Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What can we learn from the BP oil spill?

Thanks to Blood and Treasure, Americans have learned that British right wing media pundits aren't to far behind their American cousins in terms of the prized ability to hold two contradictory views at the same time:

Insane Britons believe that it is outrageous for Obama to identify a company as British when it chooses to dissociate itself from this country. They therefore think that the Prime Minister should stand up for this entirely multinational entity because it is “Britain’s flagship company”, to quote our most reliably insane newspaper.

You can see his point. Surely if you're worried about the Yanks turning this into an anti-British thing, Cameron's line should be: "Nothing to do with us, guv. Try Tony Hayward for war crimes for all I care."

Still, the fact that Melanie Philips has trouble finishing a thought is hardly news here in Britain. My own bit of take-home wisdom is just that being a pension fund manager looks like a pretty cushy job. Until a few weks ago, I thought it was this stressful, professional finance thing where you had to do loads of corporate analysis and political risk assessment and hedging and shit like that. But apparently you can just buy a whole load of stock in a company that regularly causes environmental catastrophes, hope that no-one ever sues it into the ground, then head off to the pub. When can I start?


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