company, both work there, both are shareholders and both are recipents for its energy production. The accident has saddened us, the politics and grandstanding has angered us. Obama has embarrassed us, Hayward needing his life back may have really upset us,loss of 11 lives, are fish, birds, wildlife and sea- but I have not heard one person ever bash a Brit for any of it.

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  • 355. At 10:52pm on 11 Jun 2010, SunnyinAmerica wrote:

    Can a child hate it's mother, really, we may get mad at Mommie sometimes, but we can never hate our Mother. We love you Mommie :)!

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  • 356. At 11:15pm on 11 Jun 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    With the balanced views of so many American folk on this thread,it has proved MA2 can only see events through the prism of his phobia & is best ignored.
    President Obama, with his views on the British,(CD present insult, sending back Churchill's bust,) it is extraordinary that at a time when 10,000 British troops are fighting along side our American allies, the UK government has to protest against US officials in calling the Falkland Islands, Malvina's.I know feelings are running high re BP, and BP must be taken to Book, but it must be tempered.
    The UK is at or near a cross roads,many here feel uneasy with the drift into & morphing with main land Europe.Ambivalence toward us by President Obama could well cause that drift into Europe, to be accelerated...

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  • 357. At 11:23pm on 11 Jun 2010, JMM_for_now wrote:

    To those Britons who accuse us of being anti-British [or anti-UK] because of calling the company "British Petroleum."

    1. I am old enough to know the company as, are you ready?, British Petroleum. I was not aware of the name change. And that change was relatively recent.
    2. We still call our 1c coin a "penny" even though we haven't officially used British currency for more than 200 years.

    Chalk it up to persistance of culture.

    The notion that it is a plot to blame Britons for the work of a multinational or to pick the pockets of British retirees is, pardon my saying so, rather more hysterical than we are accustomed to associate with British culture. To me it sounds more like a plot of Anti-Americans or an unscrupulous press to make trouble for profit.

    Of course if read in the Guardian, or seen on FOX, it must be true, hein?

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  • 358. At 11:54pm on 11 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    SFSister Wrote,Q

    I wonder, though, if an American corporation had thoroughly trashed one of the most unusual, beautiful, and vast ecosystems in the UK, the way BP has tragically ruined our Gulf, whether the British people would blame the corporation and not us.
    **********************
    The British poeple would lay blame squarely on the company which caused
    the disaster. Fair play is a British trait,largely not understood in the states,In the US case the blame would be on the American company Transoceon and the other/s US contractors and the US personnel actually
    employed on the job. To call BP the corporate criminal and all the rest of the stuff is purely an assault on an "assumed foriegn" company.

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  • 359. At 11:56pm on 11 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    We have a saying here, if you can't do the time don't do the crime. I think it should work the other way too, if you're going to do the time, you might as well commit the crime. In other words if Americans are going to be accused of British bashing, then that should at least rise to being guilty of it...or lower themselves to it. Why should Brits or other Europeans be angry about it, they've been bashing America and Americans for years. One more example of how badly it hurts when the shoe is on the other foot. But I don't think it will happen. Americans don't care about Britain or Europe or anyone unless it affects them directly and Brits just don't, they never do. So what is worse, to be bashed and disliked or to be ignored because you are insignificant? Lilliputians on their skewered Isle thinking they are still the center of the universe. What a small world they inhabit.

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  • 360. At 11:59pm on 11 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    InThemiddle Wrote,Q

    If you think Obama is too macho by looking for (BP) "ass" to kick, wait until you see what we do to your football team tomorrow in the World Cup
    ***************************
    Dream on...and remember ur not allowed to wear armour to run around the field in. HEHE

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  • 361. At 01:22am on 12 Jun 2010, sleek157 wrote:

    I think the press is having you on or perhaps it's just a slow news day...whatever the case I AM an American and I have heard lots of complaints about BP but, not a single harsh word about Brits in general and honestly, why would we be angry with the entire country? I doubt that many American's have given " brit-bashing" a passing thought.

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  • 362. At 01:50am on 12 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Aw, are British feeling hurt? Just think of how hurt they'd be if it was true. C'mon somebody, can't anyone think of something really nasty to say about them? Britain. Remember who they were? The Bostong Tea Party. Paul Revere. The revolution. I regret that I have but one life to give for my country. The Star Spangled Banner. I can't hear you. No luck. Nobody even remembers who the British are. Can't get a rise out of them no how. British Petroleum is just a name to them. Great who?

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  • 363. At 01:50am on 12 Jun 2010, mabelwhite wrote:

    I haven't noticed any BP related anti-British rhetoric around here. And I have seen a few St. George's Crosses hanging here and there for the tournament. I think all of us know that the huge banks and corporations are not limited by nationalism, but only ever think or care about money.

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  • 364. At 02:33am on 12 Jun 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    Didn't Rod Stewart, referencing Shelley, Dickens and Keats croon "It's all been said before..." and it has. Still my whole life I've loved British artists, grew up with them, as an adult in free time I've become pleasantly lost in their histories, and for decades have enjoyed their friendship when they're stateside. Anger in the US today has nothing to do with Britain; it has everything to do with the lying, theiving, whores that run the multinationals and enrich themselves at the rest of the world's expense. This really shouldn't be too difficult to comprehend, unless these same multinationals in Great Britain, as they do here in the US, manipulate the public debate in such a way as to pit people against each other in an effort to detract attention from what they themselves are. I'd love to see the day we all, globally, stop falling for this nonsense.

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  • 365. At 02:44am on 12 Jun 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    Along with the previous comment, #364, by all means right along with the multinational corporations, let me include the governments who are either bought and paid for, or otherwise operate in some utopian miasma that believes money in it's own interest, will do no long term wrong.

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  • 366. At 03:18am on 12 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I'd like to say something anti-British...only I can't seem to get myself worked up enough about them to care.

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  • 367. At 03:26am on 12 Jun 2010, Lynnehs wrote:

    I'm an American, and it didn't even occur to me that people in the UK might be worried about us blaming the British people or government for what BP did. We know BP is a private corporation, and that's where our anger mostly is. (Some Americans are also angry at President Obama for not being visibly angry enough in public, but most of those people were already angry at Obama for not being a Republican. Some other Americans, myself included, are angry at not only BP but also the laissez-faire capitalists who push for the sorts of deregulation that led to this tragedy in the first place.) I have not heard any anti-British sentiments at all.

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  • 368. At 03:47am on 12 Jun 2010, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    I really am starting to believe that the British media establishment - if not at least a sizable portion of the British population - really must hate America. Otherwise why would they publish frantic stories about a new wave of anti-British sentiment sweeping the US when factually - as other posters have observed - no such sentiment exists? How stupid do they think we are? I mean they obviously believe that we can't differentiate between BP and the country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    As CamberwellBeauty at post #114 (a British X-pat of 40 years living in the US,) D_M at #286 an American who likeI, has alarmingly observed that the anti-American comments from Britons are ten times more frequent on Peston's blog as well as the thread on the same topic on Have Your Say than the anti-British comments from Americans on the same blogs, if anything, anti-American sentiment in Britain has, is, and probably always will be not only very much alive, but immensely stronger than anti-British sentiment. Why is this? Can any of our British contributers please enlighten me? I'm dead serious; I'm an ignorant yank, after all. I mean are we simply that repulsive? We must be.

    You can't, as some have kindly done, simply just chawck this up to a few crazies on a few websites. Of course the crazies will always be out there. But hundreds of vitriolic, often times uninformed about the topic at hand out of thousands of comments attacking the US? Calling Obama anti-British? Observing that this is just yet another example of the one sidedness of the "special relationship" when in reality it has nothing whatsoever to do with it? There has to be some intelligent, cultured, world travelers in those bunches. They can't all be bord teenagers.

    And if the belief that Americans are anti-British is simply held among the British tabloid papers and people, then why does Boris Johnson of all politicians believe it? From what I know of him, he is perhaps the most open minded, level headed, well spoken politician, not to mention person I know of. So why does he think this? This really, really, really worries me. As the mayer of the world's most diverse city surely he's been to the US? Surely he has American friends? Why? Just why? I am completely dumbfounded. What ever happened to the benefit of the doubt; to judging someone on their character and not their nationality?

    The way the British people and politicians are flippantly commenting on all these websites, one would be forgiven for thinking its 1776 all over again!!!

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  • 369. At 04:34am on 12 Jun 2010, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    Dtruteau #252: '"Canadians bash the U.S. because they watch too much American TV and actually believe what they see and because Americans, for the most part, don't even know we exist."

    First, what exactly do they watch of American TV that would cause them to deplore us with such a virosoty? Violence? Or shows like 24? Sadly, those types of shows were inspired by bits of American life, even if they were exaggerated and embellished. And such unhappy realities of American life have in turn spawned many of the negative American stereotypes out there. You know, gun toting, back water dwelling, exploitative, invasive, arrogant, can't point our own country out on a map etc etc etc.

    Second, regarding your last half of that sentence, I do ope you were being facetious, or at least exaggerating. I, for one, certainly know you exist!! And not only that, but - shhhh don't tell any extremest right-wing Americans this - actually admire and envy many things about Canadian culture, social policies, and general outlook on life. From your strong social safety nets, to your gorgeous natural beauty, to the fact that you allow Canadians to claim duel citizenship if they wish!!! The list goes on.


    "Americans naively believe we’re their friends. They particularly like the British because they are thankful for British rule of law and because they perceive them as staunch allies. If they only knew…."

    Now wait just a second. Personal vitriol toward us does not translate into how our countries interact on the world stage - thank God!! For now at least, smarter, calmer heads make the decisions at the international level. And on that level, the UK and Canada have been absolutely invaluable allies!! But we'll see how long this think-before-you-speak/act mentality lasts on the world stage. However, I will never stop yearning, looking forward to, and praying for the day when we will hold a more favorable position in your eyes.

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  • 370. At 05:11am on 12 Jun 2010, wise-guy wrote:

    You can add me to the list of people who didn't know that BP isn't "British Petroleum" any more. And I've been filling up my car with gas (err, petrol) at the local station down the street for years.

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  • 371. At 05:12am on 12 Jun 2010, commissioner wrote:

    dtrudeau 352: In the UK and here in Canada, yank bashing is the rule. In fact we had a program here called "talking to Americans" who's whole purpose was to make Americans look stupid.

    What?
    What?
    What?

    The rule? I am a 51 year old Canadian and have never heard of such a rule. More then half of my customers are American. I have never bashed one of them. Grow up!

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  • 372. At 05:59am on 12 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    MarkusAurellian II (or something like that) Wrote.
    Q
    Americans don't care about Britain or Europe or anyone unless it affects them directly and Brits just don't, they never do. So what is worse, to be bashed and disliked or to be ignored because you are insignificant? Lilliputians on their skewered Isle thinking they are still the center of the universe. What a small world they inhabit.
    *****************************
    Why do the BBC allow Trolls that have nothing to input only thoughts from their own screwed up minds,posting absolutely nil about the debate in question. Be a man Grow up.

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  • 373. At 08:00am on 12 Jun 2010, seanspa wrote:

    We need to get off our oil discussion dependency.

    Anyone who say that Iran is not a decent fair democratic country is a liar. Or this that a superfluous not?

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  • 374. At 08:21am on 12 Jun 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    Marcus said:
    I'd like to say something anti-British...only I can't seem to get myself worked up enough about them to care.

    C'mon ol' philosopher king, tell us what really happened to you when you spent your years in France. Maybe some Brit cuckolded your French lover? You should get over it, that was a long time ago. Not good to carry resentment, they can kill a guy.

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  • 375. At 10:00am on 12 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    It still surprises me how a lot of Americans seem to not be able to accept that one can criticise American government policy and some aspects of American society without being anti-American. Dont even anglophile Americans laugh, mock, criticise some aspects of British life or the policy of its government?

    For what its worth I believe that the claim of anti-Americanism in Britain AND anti-Britishness in America is highly exaggerated. In 40 years I've never witnessed or heard of a real life example of either.

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  • 376. At 11:29am on 12 Jun 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Blaming the British people because BP was the owner of the deepwater oil lease makes as much sense as claiming BP is not a British company because it is a multinational that owns half of Russia's TNK.

    British citizens have as much responsibility for the corporate policies of BP as we do for the corporate policies of Union Carbide or Exxon-Mobil; and suggesting that a company headquartered in St. James, London, is not a British company because it trades in the open market and owns a large share of a foreign company is amusing to say the least.

    I am not among those intent on destroying BP, if nothing else because our government is partly responsible for the relaxation of safety standards that contributed to this disaster, but I believe BP should be held responsible for the repairs, cleanup operations, and for the financial losses incurred by people in the region. If the accident was caused by BP contractors not adhering to the terms of their contracts or neglicence on their part, BP can seek compensation from them.

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  • 377. At 12:23pm on 12 Jun 2010, RockpaintingWorldcuplogo wrote:

    BP and America sentiment.

    It is indeed sad as you say that an accident and the loss of life along with an ecological disaster should create such powerful forces of rhetoric that are not endearing to a sensible and friendly solution where all parties need to get the end result right!

    Animosity and political point scoring and finger pointing can result in a greater disaster.

    Let us calm down on what is and work harder on what needs to be done. Let the politicians and the Presidents get on with their jobs, and the businessmen/women take their responsibility as seriously as the occasion requires.

    For sure no one wants to score points from this tragedy, what we need to do is ensure that such an event never happens again! Can we learn by our mistakes? This will be a major test.

    Peter

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  • 378. At 12:29pm on 12 Jun 2010, lancelot83 wrote:

    I live in Texas and have been following the oil spill very closely for several weeks now. I don't believe for a moment that there is any anti-British feelings either here in Texas or along the Gulf coast.

    It's very important to pay attention to the media sources that make the claim to the contrary and then step back for a moment. Obama and this Democratic majority controlled Congress want the American people to believe that the federal government can solve all of our problems. What I believe we are seeing (again) is that before blame can be attached to Obama for not doing enough or point out that the federal government can't solve all of our problems, anger is being re-routed to BP so this mess doesn't negatively influence elections in November.

    The Chicago political machinery has always been about skewing the message and redirecting perceptions. This is what we've elected and since I am originally from Chicago, I can spot it when I see it as can many others like me.

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  • 379. At 1:05pm on 12 Jun 2010, usbrit wrote:

    I live and work in the U.S, (Virginia) and am ribbed daily for the B.P. disaster. No connection is made by my colleagues to their excessive use of oil, (cars doing 18 miles to the gallon, local laws that forbid the hanging out side of washing, solar panels to warm up pool water only, refusing to ratify international controls on greenhouse emissions). My son returned from school yesterday, having receivd a 'lesson' about B.P.'s poor safety record. It was made very clear to him that this is a British company and a British problem. Whilst I believe wholeheartedly that this is an environmental disaster, lets look at the big picture. We need to use fewer fossil fuels.

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  • 380. At 1:16pm on 12 Jun 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    A frivolous look at a serious subject....

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/.a/6a00d83451c45669e2013483aa0b03970c-popup

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  • 381. At 1:58pm on 12 Jun 2010, DouglasNYC wrote:

    Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner made some pretty anti-British statements

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBIdZYOUNS8

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  • 382. At 2:02pm on 12 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    POL;

    "why would they publish frantic stories about a new wave of anti-British sentiment sweeping the US when factually - as other posters have observed - no such sentiment exists?"

    Maybe they feel they deserve it. It's what they would do were the situation reversed. I don't know why we don't bash them. Maybe because they seem mostly like Nigel Bruce's bumbling stumbling Dr. Watson. We don't get to see them as the drunken louts those who observe them on their own native turf or have to put up with them on the continent do. This isn't my description but the way Justin Webb described them in one entry when he wrote this blog. I wonder how much British bashing goes on in private in Spain for example. Why do they hate us...and the Canadians too as commissioner said? Maybe because we not only eclipsed them and left them in the dust of our wake a long time ago, we ignore them. They want to be taken seriously. Frankly I don't see how that is possible. For us their world is not ours. We don't have much real connection to them.

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  • 383. At 2:24pm on 12 Jun 2010, suzweb wrote:

    Here's where we differ:
    310. At 2:03pm on 11 Jun 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:
    From a British point of view, there are three major issues:
    1. Why is it so important to the US that BP is labelled as a UK company?
    2. Why has everyone rushed to judgement? The facts are not fully known.
    ... The final outcome will eventually be decided by the nature of the contracts between BP and it's contractors.
    3. Any long term liabilities that BP are forced to meet outwith current legal expectations could change the nature of non-US companies doing business in the US.

    Here's my American point of view and three major issues:
    1). Stop the oil leak. Its not stopped yet. 1.6 million gallons per day??? Stop the leak.
    2). We want more aggressive cleaning now, not in August when they promise the leak will be contained. Find every available source, I don't care how many people or ships or how much equipment it takes, go crazy and get a handle on this thing.
    3). Our hearts break for our coastline, its people, the wildlife. Two more months of continous damage before they feel certain of containing the spill. I can't even fathom what it will look like, what will be surviving down there or the longterm ramifications.

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  • 384. At 2:32pm on 12 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #382

    Not only do you not ignore us, you are so obsessed with us you have posted 5 anti-British posts on this blog and dozens more on other blogs. Ignore us? I wish.

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  • 385. At 2:54pm on 12 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Nonesense Offramp, if you think my postings are anti-British, you have no idea of what could be said about Britain and the rest of Europe. You're getting just a light tap from me. In fact I'd bet most of what I hear about Europe among my fellow Americans on the rare occasions it does come up in private conversations could not get past BBC censors. Let's just say most Americans have completely written Europe off long ago and you can imagine the rest. That is why I assure you there is not now and never was a "special relationship" between the US and the UK except in the minds of Brits. I believe any American politician who suggested that Americans fight a real war now to defend Europe should the need arise would be committing instant political suicide. Most people here quite honestly don't like Europe any less than many Europeans don't like America. As I've said, from our standpoint, it is a very inferior society to our own. But you only have to look at the front page of the newspaper every day to find reason after reason why. For example, where is your Barack Obama? Sweeping out the back room in some crumbling old buiding in France scraping up enough money to keep his family fed because its the only job he can get?

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  • 386. At 3:38pm on 12 Jun 2010, turningblueandgrey wrote:

    It's too bad we don't have a BBC blow-out preventer to limit the perpetual rest-of-the-world bashing or Obama-bashing by some that erupt at the drop of a hat.

    If enforcement of(or corporate compliance with)current regulations could have prevented the Gulf disaster, or stronger regulation, then government involvement appears necessary to prevent a recurrence of this problem, and certainly can if we take on more of a 'TR' than a 'W' frame of mind.

    Obama seems like Simon to be an exception to the worst examples of Illinois politics (I lived there too) emerging and being elected pretty much untainted despite extensive efforts to find dirt.

    While there are areas of competition and friction with Europe, I'd visit with some trust in the rule of law and common cultural values, to enjoy a reach of history available on our continent only to archeologists, and the source of much of our culture.

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  • 387. At 3:47pm on 12 Jun 2010, commissioner wrote:

    Marcus 382: Why do they hate us...and the Canadians too as commissioner said?

    Please reread my post at 371. Where did I say I hate Americans? Don't put words in my mouth. I don't hate.

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  • 388. At 4:33pm on 12 Jun 2010, moionfire wrote:

    I think all of this talk about Bri-bashing is projection. The media in the UK is obsessed with the USA. And will take any opportunity to bash the USA. The only way to justify it is to pretend the USA is as obsessed or virulent to them as they are to the USA.

    I have yet to hear any mainstream person to engage in Brit-bashing. Yet the BBC and other british media are determined to say the USA is up in a frenzy.

    What we have is an oil spil 4-8 times as large as the Exxon-Valdez spill. In additon, "big business" is ruining the nation. If anything there is an anti-businesss feeling giving the financial crisis.

    This reminds me of the Scottish media pretending the USA was engaging in an anti-scottish frenzy over the release of the Lockerbie(sp) person.

    They were unable to give specific examples- because it didn't exist.

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  • 389. At 5:39pm on 12 Jun 2010, GKS519 wrote:

    As an American in NC, I can assure you the frustration is with BP the CORPORATION. If you look at the facts, BP the CORPORATION has one of the worst safety records in the Industry and in addition, it is apparent that their contingency plans were inadequate at best, and non-existent at worst.

    However, having said that I can say that there is absolutely no resentment on the part of Britain or it's countrymen. Britain has always been one of our closest allies and after 9/11, indeed our best ally. That is something not lost on anyone in America. Also, I personally do not boycott BP gas stations. While I am not happy with BP the CORPORATION, the reality is that almost all BP gas stations are "mom and pop shops" and by boycotting BP stations, I hurt innocent people.

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  • 390. At 5:49pm on 12 Jun 2010, Mutatis Mutandis wrote:

    There is no anti British sentiment here in the US over this. Only disgust at our politicians,BP,and Haliburton. This disaster took a group effort and we know this to be true.

    The blame in America has mostly fallen on past Republican administrations for giving oil companies a pass and now Obama because it happened on his watch.

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  • 391. At 6:48pm on 12 Jun 2010, Sean wrote:

    To everyone who takes issue with Obamarama referring to "British Petroleum", even us hick Oregonians know BP as such and didn't need this disaster or our President to explain what a BP is.

    What often isn't recognized by either Americans or British is that BP is a multinational company. There's a pretty high American content in that workforce.

    As to sentiment, most of the people here are angry at a company (British Petroleum - BP) who failed disastrously to protect the environment and failed to have any backup plans for dealing with catastrophic failure and are having to make up response to that disaster as they go. We'd also like to probably teleport most of Haliburton to outer space sans space suits.

    If your press is raving over anti-British sentiment, I fear for you, it seems that the FoxNews virus got loose on the other side of the pond.

    As a side note, I find it highly humourous that a vast majority, perhaps nearly all of the "man-on-the-street" fixes proposed by both British and Americans show a complete lack of any understanding of Physics, Geology and Oceanography. It quickly becomes apparent that a High School education or the equivalent seems to miss the boat pretty badly. About the only ones that have even come close are usually plumbers as we've had to stop leaks on running fluids, but never at these pressures. A tee tap below the BOP with a gradual plugging of the top might do it.

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  • 392. At 7:16pm on 12 Jun 2010, Sir William wrote:

    Greetings from the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado. I've been an avid listener of the world service for over 25 years. I don't think that any American equivocates BP with Britain anymore than you folks should equivocate Exxon, Apple Computer, or Microsoft with America. Multi-national corporations can be founded anywhere in the world. BP happened to have been founded in the UK, but it pursues its own self interest, not that of the United States or the UK. I've not heard any anti-British sentiment except that expressed on the World Service. As usual, the media is trying to drum up something that's not there. The only arse that I think that we want to kick over here in the States is in football and that of incompetent multi-national corporations. I'm more than happy to drink English pub beer and root for you guys when you play anyone but the US.

    All the best,
    Bill in Denver.

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  • 393. At 8:02pm on 12 Jun 2010, Emmachickory wrote:

    Are you kidding me? If anything I've heard people express disappointment because Brits are seen as polite, more mature and as having a better record of animal welfare concerns.

    I'm not trying to be snide here, but this article sounds a bit narcissistic. Most of us are too busy crying and having nightmares about the surrealistic horror we're seeing, and I'm not even in the South! Have you seen the slideshows? Do you realize how awful this is?

    As one representative down South said, these are America's wetlands. This is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, one of which we Americans are deeply proud and protective. Have we been good stewards in the past? No, not at all. We're selfish and greedy. This is not the first time we've seen oiled birds and it won't be the last.

    But to take this tragedy and say it's about British accents, that's just way off. Did you know that only 1 percent of oiled birds survive after cleaning and release? A beautiful ecosystem permanently ruined, and hundreds of pelagic birds dropping dead and dripping with black toxins before our eyes, in the paper, every day, you simply don't know what it's like over here.

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  • 394. At 8:07pm on 12 Jun 2010, Emmachickory wrote:

    Side note: When I say "you" don't know what it's like, I meant people who have not been over here. I realize the author has travelled to the Gulf.

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  • 395. At 8:11pm on 12 Jun 2010, jnightingale wrote:

    No Brit-bashing in US over BP imbroglio

    Clearly Americans are not angry with British citizens regarding the incompetent performance of one of the largest British companies in ruining the livelihood, environment and future of an entire coast spanning thousands of miles.
    Considering how many American lives have been ruined, Americans will have very little compassion for the well-being of British pension funds and retirees who will be adversely affected by this catastrophic and preventable failure in the art of oil drilling. The British government should launch an investigation on the how a British company could be so incompetent, have such a large exposure to such financial ruin, and be a key culprit in undermining the British economy.

    Jed Nightingale
    New York

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  • 396. At 8:33pm on 12 Jun 2010, TroglodytePangloss wrote:

    Couple of points re BP, USA anger, the media reaction in UK:
    (!) Speaking as an American, our national hysteria and infantilism about this terrrible accident and its aftermath has been a steady embarrassment and probably a puzzlement to Brits, and the expectation that either BP or Obama can waive a magic wand to solve it underlie the to-ing and fro-ing by the pols in USA, including Obama trying to be "tough." Our pols will regret the pandering.
    (2) I suspect that the tabloid UK press are looking for opportunities to quarrel with the USA to help extricate UK from the "special relationship" these days because of the Iraq/Afghanistan quagmires.
    (3) I have yet to see figures beyond "one pound in seven" of UK pensions from BP: how much in USA pensions, etc etc and class differentiation of the pensions etc etc not yet clarified.

    Hope all this quiets down soon.

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  • 397. At 8:46pm on 12 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    All of this sympathy for Brits' feelings is disgusting and utterly uncalled for. I think Tony Hayward's imperious attitude when he tells Americans to get off an American public beach and his egocentric narcissism when he tells the world he wants his life back because he thinks he is the center of hte universe and the only thing that matters reflects a quintessential aspect of the British psyche and culture, something ingrained deep within Brits. It is not a voice that speaks for them but about them. It is who they are. There, how's that for Brit bashing, I knew I could do it :-) How about; "We are not amused." :-) "That's Bouquet." I see a lot more commonality between Hyacinth Bucket and the Queen than was intended.

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  • 398. At 8:55pm on 12 Jun 2010, Sean wrote:

    As a side note for those who think British Petroleum is getting hit harder over an oil spill than Exxon was, for us in the Pacific Northwest, it's a case of "once bitten, twice shy". The Exxon Valdez drove home what a disaster an oil spill of that size is. The area still hasn't really recovered. You can turn over rocks and still find oil.

    Now we up the ante a bit with an even larger spill. And given the amount that will have built up by the time it gets clamped off, the multi-layer dispersion due to using detergent to break it up, the gulf currents and oncoming weather, the potential is there to foul everything from Brownsville, TX to Cape Hatteras on the East Coast, not to say, Cuba, Puerto Rico, et al. Suddenly, Exxon Valdez starts seeming like a minor catastrophe, a small Arizona Crater causing meteorite as compared the minor asteroid caused Chicxulub crater complex that is shaping up to be Deepwater Horizon.

    Get-home-itis is a deadly disease that occurs among private pilots. The shoving aside of safety concerns, weather conditions, pushing yourself beyond your capabilities and stamina has ruined many a pilot's relative's futures. When British Petroleum decided to circumvent their drilling contractor's expertise and experience because they felt they needed to speed up the operation, they wholely and solely took ownership of the results.

    We should have been saluting Deepwater Horizon's accomplishments, not mourning her far reaching destruction of the environment.

    "A failure to plan is a plan to fail"

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  • 399. At 9:18pm on 12 Jun 2010, tamdrin wrote:

    the blame the british story seems to be a deflaction designed to confuse the public as to why sutch a terrible event as a never ending oil spill could be allowed to happen at all. this goes for the banking crisis as well there has been too mutch easy acess to disable oversite
    and regulation of buisness intrustests this is a managment problem that cuts across all sutch lables its a people with authority problem and we seem to be liveing in a time when any illusion that that people could trust that humanity could suspend self intrust for a larger good seems to be very suspect

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  • 400. At 10:28pm on 12 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The British set themselves up for this kind of thing all the time. BP told the American government and the world that this kind of accident couldn't happen and that their systems would reliably prevent it. They also assured the US government that they had the means to contain, clean up, and fix any spill or leak that might occur. Dead wrong on both accounts. Anyone who doubts the impact this accident is having should look at the latest photos of wildlife lying in what is turning our once magnificent wetlands into tar pits.

    This recalls more of their boasting and bragging. British scientists where going to show NASA how to land on Mars at one eighth of the cost American taxpayers were being hit for. A lot of puffery about the Beagle II as it headed for Mars about 10 years ago. Contact was lost during entry into Mars' atmosphere and it was never heard from again. Meanwhile shortly after, two American craft landed on Mars in different locations and the two rovers which were only supposed to work for 3 months began traveling around Mars sending pictures back year after year. NASA even published a book called Postcards from Mars. You can view tons and tons of their photos on NASA's website. To the degree they get chided, it's because they beg for it. They're just lucky we don't give them a whole lot more of it.

    Just look at their answer to the old 1960s American SciFi TV series Star Trek. It was the original Doctor Who. Their props and special effects were a policeman's telephone box which looked like an antique wooden telephone booth (that was the entrance to the tardis time machine), a 10 foot long scarf, and the dreaded enemies who were going to take over the universe, the Daleks looked like refugees of parts thrown together from a junkyard. They're so pathetic I'd be crying for them if I could just stop laughing at them long enough. They can't be taken seriously enough to bash.

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  • 401. At 00:29am on 13 Jun 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 397 MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "All of this sympathy for Brits' feelings is disgusting and utterly uncalled for. I think Tony Hayward's imperious attitude when he tells Americans to get off an American public beach and his egocentric narcissism when he tells the world he wants his life back because he thinks he is the center of hte universe and the only thing that matters reflects a quintessential aspect of the British psyche and culture, something ingrained deep within Brits. It is not a voice that speaks for them but about them. It is who they are."

    # 397 is disgusting and utterly uncalled for. I think MAII's imperious attitude ...and his egocentric narcissism ...because he thinks he is the centre of the universe and the only thing that matters reflects a quintessential aspect of the MAII psyche and culture, something ingrained deep within MAII. It is not a voice that speaks for Americans but about MAII. It is who he is.

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  • 402. At 00:35am on 13 Jun 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 400 MAII

    "Just look at their answer to the old 1960s American SciFi TV series Star Trek. It was the original Doctor Who"

    So Doctor Who was the UK's 'answer' to Star Trek? Even though it predated it by 3 years.

    [And is of course one of the BBC's most popular shows, shown throughout the world.]

    Still - why let the facts interfere with the bile-filled rant?

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  • 403. At 01:55am on 13 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    Emmachickory wrote:

    "Are you kidding me? If anything I've heard people express disappointment because Brits are seen as polite, more mature and

    You must have "heard" that from some very naive and self-loathing individuals.

    "as having a better record of animal welfare concerns."

    Oh really, how so? After all were are talking about a country that has essentially none of its forests left standing.

    The fact of the matter is most Americans wouldn't have any opinion on what British attitudes are towards "animal welfare concerns." They don't even know how much anti-Americanism comes out of the UK.

    And why? Because most Americans have little to no interest in what goes on in the UK.

    "As one representative down South said, these are America's wetlands. This is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, one of which we Americans are deeply proud and protective. Have we been good stewards in the past? No, not at all. We're selfish and greedy. "

    Oh please stop with the self-loathing and the pandering. Ultimately most of them don't really care what you have to say as they are deep down anti-American and always will be.

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  • 404. At 02:00am on 13 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    TroglodytePangloss wrote:

    Couple of points re BP, USA anger, the media reaction in UK:
    (!) Speaking as an American, our national hysteria and infantilism about this terrrible accident and its aftermath has been a steady embarrassment and probably a puzzlement to Brits, and the expectation that either BP or Obama can waive a magic wand to solve it underlie the to-ing and fro-ing by the pols in USA, including Obama trying to be "tough." Our pols will regret the pandering."

    Are you not "pandering" yourself, to the Brits here, by insulting Americans on a British forum, especially when your remarks are totally inaccurate?!

    Where is this "hysteria and infantilism" you speak of?

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  • 405. At 02:04am on 13 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    Sir William wrote:

    "Greetings from the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado. I've been an avid listener of the world service for over 25 years. I don't think that any American equivocates BP with Britain anymore than you folks should equivocate Exxon, Apple Computer, or Microsoft with America. Multi-national corporations can be founded anywhere in the world."

    Come again? You are wrong because most people throughout the world, including the UK, would most certainly equate Apple and Microsoft with being an American company. Why? Because they ARE American companies!

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  • 406. At 02:31am on 13 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Doubled over in Dublin;

    "So Doctor Who was the UK's 'answer' to Star Trek? Even though it predated it by 3 years."

    Okay but they made a concession to the competition. They replaced an actor who looked like the 2 million year old man with another actor. Still the same old scarf and telephone booth though. I have to think someone was riding in a car discussing how to make a low budget sci fi tv series with the driver and passed a junkyard when he got the inspiration. Seeing the phone booth the passenger said stop, I see my time machine right between that old beat up clothes washer and that burned out car. And so the Tardis and Doctor Who was born. The scheme for the Mars lander for Beagle II was thought up in Brighton in a game of beach ball.

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  • 407. At 02:45am on 13 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    usbrit wrote:

    "I live and work in the U.S, (Virginia) and am ribbed daily for the B.P. disaster."

    And I know for a fact that your experience is unique and certainly not the norm, assuming it is true to begin with.

    "No connection is made by my colleagues to their excessive use of oil, (cars doing 18 miles to the gallon,"

    Sorry, but few cars in America would do that as an average. If you had said trucks and other larger vehicles, many of which are used for commercial reasons, then I would agree.

    "local laws that forbid the hanging out side of washing,"

    It's a question of neighbors not wanting to see the eyesore of such a thing. I agree with that, as do most Americans.

    "solar panels to warm up pool water only,"

    LOL. You sure you know what you are talking about?

    Few people in the lower 49 states have solar setups dedicated to warming up pool water as they are simply not needed. America, unlike the UK, has plenty of heat in the summer to warm our pools. I've never known or heard of anyone having one in my large circle of family and friends throughout the country. :)

    We also have a thriving solar panel industry and seeing them in use is quite common, even on military bases where many people expect even less concern for the environment. Nellis Air Force Base, for example, has 70,000 solar panels installed.

    America is also home to many of the world's largest solar farms and current plans call for the largest, by far, to be built.

    Where is this widespread and thriving industry and use of solar panels in the UK that somehow betters America?

    "refusing to ratify international controls on greenhouse emissions)."

    And rightly so because the Kyoto agreement was first about third world development than the environment as it placed no limits or controls on developing countries.

    Don't confuse the desire of fair participation of all countries in the world to not caring about the environment.

    "My son returned from school yesterday, having receivd a 'lesson' about B.P.'s poor safety record. It was made very clear to him that this is a British company and a British problem."

    LOL. Sorry, but I think you are simply making this all up, especially the last part.

    "Whilst I believe wholeheartedly that this is an environmental disaster, lets look at the big picture. We need to use fewer fossil fuels."

    Now there I agree with you.

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  • 408. At 03:05am on 13 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    commonsense_expressway wrote:

    "It still surprises me how a lot of Americans seem to not be able to accept that one can criticise American government policy and some aspects of American society without being anti-American."

    Most Americans are more than intelligent enough to recognize the large amount of anti-Americanism that comes out of the UK that is typically attempted to be disguised as merely criticism of our government.

    "Dont even anglophile Americans laugh, mock, criticise some aspects of British life or the policy of its government?"

    Most Americans have no interest in what goes on in the UK, and most anglophile Americans, in my experience, are extremely respectful of British culture.

    That's in contrast with so many Britons that say they are fond of many aspects of America but they still criticize, attack and try to interfere in aspects of American culture that has zero to do with them or their country.

    Such Britons are in fact also anti-American because they can not repspect the fact that we freely choose to do things differently in our country than they do in their own country.

    "For what its worth I believe that the claim of anti-Americanism in Britain AND anti-Britishness in America is highly exaggerated."

    No, only the amount of "anti-Britishness in America is highly exxagertated," and that's an understatement. This discussion proves just that AND how much anti-Americanism there really is in the UK.

    "In 40 years I've never witnessed or heard of a real life example of either."

    Then you have little knowledge of both cultures, or you live in a hole. No offense.



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  • 409. At 03:18am on 13 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 410. At 03:21am on 13 Jun 2010, Orville Eastland wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 411. At 03:29am on 13 Jun 2010, Scotch Git wrote:

    #406

    Marcus,

    Beach ball games? In Brighton?!?

    There's no sand there, only shingle. Not like a real beach...

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  • 412. At 04:00am on 13 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Scotch-git;

    Think of how much sand could have been imported from the Sahara desert to Brighton for the hundred billion dollars it will likely cost BP before this is over. The impact is mind boggling, I don't think even American environmentalists fully appreciate what the final implications of this are. Needless to say BP will be gone. I guess Tony Hayward felt if Brits didn't have nice sandy beaches, why should Americans. He simply didn't give a damn, all he thought about was profits for BP and his own bonus payments for getting them so he cuts costs and corners anywhere he could. His demeanor cannot but affect the eventual outcome juries and judges in America will arrive at when the long series of trials BP and its executives will inevitably face proceeds. Right now the angriest of all American's is President Obama. His job will become much harder in part because of it come next January and when his contract is up, it may not be renewed also as a result of it. I'm sure if he is going to go down on account of it, he will take all of those responsible with him. I'll bet he'll prove one scrappy fighter.

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  • 413. At 05:19am on 13 Jun 2010, lizzieh wrote:

    Having read every one of the comments, I have found them quite interesting.

    What I stll do not have an answer for is the persistent anti-Americanism
    in the UK. Jealousy? Ignorance? After 50 years, I still have not figured it out.

    For an example, my friend who lives in the country and constantly drives everywhere...will say.."you Americans are addicted to your cars!!" It never occurs to her that she is!! She drives more than I do.

    I am constantly receiving comments stating wuth the phrase: "You Americans" but I would never say :"you Brits"..so just who is more polite? And what exactly is the gripe? Interestingly, I find that my
    younger British friends are less prone to making such statements, than the older ones.

    Just read any "Have you say" column and the anti-American sentiment just flows! Now admittedly, there does tend to be more negative-type remarks
    made in these blogs than elsewhere and I frequently stop reading them
    as they can attract the lunatic fringe. But the sentiment persists.

    But there is a persistent superciliousness expressed which makes you think we are still regarded as a bunch of irksome revolutionary colonists!

    The average Brit knows nothing about the USA...they treat us like one big mass of people despite the fact that the USA is huge (but Canada is
    bigger!) and extremely diverse. England is a tiny country in comparison
    so maybe it is envy????

    Don't get me wrong,,,I love England and my many friends there but I do find most (not all) very insular and I do find this anti-Americanism
    puzzling and sometimes hurtful.

    Now I have owned BP shares for over 25 years and I have always called the company British Petroleum!!! Of course I don't own them anymore as I sold out first thing as any sane investor would. Investments are not sure things and risky so why all the crying about the BP share price.
    BP stock is widely held in the USA although you would never know that from the comments in the British press....another insular attitude.
    In addition, due to the high number of "accidents" BP has had in recent years, I had been gradually selling my shares. You cannot be a passive
    investor. And I say this as a retired widow who depends on the income from my investments.

    Off to visit Englan as usual and maybe I will need a tin hat!!!!

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  • 414. At 06:30am on 13 Jun 2010, Josh wrote:

    I've seen no anti-British sentiment in the US and it's sad that some prominent figures in the UK have decided that Cameron should be getting defensive anyway. Hopefully he doesn't take their advice and create actual animosity by protesting imagined animosity.

    And I think what makes it all even sillier is that if the roles were reversed and Exxon was spilling oil on British shores there really would be a lot of anti-American sentiment in the UK.

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  • 415. At 08:08am on 13 Jun 2010, pherein wrote:

    The British people have been kind to us. When we needed help, you came, we know that in Louisiana and New Orleans. This is not your fault. We love the people of Great Britain and only hope for the best for them. If it cost one person their pension, well than I know the people of Louisiana do not want the money.

    But I ask for your help again. Please, be patient with America’s anger.
    New Orleans first rebirth from Katrina was a story American’s were very proud of.
    Now they are watching us die every day on TV, and in their hearts they can see we are losing, and they are helpless to stop it. I truly feel sorry for them, we almost made it back.

    We need Great Britain as a friend, and we in Louisiana are very proud of our friendship.

    We pray for our friends across the sea

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  • 416. At 08:19am on 13 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    AllenT2 Wrote

    "Come again? You are wrong because most people throughout the world, including the UK, would most certainly equate Apple and Microsoft with being an American company. Why? Because they ARE American companies!"

    *************************************

    Lots of poeple throughout the world,especially in my part of the globe
    know most of the companies products you mention are actually produced outside of the US. Components in Ipods are made by Foxcon Asia, and even
    the iconic Harley Davidson Bikes,inc leathers, helmets, logos, badges,buckles, sold here in Australia are made in Japan.

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  • 417. At 08:24am on 13 Jun 2010, pherein wrote:

    I am from New Orleans. When Katrina destroyed everything we owned, our lives, thousands of wildlife and became America’s worst disaster, no one came and helped us. For weeks we were alone. I never thought we would ever rebuild or that anything good would happen again. But, we as a city, stuck together and with the help of the people of the world slowly built back. Like a beacon of hope our team the Saints stood by us and took home the trophy. It was one of the happiest days of my life.

    It was one of those moments you almost never see in life, and it was worth my whole life to just be there.

    I sit here now in the city of New Orleans a mile away from oil soaked beaches and the floating dead sea life that we are gathering in bags to be mass graved in a landfill north of here. We are starting to smell the oil now, in the city, the booms are not working, and we are losing the battle in the wetlands. The city is slowly dying again.

    Everyone failed here. BP,Transocean, Halliburton have not told us the truth, have done a very poor job trying to stop the oil, cleaning up, and laying boom. Our Government has abandoned us again by allowing free reign to these oil conglomerates, and by not taking control over this tragedy unfolding.
    Our local government is desperately trying to fight, but are being stopped by our Federal Government. Mayors in Louisiana have started putting up barriers to fight the oil and now risk breaking Federal law and being sent to prison, because they will not wait for approval.

    It is no exaggeration to say we are losing this battle. The wetlands can not survive this and neither can New Orleans. But we must try and stick together and fight on. No matter the outcome.

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  • 418. At 08:39am on 13 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    MarkusArellios Wrote

    I think that is because most Americans have reached the same conclusion I have, that is that Europeans, Brits included are basically stupid. Once you see it that way, it becomes pointless to argue with them and only to argue with other Americans when they agree with them. That is why so many of us hate Democrats. They are the closest thing we have here to Europeans. They are educated and should know better.
    *******************************
    I now understand ur sentiment, you are obviously from non European descent,either hispanic,tho i suppose possibly southern Italy, or a dark corner of Africa. Mind u here in Australia similar sentiments can be espoused by some of our more sour minded natives, so i guess its possible even that u are one of that line. Some aboriginals i believe did migrate to your country.



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  • 419. At 08:44am on 13 Jun 2010, pherein wrote:

    I must learn to post properly, :) sorry one more try
    I am from New Orleans. When Katrina destroyed everything we owned, our lives, thousands of wildlife and became America’s worst disaster, no one came and helped us. For weeks we were alone. I never thought we would ever rebuild or that anything good would happen again. But, we as a city, stuck together and with the help of the people of the world slowly built back. Like a beacon of hope our team the Saints stood by us and took home the trophy. It was one of the happiest days of my life.

    It was one of those moments you almost never see in life, and it was worth my whole life to just be there.

    I sit here now in the city of New Orleans a mile away from oil soaked beaches and the floating dead sea life that we are gathering in bags to be mass graved in a landfill north of here. We are starting to smell the oil now, in the city, the booms are not working, and we are losing the battle in the wetlands. The city is slowly dying again.

    Everyone failed here. BP,Transocean, Halliburton have not told us the truth, have done a very poor job trying to stop the oil, cleaning up, and laying boom. Our Government has abandoned us again by allowing free reign to these oil conglomerates, and by not taking control over this tragedy unfolding.
    Our local government is desperately trying to fight, but are being stopped by our Federal Government. Mayors in Louisiana have started putting up barriers to fight the oil and now risk breaking Federal law and being sent to prison, because they will not wait for approval.

    It is no exaggeration to say we are losing this battle. The wetlands can not survive this and neither can New Orleans. But we must try and stick together and fight on. No matter the outcome.

    The British people have been kind to us. When we needed help, you came, we know that in Louisiana and New Orleans. This is not your fault. We love the people of Great Britain and only hope for the best for them. If it cost one person their pension, well than I know the people of Louisiana do not want the money.

    But I ask for your help again. Please, be patient with America’s anger.
    New Orleans first rebirth from Katrina was a story American’s were very proud of.
    Now they are watching us die every day on TV, and in their hearts they can see we are losing, and they are helpless to stop it. I truly feel sorry for them, we almost made it back.

    We need Great Britain as a friend, and we in Louisiana are very proud of our friendship.

    We pray for our friends across the sea

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  • 420. At 09:03am on 13 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    413. At 05:19am on 13 Jun 2010, lizzieh wrote:

    "What I stll do not have an answer for is the persistent anti-Americanism
    in the UK. Jealousy? Ignorance? After 50 years, I still have not figured it out."

    As I said in a previous post it is certainly to do with jealousy and a general difference in politics, with them being more to the left than Americans.

    "For an example, my friend who lives in the country and constantly drives everywhere...will say.."you Americans are addicted to your cars!!" It never occurs to her that she is!! She drives more than I do."

    She is exactly the kind of Briton I mentioned earlier. The kind that is seemingly friendly towards America but is in fact anti-American because ultimately they can't help but judge, criticize and attack America, and often on things that have absolutely nothing to do with them and their country.

    "I am constantly receiving comments stating wuth the phrase: "You Americans" but I would never say :"you Brits"..so just who is more polite? And what exactly is the gripe? Interestingly, I find that my
    younger British friends are less prone to making such statements, than the older ones."

    In my experience there isn't much of a difference in the age groups until you get into senior Britons. Often times if they realize an American is around they keep the chatter to themselves.

    "Just read any "Have you say" column and the anti-American sentiment just flows! Now admittedly, there does tend to be more negative-type remarks made in these blogs than elsewhere and I frequently stop reading them as they can attract the lunatic fringe. But the sentiment persists."

    Unfortunately there is little difference in other social settings in the UK or on other British sites.

    "But there is a persistent superciliousness expressed which makes you think we are still regarded as a bunch of irksome revolutionary colonists!"

    They have plenty to say about that too.Just don't mention Mel Gibson. ;)

    "The average Brit knows nothing about the USA...they treat us like one big mass of people despite the fact that the USA is huge (but Canada is
    bigger!) and extremely diverse. England is a tiny country in comparison
    so maybe it is envy????"

    Of course there is "envy," just for the weather alone.

    By the way, depending on which geography sources you read both Canada and America are shown to be bigger than each other. The differences in any case are at most down to a few percent.

    "Don't get me wrong,,,I love England and my many friends there but I do find most (not all) very insular and I do find this anti-Americanism
    puzzling and sometimes hurtful."

    In my experience most people in most Western countries, and in their everyday lives, lead insular lives when it comes to other countries.

    "Now I have owned BP shares for over 25 years and I have always called the company British Petroleum!!!"

    In America the name British Petroleum is well known, maybe even more so than BP. Apparently none of Britons here considered that before going on the defense, and offense.

    "Off to visit England as usual and maybe I will need a tin hat!!!!"

    My advice is spend your dollars in your own country where it would be appreciated, especially in areas affected by the leak. That's what I plan to do when I go on vacation.

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  • 421. At 09:11am on 13 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    Emps wrote:

    "Lots of poeple throughout the world,especially in my part of the globe
    know most of the companies products you mention are actually produced outside of the US. Components in Ipods are made by Foxcon Asia, and even
    the iconic Harley Davidson Bikes,inc leathers, helmets, logos, badges,buckles, sold here in Australia are made in Japan."

    What does assembly of products due simply to cheap labor have to do with origin, innovation, culture and ownership of a company??

    What are you going to say next, that without China America couldn't design and build the products it is known for? That Sony is no longer a Japanese company?

    I also didn't realize that Harley Davidson's primary business was in clothing. Interesting. :)

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  • 422. At 11:03am on 13 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Emps;

    If you'd read my prior postings on other threads on this blog and on other BBC blogs, you'd have seen that I've revealed that my ancestry is European. Which countries? It could hardly matter less, I feel no attachment to any of them and I make little distinction among them. Unlike for Europeans, for me the past is dead. It ended when my grandparents got on a ship and set sail away from Europe to America. Certainly if Europeans feel that America is just one big amorphous place and the EU is just one big community I don't see why that should bother them. So to me Hungarian, English, Italian, German, Greek, Spanish, they're all pretty much the same even if they don't see it that way among themselves.

    Right now it's still only about America and BP insofar as Americans are concerned. But if the British haven't learned from "Olde Europe's" recent experience that America bashing has its consequences that it will be heard here, and that there will inevitably be a strong backlash if it persists, then Brits will prove that they are as stupid as I think they are. We still haven't forgotten Megrahi. When backlash occurs, Brits will find that there is not and never was any special relationship and that America will survive just fine without them as allies. Governments can sign treaties and corporations can cut deals but they cannot change the way people feel about each other. America's hand is not extended without an expectation of reciprocity and if slapped for no good reason it will be withdrawn and not offered again for a very long time usually measured in generations.

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  • 423. At 11:13am on 13 Jun 2010, HarryR wrote:

    The newspapers are quick to stir things up in the UK. BP would be very unpopular in the UK if this spill was filling up the North Sea with oil instead of the Gulf of Mexico.

    And if it were a US company that would be futher grist to the tabloid mill and I'm sure there would be xenophopic comments.

    So far all the UK media is complaining about is that BP is sometimes called British Petroleum by some people in the US. So what? That did used to be its name and "BP" is an abbreviation of that. Sounds as if the UK newspapers don't want Britain to be tainted by association with BP, now that there's a problem.

    BP does have a dodgy reputation in the US, having had several lethal accidents in recent years that temper it's acclaimed engineering excellence.

    Imagine if the US company that was responsible for a lethal accident in the North Sea, that had cost many lives and was causing an ever building environmental disaster was...Union Carbide. Would the British be patiently watching the lack of resolution and making admiring comments about how hard UC was working to solve the problem, even months after it had happened? I think not.

    The whole oil industry has been shown to have a fundamental weakness. It should not be drilling oil wells at those depths without having developed the technologies to deal with any possible accident. They appear to have relied on the Blowout Preventor with no fall back if it should fail other than to mess about with the remote controlled subs. They also apear to have massively underestimated the amount of oil escaping, so that the first month of attempted solutions were inappropriately designed and doomed to failure.

    Little informaion is available about the Gulf spill, but it's apparent that the oil is under tremendous pressure, and that the BOP is holding a lot of oil back. If the BOP failed completely, perhaps because the bed rock it's embedded in gave way, much more oil would come out. This is a risk with all oil wells.

    Cleaning up just this spill, to the extent it's possible, will cost $Bns. At the very least the oil industry needs the technology available to resolve a catastrophic failure at whatever depth it's drilling at and to do it quickly to limit the amount of oil that escapes.

    The sad likelihood is that the coming hurricanes of the summer will bring an awful lot of oil ashore, even after the relief wells have been drilled and the blowout has been capped. The effect on sea life is unknowable other than that it will be huge.

    I was appalled to hear that during the Bush era, a law was passed limiting an oil company's liability to a spill to a max of $75m, tho in the current circumstances it seems BP cannot hide behind this. No other industry had such a concession and the proposed amount is trivial compared to the potential cost of a major spill. That the oil industry should have used its political influence with the Bush administration to get such a succession is a worrying indicator of what it believes is the likelihood of polution.

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  • 424. At 12:47pm on 13 Jun 2010, Dinesh wrote:

    It is sad to see the damage to the environment and I agree that BP as well as other companies involved in causing this disaster should take full responsibility for clearing this mess up and improving the situation as best as possible. However, with the approach the USA have taken and their critisisms to date, the saying people that live in glass houses should not throw stones comes to mind. The USA have in my view have applied double standards. I read recently that a number of Union Carbide (Indian)management from the Bhopal disaster in 1984 have been convicted for their part in not preventing this disaster from happening. It has only taken over 25 years to get to this stage. However the Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson left India shortly after he was released on bail and has refused to return to India to stand trial. Many people died in this icident and people in Bhopal are still sufferring today........I must ask where is the responsibility the USA now talk of....or is it a different case when it happens on your own doorstep?

    For information there is an extract from Wikipedia below:
    As the Union Carbide CEO until his retirement in 1986, he was charged with manslaughter in the Bhopal disaster case. Anderson was arrested and released on bail by the Madhya Pradesh Police in Bhopal on December 7, 1984. He fled to the US and refused to return to India. He was declared a fugitive from justice by the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal on February 1, 1992, for failing to appear at the court hearings in a culpable homicide case in which he was named the chief defendant.[7] The chief judicial magistrate of Bhopal, Prakash Mohan Tiwari, issued an arrest warrant for Anderson on July 31, 2009.[8] The United States has declined to extradite him, citing a lack of evidence.[9]

    Others, such as the former police chief Swaraj Puri, who was injured in the Bhopal disaster, assert that Mr. Anderson must have known about the danger of the plant because an employee had died there a year before the disaster.[10] In August 2009, a spokesman for Union Carbide said "Union Carbide had no role in operating the plant at the time because India’s government required the factory to be owned, managed and operated by employees of Union Carbide India Limited."[11] Eight former senior employees of this subsidiary were found guilty on June 7, 2010. Anderson was not among them. [12][13] After these convictions, a Union Carbide spokesperson said, "All the appropriate people from UCIL -- officers and those who actually ran the plant on a daily basis -- have appeared to face charges."[13]

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  • 425. At 2:03pm on 13 Jun 2010, WolfiePeters wrote:

    The point about 'the comments' by Mr Obama, Mrs Pelosi and the Attorney General is not that they were made about BP, but that they are wrong. The comments should not have been made. I thought that the American approach was first to carefully find out what went wrong, then do your best to minimise the possibility of it happening again and finally start to determine financial and criminal responsibility.

    I'm shocked (and frightened) to see this behaviour from President Obama, a man that many including myself believed to offer a new hope and decency. For Mrs Pelosi, can she explain how 'integrity' and pre-judgement can be combined. And as for the the Attorney General, head of the Dept of Justice and the Govt's top lawyer, doesn't evidence come before judgement?

    Knowing something about the oil industry, I'm in a better position to pre-judge than politicians. I hate to defend big oil companies. However, my educated guess, but still a guess, would be that in this disaster, if there are people to blame, the moral responsibility falls as much with two other groups as it does with BP.

    Please close the shouting match as soon as possible. The last thing the world needs is a US-Europe trade war. To put things right requires some careful words and wise leadership from President Obama. He can do it, if he wants and other Democrats will give him support.

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  • 426. At 2:18pm on 13 Jun 2010, WolfiePeters wrote:

    To the people who write think the other side, Americans, Brits, or whoever, are the selfish, impolite ones who are always to blame, it's not like that.

    I'll let you into a secret: we are all the same. All populations have the same share of dishonesty, evil, goodness, creativity and everything else. If there's a difference in what youe see, it's purely the accidental opportunity the human race gets to show one side of itself or another. If some nations seem to have more criminality or anything else bad, it's probably because they are in a cycle when they more correupt or incompetent politicians giving them the opportunity. Scrape beneatht the skin and you find the same blood, bones, hopes and fears.

    Don't believe that all your countrymen have exactly the same decency as yourself or that anyone from any other country is equal to the worst you have ever met or imagined.

    We all suffer from nationalism and racism, but they are not the best aspects of humanity.

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  • 427. At 3:51pm on 13 Jun 2010, Cindy from Florida wrote:

    I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida in a very conservative area and no one has conveyed a single anti-British comment either in print or in passing conversation. That said, I recently joined a Facebook group called "Let's stuff the leak with BP executives". Do I really want the deaths of these people? NO. I do want to convey the horror of our situation here as lives lost on the rig are multiplied ten thousand times by jobs lost and a way of life destroyed. We are not anti-British but the utter ruin of BP, a company that callously drags it's feet and a CEO who could care less about the damage their blatant negligence (over 700 safety violations vs 8) caused should be driven out of business. BOYCOTT BP and all stations that buy products from them until they stop dragging their feet!

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  • 428. At 4:39pm on 13 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    I have to stand up for Dr. Who- the old versions. My dad had many espisodes taped and I used to watch them as a child all the time. Dr. Who is awesome.
    But of course, I also loved watching the old Batman and Robin episodes, too, just as much. It doesn't get better than Batman and Robin or Dr. Who. There is something about old tv shows that makes them funny and cool because humor then was not always about sex. Not the bizarre, sometimes cheap sense of humor that is nowadays prevalent. I miss the people of the 80's and 90's in USA- Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, Chris Farley, the list goes on and on. Jerry Seinfeld is hilarious, but he is one of the last good comedians. There just aren't that many left.

    I can understand Marcus A's not seeming to necessarily have interest about what his heritage is, in one sense, that it doesn't matter because when you are an American- that is who you are.

    Immigrants who have transferred from other countries do not always feel the same way that Americans who were born here do. An example of this is the World Cup. I was watching the Mexicans in Cali, USA cheer on Mexico's World Cup team on Friday (Cali tv station) and they were all cheering for Mexico with Mexican flag painted faces, ect. But was there a single American flag in the mix, too, since this was taking place in America? No, I did not see a single American flag. I can understand that they want to cheer for Mexico, but why can't they cheer for USA, too? Was there the same kind of celebration for Team USA by this group? I have not heard of any or seen any footage. Maybe I missed it.

    It just seems bizarre for some immigrants in USA to cheer on their homeland and not USA, too. They should be cheering for USA first. Yeah, I know, I know freedom of speech. But why are we letting people like this into the country? There are some immigrants who feel more connected to their homeland than to USA. Not all of them are like that, though, obviously. There are some very wonderful immigrants, too. They are the ones who put USA above their homeland and follow our laws.

    My genetic makeup is all European and although I love Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany and Denmark, and I feel pride for the countries where my ancestors are from, USA is my only homeland. I am 100 % American and only American. To me, USA is the only team I will cheer for.
    You are a true American when USA has your heart.

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  • 429. At 4:54pm on 13 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    American economic concerns didn't bother Brits or other Europeans when it came to Kyoto. In fact that in my opinion was the whole point, Kyoto was a ploy to damage America's economy. The environment was of secondary importance.

    Now another situation where the shoe is on the other foot. Oooooh how it hurts. The environmantal disaster BP created will ruin it as a company and are Brits ever worried about their dividend and the value of their stock in the company. Suddenly that's all they are concerned about. Of course the British media are angry that the Entire United States government and people are united in forcing BP to pay for all of it. That's where their own pension money is invested. And it isn't their environment that's being hurt, it's Americas. Or is it. Some models have ocean currents bringing a lot of that oil eventually to the shores of the UK where it will wash up on British beaches. But by then BP will have been a memory. I don't see it surviving this at all. And with each passing day, the US government ratchets up the pressure on BP. The Coast Guard has given BP until Monday evening to come up with a more effective and faster containment plan while president Obama has summoned Tony Hayward to the White House. I guarantee it isn't for tea and a friendly chat.

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  • 430. At 5:45pm on 13 Jun 2010, RoundRockMike wrote:

    BP's blunder has made Brit-bashing a popular US pastime, and many changes are quite obvious both locally and nationally, for example:
    1. Toad in the Hole not available at our local McDonalds.
    2. Simon Cowell has been stripped of his position on American Idol.
    3. Marmite is no longer sold at the local Safeway.
    4. One has to specifically request malt vineger (under ones breath) for use on fried battered fish and freedom fries.
    5. Stephen Moyer is forced to speak with a fake American accent on the TV series True Blood.
    6. Doctor Who episodes are being delayed by two weeks in the US, so that episodes can be reviewed for pro BP sentiments.
    Unfortunately, these anti-British actions pervade every level of society in all parts of the US, and suggest a continuing devolution of the US-UK relationship. I weep for us all.

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  • 431. At 5:50pm on 13 Jun 2010, Coralskipper wrote:

    To all of my British friends, I ask you to ignore MAII, his views do not reflect the majority of the views of America.

    Now on to the serious matters. From my perspective in the Midwest, there is no anti-British sentiment. Sure we're ticked off at BP, but, even if they're not the most responsible, they're the easiest target. It's not because they're British, it's because they own gas (petrol) stations. People who are angry, and trust me when I say everyone is, want to punish someone and BP is the easiest to do. It's unfair, but someone has to hang for the situation and BP is that someone.

    For those of y'all who have your pensions tied up them, you have my sympathy. Truth to tell though, I am feeling much more sympathetic to the environmental disaster that is going down in the Gulf of Mexico. Manufacturing some sort of logic that states that Americans are trying to hurt the common British man, is just that. I'd venture to say that 90% of Americans have no clue about how tied the pensions of Britons are in BP. What they do know is that Americans are losing their lively hood, and are rightfully angry.

    As for that picture that has been cited of an American standing on the Union Jack Flag flag and blaming the UK for this, I'm not sure if you realize this but America is really big. I live in this country and have trouble understanding the sheer geographic are that the country takes up. It's not only big, but it's very diverse. Which is understandable when there are more than 100 Million people who live here. My point is that people are citing one picture, of one moron and saying that it applies to the rest of the country. Guys, you're more intelligent than that. You have to realize that it's one picture and likely does not apply to the entire country.

    I also keep seeing the 1984 Bhopal incident being brought up and used against America. Would y'all read that date again, 1984. That's 25+ years ago. I'd like to think that as Americans we've evolved to the point where if a similar situation were to happen we would react more responsibly. Regardless, it's not really relevant to the discussion. It's a case of you using bad behavior by Americans to justify or try to excuse bad behavior by a multinational corporation. One of the first things that gets taught is that two wrongs don't make a right, and this is certainly one such case of that.

    Look, when all is said and done, Americans are angry. We've found our scapegoat, and it happens to be BP. It doesn't mean we don't love Brits any less than we did before, and if our politicians (who, as a whole, are DESPISED by the average American) are trying to make it about y'all, you should ignore the SOBs. The average American is intelligent enough to not do it.

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  • 432. At 6:16pm on 13 Jun 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    In 1996 the Sea Empress tanker, chartered by Texaco, floundered on St Ann's head here in Pembrokeshire (West Wales). About 500,000 - 600,000 barrels of raw crude spilled on to our beaches, inlets & tidal rivers. It was an terrible mess, Texaco blamed the tanker people who themselves blamed everyone else. The taxpayers in the UK picked up the bill for most of the clean up. This took for ever, but with no anti-US feelings. The amount of oil spilled was similar to the lower estimate for the Deepwater Horizon spill (540,000 barrels). I will bet my boots that no one in the US even heard about it, no world's media interested, no VIPs, no talking heads, no President sounding tough, just dead wildlife. No one cared, we just had to cope.

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  • 433. At 7:24pm on 13 Jun 2010, Cindy from Florida wrote:

    @ukwales: I sympathize with the disaster in Wales. How many people died? How many hundred year old industries did you lose? I would have demanded that Texaco and the tanker company pick up the bill and I would have boycotted Texaco. That said 540,000 thousand barrels is a low estimate and it looks like BP lied (shocking) and the amount of oil is probably two or three times what BP "estimated". I'm also sorry for the thousands of migratory bird breeding grounds, endangered turtles, dolphins and oyster beds that were killed in the Welsh disaster. We who make our lives from fishing, tourism, charter boats, and other related industries and who are now or will soon be unemployed can totally understand your pain. The estimate is that the wetlands will take 20 or 30 years to recover-so I assume that Wales is still cleaning pelicans and suffering 30% unemployment. Or maybe one tanker was not so catastrophic after all.

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  • 434. At 7:44pm on 13 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Classskipper;

    "Now on to the serious matters. From my perspective in the Midwest, there is no anti-British sentiment."

    That's because you don't know the history of the British Empire or of the other European colonial empires. Or of their constant internescene European wars that go back millenia and killed so many people. My feelings about Europe and Britain go back far before this latest oil spill incident. However, although that evil empire that enslaved as much as one quarter of the world is gone, Tony Heyward's imperious attitude towards Americans reflects an underlying sentiment that Britain should still rule the waves and the countries it once did including ours. They must feel our demands of BP are impudent. I feel their outrage is laughable. The mouse that roared? More like the mouse that squeaked. Let them eat cake. Why should Americans care what they think or don't think about us? Besides, they are now at least as jealous of us as the French are. Even BBC has an obsession about it.

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  • 435. At 8:23pm on 13 Jun 2010, WolfiePeters wrote:

    @430, RoundRockMike wrote:

    ".... many changes are quite obvious both locally and nationally, for example:
    1. Toad in the Hole not available at our local McDonalds.
    2. Simon Cowell has been stripped of his position on American Idol.
    3. Marmite is no longer sold at the local Safeway. "

    Though they be small compared with the disaster, these appear to be positive results.

    More seriously:

    @ 433, To Cindy from Florida :
    Actually, the various tanker spills around the UK amount to far more than the worst estimate from Deepwatwer Horizon. The Amoco Cadiz alone amounted to 1.5 M barrels. Strangely, no one mentions the Ixtoc spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It amounted to 3.5 M barrels. These are not my numbers - Wikipedia is very informative about oil spills.

    As to BP's honesty in the whole affair, I can say two things. First, the flow rate that was published was, at best, an 'estimate' based on BP's knowledge of the well. Under the circumstances (and with some experience of the uncertainty in numbers from sub-surface in the oil industry), it could be out by a factor of ten. The MMS (i.e. Federal Government) knew that very well. What ever we think about their qualities as regulators, MMS have some knowledge of this stuff. Second, if this had happened to one of the other oil majors, which it perfectly well could have, I think you would have heard a lot more lies and buck passing and seen a far better white wash job.

    You mentioned jobs around the Gulf Coast. I realise that it doesn't apply to Florida, but I have a lot friends in Texas and Louisiana who work in the offshore oil industry. May be the state doesn't gain as much as it should, but I fear that Louisiana, without many of the advantages of Florida, would be poorer without the offshore work.

    I've said it before, but it needs repeating. We should concentrate on reparing the damage as well as we can. BP has not yet tried to avoid paying the financial costs. Other responsible parties should accept their part (if they have any morals or even if they don't). Depending on the outcome of an honest enquiry, the oil industry and the Federal Government should accept their failure to impose proper regulation on drilling operations and introduce them in order to minimise the possibility of future disasters.

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  • 436. At 10:35pm on 13 Jun 2010, junkmonkey wrote:

    I think the British have become hysterical over this issue partly out of a guilty conscience. They know how badly they malign Americans over the slightest things, and they assume they are due some payback.

    Well tough! I don't hate you! I even like some of you, not ALL of course. A few of you seem to have made a career out of being unlikable.

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  • 437. At 10:39pm on 13 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    W;

    "You mentioned jobs around the Gulf Coast. I realise that it doesn't apply to Florida"

    Wrong. If you think people are going to pay big money to take vacations at Florida beach resorts to go in the ocean and have tar balls from the oil spill land on their skin and leave oil stains you are mistaken. Those who work in the tourist industry on the west coast of florida will be affected by the extent of the spill already. With fewer guests at resorts, even at a bed and breakfasts, money will be lost, claims made and claims paid out by BP. It would not suprise me if it topped out with everything at over 100 billion dollars, maybe a lot more. I think President Obama should direct the SEC to freeze BP's assets and prevent any further dividends until the full financial impact of the disaster is assessed and paid for. That could be many years. Victims of BPs negligence should have their claims on BP's revenues and profits come before shareholders are paid dividends. President Obama is a very angry man even if he doesn't show it in public. BP has put an already precarious political situation for him in far graver peril. Some of his staunchest and most influential supporters are having doubts. He will strike back with the full force of the powers at his command. BP and Tony Hayward tweaked the wrong dragon's tail. Whatever else happens they will pay like there is no tomorrow in more ways than one. And for them...there is no tomorrow. Mr. Heyward, you get your life back when our nation is restored to the condition it was in before your greed wrecked an important part of it and not one second before.

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  • 438. At 11:53pm on 13 Jun 2010, hms_shannon wrote:



    MA2 looking at events through the prism of your psychosis is ok, as long as you don`t believe what you think,no one else does...

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  • 439. At 00:25am on 14 Jun 2010, Cindy from Florida wrote:

    Certainly there have been worse spills; that does not mitigate this one. I lived in Texas during and after the Ixtoc spill and it was a nightmare of swimsuits covered in tar and unemployment. The answer is simple: sustainable, renewable, energy independence. Let the oil companies (BP, US, and international) find work in repairing a hundred years of toxic damage. People want to forget about the irreplaceable estuaries and white sand beaches but the best revenge would be to give up oil altogether! Will this spill eventually be cleaned up...sure they are just now removing the last vestiges of the Exxon Valdez spill. In the meantime, purchase some windmills with generators made in Pensacola, Fl and give big oil the big heave ho.

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  • 440. At 00:29am on 14 Jun 2010, andy386 wrote:

    Mr. Mardell, maybe i haven't seen the actual papers in the UK, but i do know of your love of the president and how he can do no wrong.

    I think the British press is rightly concerned about this president's attacks against America's century old alliances while pandering to totalitarian regimes in the name of peace. The fact he used "British Petroleum" was a carefully thought out political maneuver to divert blame from his incompetent administration and place it on a foreign firm. Maybe the rest of the media is not as blindfolded as you? The president represents America and if he is acting in an anti-UK manner, then that's the country's foreign policy unfortunately.

    I suggest you hold your breath for November, the world will know what "change" really means.

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  • 441. At 00:54am on 14 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ukawailee;

    "MA2 looking at events through the prism of your psychosis is ok, as long as you don`t believe what you think,no one else does... "

    My psychosis? It isn't my country that remains under the thumb of the English cork and crown today. My country threw off that yoke well over 200 years ago. I can hardly imagine what it must be like to live in a small country right on the borderland where you might at any given moment have to curtsy to the Queen of England...or entertain her dear son his royal hignass.

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  • 442. At 01:00am on 14 Jun 2010, HarryR wrote:

    Just a reminder to everybody that Mark's article makes it plain that he could not find any anti-British sentiment at all. As to the protest in the UK, the UK media makes a fuss because it's a good story. On the BBC's Today programme I heard some outrageous Little Englander right wing Tory sound pompous and outraged about nothing in particular...and that's it. This thread is the main source of evidence that I'm aware of of any anti-British feeling as distinct from anger at BP.

    The threat to BP's dividend is real for those who have invested in it's shares ( I read somewhere about 40% US owned) but them's the breaks if you or your pension fund buy shares. That's why diversification is a recommended investment strategy. The falling share price can be a buying opportunity for those who believe the fall in price is unjustified.

    If BP ends up being owned by China or Russia, the oil reserves it owns will still end up coming out of the ground.

    @MAII
    What's this? I enjoy your posts and usually regard you as a Fox-fed tea-partyer with untypical powers of articulation. Now your post of 10:39pm 13 Jun 2010 sounded not at all rant-like but of, if not support for, at least recognition of Obama as a functioning president, AND what could be interpreted as concern about the environment.

    Are you becoming some kind of wussy liberal as a result of spending so much time in BBCland or just enjoying yourself?

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  • 443. At 01:37am on 14 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    ukwales (#432) "In 1996 the Sea Empress tanker, chartered by Texaco, floundered on St Ann's head here in Pembrokeshire (West Wales). About 500,000 - 600,000 barrels of raw crude spilled on to our beaches, inlets & tidal rivers. It was an terrible mess, Texaco blamed the tanker people who themselves blamed everyone else. The taxpayers in the UK picked up the bill for most of the clean up. This took for ever, but with no anti-US feelings."

    It seems that the Port Authority in Milford Haven, Wales, has admitted responsibility for the spill:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/253324.stm

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  • 444. At 02:09am on 14 Jun 2010, hendrikus wrote:

    dear media, the real culprits are the American contractors to BP, Camaron Inc for producing blow out valves that did not work, also look at transcontinental and Haliburton evaluate their performance and see who was lacking. It is interesting to note the american media avoiding this completely. B.P sought the best contractors money would buy, BP can do no more than that. The FAILURE IS AMERICAN not BP. How many other oil rigs employ blowout valves produced by Camaron that may or may not work.
    Have you checked? Come on start doing your job

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  • 445. At 02:30am on 14 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 446. At 02:42am on 14 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    hendripicus;

    "B.P sought the best contractors money would buy, BP can do no more than that. The FAILURE IS AMERICAN not BP."

    Really? And have you checked to see that BP's orders and designs were not different from the others? How about YOU doing YOUR homework. How about the other corner cutting such as drilling with seawater instead of mud and their use of cheaper concrete. Do YOUR homework.

    "How many other oil rigs employ blowout valves produced by Camaron that may or may not work."

    If what you say is true, hundreds if not thousands of them. What a coincidence that only one company's, one belonging to British Petroleum who is known for cutting corners and safety violations which result in accidents and deaths is the only one that failed this way. What bad luck. Or is it a coincidence? President Obama isn't convinced. Maybe Tony Hayward can make a case for himself when he meets the President this week or later on when he has his little chat with the DOJ.

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  • 447. At 03:42am on 14 Jun 2010, Cindy from Florida wrote:

    ThankYou MAII.
    Oil has made our nation great but now is the time to move on to other energy sources. It will be expensive, initially, but the outcome will be that America, and any nation that chooses energy independence, will be safer, richer, and cleaner. Jobs in oil can be retooled to jobs in wind, solar, thermo-electric, and plant(rapeseed,corn, etc.)energy. Hit these companies that cause so much damage just to shave a few dollars(pounds, euros,etc) off the bottom line, right in the one place that matters to them-their wallets.

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  • 448. At 04:45am on 14 Jun 2010, Orville Eastland wrote:

    A few comments:
    American reaction:
    As far as I can tell, the Americans I know like the Brits. We gave HRH Prince Edward an excellent welcome when he visited our city not long ago.
    http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20100527/NEWS01/100527010/Prince-Edward-s-tour-of-the-Upstate-begins
    (More local articles on request...)
    As others have said, we dislike the corporation but not the British people.
    Who's to blame:
    Like many Americans, I blame BP for much of this. I do think that Transocean and Halliburton are to blame as well. I know the previous administration was extremely lax in regulating anything, much less their beloved oil industry (and the regulators' intimate relations with oil lobbyists, plus their use of influencing substances, is a scandal that should have been more widely reported. (The faux ACORN videos got far more coverage...))
    However, despite Obama's hands being (officially) tied, he DID call for MORE oil drilling a few months ago. So much for Pliable. I'm glad I didn't vote for him.
    I saw something interesting tonight which goes to show one group of people that have seldom been blamed. My parents stopped at a McDonalds, where a gallon of (Southern US-style) Tea was $2.99- more than the price of a gallon of gasoline at a BP across the street. You can always make more tea. You can't make more petroleum unless you have a worldwide flood or millions of years of heat and pressure. Society is too attached to oil. We need to kick the habit. (I'm doing my part. I don't drive and never intend to- though it's mostly since I don't think I can handle driving...)
    #400:
    Marcus, I can understand some of your anger, but when you bashed Doctor Who, you aroused my ire. True, while much of the special effects in Doctor Who are laughable, but the same can be said of early Star Trek (Or even later Star Trek in comparison to today). The New Doctor Who has better writing than many Star Treks (Who has swept the Hugos for the past few years), better effects than the current Star Treks, and as good as or better acting than many Star Treks (Incidentally, Sir Patrick Stewart recently played Claudius in an excellent Hamlet. Hamlet was played by David Tennant, the Doctor before the current one.). Doctor Who has always been more popular in Britain, and is spreading throughout the world- and gaining fans. (It already makes millions of pounds for BBC Worldwide...)
    I posted my comments on the "special relationship" in the recent thread.
    Off topic:
    Mr. Mardell, regardless of if I agree or disagree with your views, you are taking too much work upon you. America is a big place. The stories from here are too much for one person to blog about or cover. Maybe you should be the main host of this blog, with others covering other topics, depending on the circumstances?
    (And, Moderators, please tell me where or if exactly I make any defamatory statements about anyone in here? I'm not sure why you banned my post, except for length.)

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  • 449. At 05:04am on 14 Jun 2010, JBloomrosen wrote:

    I live in Florida, and have been to England, and love the British folk. Not one person I know has any disdain or hatred to the average Brit over the BP spill. Contrary to what you may think, Americans are not always over-reactionary people. Just sometimes!

    But I must say, it doesn't help that when I look at the BBC America page on your site, I have to search for coverage of what is our worst ecological disaster ever. I find it rather disturbing that the top story about the spill is about what President Obama thinks of Brits, not of the spill itself. That strikes this American as quite odd.

    The oil will soon be headed your way - this is not just an American problem, it is a global one. BP has done more damage to our shores, marshes, animals, and way of life, than any other disaster in US history. There are no boundaries on the oceans of the world, and the millions of gallons of oil BP has unleashed, will be the rest of the world's problem soon enough.

    I understand that many Brits have pensions and stock in BP, but to hide the story in your news? That is just plain wrong. THAT kind of behavior is what will make Americans mad at you folks, not the spill itself. This is each and every HUMANS' problem, not just an American one. Why are the Brits not enraged over BPs ignoring the warnings of the spill, days before it happened? That I just do not comprehend.

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  • 450. At 05:35am on 14 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    MarkusAurellious Wrote

    My psychosis? It isn't my country that remains under the thumb of the English cork and crown today. My country threw off that yoke well over 200 years ago. I can hardly imagine what it must be like to live in a small country right on the borderland where you might at any given moment have to curtsy to the Queen of England...or entertain her dear son his royal hignass.
    ***********************************************
    After all the crap he espouses,he should realize his country needs the little country of the UK more than they need his BIG country. Without the UK the USA would have no friends in the world.


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  • 451. At 05:54am on 14 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    MarkusArelious II? Wrote

    I feel their outrage is laughable. The mouse that roared? More like the mouse that squeaked. Let them eat cake. Why should Americans care what they think or don't think about us? Besides, they are now at least as jealous of us as the French are. Even BBC has an obsession about it.
    ****************************************
    Cake is good eaten in moderation. Observing your countries language is leased from us,its surprising that maybe urself and others over there
    really dont understand the word. Why should u care about what others think ! We dont really care, or bother to enquire what ur parochial issues are. As for jealous of u....lol..lol..lol of what,being hated in the world? Your record of slavery and history of black persecusion. Get real yank. You need the little mouse more than we need u.In fact Britain dosnt need u whatsoever. So go cry in ur oil mate.

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  • 452. At 08:47am on 14 Jun 2010, VAfishboyz wrote:

    Hello There My Limey Brothers and Sisters,

    If your media is telling you that this BP oil spill catastrophe has whipped up anti-British sentiment in the US, that is ridiculous. If there are any nations to whom the US is most favorably inclined, it would be the British as well as the Canadians, NZ and Australia. When the going gets tough we consider you mates for whom we are often ready to die.

    A lot of us were already really mad at oil companies, banks, big business and politicians in general, even before this most recent example of gross negligence and corruption lead to catastrophe. Most Americans have no idea of the implications for many British pensioners and other holders of BP shares. As many have said, most Americans don't even associate BP with the British. They are just another oil company who has made huge profits off of an oil addicted US and rest of the world in general. Frankly, if this was Exxon, Texaco, Chevron or whoever, they would be taken to task with equal determination, maybe more.

    Exxon wrote the book on how to screw the public with company greed and negligence with their Exxon Valdez disaster 20 years ago. They dragged the whole thing through the courts for 20 years challenging all settlements and basically screwing everyone involved except the attorneys. That left a nasty taste in everyone's mouth from a greedy oil company screwing the American public. That won't likely happen again.

    I'm a Virginia waterman and environmental activist in the Chesapeake Bay. I know some fishermen in the Gulf area and I haven't even heard of anti-Brit sentiment down there, even from those directly affected. However, plenty of people want to hold BP and others accountable for their sins. Regardless of the country of origin of most of their shareholders.

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  • 453. At 09:55am on 14 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Cindy/Florida;

    "Oil has made our nation great but now is the time to move on to other energy sources."

    It can't. It will be with us for a long time. 80% of our electrical energy comes from fossil fuel (50% coal, 20% oil, 10% natural gas) and 20% from nuclear power, some from hydroelectricity. So called alternative energy like wind, solar, biomass, fuel cells are only a tiny percentage of our totaly electrical energy production. Those sources are inefficient, unreliable, and very expensive. 94% of all products used in the US depend on oil to be moved from one place to another...on trucks. Nearly 100% of our transportation system depends on fossil fuel, mostly petroleum distillates like gasoline and diesel. Oil will not go away for a very long time. The idea of some magic transformation is a pipe dream. The numbers are staggering. It can't be avoided. It's in the nature of our geography (vast and spread far and wide), our climate (severe and extreme of heat, cold, humidity) and our economy...inherently energy intensive. We've looked hard to find alternatives for decades and often caused new problems by accident. Sick building syndrome was the result of an effort in the 1970s to make heating and air conditioning systems more efficient by making buildings tighter. The consequences made people sick and came as a complete surprise. Buildings are much healthier when fresh air infiltrates to a degree that removes toxins from many sources like plastic laminate by displacing them as they leak out. We will continue to live on oil to a large degree barring a major scientific breakthrough. Science fair projects like wind and solar may feel good but they are a waste of time and effort. BTW, I'm an electrical engineer. I've dealt with this all of my professional life.

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  • 454. At 10:12am on 14 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    Emps wrote:

    "Cake is good eaten in moderation. Observing your countries language is leased from us,its surprising that maybe urself and others over there
    really dont understand the word."

    What exactly is it you think we do not understand? Maybe we can help you understand.

    "We dont really care, or bother to enquire what ur parochial issues are."

    Is that a joke? Either way I'm laughing.

    "As for jealous of u....lol..lol..lol of what,being hated in the world?

    More hate towards America is created and perpetuated by people like you than for any other reason.

    "Your record of slavery and history of black persecusion. Get real yank. You need the little mouse more than we need u.In fact Britain dosnt need u whatsoever. So go cry in ur oil mate."

    You sure you want to bring up your country's past?

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  • 455. At 10:21am on 14 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    JBloomrosen wrote:

    I live in Florida, and have been to England, and love the British folk. Not one person I know has any disdain or hatred to the average Brit over the BP spill. Contrary to what you may think, Americans are not always over-reactionary people. Just sometimes!

    But I must say, it doesn't help that when I look at the BBC America page on your site, I have to search for coverage of what is our worst ecological disaster ever. I find it rather disturbing that the top story about the spill is about what President Obama thinks of Brits, not of the spill itself. That strikes this American as quite odd.

    The oil will soon be headed your way - this is not just an American problem, it is a global one. BP has done more damage to our shores, marshes, animals, and way of life, than any other disaster in US history. There are no boundaries on the oceans of the world, and the millions of gallons of oil BP has unleashed, will be the rest of the world's problem soon enough.

    I understand that many Brits have pensions and stock in BP, but to hide the story in your news? That is just plain wrong. THAT kind of behavior is what will make Americans mad at you folks, not the spill itself. This is each and every HUMANS' problem, not just an American one. Why are the Brits not enraged over BPs ignoring the warnings of the spill, days before it happened? That I just do not comprehend.
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Don't let your "love" of "the British folk" blind you to the truth. I suspect that is the reason why you can not "comprehend."

    It's simple really, a very large portion, if not the majority, of the British population are anti-American, even those that are fond of much of our culture.

    Spend enough time there and you will understand. Heck, spend enough time on British sites and you will understand. If you read the BBC regularly you should understand.


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  • 456. At 10:44am on 14 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    LucyJ wrote:

    "Immigrants who have transferred from other countries do not always feel the same way that Americans who were born here do. An example of this is the World Cup. I was watching the Mexicans in Cali, USA cheer on Mexico's World Cup team on Friday (Cali tv station) and they were all cheering for Mexico with Mexican flag painted faces, ect. But was there a single American flag in the mix, too, since this was taking place in America? No, I did not see a single American flag. I can understand that they want to cheer for Mexico, but why can't they cheer for USA, too? Was there the same kind of celebration for Team USA by this group? I have not heard of any or seen any footage. Maybe I missed it."

    You didn't miss it Lucy, just like when a couple of years back we had the big protest by illegal immigrants and their supporters and sympathizers against immigration reform that would enforce the law. All those Mexican flags you saw flying were not your imagination. What you saw was the true nature of this group.

    These people are the greatest threat to America today. They are not pro-American in any way. These are hostile and dangerous people that have no respect for the sovereignty and laws of America. Unless something is done soon it will lead to violence and possibly civil war.

    "It just seems bizarre for some immigrants in USA to cheer on their homeland and not USA, too. They should be cheering for USA first. Yeah, I know, I know freedom of speech. But why are we letting people like this into the country? There are some immigrants who feel more connected to their homeland than to USA."

    It doesn't help when we Americans do not loudly protest against Spanish being introduced into all facets of American society as if somehow it should be an official language. That only encourages such people to place their country's culture over America's.

    What is "bizarre" is that we are allowing all these hostile illegal immigrants into the country, in the first place, and then go further and make it easier for them to stay and function here by supporting their language.

    "Not all of them are like that, though, obviously. There are some very wonderful immigrants, too. They are the ones who put USA above their homeland and follow our laws."

    Those are the only ones any sane country should allow into their country.



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  • 457. At 12:14pm on 14 Jun 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    443. At 01:37am on 14 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    ukwales (#432) "In 1996 the Sea Empress tanker, chartered by Texaco, floundered on St Ann's head here in Pembrokeshire (West Wales). About 500,000 - 600,000 barrels of raw crude spilled on to our beaches, inlets & tidal rivers. It was an terrible mess, Texaco blamed the tanker people who themselves blamed everyone else. The taxpayers in the UK picked up the bill for most of the clean up. This took for ever, but with no anti-US feelings."

    It seems that the Port Authority in Milford Haven, Wales, has admitted responsibility for the spill:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/253324.stm

    Good Morning GH.Yes the above is true,but this did not come out until.
    after the inquiry.The truth I was trying to convey was that during our
    spill,contrary to some folks perception of,if oil was spilled on UK shores we would be anti American,the facts & truth are that this was not the case.Texaco using single skin massive tankers of Liberian registration,to transport oil as economically as possible are not totally
    with out fault.But this is the risk we all pay,the world over & as & when
    things go wrong its a mess.

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  • 458. At 2:52pm on 14 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    453. At 09:55am on 14 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Cindy/Florida;

    "Oil has made our nation great but now is the time to move on to other energy sources."

    "It can't. It will be with us for a long time. 80% of our electrical energy comes from fossil fuel (50% coal, 20% oil, 10% natural gas) and 20% from nuclear power, some from hydroelectricity. So called alternative energy like wind, solar, biomass, fuel cells are only a tiny percentage of our totaly electrical energy production. Those sources are inefficient, unreliable, and very expensive. 94% of all products used in the US depend on oil to be moved from one place to another...on trucks. Nearly 100% of our transportation system depends on fossil fuel, mostly petroleum distillates like gasoline and diesel. Oil will not go away for a very long time."

    ____________

    Even though I disagree with you on much, there is a lot of hard and unpleasant truth in the foregoing paragraph.

    We can probably reduce fossil fuel consumption in transportation by moving a greater percentage of freight to railroads, which are, overall, roughly 10 times as energy efficient as trucks. This is an ongoing trend that will continue.

    Greater conservation efforts might yield a 20% - 30 % reduction in energy use per capita, principally by using in-ground heat exchange. This is expensive, and will take a long time (20 years ?) to begin to show results. Saving more than 20 - 30 % is going to involve a lot of effort over a long time, and will undoubtedly require much higher energy prices at the retail level.

    It seems that right now a target of 20 % of energy production from renewables is the highest reasonable target that we can hope to achieve within 20 years. Again, as you point out it will be (or at least in the short term appear to be) expensive.

    (That would not stop me from building wind turbines by the tens of thousands - and I don't mean piddling little projects close to town in marginal wind zones on the Great Lakes, either.)

    Over that 20 year period our total energy use is likely to climb by at least 20 %, so we will be taking at least one step backward for every two steps forward.

    Even if we build nuclear plants in large numbers relatively quickly (for which I doubt there is a strong political consensus among voters in any case) it will still leave at least half, and probably closer to 2/3 or 3/4 of North American energy needs to be met by fossil fuels for a good while to come. Oh, and the price of those fuels is going to go up, because China needs them, too.


    A difficult problem.

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  • 459. At 2:56pm on 14 Jun 2010, rsrtampa wrote:

    Great article first of all and since I live in a Gulf Coast City I can also give some insight to the fact that NO ONE is blaming the Brits. Remember, this is the U.S. and so the Democrats (like myself) are blaming the Republicans lack of concern over the environment and lack of oversight to companies like BP, Exxon etc. The Republicans are trying their hardest to blame the president. I'm not quite sure how they think its Obamas fault but thats the misconstrued views of the GOP for you.

    SO, that said, so far you guys have been left out of the loop and I have a feeling with Americas attitude of "its all about us" you will remain out of that loop. So tell your newspapers and tabloids to knock it off. And just know that I like most Americans still fancy you and always will!

    Ron
    Tampa, USA

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  • 460. At 4:16pm on 14 Jun 2010, shoXx wrote:

    If there's no Anti-British sentiment, why do the US media and even President Obama insist on calling BP 'British' Petroleum? It's not been called that since 1989.

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  • 461. At 4:24pm on 14 Jun 2010, shoXx wrote:

    After the Amoco Cadiz broke up off the coast of France spilling 1,604,500 barrels of oil in 1978 they left it entirely up to the French to clean up and did absolutely nothing to help. The French got no compensation until 1990 (that's twelve years!) and even then they got half of what it cost them and their economy.

    I think BP are doing their best and spending huge amounts on cleanup and compensation (their share price fell again after they announced a $20bn fund for claims and cleanup in the Gulf), perhaps any Americans who are slagging off BP should take a long hard look at their own history.

    Also I don't think most realise that 39% of BP is owned by and used for American pension funds. The more BP's share price drops, the more it affects US pensions.

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  • 462. At 4:28pm on 14 Jun 2010, Iapetus wrote:

    I've seen lots of claims in the UK media accusing Obama/the US government of making anti-British comments.

    I haven't seen any actual examples of this alleged anti-British rhetoric.

    Its almost as if people (e.g. the Telegraph) are suggesting that British identity is inately bound up in the success or failure of our big corporations. That people think that is or should be our source of identity is in my view more worrying than any (real or imagined) insults from Obama.

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  • 463. At 4:28pm on 14 Jun 2010, jmisk1 wrote:

    I am an American and I am surprised to hear that the British would think that there would be anti-British sentiment in America over the oil spill. Yes BP may be a British company, but I personally see it as a company, not a representative of Britain. It may be a correct assumption to think that most Americans do not know that BP is a British company. Most Americans are so uninformed about what goes on besides what is on reality television. But do not lump all Americans into one big pile, there are people who keep informed about what is going on in the world. Do not give up hope for the American people. Hopefully someday the masses will wake up and realize that they are drones and things will hopefully change for the better.

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  • 464. At 4:53pm on 14 Jun 2010, Bill43 wrote:

    My family came from England albeit a very long time ago (1635). Living in New Hampshire in the northeast of the US I don't hear any comments directed toward the British Government at all, zero! There is a very vocal group in the US that is opposed to any off shore drilling by any company, for obvious reasons they would say I'm sure. Tony Hayward's comment "I want my life back" did not set well here at all. It's his leadership or the lack of it that is the root of the problem here, BP the Corporation not the British Government is the problem, that's how I see this matter.
    my opinion: ~William Richard Jewell~

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  • 465. At 4:57pm on 14 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    shoXx (#460) "If there's no Anti-British sentiment, why do the US media and even President Obama insist on calling BP 'British' Petroleum?"

    They don't. As TimOhio pointed out somewhere in this forum, President Obama said it once or twice, most likely innocently, and since then has said "BP," probably after having it pointed out to him. "BP" is used almost always. This is just an example of a small incident taking on a life of its own in the blogosphere, and becoming magnified far beyond its actual dimensions.

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  • 466. At 5:10pm on 14 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "After the Amoco Cadiz broke up off the coast of France spilling 1,604,500 barrels of oil in 1978 they left it entirely up to the French to clean up and did absolutely nothing to help. The French got no compensation until 1990 (that's twelve years!) and even then they got half of what it cost them and their economy." (from ShoXx at #461)

    It is not unusual for the legal resolution of such a case to take several years. Here is a link to a discussion of the legal aspects of the Amoco Cadiz spill:

    http://www.wfu.edu/~palmitar/Law&Valuation/chapter%201/1-4-1-AmocoCadiz.htm

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  • 467. At 5:15pm on 14 Jun 2010, shoXx wrote:

    jmisk1 wrote:

    Yes BP may be a British company....

    Except it isn't a British company, it's a multinational corporation.

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  • 468. At 5:15pm on 14 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    ShoXx (#461) "Also I don't think most realise that 39% of BP is owned by and used for American pension funds."

    Most people are not aware because it makes no difference whatsoever who owns BP stock. This isn't about stock value and it isn't about US vs. UK, it's about the damage to the Gulf caused by an industrial accident on a BP oil drilling operation.

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  • 469. At 5:23pm on 14 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    ukWales (#457) "The truth I was trying to convey was that during our spill, contrary to some folks perception of, if oil was spilled on UK shores we would be anti American, the facts & truth are that this was not the case. Texaco using single skin massive tankers of Liberian registration,to transport oil as economically as possible are not totally with out fault. But this is the risk we all pay,the world over & as & when things go wrong its a mess."

    I agree with all that, especially the last statement. The oil industry is world-wide, and accidents always involve many parties around the world. Sorting out the responsibility is a legal mess comparable to the environmental mess of a spill, often.

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  • 470. At 5:25pm on 14 Jun 2010, Julie wrote:

    Thank God somebody has some sense. If I were to be ignorant and judge the British on their news agencies, I would think they were a bunch of paranoid nuts. Every other day, there is a new "theory" on the BBC website that suggests America hates the UK. America does not hate the UK. We don't think about the people enough to hate them. Do you know who we do hate? America hates Cuba, Russia, China, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, and sometimes Mexico. There is the list for future reference.

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  • 471. At 5:28pm on 14 Jun 2010, shoXx wrote:

    GH1618 (#465)

    Fair enough, maybe it's our media sensationalizing it but I have seen it said more than 'once or twice'.

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  • 472. At 5:29pm on 14 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "Without the UK the USA would have no friends in the world." (from Emps at #450)

    This reminds me of a statement made by President Truman:

    "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."

    Nations don't have friends, they have interests. It is often in the interest of a nation to have friendly relations with another, but when the interests change, the nature of the relationship will change to suit.

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  • 473. At 5:32pm on 14 Jun 2010, Lamont Buffington wrote:

    I know this may come as a shock to theBritis, but in America we demonize anything and anyone to gain an advantage. We are by culture capitalist of the first order engaging in 'raw'l spirited entrepenurial 'eat what you kill". BP- British Petroleum-- Beyond petrol- call it what you like ...but in the States it is just the latest dish for our rapacious political appetite. Nothing personal old man-- just politics American style. Get over it!

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  • 474. At 5:39pm on 14 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #465

    Totally agree, this is a real storm in a teacup. I dont see anything to suggest an anti-British stance from the US, just a few of the usual suspect bloggers on both sides who want to cause trouble. Why the British media is jumping on the bandwagon and adding fuel to a fire that isnt really there I dont know. We Brits cant stomach much of our media anymore than you can. I would remind readers though that this blog is entitled "NO Brit bashing" not "Brit bashing".

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  • 475. At 5:54pm on 14 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    420. At 09:03am on 13 Jun 2010, AllenT2 wrote:
    In America the name British Petroleum is well known, maybe even more so than BP. Apparently none of Britons here considered that before going on the defense, and offense.

    Exactly, I've always thought it was named British Petroleum. Also lets play a hypothetical. Chevron screwed this up, BP was called to the rescue and fixed it for us. Would the Brits be calling the company BP or BRITISH Petroleum?

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  • 476. At 6:50pm on 14 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    443. At 01:37am on 14 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    ukwales (#432) "In 1996 the Sea Empress tanker, chartered by Texaco, floundered on St Ann's head here in Pembrokeshire (West Wales). About 500,000 - 600,000 barrels of raw crude spilled on to our beaches, inlets & tidal rivers. It was an terrible mess, Texaco blamed the tanker people who themselves blamed everyone else. The taxpayers in the UK picked up the bill for most of the clean up. This took for ever, but with no anti-US feelings."

    It seems that the Port Authority in Milford Haven, Wales, has admitted responsibility for the spill:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/253324.stm




    Please don’t try to include pesky facts into this thread. Like the guy who said the population of the US is only 100 million :rollseyes:

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  • 477. At 7:43pm on 14 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    461. At 4:24pm on 14 Jun 2010, shoXx wrote:
    Also I don't think most realise that 39% of BP is owned by and used for American pension funds. The more BP's share price drops, the more it affects US pensions.

    Our pensions are not typically like yours, mostly we manage our own investments like IRAs and 401Ks these days and they sound way more diversified. Remember also that you have a much smaller economy, 40% of BP is a much bigger deal to the UK than it is to the US, numbers wise.

    Anyhow, as suggested my numerous people in this blog the average American does know that BP is not solely British owned and we don’t care. It’s one of those mega corporations that make huge amounts of money and in general, don’t care about the environment.

    BP has very deep pockets and the law is here is very clear, they are legally the responsible party no matter if some brits think that it’s not fair. It’s unfortunate about the investors because I think this may end up bankrupting the company. Oh well, some other oil company will pick up the slack.

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  • 478. At 8:24pm on 14 Jun 2010, shoXx wrote:

    477. At 7:43pm on 14 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    BP has very deep pockets and the law is here is very clear, they are legally the responsible party no matter if some brits think that it’s not fair. It’s unfortunate about the investors because I think this may end up bankrupting the company. Oh well, some other oil company will pick up the slack.

    Yeah and no doubt be bought by a US oil company when the share price nosedives enough lol.

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  • 479. At 9:35pm on 14 Jun 2010, Swooshz in Denver wrote:

    I'm just an average American and after reading some of the posts, I can see why some Brits may think there is Brit bashing based on the use of "British Petroleum" vs BP. But also as an average American, I knew what BP stood for when they bought Amaco Gas years ago. But I didn't know that the full name isn't used anymore, which means I didn't realize that using it was an issue.

    But let's be honest. Americans stereotypical view of a Brit includes smart, educated, high class, and well-mannered. And somehow I doubt that Brits view us in the same fashion. So with those stereotypical views of Brits, Tony Hayward is hated because his quotes are undoubtedly some of the most stupid comments on record. Which leaves us with a smart, educated, high class person talking down to us like we are all complete idiots. We hate him and we hate BP and we have SERIOUS issues with our own government's handling. But as far as Brit bashing... Come on, I was in line at the store yesterday standing next to 2 magazines. On the cover of one was Fergie and on the cover of the other was Prince William with the title, "A wedding to rival Princess Di's" Our days of Brit bashing ended long before we had 50 stars on the flag.

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  • 480. At 9:38pm on 14 Jun 2010, ptrask wrote:

    I'm a US citizen living in the Northeast. I have been following closely the rhetoric being posted about "anti-British sentiment." What I see, is a lot of people raising their voices about nothing. The Brits are sure that we're out to kick their *sses (like we did in that little soiree back in the 18th century). We have no such desire. We know that BP is British in name only. We do, however, take offense at some little country standing up and saying, "We shouldn't let those nasty Americans treat us like this." Grow up, get a life, and stop bugging us before we have another Boston Tea Party (in the Thames River this time!)

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  • 481. At 9:56pm on 14 Jun 2010, nolyoj wrote:

    No doubt it will be a U.S company that buys up what's left of B.P. after they been thrown to the dogs by the U.S. media who seem so forgetful about Bhopal and the insignificant sum that Union Carbide a predominately U.S. company paid in compensation for between 15,000 and 30,000 lives. Never mind the fact that it was a U.S company who were directly responsible for the disaster in the Gulf. Speaking of disasters in the Gulf whatever happened to the WOMD excuse for seizing control of oil supply. This time it's corporate negligence as an excuse for more American flag waving imperialism.

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  • 482. At 10:04pm on 14 Jun 2010, shoXx wrote:

    480. At 9:38pm on 14 Jun 2010, ptrask wrote:

    The Brits are sure that we're out to kick their *sses (like we did in that little soiree back in the 18th century). We have no such desire. We know that BP is British in name only. We do, however, take offense at some little country standing up and saying, "We shouldn't let those nasty Americans treat us like this." Grow up, get a life, and stop bugging us before we have another Boston Tea Party (in the Thames River this time!)

    Ok I'm not saying you're out to kick our *sses, it's just a little hypocritical America berating BP for things historically you have done in the not so distant past, it seems to me that unless it's in your own back yard you don't care. But woe betide anyone messing up in your territory, then it's the apocalypse.

    And unfounded threats just make you look lame. The Boston Tea Party took place before America even existed and was technically carried out by British colonists not Americans. Seeing as the 'United States of America' didn't declare independance until 1776. The Boston Tea Party happened in 1773 if you've forgotton.

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  • 483. At 10:05pm on 14 Jun 2010, Clark wrote:

    There is no widespread or any Brit-Bashing I know of. How anyone can assume Americans as a whole are Brit-Bashing based on what I have seen and read here is nothing short of ignorance and arrogance.
    And yes, We are not so ignorant as to not know that BP stood for British Petroleum as late as 1998, 12 years ago the name was changed, not 20. Many of us have the intellegence to remember that far back and to many that is what it stands for. At least everyone I know. And no, I know of nobody that assumes just becasue someone has a British accent they are intellegent.
    Americans are upset becasue BP has failed to cordinate any type of large scale clean-up that this spill requires. Instead they have been spraying toxic chemicals, putting out booms that do not work in these waters and spend their time trying to minimize the damage.
    Americans do not dislike Tony Hayward because he is British, we dislike and call for his resignation because he lied to us, failed to act and is very arrogant. As long as he is connected with BP you will see more outrage over BP's failure to act responsibly.
    And yes, we are now very angry with our government for not acting sooner by forcing BP to act.
    Brits are angry about their stock prices in BP falling,this is where the false news of Americans blaming the Brits is coming from. Becasue we boycott BP and demand they pay for clean-up and damage. This casues the stock prices to fall and Brits assume we are blaming them as a people becasue many of us still refer to BP with their old name British Petroleum out of habit.
    Americans at this point do not blame the Brits as a people. But if they continue to misalign us with such disdain and in such an arrogant manner as can be seen here then yes, I do see this becoming a relations problem.
    These are good, hard working peoples. They may not have IQ's above 130 like some of us but they are far from ignorant. Thier knowledge is in a way of life with a rich culture based on making a living in the Gulf waters and family. That is now being threatened.
    I would assume anyone would realize this and not only understand our outrage but support it.
    They do not care whose fault it is. Just stop the oil from flowing and start cleaning it up already.

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  • 484. At 10:25pm on 14 Jun 2010, truong law wrote:

    A simple solution to stop the oil leak from deep sea of Gulf Mexico
    To whom that may concern, I have couple ideas can stop the oil leak from spreading all over the sea, but most important with this mater BP’s stock market falling down more and it affect the economy too.
    The first step is taking care of the problem with most urgent and simple basic. First step first; my idea is to keep the leaking oil not to spreading all over the gulf. How to do that?
    This project so simple if it assign to right person that may take 1-3 days can take care of the leaking oil.
    To start this project may need few simple materials like; heavy concrete foundations, seat belt trap, strong and flexible material like the material making the parachute. Make them like the tube then connect that tube with the concrete foundation, drop that down to cover the leaking oil area, so the leaking oil can be flow up follows the tube to the sea surface and the ship’s oil container.
    Step 2 still simple but who will see these ideas? If some one interest I will share the next step too, but most important is to this idea to someone who could do something to stop that oil leaking now!
    I tried to contact many different s departments like BP and government, I’m disappointed about this new era of high tech hi-touch and HD technology, I can’t get taught with some one handle the oil leaking problem.

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  • 485. At 00:24am on 15 Jun 2010, Adronson wrote:

    I've been following all this with considerable puzzlement, since I've seen no anti-British sentiment in this event at all. Particularly puzzling is the common charge, especially in comments, that Americans are not angry at the other companies involved because Transocean and Halliburton are American Companies. In truth, Transocean is a Swiss company and the Deepwater Horizon was registered as a vessel in the Marshall Islands; there have been no Swiss or Marshall Islands bashing either, that I'm aware of. Halliburton is critized so regularly and often in the American press that their name is steeped in villany for at least half the American public.

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  • 486. At 00:50am on 15 Jun 2010, John wrote:

    As BP struggles to contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the impact on people’s livelihoods in the region, I think it is worth recalling another industrial accident that occurred some 25 years ago at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal India. In this case several thousand people were killed within a few hours of a toxic chemical spill and many more thousands died over subsequent years as a result of this accident.
    While the Deep Water Horizon was operated by a subcontractor of the UK based company BP, in Bhopal the company involved was the Indian subsidiary (Union Carbide India) of its American parent corporation.
    The U.S. government is now holding BP squarely responsible for the oil spill and accountable for all cleanup costs which is in stark contrast to the way that the disaster with Union Carbide was handled. Surely the U.S. government should now follow the same standards on corporate liability for U.S. corporations operating in India (and elsewhere) as it expects for corporations operating in the U.S?

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  • 487. At 01:16am on 15 Jun 2010, cbcronin wrote:

    I notice there is no story on the site, concerning the internal BP memos that have recently come to light.

    After reading some of them, perhaps people here will be less likely to take offense at imagined "bashing" and more inclined to joining those simply asking for accountability.

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  • 488. At 03:44am on 15 Jun 2010, midwest_USA wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 489. At 03:53am on 15 Jun 2010, midwest_USA wrote:

    The USA does not hold all British people responsible for BP's actions. We do hold BP responsible. I think we should all be furious at this corporation.

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  • 490. At 04:59am on 15 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    The Bohpal incident is only being talked about because a couple of weeks ago the Indian court system finally finished with the court cases and convictions and it’s is in the recent news cycle. With the exception of one American who admittedly ran away 25 years ago, all the convictions were of Indian nationals.

    India is India, what happens there 25 years ago and how they handled it is irrelevant (their problem) and out of US jurisdiction. That means the US government had nothing to do with it.

    BP did this in America. BP is apparently half owned by Americans, but regardless our laws are very clear, we can and will absolutely hold BP accountable, regardless of any UK investors.

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  • 491. At 05:23am on 15 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    This is the official letter to Tony from the US government with regard to the questions he will be asked at his first hearing on Thursday. It's very long and factual, maybe too much for some of you to read.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 492. At 05:30am on 15 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    I guess the BBC will not allow a link to the US government. Let me try this again. Put a dot in there.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 493. At 05:34am on 15 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 494. At 05:40am on 15 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    Wow, British censorship at it's finest. Oh well, it will be in the papers by the weekend. Bye Bye BP....

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  • 495. At 05:43am on 15 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    Oh, I see, you can't post a link to a PDF. Lets try one more time, this is a cut ans paste.

    theoildrum.com/node/6604

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  • 496. At 06:06am on 15 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    Better official link. You won;t see much of this evidence in the UK papers.

    http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2043:chairmen-send-letter-to-bp-ceo-prior-to-hearing&catid=122:media-advisories&Itemid=55

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  • 497. At 10:13am on 15 Jun 2010, filthy macnasty wrote:

    (Begin quote)

    182. At 01:04am on 11 Jun 2010, Raff wrote:

    I'm an American also living off the Gulf Coast here in the state of Alabama. Like everyone else that has actually been in the US during this catastrophe, I also haven't heard, read, or seen anything (even on the Facebook newsreel) that said anything directed towards the UK, its people, or its culture. In fact, British folks aren't ever poorly talked about. In the American context, I might even go so far to say that anti-Britishism (at least compared to anti-Americanism is in the UK) is a complete fabrication lacking any real evidence. Now, "anti-Britishism" (which probably only the UK's former colonies would have right to express) is not Obama saying "British Petroleum." That is ridiculous. If Americans were anti-Brit the way Brits are anti-American, then it would be much nastier. We can be quite capable of that.

    I am curious though why Brits are so anti-American. I get the developing world's animosity; they do have a legitimate claim, but British and European anti-Americanism in general perplexes me. Any Brit want to offer some insight into that? However, I don't care to hear the usual BS where you aggregate an entire, vast, and diverse country into some ridiculous stereotypical anecdote that goes "one time this American...blah blah blah."

    Filthy MacNasty replies;

    Propaganda. Pure and simple. The Brits and the rest of Europe were steeped in Soviet anti-American propaganda for more than half a century. That a lot of them lapped it up eagerly isn't much to their credit but I don't think there's much you can do about that.

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  • 498. At 10:18am on 15 Jun 2010, JimInChicago wrote:

    I've seen no evidence whatsoever of Britain bashing in the USA, with the sole exception of global news websites such as the BBC. Most Americans are pathetically ill-informed about the world outside of the USA's borders and therefore don't realize that BP used to be known as British Petroleum. Those Americans who do know of BP's nation of origin could care less where BP is headquartered, they only want the spill stopped and cleaned up.

    It's of no interest to ordinary Americans which country BP is headquartered as BP is a huge multinational conglomerate employing many people in the USA and around the globe. The bashing of BP in the USA pertains to BP allowing this environmental disaster to occur, and then the poor handling of the situation and the inability of BP to stop the oil spill. BP bashing in the USA has not become Britain bashing. Period!

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  • 499. At 11:53am on 15 Jun 2010, filthy macnasty wrote:

    (Begin quote)

    89. At 01:37am on 11 Jun 2010, lochraven wrote:

    #132 Robbie
    " This debate has lost its focus. The USA has an unquenchable thirst for oil and were happy to allow these offshore developments to help quench this thirst. "

    So now you're bashing the US because we have "an unquenchable thirst for oil." Why not mention the rest of the lot, China, India, Russia, UK, Germany, France.....the list goes on. Do you think your country could survive with out oil?

    And I don't see any reason why Americans on this blog are bending over backwards to convince the Brits that we harbor no resentment toward them, when all we get from your side is a daily dose of criticism.

    Filthy MacNasty replies;

    (Grin) Don't see very many bending over backwards... no video...

    Besides, can you think of anything funnier than a couple of hundred million people who've backed themselves into socialist dead-ends and sudden discovered that money really doesn't grow on trees and that bleeding rich capitalists only works as long as the capitalist stick around to be bled - and they've taken their money out of their reach?

    I don't consider anything that comes out of Europe to be all that serious. Squalling of puppies or hissing of kittens is just as threatening...

    On a more serious and possibly Euro-bashing note, if the Europeans had half the gumption that the Mexican border jumpers display daily (by the thousands?) they could solve most of the problems they've created for themselves by themselves.




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  • 500. At 03:06am on 16 Jun 2010, Yankee_Poodle wrote:

    Brit Bashing in the US? Where the blazes did that come from? Let's be clear here, I'm a Brit living in the US, and I have done so in the NW and SE since of the country since 2004

    !*@! THERE IS NO BRIT BASHING !*@!

    The average Brit could learn a thing or two from the average American. With the exception of the rare red neck, the Americans treat each other a whole lot better than we do, and that INCLUDES foreigners. They're just nicer people.

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