Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cameron warns Obama over criticising BP.

If we are to believe the spin coming out of Downing Street, David Cameron has apparently just chided Barack Obama for his statements regarding BP and the oil spill.

David Cameron last night issued a veiled warning to President Barack Obama not to undermine BP's "economic importance" to Britain and the United States, as the two men held crisis talks over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.

At the end of a tense week in transatlantic relations, the Prime Minister and US President tried to calm tensions in a 30-minute phone call between the Oval Office and Chequers.

Mr Cameron and President Obama insisted the special relationship remained strong, but it was clear the difficult subject of BP's value as a FTSE 100 standard-bearer undermined by White House pressure was broached.

If anything is undermining BP's standing it is surely the events taking place in the Gulf, rather than the American president's reaction to those events.

But that's not the way some Tories see this.
Conservative MP Richard Ottaway, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told the BBC: "We do have to ask ourselves: is it for the US President to interfere in the operations of an international overseas company?"
Hmm, let's ask ourselves that. If there is a huge oil leakage, possibly the worst in US history, causing immeasurable damage to the environment, is it for the US president to "interfere"?

The answer, obviously, is yes. Quite why the Tories see their role in this as the defenders of BP is utterly lost on me. It is obviously a British company, but that surely doesn't excuse what has taken place here?

Does Cameron seriously believe that he can get Obama to go easy on BP? Has he been paying any attention to Republican attempts to portray this as Obama's Katrina?

Quite why Cameron would choose this as the place to put some distance between himself and the Obama administration baffles me. Talk about choosing a losing side...

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