The BBC’s coverage of the Gulf oil spill continually shadowed the line taken by Obama, namely that this was the worst ecological disaster ever to hit the region and that the shorelines would take generations to recover. So, when the hated BP managed to successfully cap the Oil spill, and then it emerged that the imagined environmental holocaust had, erm, mostly vanished, what to do for the intrepid BBC? Answer – raise Piper Alpha.  Even though it happened 22 years ago, the BBC actually led the post 7am news section with the allegation that the environmental damage it caused back then is still threatening the environment today and nothing is being done about. Or so Mike Thomson speculates. As far as I can see, this story is little more than his imaginations and certainly does not deserve such prominent placement on the BBC daily news schedule. Then again the demanding narrative showing how evil Big Oil is requires sustenance now that BP is no longer the biggest menace in the world….so back to the 80’s.

Nasty Nasty Breeeetish

Or, as the BBC more prosaically put it yesterday, “Lethal landmine legacy from battle of El Alamein“; accompanied by a picture of two blokes, a flock of sheep, several buildings, some power lines with masts and a tree – and captioned “featureless”. So why the sudden interest 68 years down the line?

The battle of El Alamein was a turning point in World War II but the unexploded munitions it left behind continue to kill and maim the local population, as Christian Fraser reports from Egypt.

Right, that’ll be the time we saved all of Europe from the Germans, the Italians and their allies but let’s not worry about that small factoid because we’re about to find out who the real villain of the Second World War is.

…no country is prepared to accept responsibility for owning or laying the unexploded ordnance. Who then is to blame for the maiming of 11-year-old Mawa? 

You’ve found one *just one* person to feature in the story and it’s an injured 11 year old girl who likes football. Brilliant. Her father chips in:

“I used to have sheep but I had to sell them because the children refuse to go to the fields now because they’re too dangerous. 

You’ve had sheep in those fields for 68 years and only now there’s a problem? Could this article be leading somewhere? Enough! Someone must be responsible! Name names, BBC, we demand it!

“Psychologically and economically we have been badly affected. And we’ve had no compensation.” The detonator could have been of Italian or German origin but Abdulaziz blames the British. “It was their battle,” he said. “They brought the war to Egypt.” 

Yay! It’s our fault!Perhaps we could apologise and pay them some…

Now though, a group representing some 660 registered injured is compiling a formal dossier to bolster claims for compensation. 

….damn, they got there before me. So remind us all again, why did we send tanks into North Africa in the early 1940’s? Without drawing breath the article informs us:

The region is rich in natural resources. There is a huge amount of natural gas that lies buried underground and the Egyptian government suggests there could be 4.8bn barrels of oil, potentially doubling the country’s existing reserves. 

Ah yes, Churchill was testing the waters for the whole turn of the century invading-countries-for-oil thingy. And we have “Evil Capitalist Pigs Caught Only Clearing Some Mines Shocker”.

International oil companies that have cleared their own access roads through the mines have already been rewarded with considerable finds.

Christian Fraser has been fed a plea for cash because the Germans and Italians haven’t been daft enough to fall for it. The BBC swallows the whole thing in one gulp. If only the other side in those battles had a self-loathing media as naive as ours then they too could enjoy journalism of this standard.

It’s All About No Oil …

Just giving the garage its summer clean and sort, when the following idiocy was aired on the PM program about ten minutes ago. They were discussing the Burmese sentence on the noble Aung San Suu Kyi.

I paraphrase :

“… and we’ve just had a mail come in on the subject of Burma, which says ‘Isn’t it a tragedy that Burma hasn’t got any oil ? Otherwise the resolutions would soon be passed and the invasion forces built up …'”

Now there are a lot of ignorant people in the UK, and this chap may not have heard, say, of a company called Burmah Oil, despite the fact that Denis Thatcher once decorated its board. Any idiot can mail the BBC.

But for the editor to consider this a serious point worth broadcasting – well, perhaps someone who is unaware that Burma is an oil and gas producer shouldn’t be in charge of what purports to be a current affairs program.

We all know why it was chosen, of course. It fits the BBC narrative. Why ruin a perfectly good anti-American sneer for the want of a few facts ?