Pull The Other One

This is also amusing:

BP chief executive Robert Dudley has reportedly suggested safety lessons learned from the Macondo spill in the Gulf of Mexico may strengthen the company’s hand in securing further oil deals around the world.

“In an unexpected way… what we have learned has attracted governments around the world who say we have learned more about this (oil spills) than we intended,” the BP boss was quoted as saying.

Aye.  And I’m sure ING purchased Barings Bank because it wanted to capture its corporate experience in presiding over one of the most spectacular financial collapses in history.

Now I can appreciate Mr Dudley is trying to put a positive spin on anything he can, but I thought they sacked Tony Hayward for speaking as if his audience was made up of complete idiots?


Actually, now I think about it, I’d imagine that one of the most attractive aspects of BP is that they were willing and able to transfer $30bn of hard cash into a government account when they had no legal obligation to do so.  There must be governments around the world licking their chops at the thought of having BP close to hand.


10 thoughts on “Pull The Other One

  1. Apparently BP are receiving warmth from some governments due to their demonstration of taking responsibility. These governments have had experience of Western companies making gigantic messes and then just cutting and running. A company that has shown a willingness to stick it out is a step up in their eyes.

  2. Josh, can you give any examples of a Western company making a giant mess and then cutting and running?

  3. the usual case quoted was Union carbide and the dioxin disaster in Bhopal in 1983. It is however ironic that the comments that incensed so many people made by Tony Hayward to the effect that the quantity of oil released was not likely to make much impact on the local economy have turned out to be fairly accurate. Not that being right counts when the media are against you.

  4. “I thought they sacked Tony Hayward for speaking as if his audience was made up of complete idiots?”

    Maybe. I thought they sacked Tony Hayward for coming across as a privileged snob who cared nothing for the people who had to live with the consequences of the spill, instead jetting off to the yacht race. That’s after appearances in which he insisted the spill was much smaller than it was, and that corrective measures were having immediate effect when they hsad in fact not been tried yet. Whether or not he simply made up the information or was himself misinformed is irrelevant to the fact that he was the talking head who delivered the disinformation.

    In certain circumstances he might have been a crackerjack PR man, but in this instance I agree he badly misjudged his audience.

    Perhaps he banked on its legendary short attention span.

  5. Well, yes. The Americans thought he was a privileged snob simply because he had a British accent, and the public (somewhat unfairly IMO) didn’t like him taking a day off to go to a yacht race on his first day off since the spill over a month before. He had to go simply because he was the CEO of a company which was responsible for a major oil spill, but the hatred towards him was bordering on deranged. As Diogenes points out, even the information he was giving out turned out to be more accurate than people thought, and those who criticised him for what he said in front of the house committee seemed more interested in getting him to accept full liability than listening to what he actually had to say and finding out what happened.

  6. “3.the usual case quoted was Union carbide and the dioxin disaster in Bhopal in 1983.” Dioxin? If only. It was methyi isocyanate.

  7. …and again, you bunch everyone and their grandma under a label “Americans”, while even judging by your own posts and threads at the time, there was no such thing as universal American agreement on the subject, quite the opposite: there was one more common denominator among critics of BP besides “Americans”, and that was “Democrats”, or “Obamanites”, or words to that effect.

    don’t make the same xenophobic error (only the vector is reversed) as the people you described.

    PS and on tangent:
    about those millions BP compensated states of Florida and Alabama for loss of tourist revenue: I was wondering at the time, why they deemed the >i>states losses are more important than losses of small and large businesses? why they compensated states for loss of income they didn’t produce in the first place – and ignored people who actually ARE in the income-generating tourist economy?

    they showed their priorities in bribing the schoolyard bully

    corporate fascism, pure and simple

  8. …and again, you bunch everyone and their grandma under a label “Americans”,

    I do, because it’s going to be too long winded to write “some Americans thought differently” each time I describe the opinions and actions of the American government, the American media, and seemingly most of the American population. I know some thought differently, and I linked to them at the time the incident was ongoing. I generalise, but it is pretty clear that I am doing so.

    they showed their priorities in bribing the schoolyard bully

    As was the case when they handed $30bn to the US government to dole out to those who suffered from the spill, hoping (or perhaps not caring) that the money would not end up being doled out on a political basis.

  9. American media – certainly, since it’s mostly leftist
    American government – begs additional identifier, like “current” or “Democrat”
    American population – not close, even “seemingly”.

  10. “The Americans thought he was a privileged snob simply because he had a British accent…”

    In my personal experience, and only that, and it is considerable – Americans consider a British accent to be indicative of a superior education and centuries of cultured polish. I make no statements as to whether that’s accurate, although I’ve probably – on reflection – met less ignorant Brits than I have citizens and former citizens of any other country.

    Interesting observation by Tatyana regarding indirect compensation of small and medium businesses by BP. I never really thought of that. I imagine that’s likely company policy, and it probably makes sense on some level (not least of all the administrative headache it would be for BP, sorting out and investigating all the claims. But you have to wonder how many small operations were ruined that won’t see a dime.

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