Bob Franken

BP’s “Special Relationship”

Let’s be clear: I treasure the Brits. Just like our leaders always say, it’s a “Special Relationship”. Like so many on this side of The Pond, I pretentiously mimic their affectations, up to, and including calling the Atlantic Ocean “The Pond”.

I get a huge kick out of the way they talk, even though they are incapable of correctly pronouncing my name They can’t say “Bob”. No matter how hard they try, it comes out somewhere between “Bub” and “Boob”. And “Pentagon” is “Pentagin”. Professor Henry Higgins had a good question when he asked “Why can’t the English learn to speak”?. Maybe it has to do with their stiff upper lips. But hey, you gotta love ’em.

But this time they’ve gone from understatement to overboard. Suddenly, all the US anger at BP, once called British Petroleum is being taken as an affront in the UK.

How dare us get so crude about the crude oil fouling an entire region of our country, courtesy of BP? How could we get so worked up over the company’s, dare I say, dithering?

It seems that our new national pariah is a national treasure over there so jolly old England is not so jolly about the scorn we’re heaping on their pride and joy.

Part of that esteem is tied to dividends. The oil behemoth has a long record of paying substantial ones to its stockholders. That would include a sizable chunk of the British population. So those dividends are now paying, uh, dividends when it comes to PR. Those who get them are rallying around their cash cow.

But if dividends mean so much to them that business practices don’t matter, why don’t they search out even more lucrative opportunities? Surely, some financial whiz incorporate a dividend paying drug cartel. Maybe a porn film maker would be the way to go. Imagine the prospectus to say nothing of the crowds at the shareholders meetings.

Before the Brits start firing their shots at us colonists on the other side of the pond, they might want to consider the havoc BF has wreaked on the Pond of Mexico. This is something else we have in common. We all have earned the right to be right to be really angry at BP.

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