BP British BacklashJune 10, 2010 - 2:43 PM | by: Greg Palkot
LONDON – The Gulf oil spill is threatening to do damage beyond the environmental impact in the region. President Obama’s handling of the crisis, according to growing voices in the UK is threatening an important global corporation…and an important alliance.
“It is very alarming to see him indulge,” Fraser Nelson, Editor of the Spectator magazine, told Fox News, “ in what can only be described as anti-British in its rhetoric.”
British admit BP “messed up” and need to clean up and pay up in the wake of the spill. They also acknowledge that Obama has to be in charge.
But they see questioning BP chief Tony Hayward’s competence, as well as questions about how much BP pays in dividends and for advertising, as meddling in the company’s internal affairs, for his own political purposes.
That pressure has helped drive BP’s stock value down by half since the start of the spill.
“By undermining the share price,” David Wighton, business columnist for the London Times newspaper explained to Fox, “its helped create a crisis of confidence externally and internally.”
Folks here note that BP, or as President Obama calls it, British Petroleum, is also an American company, with 30,000 American employees and 40 per cent of its stock held in the US.
Hurt BP, they say, and you hurt the US :
“It’s very American in its ownership,” Wighton noted, “its business in America, important for America’s future energy needs.”
They also note that the UK is an important ally to the US on several important foreign policy including Afghanistan where new UK Prime Minister David Cameron was visiting today.
Fox News confirms BP will be discussed by Cameron and Obama in a phone call Saturday along with many other common areas of concern.
“All this is a strange way to treat an ally,” Nelson told Fox.
PM Cameron, in fact, disappointed critics who want him to stand up to President Obama, saying today he sympathized with the White House and will be offering to help out. Cameron probably realizing that “stuff” happens, no matter who’s in charge!