An article recently written by me and published on another site.
Over the years I have always strived to keep my patience and bite my tongue, and I like to think I have become a more tolerant person for doing so. Perhaps it is in part due to my years spent working with the public . After all it is considered quite bad form to kick a customer in the nuts, strangle them with their own tie or slap seven bells out of some hysterical screaming female. Outside of the working environment I am sure we have all felt that initial rush of blood to the head caused by being ‘cut up’ by the idiot in the wrong lane, the sheer exasperation and despair at the pre recorded voice guiding you through the umpteenth menu when you call the Utility Company or the long queue at the checkouts.
Take a deep breath. Venting one’s spleen at poor hapless individuals at the other end of the telephone or at the checkout is rarely fair and often ineffective, although there are exceptions. A more measured response after re-engaging one’s brain can sometimes pay in the long run. However, once in a while there comes a time when a person’s patience just dies and all one can do is profess despair and sheer disbelief.
Take a step forward; take a bow Mr. Barack Obama. For you, Sir, are pushing my patience. My personal fuse is lit, it is running and I fear it will not be long before it burns out completely. I refer to BP, not ‘British’ Petroleum, but BP and the oil spill in the Gulf. A natural disaster of this magnitude is a great tragedy and touches and affects many. I am deeply sorry for those who are suffering, for the environment and for all those hapless and diverse creatures struggling to adapt to this crisis. Whilst something has to be done and done quickly, I accept there is a price to be paid and someone has to pay.
I understand the fury of your fellow Americans at what has gone wrong and the desire to apportion blame and accountability, but surely there is a correct way of doing this. You, Mr. Obama, have lashed out at a foreign company, which employs many Americans and from which, incidentally, you earn billions of US$ and all the while guzzling its oil like no other country on earth. Your rhetoric Mr. President is out of order. How dare you speak and behave the way you have done. What gives you the right to slip the leash of your attack dogs to single out and hound BP?
The chief executive of BP may indeed have much to answer for. However, the ‘bear-baiting’ and verbal abuse of Tony Hayward by your Congressmen in such a televised spectacle is unacceptable. And surely you are not serious when you compare this disaster to 9/11!
The apparent demonization of ‘British’ Petroleum the emphasis being on the word ‘British’ appears to court public opinion in your own back yard and perhaps mitigate your slow response to the disaster unfolding in the Gulf. The imposition of such stringent financial penalties on BP and BP alone is unsettling. It is punitive to impose on small shareholders losses of hundreds of pounds or dollars by coercing BP to withhold dividends, with many thousands also suffering losses to their pension funds at a time when personal finances are already under considerable pressure.
How can you be so certain that BP is 100% culpable, without censure too for the American companies Halliburton and Transocean? Your stance and apparent reluctance to pillory and force American owned companies to place funds in escrow is there for all to see and promotes global ill will. No one yet knows the answers as to exactly what went wrong and why or who is to blame. No doubt in the fullness of time an investigation and enquiry will be held. In the meantime your fellow compatriots await evidence of your campaign promise for ‘change’.
Take a long hard look in the mirror Mr. America. Remember the Torrey Canyon disaster, Piper Alpha, Exxon Valdez and Bhopal. I do not recall America holding its hands up, admitting negligence, seeing its companies and executives vilified across the globe or being made to escrow monies. In most of these instances the very opposite is true with the American legal system being used to shield and protect those culpable and reduce compensation even years after the event.
So in the meantime bite your tongue, button your lip and uphold the dignity of your office and the nation you represent. You may well be angry, the world is indeed saddened, but it is no excuse to behave in this way. Retain your patience, Sir, as I try to retain mine.