Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

The Oil Spill. The Bottom Line. What Obama’s Forgetting.

with 28 comments

BP hired them so it is taking responsibility but…


…the oil rig was American.

…the crew was American.

…the blowout preventer and other safety equipment that failed was American.

…six of BP’s 12 main board directors are American.

…40% of BP’s shareholders are American.

So when the first black American president suddenly starts calling it “British Petroleum”, a name it moved away from 12 years ago because it simply wasn’t accurate anymore, what is it but blatant racism?

This is shockingly grubby behaviour from a man who I was trusting on his platform of integrity.

He’s blown that idea just as sky high as Deepwater Horizon.  He’s also forgotten who are his and his country’s most steadfast friends in the world.

If the Yankees, who squander the world’s resources and pollute the environment more than any other nation on the planet, think they’re going to stick this one on us, they need to think again.  They need to get their collective brain into gear and start doing something useful.  The anti-British rhetoric that has been coming from the States, from whining journalists and politicians as well as Obama,  is ludicrous, disloyal and not worthy of them.

We are entitled to expect much, much better from those with whom we stand shoulder to shoulder.  When the chips are down we are the only ones you can always rely on.  You are a young nation in the history of the world.  Now is the time to grow up and take responsibility.  Stop passing the buck.

28 Responses

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  1. Nobody’s blaming the British. We’re blamine BP.

    Ben Hoffman

    June 12, 2010 at 4:54 pm

  2. Thanks for your comment.

    There can’t be any argument that BP is responsible but to suddenly start calling it British Petroleum is a cheap shot. You may not be blaming Britain but I’ve seen some nasty, evil things said on US blogs!!

    Peter Reynolds

    June 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm

  3. […] PDRTJS_settings_1682351_post_5003 = { "id" : "1682351", "unique_id" : "wp-post-5003", "title" : "The+Oil+Spill.++The+Bottom+Line.++What+Obama%27s+Forgetting.+%28via+Peter+Reynolds%29", "item_id" : "_post_5003", "permalink" : "" } BP hired them so it is taking responsibility but… …the oil rig was American. …the crew was American. …the blowout preventer and other safety equipment that failed was American. …six of BP's 12 main board directors are American. …40% of BP's shareholders are American. So when the first black American president suddenly starts calling it "Britis … Read More […]

  4. Oh on US blogs! Oh my god!!!!! US blogs are saying nasty things therefore Obama is a racist. That’s some heavy-duty logic.

    Can you point to any actual “anti-British rhetoric” in actual newspapers or magazines or broadcast media? Anything other than blogs?

    Ophelia Benson

    June 12, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    • If you suddenly start calling BP “British Petroleum” when it hasn’t been called that for 12 years, isn’t that an attempt to divert blame on a racist or national basis? If not why do it?

      Peter Reynolds

      June 12, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    • Hows about this little back hand from an Obama spokesperson:


      June 12, 2010 at 10:19 pm

      • If you were going to create a caricature of some nutter US politico, he’d be the perfect model. He should be on The Simpsons.

        Peter Reynolds

        June 12, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    • Ophelia,

      Heard today from people just back from New York. Apparently one TV station linked Paul Macartney’s visit to the White House with the oil spill, asking why the President was inviting people from the country responsible for it.


      Peter Reynolds

      June 13, 2010 at 3:46 pm

      • Hearsay. Non-specific. No documentation.

        Ophelia Benson

        June 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      • Sorry. Is hearsay inadmissible here? I didn’t know. xx

        Peter Reynolds

        June 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm

      • It’s admissable! It’s just that no one else has any reason to take it seriously. I’m an outsider; I don’t know you; if you want to convince me (no reason you should of course) then saying “people said” won’t convince me. That’s why I asked about “actual “anti-British rhetoric” in actual newspapers or magazines or broadcast media” – actual meaning not reported by others but the thing itself. Not secondary but primary.

        Ophelia Benson

        June 13, 2010 at 7:24 pm

  5. It could be, but it’s certainly not a slam dunk. It’s nowhere near enough to make wild sweeping charges of “anti-British rhetoric.” There are plenty of other reasons to do it, including just not being aware of the official name change. I certainly wasn’t aware of it (because why would I be? why would I care? why would anyone?) – I just assumed, to the extent that I thought about it at all, it was just an abbreviation. I call the US the US, but I don’t consider that a name change, it’s just an abbreviation.

    This is a very very weak reed on which to build a case that Obama is a racist.

    Ophelia Benson

    June 12, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    • No Ophelia. Please think about it!

      Yes, I confess, I am aggravated by some of the most extraordinary anti-British comment that I have seen on the blogs. I mean really extraordinary – like wanting to see US oil tankers sail up the Thames and dump oil in the middle of London as “revenge”. I mean that’s extreme and that’s only one example. I’ve seen at least a dozen others like this. I have seen some major media names at it too. I’ll try to find you some links. It’s indicative.

      Yes, OK. I’m angry but think about it. “I’m going to keep my boot on the neck of BP” – then start characterising it as British. This is political spin, deliberate, calculated. It’s got to stop.

      Evidently you don’t support it for which I’m grateful.

      I don’t want him to be a racist! I want to be his best friend!

      Peace and love.

      Peter Reynolds

      June 12, 2010 at 8:47 pm

  6. If you wan’t my 2 cents worth it isn’t one nations problem but it is 1 companies problem. Does not matter what country the company is from / originated from. Evee n though it may be American Technology that failed its the whole industry that is lacking in quality control. Though i will not argue with you on the fact Americans do over consume abd this is a trend that needs to be addressed and fixed. The blame game is for overpaid politicians not for the real people. This is one Yank as you call us that doenst see any nationality to blame for the oil disaster I see it as the fualt of the industry and the greedy multi national Share holders.

    Yes it was a cheap Shot on Obamas part to do such and try to make it a british thing.

    Just a note, China is growing fast in the consumption of resources and will overtake Americans probably in the next decade or so if things dont change.


    June 12, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    • I’m with you all the way. Thanks for your comment. Didn’t mean to be rude by calling you a Yank. I ‘m a Welshman. Call me Taffy anytime.

      Peter Reynolds

      June 12, 2010 at 8:54 pm

      • Eh, doesnt bother me just been a while since i was called a yank. Used to have a few friends over the internet from the uk even 1 welsh that called me that off and on. I like your writing style you keep it interesting and put enough of a bite into it to get the reader envolved. Keep up the writing.

        Ray Barbier


        June 13, 2010 at 1:55 am

  7. Thank you!

    Peter Reynolds

    June 13, 2010 at 7:52 am

  8. After some mature reflection and getting beaten (well morally anyway) at our own game by the USA, I have concluded that, actually, most of this was hyped up by the British press. For instance, this morning’s Sunday Times has a DPS of Obama in a sort of “Your Country Needs You” pose with the headline “You Brits are Gonna Pay”!

    Unbelievable heh? Mind you, it gets increasingly difficult to distinguish between UK newspapers these days with the Daily Telegraph behaving like the News Of The World and the Sunday Times like the Sun.

    There’s no doubt that it was a dumb blunder to rename BP as British Petroleum. That’s what started it all off. I also saw some outrageous, blatantly racist, anti-Brit nonsense on some of the US blogs – mind you whenever I look there I quickly lose the will to live. There are far too many, totally mad, conspiracy obsessed, deranged nutters there. It’s like an extremely bad taste comedy show.

    I know I’ll get lambasted for this but I’m going to ask the question – why are so many of these really extreme nutters women?

    Peter Reynolds

    June 13, 2010 at 9:41 am

    • “I know I’ll get lambasted for this but I’m going to ask the question – why are so many of these really extreme nutters women?”

      Sorry, but that’s a stupid question. So many of *what* really extreme nutters are women? You word that as if everyone knows what extreme nutter blogs you’ve been reading. Newsflash: I have no idea what blogs you’ve been reading! Thus your question is just…random, and unanswerable.

      If you word it as “why are so many of the really extreme nutters on blogs that I’ve read women?” then the question is at least comprehensible, but the answer is still I have no idea. I have no idea how you choose what blogs to read. Maybe you choose to read blogs by women, which would easily answer your question.

      Ophelia Benson

      June 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm

      • Well I’m glad you understood my stupid question in the end.

        I wasn’t really expecting an answer. It was rhetorical, an observation really.

        Ophelia, if, in future, I want to ask you any questions, believe me, I’ll make sure I’ve got all my facts in order first!

        Peter Reynolds

        June 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm

      • Peter

        …Well I realize it sounds picky, but it is worth being careful about that sort of thing. That’s one way prejudices get going, after all. We happen to see a lot of X somewhere, we don’t pause to realize that our particular somewhere may not be representative of anything, then we start to generalize about a lot of Xs.

        Ophelia Benson

        June 13, 2010 at 7:19 pm

      • Ophelia.

        You are a formidable lady!

        In fact,

        (In French accent while twirling tip of waxed moustache)

        Peter Reynolds

        June 13, 2010 at 7:48 pm

  9. …and more interesting facts about BP’s provenance:

    BP has 10,000 British employeees
    BP has 22,000 US employees

    Peter Reynolds

    June 13, 2010 at 3:43 pm

  10. Most people think BP stands for British Petroleum. They’re not calling it that out of malice.

    That said, BP was an abhorrent British company that was responsible for oppressing and abusing Iranian oil workers when it was called the Anglo-Iranian oil company. BP has a long history of environmental disasters and human rights abuses.

    Ben Hoffman

    June 13, 2010 at 4:38 pm

  11. It wasn’t a dumb blunder to call BP British Petroleum. You seem to think every citizen of the US got a registered letter announcing the official name change, and memorized that fact. The reality is: most people in the US never heard about the name change, and most people who did hear about it promptly forgot it, because why would they bother to remember it? It’s just absurd to assume that everyone knows that BP formally changed its name from British Petroleum to BeePee. That’s a tiny, trivial little fact that just wouldn’t impinge on most people’s awareness long enough to stick.

    Ophelia Benson

    June 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm

  12. Well said friend. As an American, even I must admit that I am totally shocked by Obama’s behavior and I agree, it is biased and almost racist.

    I haven’t heard the name British Petroleum in ages so I too was shocked but Obama is running a game on us all. His demonizing is as intentional as it is repulsive. Everything he says and does on the matter is about his legacy and endgame, i.e., CAP AND TRADE.


    June 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm

  13. Every one smells money, but they should be looking for the cause first, then dish out the Blame.
    It reminds me of the De Haviland fiasco, only to find a problem that was not in the books, “metal fatigue” that discovery saved the American Aero industry.

    This time a Protection device failed.

    How about that the pressure in the pipe exceeded all expected values.
    It is a big gusher exceeding all predictions in how much oil spewing forth , it was 5k now in excess of 30k, lets get the facts, we have all the brains down there and they cannot agree.

    The titanic syndrome, too big to sink.


    June 18, 2010 at 9:28 pm

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