The latest storyline out of the Gulf oil spill is about how it is polluting relations between the United States and Britain. It seems that our "special relationship" hangs in the balance because Americans are mad at Britain over the spill.
Really? BP may be "British" Petroleum but actually the company is as much American as British.
I heard a newsman on BBC earlier this week in all seriousness ask his guest if Americans disliked BP CEO Tony Hayward because of his very Britishness. Well, no, it's not his Britishness that we dislike. It's all that oily stuff spilling all over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. That's what we don't like. It wouldn't matter if Hayward spoke with a Russian, a Venezuelan, or an American accent. We just don't like his oil killing our Gulf and we want it to stop.
Truly, Hayward is a public relations disaster for his company which compounds their oil spill disaster, but it's not because of his accent. It's because he's an a-hole, if you'll pardon my Americanism. The man is tone-deaf and clueless and apparently lives in a world of his own, as so many in similar positions do. The rich, after all, are different from you and me, and Hayward and his company are very, very rich. Reports I have see indicate that BP makes about $62 million a day. No, I think Hayward is the perfect representative of his company.
As for the oil spill putting a dent in the "special relationship", I tend to doubt it. That World Cup game today though just might.