Alex Massie

Obama Should Thank BP

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Well, up to a point. Too Big To Fail is a phrase we often hear these days and one that by now you may well be bored by. We don't hear much about its companion: Big Enough To Fail.

But that would seem to be the case with BP and the Gulf of Mexico. Even amongst oil companies there aren't many - Exxon, Chevron, Shell and a handful of others - who'd have the resources or revenues to cope with a disaster of this magnitude. BP is one of the select few. And even then it may be a damned close run thing.

That doesn't mean all is fine and dandy with BP or excuse its appallingly ham-fisted press operation but it's a reminder, perhaps, that this situation, catastrophic as it may be, could be much worse. Especially for the American taxpayer - and for an administration that might, in other circumstances, have been forced to "own" the spill much earlier and much more completely than has been the case with BP.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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