The New “Bottler” Brown

America’s first Kenyan President, the virulently anti-British Barack Obama, son of a man once held as a terror suspect, has taken over the mantel of “Bottler” Brown.

With falling approval ratings, a growing indication of dithering and bullying, Obama is coming to model himself on the failed Scottish Prime Minister, unelected, “Bottler” Brown.

Of course the over-hyped Obama was bound to disappoint because the possible reality could never match the spin. His Presidency is proving that, like the failed British national socialists Blair and Brown, style over substance will eventually result in a sense of betrayal amongst voters but, as Britain discovered the hard way, a great deal of damage can be done to a country before the failures can be kicked out.

Obama has sat around while the Gulf oil problem has grown. His only contribution to the situation has been to pick on Anglo-American multi-national BP. He has proclaimed that he sees his mission to keep his boot firmly on the neck of British pensioners. At the same time, he has had his boot firmly on the throat of American pensioners who in desperation have tried starting a legal action against BP because they see their pensions becoming worthless.

That legal action, together with the dramatic reduction in BP’s credit rating, may bankrupt an otherwise successful company, with the result that pension funds lose massively in both America and in Britain. There is a story circulating that British pension funds are considering a class action against Barack Obama for damages resulting from his attacks on BP.

The exploding oil rig at the centre of the disaster was operated by an American company and the resulting massive oil leak appears to have been the result of the failure of safety equipment supplied by another American company, with an Anglo American company holding the leases.

The only conclusion so far is that Obama has combined his anti-British feelings with his panic over forthcoming mid-term elections to demonized one of three companies that are involved with the oil rig. In the process he is destroying a company that employs more Americans than it does any other nationality and with a significant part of its stock being held by American pension funds for American pensioners.

This all comes at a very delicate time for the war in Afghanistan. The new British Government has decided that Britain will no longer carry proportionately the lion’s share of the war. What has constantly been overlooked is that Britain carried a far larger share of the cost of the Iraq and Afghan wars when national wealth and population are taken into consideration against those of other NATO countries, including those of the the USA. This initially meant that Britain would send no additional troops to the conflict unless the rest of NATO proportionately matches British commitment (an unlikely situation where other NATO countries are scrambling to withdraw completely). With the attacks on Britain by Obama, this is likely to result in the forthcoming British defence review concluding that an excellent way of reducing MOD costs will be to dramatically reduce the number of British troops in Afghanistan, or completely withdraw all forces. If a proportional reduction was to be made, British force levels would reduce to approximately 18% of current levels, leaving the question of whether the remaining commitment was a sustainable force or whether at that level it would be necessary to withdraw all troops from theatre.

In the meantime, Obama is sitting on his hands while the American Gulf coast is contaminated by oil slicks. He has decided to ignore the prime responsibility of any Government and political leader to roll up his sleeves and start taking action to resolve the problem. Who was responsible for the explosion of the oil rig is irrelevant right now. That will emerge later and may or may not prove to be largely the responsibility of BP. The probability is that a later investigation will show that a lack of US Federal regulation of oil production in its waters was a major factor in the explosion and direct fault may lie with three or more commercial companies, but with a lack of action by Obama being responsible for a significant percentage of the subsequent pollution disaster. At that point the legal processes can and should begin. Before that point, only a Government can fund and co-ordinate the vital action to plug the leak and deal with the oil that has already escaped. Maybe the American people will eventually see their Government taking positive, if very, very belated, action to deal with a major ecological disaster, rather than attempting to play an unproductive blame game.


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