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BP defeated by Russian partners

Robert Peston | 20:05 UK time, Thursday, 24 March 2011

If you don't try, you can't fail - to coin the cliche.

But it is still embarrassing for BP that an independent tribunal has blocked its attempt to form a partnership - based on an exchange of shares - with the Russian energy giant Rosneft, and prohibited an associated agreement to explore the Arctic sea for oil.

The ruling of the tribunal, which upheld an injunction in the London courts, is comprehensive and clear, raising questions about why BP's new chief executive, Bob Dudley, ever thought the deal could happen.

Perhaps he calculated that because he was negotiating with a state-owned enterprise in Rosneft, the Kremlin would put sufficient pressure on the opponents of the transaction, the group of Russian billionaires - who we'll give the shorthand name of AAR, and who are the co-owners with BP of a massive Russian energy venture, TNK BP - to cease their frustrating action.

That does not appear to have happened. And a spokesman for AAR insists it won't happen.

He says that AAR is clear that the deal with Rosneft is so damaging to the intrinsic value of TNK BP, that BP will not be able to afford to buy off the billionaires.

We'll see.

In the meantime, BP will go back to the tribunal and ask it to permit the share swap - which would see BP increase its stake in Rosneft from just over 1% to just over 10%, while Rosneft would take a 5% stake in BP.

There seems to be a deadline of April 14 for some kind of way to be found through the impasse, because that's when the agreement-in-principle with Rosneft on the share exchange expires.

So what's the damage for BP?

Well an exciting opportunity to bond with the most important company in one of the world's most energy rich countries may have been lost.

And there is some reputational damage, in that the judgment of BP's senior management appears to have been flawed.

Also BP's relations with its TNK BP partners haven't exactly been improved - which is not ideal given that TNK BP is a cash spewing business with bags of potential worth tens of billions of dollars.

All that said, none of this needs to be a permanent loss. The final bill depends on how BP proceeds from here.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Russian Billionaires I have never heard such a load of nonsense in all my life as it seems that since the fall of the "Iron Curtain" the world is now full of oligarchs buying football teams with a firm Russian fist in just about every capitalist venture going when everyone really knows the truth that in the former Soviet Union they would shoot Millionaires on sight.

  • Comment number 2.

    BP won't be moving its head quarters to Russia I suggest.

  • Comment number 3.

    If you look at it through the eyes of Godfather Pt3, you will have an insight.

    3 billionaires and a conclomarate -Pt4?

  • Comment number 4.

    Was it the Board's bad judgement or was it very poor advice they received about the legalities and the real interests of TNK. Russian billionaires - two a rouble. Their gain was the loss of the Russian people when their industries were flogged off at a fraction of their true worth in a surreal attempt to develop a capitalist economy thus creating a gulag in every main street.

  • Comment number 5.

    I've worked in Russia. They play by different rules...its brutal, corrupt and sometimes violent. The BP board like like gringos at a poker game.
    I'd not have expected it to turn out any other way.

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm glad I don't have to make sure I don't leave my drink unattended.

    You can't trust these capitalists, especially the ones with the Zeal Of The Convert.

  • Comment number 7.

    Robert Peston.

    "He says that AAR is clear that the deal with Rosneft is so damaging to the intrinsic value of TNK BP, that BP will not be able to afford to buy off the billionaires. "

    isn't that sort of thing more usually done by assassination?

  • Comment number 8.

    "And there is some reputational damage, in that the judgment of BP's senior management appears to have been flawed."

    Enough said.

  • Comment number 9.

    Of course i dont suppose an american running bp is running the company down so that another american oil giant can come in and buy it on the cheap, and im sure that the russians did not come up with this deal knowing it would not succeed, of course inone of this was pre planned

  • Comment number 10.

    #1 - Rambling rant, were you drinking? I hope so, because your naievety is breathtaking.

    The reference to naievety is deliberate by the way, for sure the board at BP should look to their respective belly buttons whilst hanging their heads in shame - if you're paid to make corporate strategic decisions, and paid handsomely at that, you should really do your homework and get them right. Foolish men. I agree with #9, BP will go for a song, and I would wager sooner rather than later.

  • Comment number 11.

    8. At 23:23pm on 24th Mar 2011, rock_and_roll_economics wrote:
    "And there is some reputational damage, in that the judgment of BP's senior management appears to have been flawed."

    Enough said.


    Many said that Edison was mad when he was inventing the light bulb. Like most people with an open mind he perserved until he succeeded. Great inventors and great business people try new ideas. Why not give it a try yourself

  • Comment number 12.

    After my nearly 40 years working in the oil and gas sector I'm becoming pretty adept at spotting management teams that are all process and no progress and believe me this collection of numpties are exactly that.

  • Comment number 13.

    @5. At 22:04pm on 24th Mar 2011, NonLondonView wrote:

    Yep.

  • Comment number 14.

    @ 5. At 22:04pm on 24th Mar 2011, NonLondonView wrote:

    > I've worked in Russia. They play by different rules...its brutal, corrupt
    > and sometimes violent.

    You should see Birkenhead, pal.

  • Comment number 15.

    Hmm. Many international companies face similar issues in many different countries that we never hear about.

    To quote another cliche, Robert, is: if you lie with dogs, you get up with fleas?

  • Comment number 16.

    @Decentjohn re #11

    I think you will find that my comments chime with the other comments made by people with far more knowledge of the oil industry that my good self.

    But... if you're offereing ME the job of Chief Executive of BP then, my friend, I glady accept!!

    When do I start?...

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    24. At 12:52pm on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    I wonder sometimes what the difference is between the UK and Egypt under Mubarak. Ok so we have elections which are not 'fixed' directly, but subtlely through control of the media and the mis-information spread - and we even have our own 'secret police force'.......
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    I think it would be more on topic to consider the way business and politics are arranged in Russia.

    As for the 'secret police force' I hope there are no agent provocateurs causing trouble tomorrow. Unfortunately there will probably be the odd idiot there doing their own discrediting.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    This blog seems to become more old school 'Russian' by the day. Note this is a relavent posting to the topic.

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    27. At 13:57pm on 25th Mar 2011, Averagejoe wrote:
    25. At 13:11pm on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

    ..............
    The way this blog is heading we may need to find another one pretty soon, so we can keep, those that know whats really going on, informed. Any suggestions?

    ==========================================================

    But then whose comments will i constantly complain about before complaining to the moderators. You will all be missed :(

  • Comment number 32.

    You would have thought that BP with all the problems they have had in the past in Russia would have been more careful in their dealings, but it appears they have learned very little from their past experiences.

    The Russians want their " expertise " and access to the engineers and equipment manufactures needed but at some point in the future they will just oust BP and do it themselves , for BP its all about how much they can get before that happens.

    The Russian government is basically untrustworthy and only abides by laws it agrees with, they hold all the aces and our reliance on fossil fuels will see them exploit that advantage as they see fit.

    You can see how desperate we are for fuel when a country that has 1% of world output suddenly takes centre stage and the price rises we have seen are out of all proportion to supply problems that have been caused.Without the ability of speculators to deal in commodities this world would be a far safer place.

    One question i ask myself is IF a nuclear disaster of the size of japan's on going and far from over incident had happened here , how would our Government have dealt with it.I look back to the windscale reporting of the time and see the same things being said and a general down playing of the whole episode.

    The major point was that , if the bean counters had had their way my county would have been a wasteland and without a scientist fighting his corner and insisting on filters on top of the chimneys things would have turned out far far worse.These reactors were tiny compared to modern reactors and to some extent excuses could be made as at the time no one had any data to say what the right/wrong way to deal with the situation would or should be.The filters were laughingly called Cockcrofts folly and the radiation that the workers faced to fight this were an order of magnitude lower than those faced in Japan.

    I think our Government would do exactly the same thing to us, drip feed information in a form that is difficult to understand unless you are knowledgeable about the industry and its risks, roll out a succession of supposedly knowledgeable people in the main stream media, divert as much attention away from the incident as possible.

    I should point out that i am actually pro nuclear, i am also pro banking,pro industry just not in the form they have mutated into.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    If AAR are following Putin's wishes as part of some sort negotiation ploy to extract more value from BP, then AAR will be ok. If AAR are doing this against Putin, then they'll get taken apart.

  • Comment number 36.

    Its nice to see the oil industry needing more tax breaks for oil exploration
    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/lawmakers-warned-be-careful-revamping-alaska-oil-taxes

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    The new currency. The currency from now on will be backed by oil.
    If your currency is not backed by oil, then you and your currency are worthless.

    Simple really: Oil is king.
    Why would the Russians want to share?
    They certainly don't need to.

  • Comment number 40.

    29. At 14:12pm on 25th Mar 2011, Kit Green wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am at a loss to know what is going on here. Most of these removed comments did appear for a short while and I did not see what the problem could be.

    I expect someone is upset with a) the subject of RP's article, b)any mention of a march.

    .....
    At a guess, its the not relevant to the topic rule. Those moderators, bless them.

  • Comment number 41.


    17. At 11:29am on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain
    18. At 11:45am on 25th Mar 2011, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain
    20. At 12:12pm on 25th Mar 2011, Averagejoe wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain
    21. At 12:32pm on 25th Mar 2011, burnallmoney wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain
    22. At 12:38pm on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain
    23. At 12:51pm on 25th Mar 2011, Averagejoe wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain
    24. At 12:52pm on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain
    25. At 13:11pm on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain
    27. At 13:57pm on 25th Mar 2011, Averagejoe wrote:
    25. At 13:11pm on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain
    30. At 14:18pm on 25th Mar 2011, You wrote:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. Explain.
    I thought we had come close to this on a couple of occasions. I missed WOTW’s number 17 but caught the quotes on the others. Something is getting close. To repeat “Any suggestions?”

    ..............
    “The way this blog is heading we may need to find another one pretty soon, so we can keep, those that know whats really going on, informed. Any suggestions?”


    “So what's the damage for BP?”

    It is difficult to gauge what the damage is; perhaps irreparable!!!

  • Comment number 42.

    31. At 14:20pm on 25th Mar 2011, avalanche-jersey wrote:
    27. At 13:57pm on 25th Mar 2011, Averagejoe wrote:
    25. At 13:11pm on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

    ..............
    The way this blog is heading we may need to find another one pretty soon, so we can keep, those that know whats really going on, informed. Any suggestions?

    ==========================================================

    But then whose comments will i constantly complain about before complaining to the moderators. You will all be missed :(

    .........

    I'm sure all the members of the 'flat earth society' could think up something. A bit like BP.

  • Comment number 43.

    Sorry, as I posted 41 some of the other subsequent posts appeared. I didn’t mean to repeat myself; it must just have been 'lunch'.

    Zerohedge it is

  • Comment number 44.

    @27. At 13:57pm on 25th Mar 2011, Averagejoe wrote:
    25. At 13:11pm on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

    ..............
    The way this blog is heading we may need to find another one pretty soon, so we can keep, those that know whats really going on, informed. Any suggestions?

    ---------------------------------

    How about setting up a website with links to major news items of the day each with a separate blog. Separate sections dealing with finance, politics, economics, business, taxation, information suppression and subsections for listing scams and abuses, like greedy little fingers, offshore share options, platinum payouts etc Sources must be fully referenced with links and images.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    @29. At 14:12pm on 25th Mar 2011, Kit Green wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am at a loss to know what is going on here. Most of these removed comments did appear for a short while and I did not see what the problem could be.

    I expect someone is upset with a) the subject of RP's article, b)any mention of a march.

    -----------------------------

    Well that's a problem because today's March 25th and tomorrow's March 26th. Difficult to get through the month with mentioning march there somewhere.

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    33. At 14:27pm on 25th Mar 2011, M_T_Wallet wrote:
    27. At 13:57pm on 25th Mar 2011, Averagejoe wrote:
    25. At 13:11pm on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

    ..............
    The way this blog is heading we may need to find another one pretty soon, so we can keep, those that know whats really going on, informed. Any suggestions?

    ============================================================

    "Let me know - I reckon there are some serial banker sychophantic apologists who are complaining about the posts. "


    If you people want somewhere to discuss all this I have got an unused blogspot being used at the moment.
    nomoremoney.blogspot.com.
    I don't have any followers and probably no one will care what's written on there.
    I wont moderating it so you can say what you like.
    You wont have anyone to argue with, but I could make some of you authers/editors so you can write your own stuff.
    The offer's there if you want it.

  • Comment number 50.

    Aha, the real reason for the moderation, deal not dead after all so prejudicial comment needs to be removed pending final resolution.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12865749

  • Comment number 51.

    Robert,

    Let's hope that BP gets this sorted out soon as they are an important company who need to be supported.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    WOTW
    Enjoy the march - I might just spot you there.

    And - happy birthday tomorrow :-)

  • Comment number 54.

    @48. At 15:54pm on 25th Mar 2011, RedHairedGirl wrote:

    That's the minimum requirement. After 30 years of delivering shared community assets into the pockets of the wealthy to produce this divisive, hateful, cruel subjugation.

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    RP
    “If you don't try, you can't fail - to coin the cliché. “

    Collectively we have come together and now ‘we all know too much’. This is why my beloved BBC can’t keep up. They have to check with a whole army of seniors, solicitors and those driven by self-interest to make sure what we say is non-libellous and non-contentious.

    It is contentious.

    We are winning. We have come together drawing on all our experience and knowledge and now the wheels are falling off; and we are making them fearful. And it hasn’t come a day too soon.

    RP
    “If you don't try, you can't fail - to coin the cliché. “

    Happy birthday for tomorrow. Tomorrow is the dawn of a bright new future.

  • Comment number 58.

    51. At 16:24pm on 25th Mar 2011, Sam_From_Hendon wrote:

    "Robert,

    Let's hope that BP gets this sorted out soon as they are an important company who need to be supported."

    Didn't you rattle off the same tired old nonsense during the Gulf spill? Seems to me you simply like backing losers.

    Speaking of which - should we back these too?

    http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/03/23/a-new-oil-spill-in-the-gulf-of-mexico%E2%80%94and-insight-into-the-causes-of-the-old-spill/

    A sycophant in every blog - your loyalty will NOT be rewarded.

  • Comment number 59.

    @52. At 16:45pm on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "Call this a blog - I call this a bog."

    Why not set up your own forum from which you can comment on any other source of information/news and have yourself as the moderator? Maybe on www.makeforum.org which is free (although has limited space). Or alternatively set up your own website on which you can blog to your heart's content.

  • Comment number 60.

    52. At 16:45pm on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    Angela Jerkel just put a spanner in the works - the EU agreed a bailout fund of 50 Million Euros - and the German PM just said NIEN - only 16 million euros is acceptable.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Am guessing now that you're out by a factor of a thousand (so no change there then).
    Can you spell? Nein!
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    58. At 17:27pm on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    51. At 16:24pm on 25th Mar 2011, Sam_From_Hendon wrote:

    "Robert,

    Let's hope that BP gets this sorted out soon as they are an important company who need to be supported."

    Didn't you rattle off the same tired old nonsense during the Gulf spill? Seems to me you simply like backing losers.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Like it or not WOTW, BP employs a lot of people, contributes a huge amount to peoples pension pots, and pays a lot of tax to UK Plc. I'd say that makes it an important company.

    As for moderation....perhaps your dream of a totalitarian state is coming true.

    I'm off to the shops to buys some tins of soup, torch batteries and candles - the revolution starts tomorrow, the inevitable downfall of our broken capitalist nightmare of country will be upon us. Or perhaps not.

  • Comment number 61.

    Please have a little sympathy for WOTW. This is, after all, his mouthpiece - not Robert's - and some nasty moderator has stopped him from saying whatever he wants. Boo hoo.

    But for all the critical voices raised against BP I wonder if they can name any other globally successful company with 'British' in its name that they can admit some grudging respect for.

    We used to have some (well, two) moderately successful banks with 'Scotland' in their name but they owe us a bit of money at the moment and it might be a short while before we get our money back and their executives can once again hold their heads up.

  • Comment number 62.

    Given the parentage of Rosneft it comes as no surprise that capitalist enterprise (in the form of a joint venture) with the headline partners comes to nothing.
    Who are the background partners and what do they have to gain ?

    BP is not 'British' Petroleum and hasn't been for a long time, that some of your pension funds are invested in them is only because they are a blue chip UK listed company.

    Mods appear to be a bit heavy handed today, don't worry, the mods are a bit jumpy about what is a commercially sensitive (and ongoing) subject, stick to the rules and they will let them through, alternative spaces abound but without Robert to set the agenda, other blogs just become one view ranting spaces.

    (I mean check out http://www.grumpyoldbob.blogspot.com or http://www.grumpyoldbob.wordpress.com or my own at http://www.democraticbritain.org


  • Comment number 63.

    59. At 17:51pm on 25th Mar 2011, Stuart Wilson wrote:
    @52. At 16:45pm on 25th Mar 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "Call this a blog - I call this a bog."

    Why not set up your own forum from which you can comment on any other source of information/news and have yourself as the moderator?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Great idea, but unlikely. He might get half a dozen self-styled keyboard Che Guevara's to join in and help create the neo-marxist routemap to teletubbyland (remember Rik from the Young One? - "Hands up who likes me!"), but compared with the current tactic of hijacking one of the world's biggest websites.......I suspect we're stuck with him.

    Never mind, in a few years time (post revolution of course) his posts will be compulsory reading for the kids in our schools. Just think, the rest of us might even be regarded like those minor characters in Star Wars who once crossed the great hero's path.

    Elvis once looked at me!

  • Comment number 64.

    63. At 20:54pm on 25th Mar 2011, blacksheep44 wrote:
    .......Just think, the rest of us might even be regarded like those minor characters in Star Wars who once crossed the great hero's path.
    =============================================================

    To continue the lighter tone, I'm sure it wouldn't be a revolution without resistance. Besides you do yourself a dis-service you could be one of the 'main' storm troopers. With Justin as your side kick

    I don't agree with WOTW that there will be a revolution, too many apathetic simpletons - however I do think Capitalists are bit like Flat Earthers. There is nothing if sail west only the edge of the world = what possible alternative can there be to system be, it's the best/what we have got? The economic model who's logical conclusion will be the destruction of the planet.

  • Comment number 65.

    64. At 21:38pm on 25th Mar 2011, M_T_Wallet wrote:
    63. At 20:54pm on 25th Mar 2011, blacksheep44 wrote:
    .......Just think, the rest of us might even be regarded like those minor characters in Star Wars who once crossed the great hero's path.
    =============================================================

    To continue the lighter tone, I'm sure it wouldn't be a revolution without resistance. Besides you do yourself a dis-service you could be one of the 'main' storm troopers. With Justin as your side kick
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I was expecting someone would suggest 'Greedo'.

    Don't get me wrong, I do think things will change. History says they always have and always will. One of the best books I've read in years is David MacKay's 'Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air' (free to download - and highly recommended). A physicist who does the sums as to whether or not it would be possible/practical to move away from fossil fuels, what would work, what's actually a load of rubbish. And no reason why we'd have to drop capitalism (as though it would happen just like that!) in order to make it work.

    Lumping capitalists all together is a bit silly. Like saying all westerners are the same. I mean, WOTW is surely technically a banker (with a 'b').

  • Comment number 66.

    64 M T Wallet, that's a bit sweeping isn't it?

    So all those who don't want a revolution are just apathetic simpletons are they? None of them have thought through the potential consequences of revolution and decided that despite all its faults the status quo is better than total chaos.

    And anybody, anywhere, who happens to believe that private enterprise is the model most likely to bring improved living standards to the largest number of people is a capitalist flat-earther?

    I find myself labelled a capitalist here for arguing against revolution. When I think of a capitalist I see a fat man in a BMW smoking a cigar who is the owner of several profitable factories that routinely grind employees into the dust. Being a thin, non-smoking wage slave with a small car I feel the label is misplaced. But even though I believe in private enterprise I also have a social conscience - as probably do most people that WOTW would dismiss as capitalists.

    Why is it necessary to put anybody in any box with 'ist' at the end of it? What's wrong with free thinkers who aren't joined at the hip to any one ideology?

  • Comment number 67.

    Well today's the day of the revolution, there will be a quick respite at 3 pm for a couple of pints and to watch the Wales v England match ( may the best team win.)

  • Comment number 68.

    Good post @ #66. But what language have you other guys been using? What libels have you posted?

    I've never seen so many posts removed from one Blog.

  • Comment number 69.

    Not overturning an injunction does not mean BP's cause is lost.
    There are a range of probabilities:
    * That a compromise deal can be struck that enables Russian Oil companies to access BP's very rare technical expertise in extracting oil & gas from deep water + frozen sea conditions, and
    * The injunction has simply postponed completion of BP's Deal with Rosneft: BP's full legal case has not been heard in Court yet. It's not over till it's over.
    For all of those reasons - and more - it's still in the interests of all parties to come to a compromise.

  • Comment number 70.

    66. At 22:23pm on 25th Mar 2011, Slessac wrote:
    64 M T Wallet, that's a bit sweeping isn't it?

    So all those who don't want a revolution are just apathetic simpletons are they? None of them have thought through the potential consequences of revolution and decided that despite all its faults the status quo is better than total chaos.

    And anybody, anywhere, who happens to believe that private enterprise is the model most likely to bring improved living standards to the largest number of people is a capitalist flat-earther?

    I find myself labelled a capitalist here for arguing against revolution. When I think of a capitalist I see a fat man in a BMW smoking a cigar who is the owner of several profitable factories that routinely grind employees into the dust. Being a thin, non-smoking wage slave with a small car I feel the label is misplaced. But even though I believe in private enterprise I also have a social conscience - as probably do most people that WOTW would dismiss as capitalists.

    Why is it necessary to put anybody in any box with 'ist' at the end of it? What's wrong with free thinkers who aren't joined at the hip to any one ideology?
    .............................................................................................................

    I would not worry to much about WOTW opinions to much. He wants the workers to rise up and tell the world he is right. Though an egoist and quite arrogant to his fellow humans, he is very skillful at data gathering. Some of his links have been quite eyeopening to an old stick in the mud like myself. His posts are a psychoanalysts dream, I would like to think he was a WUM or a troll as the young people call them, some one who is provocative just to get a reaction. But his mask slips every now and then and he comes across as just another well meaning nutty English man ( he is from Wolverhampton)

  • Comment number 71.

    What is your point Sean? There were no millionaires in the USSR, no laissez faire, no capitalism, no profit so no millionaire duck shoot ever called for.

  • Comment number 72.

    61 - JustKBO... Sorry, I think you'll find BP removed the 'British' part of the title in a rebranding exercise some time ago. It is simply BP nowadays, an international company, 'tax efficient' and offshore. You owe them no loyalty as they owe nothing to the UK exchequer from the holding companies... times have changed yet you seem to remain in 1953.

  • Comment number 73.

    What's the point Bobby? I mean capitalism has ceased to be after the march yesterday (the last entry point in our history books). All trade has ceased, we no longer need oil. Oil is a resource only needed by capitalists and as they don't exist anymore, it doesn't matter if BP achieves the Russian deal or not.

  • Comment number 74.

    Yes, fair point Just the fax.

    But they are still registered in the UK which is where their international HQ is also domiciled.

    And my point was more about how we treat our corporate successes in the UK rather than about whether BP still stands for British Petroleum.

  • Comment number 75.

    57. At 17:11pm on 25th Mar 2011, Remantled wrote:

    "Happy birthday for tomorrow. Tomorrow is the dawn of a bright new future."

    Well, it certainly looked bright, but maybe those were just the fires being lit in Picadilly Circus?

    I was intrigued by Ed's repeated claim that there is an alternative. But his failure to expand on it. Is Ed from Wolverhampton...?

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.

    Very interesting comments, Burnallmoney.

    Is the full restitution of the old clause IV really the only possible alternative? I've just checked the wording to see if I could determine where any line would be drawn between what moves into pubic ownership and what stays private. And having read it I haven't really got a clue. This is what it says:

    'To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.'

    You could read that as meaning absolutely everything could move into 'common ownership'. And of course the term common ownership could itself mean all sorts of things.

    I agree though that Ed M has an awkward dilemma - and his worst nightmare would probably be to be elected right now and have to try to shuffle the same limited resources in a way that appeases the unions that elected him and continue to fund his party.

    For the time being he has the luxury of being able to criticise the coalition without having to say very explicitly what different decisions he would take that would keep both our international debt holders and domestic public sector employees happy. I don't think he would be any worse than Cameron/Clegg but I can't see any tangible evidence that he would be any better either.

  • Comment number 78.

    Who cares about clause 4. Like in Stephen King's Dark Tower, 'The world has moved on'. Just a few queries.

    -Do I still need to go to work tomorrow?
    -Is WOTW now to be known as 'Our Dear Leader, Supreme Comrade, the One More Equal than the Rest of Us'?
    -I checked my bank balance, just to make sure Sterling is still the currency, and it still says I've got some in. Odd. Although it says I have Sterling, I thought we'd all be bartering in turnips by now? So what's going on, and I've got three hundredweight of turnips going cheap if anyone's up for Turnip soup.
    -Am sat on the settee, watching 'Dancing on Ice' (what a load of tat) with my missus, just like last week. How come?
    -I bought some chips today, and they came wrapped in newspaper that went on about all those idiots spoiling the party. What will be in tomorrow's chip paper?
    -I know the clocks have gone forward, but have we re-set to year zero too?

    I'm confused.

  • Comment number 79.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 80.

    Morning Robert,
    I've been reliably informed that BP will get this sorted, which will be good news for the UK and the wider Oil industry.

    #59, Oh dear, resorting to Ad Hominem attacks again. "Sychophant" - LOL, that's really cheered me up. What loyalty do you think I could be rewarded for? I'm just stating the truth here that without a strong corporation base, the UK will not survive. Have you ever thought who pays for the inefficient Public Sector?

    Mr thewall, do yourself a favour and read the 'House Rules', you may then save some time as your time posting is currently wasted when the moderators determine your comments irrelevant.

  • Comment number 81.

    ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY WOTW, ALL HAIL OUR WONDROUS RULER, see i been practicing that all weekend, then i remembered that this march was going to do absolutely nothing like most marches (remember the student marches and the Iraq war marches anyone). im sure WOTW will have a reason as to why the revolution hasnt started yet. to be honest i thought it had when i turned on the news and saw a bunch of guys in hoodies smashing up a corner shop.

    did we miss something WOTW or was that merely a trial run for the real revolution?

  • Comment number 82.

    81. At 08:23am on 28th Mar 2011, avalanche-jersey wrote:
    ...did we miss something WOTW or was that merely a trial run for the real revolution?
    ------------------------------------------------------

    The real revolution has already happened, and it was televised too!
    It slowly carried on for the last thirty years. The issues in Russia can also be linked into this as BP find themselves once again drawn along by politics, as they did in the US last year.

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/anarchist
    someone who wishes to destroy the existing government and laws

    I would say that this is the libertarian politics of Reagan and Thatcher, as followed by every UK and US government since, is the true current anarchy. Minimal regulation and small government is there to benefit the already wealthy.

    As it has happened by stealth most of us have not noticed that the "class war" has been going strong but the winners have not been the working, or even middle, classes where you define class by economic clout.

    Therefore what other posters on here are anticipating is in fact a counter revolution!

  • Comment number 83.

    As I sit here typing my business empire is in tatters. Money no longer has any value but my robot is able to build a house in a day which is nice. I'm left wondering why of why I didn't listen to the warnings. The BP deal is of course meaningless as oil has no use due to the city's highly efficient wind turbines which encircle the city.

    I am the last one here in my grey office in North Bucks. Why didn't I listen?

    Funny thing, more people watched England vs Wales than attended the march.

  • Comment number 84.

    82. At 10:10am on 28th Mar 2011, Kit Green wrote:

    Therefore what other posters on here are anticipating is in fact a counter revolution!

    ===========================================================

    a very interesting post with a different slant on things.

    whatever kind of revolution WOTW was aiming at it didnt appear.

  • Comment number 85.

    Risks and rewards of business
    What did they expect taking risks and gambling ... and trying to do ordinary western style over-privileged business with ... Russians in Russia ... are they all quite raving 'mad'?

  • Comment number 86.

    Article is fine but interesting the link on the Business page says "UK Oil firm BP defeated" in true 1930's jingoistic style. After we had BP being at pains to stress BP is a global business during the Gulf of Mexico disaster. Obviously this message did not get through to some of the subs at the BBC business news website.

  • Comment number 87.

    - So the revolution started 30 years ago and was caused by anarchists (if we accept that libertarians are anarchists which they're not. They believe in a small state not no state). The counter revolution which started yesterday everywhere (except Hendon) is also lead by anarchists.

    Net result, a few broken windows. No end of money, no end of FRB, no end of capitalism, no robots! No all hail WOTW, Thane of Glamis!

    I'm always amazed how organised anarchists are.

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    88. At 11:04am on 28th Mar 2011, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:

    The world is changing, attitudes are global, desperate youth will be the revolution. Don't be blinded by personal attitude and bias, my experience of Saturday tells me people are even more angry than I suspected. Wait until you try telling them the banks need more money.

    ===========================================================

    As you were clearly there, could you tell me the sort of ideas that people would rather see happening, what do people want the government to do, maybe they want a revolution maybe they just want more regulation.

    as someone who was there in among the crowds could you give those of us who stayed home and watched the football a sense of what the crowds in london wanted.

  • Comment number 90.

    I have to agree with NSH. People are getting angry. It takes time to build up enough public anger to drive people to the street.

    People are currently just making their feelings known.

    If the government etc do not listen then the people will become angry. Many people, myself included, will try and struggle on a long as possible, until it becomes impossible to just carry on.

    Hopefully the government will listen before it comes to that (don't hold your breath though).

  • Comment number 91.

    89. At 11:16am on 28th Mar 2011, avalanche-jersey

    I'll gladly respond although in their current mood I'm not sure the mods will let it through. Please bear with me as I'm short of time at the moment, so will reply later in detail if the blogs permit.

    And yes, I was there, it was very enlighteniung shall we say, even for an old commie like me. Missing a York City match was one helluva wrench never mind the England game.

  • Comment number 92.

    91. At 11:38am on 28th Mar 2011, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:
    89. At 11:16am on 28th Mar 2011, avalanche-jersey

    I'll gladly respond although in their current mood I'm not sure the mods will let it through. Please bear with me as I'm short of time at the moment, so will reply later in detail if the blogs permit.

    And yes, I was there, it was very enlighteniung shall we say, even for an old commie like me. Missing a York City match was one helluva wrench never mind the England game.

    ===========================================================

    Im asking because i talked to a friend of mine who is at uni in Durham and he and some of his media friends went down to "cover" the story, what he brought away from it all having interviewed a bunch of people was that everyone knew that they didnt want cuts to various areas of the economy (healthcare/childcare/education etc) but nobody knew of any sort of alternative. They all wanted to get rid of the governments deficit and debts but none of them seemed to know any alternative way of doing it to the current cuts.

    this may have been a small minority picked out by chance but it is a problem that everyone knows the problem but nobody can agree on how it should be tackled.
    of course there are some such as WOTW who know Exactly what they want to happen and tbh im sure most would rather avoid a full out revolution especially if the aftermath of overthrowing the government and current monetary system is a little vague.

  • Comment number 93.

    #92. At 11:48am on 28th Mar 2011, avalanche-jersey wrote:

    "They all wanted to get rid of the governments deficit and debts but none of them seemed to know any alternative way of doing it to the current cuts."

    and:-

    "of course there are some such as WOTW who know Exactly what they want to happen and tbh im sure most would rather avoid a full out revolution especially if the aftermath of overthrowing the government and current monetary system is a little vague."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    For sure both of those statements are very true.

  • Comment number 94.

    87. At 11:02am on 28th Mar 2011, Lindsay_from_Hendon wrote:


    I'm always amazed how organised anarchists are.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A ridiculous statement, but typical.

    Why would you expect people who want to dismantle the State to be disorganised? Isn't it more logical to expect them to be well organised, since they don't look to the State to do everything for them? I would expect, and in reality find, that the people who are least organised are those like me who have an absolute faith in the State.

  • Comment number 95.

    29 posts restricted out of just 92. This moderation is driving people away from this blog as the very low number of comments demonstrates. You did not interview anybody who was able to explain coherently what it is young people are angry about. The fact that open dialogue is so restricted is worrying.

    You have simply lumped together those few hundred smashing windows and fighting with the police as representative of anybody who chose not to go on the main march. Your explanation of why and how Fortnum & Mason was chosen by UK Uncut was completely distorted. I suspect most of the people here would be interested to hear a first hand report of what took place at Fortnum.

    Attempting to describe the half million people as simply public sector workers fighting for their gold plated pensions and against job cuts is a gross distortion.

    My time visiting here is nearly up.

  • Comment number 96.

    95. At 12:21pm on 28th Mar 2011, RedHairedGirl wrote:

    Who are you directing your comments at??

  • Comment number 97.

    #95. At 12:21pm on 28th Mar 2011, RedHairedGirl wrote:

    "My time visiting here is nearly up".

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    If you leave, they've won, internet censorship is the first stage of the oppression. Fight lady, fight.

    The rest of your observations are spot on.

  • Comment number 98.

    I assumed that the people who looted Fortnum & Mason had forgotten their lunch!

  • Comment number 99.

    93. At 11:58am on 28th Mar 2011, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:
    #92. At 11:48am on 28th Mar 2011, avalanche-jersey wrote:

    "They all wanted to get rid of the governments deficit and debts but none of them seemed to know any alternative way of doing it to the current cuts."

    and:-

    "of course there are some such as WOTW who know Exactly what they want to happen and tbh im sure most would rather avoid a full out revolution especially if the aftermath of overthrowing the government and current monetary system is a little vague."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    For sure both of those statements are very true.

    .................
    For those that dont know WOW has been banned from the blog and will not return.

    There are many options that I have outlined before, but they require measures outside the mainstream, and therefore will not be tried until all other have failed. Unfortunately we all have to suffer the consequences of prooving that normal measures wont work. The truth is that the 2 options being currently presented; big cuts now, or cuts later, are both based on the assumption that growth will return. But if it doesn't, as I suspect, both options fail. What we are experiencing is an economic situation that has never been seen before. It is unprecedented. It requires a 'revolution' in thought, but tragically politics does not embrace radical. Richard Heinberg, is to publish a book this year called The End of Growth. another good report is Prosperity without Growth. These are the pressing issues that should grab our attention.

  • Comment number 100.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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