'Liberty Biscuits': How Obama can punish the Brits for BP spill disaster

Do you think that President Obama's criticism of British Petroleum (BP) amounts to a declaration of financial war on Britain?

Some British newspapers feel this is true:

–“Barack Obama Is Killing All Our Pensions” screams a headline in a recent edition of the London Express. The accompanying article complains that each time President Obama takes a rhetorical shot at BP (which used to be known as British Petroleum), he is hurting its share price, which in turn hurts those British pension funds that hold shares in BP.

–Another British paper, the London Mirror, quotes an anonymous British stockbroker complaining that Obama is “holding his boot on the throats of British pensioners.”

With British rhetoric like this, you'd expect, to paraphrase a recent Chicago Tribune editorial, that the American people and the President are so angry about the BP spill that there are daily calls for Washington to deport Posh Spice.

But there is no anti-fury British visible in America – at least not yet.

I am a bit surprised that no grandstanding Congressmen have stood up and announced that the House of Representatives' restaurant will discontinue serving “English muffins,” replacing them with good, patriotic American “Liberty biscuits.”

I bet you can still buy Heath English toffee bars around Capitol Hill – Senators haven't yet sent their summer interns from nearby store to store, demanding that the owners demonstrate true love of country by dumping those offensive British-style chocolates from their shelves.

And none of those student activists you've seen on TV protesting BP have taken to dumping Earl Grey in front of the British embassy in Washington – a time-honored way for Americans to express their dislike of the British.

As angry he might be with BP's top managers, and with the British government's strangely clueless attitude regarding how the oil spill might actually become a major US-UK diplomatic irritant, President Obama has to keep above the fray.

The President may want to see Americans protesting BP more vigorously and loudly, to help his administrator pressure BP into contributing more money to the clean-up, but he cannot do so directly – the British papers and British government would start screaming about him trying to stir up mob rule in America in order to push BP around, etc.

An easy solution is at hand, Mr. President – create some plausible deniability for yourself and give the job of talking up those Liberty biscuits and rousing the masses with some political grandstanding to Joe Biden, who seems quiet these days.

But act soon. How long before Republicans try to feed on heartland anger towards BP by racing to put Liberty biscuits on the menus of the House of Representatives' restaurant operations?

Tags: , , ,
FOG Fair, 50,000-square-foot cornucopia of contemporary art and design, returns to Fort Mason

Eighth edition features 45 fine art galleries, dealers and design firms from around the globe

Exxon aims to leverage Texas courts to silence San Francisco and CA climate critics

Oil firm claims its history of publicly denying the climate crisis is protected by First Amendment