Continuing in my rant against Too Big To Fail Financial Institutions and Big Oil comes the latest on BP. The government of the UK, which is imposing drastic budget cuts, freezing wages and reduce social spending, says it is ready to help BP cover the tab for the economic consequences of the Great Oil Spill. Isn't BP's budget bigger than theirs?
That is right. Reuters is reporting that Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday that the British government stood ready to help BP (BP.L) with its clean up efforts following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Other than having the word "British" in its company name, is BP anything other than a global behemoth?
If the UK wants to help the Gulf, then great. But if I were a citizen of the UK I would be saying to let BP f**k itself thank you!
But it is never so simple. Of particular concern are the pension funds of millions of Britons, where BP's position at the top of the London Stock Exchange has made it a bedrock investment for almost every pension fund in the country. The firm's dividend payments, which amount to more than £7 billion ($10.2 billion) a year, account for £1 in every £6 paid out in dividends to British pension plans. Were BP to go belly up, this would directly impact the lives of millions of British workers.
Here at home we have other issues. The New York Times is reporting that when the operators of Southern Seaplane in Belle Chasse, La., called the local Coast Guard-Federal Aviation Administration command center for permission to fly over restricted airspace in Gulf of Mexico, they made what they thought was a simple and routine request.
A pilot wanted to take a photographer from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans to snap photographs of the oil slicks blackening the water. The response from a BP contractor who answered the phone late last month at the command center was swift and absolute: Permission denied.
“We were questioned extensively. Who was on the aircraft? Who did they work for?” recalled Rhonda Panepinto, who owns Southern Seaplane with her husband, Lyle. “The minute we mentioned media, the answer was: ‘Not allowed.’ ”
Last week, Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, tried to bring a small group of journalists with him on a trip he was taking through the gulf on a Coast Guard vessel. Mr. Nelson’s office said the Coast Guard agreed to accommodate the reporters and camera operators. But at about 10 p.m. on the evening before the trip, someone from the Department of Homeland Security’s legislative affairs office called the senator’s office to tell them that no journalists would be allowed.
“They said it was the Department of Homeland Security’s response-wide policy not to allow elected officials and media on the same ‘federal asset,’ ” said Bryan Gulley, a spokesman for the senator. “No further elaboration” was given, Mr. Gulley added.
Read that again. A Senator of the United States was not allowed to bring media along with him, even though he asked. A SENATOR OF THE UNITED STATES!
CBS News reported last month that one of its news crews was threatened with arrest for trying to film a public beach where oil had washed ashore. The Coast Guard said later that it was disappointed to learn of the incident.
A FREE PRESS IS ESSENTIAL TO OUR FORM OF GOVERNMENT. THIS HAS TO STOP. GET MAD! WRITE YOUR SENATOR! DEMAND THAT THE MEDIA HAVE ACCESS.
You can do something. Worldwide BP Protest Day - 12 June 2010
51 Cities across 5 Continents! - A Worldwide Boycott BP protest movement on 12 June 2010.
Read here for more information.