Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/630/9879

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 June 2010

Why BP should be nationalised

JUST HOURS after agreeing a $20 billion compensation deal with US President Obama over the oil spill, oil giant BP again had to apologise, this time for BP chairman Svanberg's claim that the $240 billion multinational cares about "the small people".

Hugh Caffrey

A US congressional hearing on 15 June heard that other oil companies "are just as unprepared to respond to a major oil spill in the Gulf [of Mexico] as BP". Far from caring about Svanberg's "small people", the entire capitalist industry cuts corners to boost profits.

The bill for Deepwater Horizon including clean-up costs, fines and further compensation could reach $49 billion. The environmental cost, meanwhile, keeps growing. Obama encouraged people who lost out from this spill, to claim part of the $20 billion compensation and announced that BP was setting up a "$100 million fund to compensate unemployed oil rig workers."

$100 million is small change to BP's bosses. Chief Executive Tony Hayward paid himself $36 million last year alone! How many oil workers will actually benefit from this fund? How will money be distributed and in what amounts?

Many 'City experts' call this a 'good deal' for BP. They feared Obama might go further as 83% of Americans "disapprove of BP's performance". The $20 billion equals two years' standard payouts (dividends) to shareholders. The estimated total cost of $49 billion is equivalent to suspending dividends for five years.

However, after suspending dividends this year, BP intends business as usual in 2011. To help pay for the clean-up, $10 billion worth of assets will be sold and $10 billion of capital spending, ie investment, will be cut.

Former Clinton government official, Robert Reich, suggested that BP's American operations should be temporarily nationalised so "Obama can ...use its expertise to stop the leak and clean up the mess as soon as possible." As Reich noted: "BP's first responsibility is to its creditors and shareholders, not the public."

The Socialist Party calls for fully and permanently nationalising BP, under democratic workers' control and management. This would allow workers' expertise to be used in the interests of society, not just to clean up after disasters.

Democratic planning

A socialist government would take BP into public ownership, replacing the board with elected representatives of oil workers and trade unions in the majority, and with the government also represented. Through democratic public planning this could safeguard employment and incomes, and move towards developing renewable energy.

Capitalists claim that "attacking BP means pensioners will suffer", as many pension fund investments depend on BP shares. This disaster shows why gambling pensions on the stock markets is madness. A publicly owned BP could repay the pension funds through its sizable profits, but a far better solution would be also to have democratic public ownership of the entire pension funds 'industry' to protect workers' savings and deliver living pensions for all.

'You can't nationalise a multinational company' scoff right-wing politicians. Socialists are internationalists; we fight for socialism worldwide, not just in one country. A socialist British government would nonetheless need to nationalise the largest 150 companies, many of which are multinationals.

It would appeal to the overseas workforce of these companies, including BP's 23,000 employees in the US, to support this. Introducing workers' democracy, guaranteeing rights and improving pay and employment terms, one socialist government would inspire workers the world over to bring in others.

In the last five years, there have been 26 deaths, 170 injuries and 760 safety violations on BP rigs. Regulation cannot make safe this dangerous capitalist industry. Socialist public ownership is required. Until then, this disaster, an environmental Hurricane Katrina, will tragically not be the last.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 23 June 2010:

Stop budget attacks with mass action

Budget cuts hitting the poorest hardest


Youth fight for jobs

Young people: fight for your future!

Youth speak for jobs at UCU union rally

Anti-EDL protest

Protesting at Iain's Dickensian Society


National Shop Stewards Network

The role of the NSSN in the battle to defend public sector jobs and services


Budget

Budget Day: workers' responses

Fightback to stop the cuts - public meetings


Bloody Sunday

Bloody Sunday: Innocent protesters murdered by the British army in 1972


Workplace news and analysis

PCS union rejects 'inevitable' cuts

Unison election: Over 42,000 votes for socialist candidate

Unison leadership: Lack of anti-cuts strategy

Fighting cuts in Nottingham: Save the WAP day centre

Workplace news in brief

National Shrewsbury 24 Justice Campaign March and Rally


Socialist Party news and analysis

Refugee and Migrant Justice: Save this vital service!

Afghan war

Coventry rally against public sector cuts

Stop attacks on services for the vulnerable in Nuneaton

Birmingham: Growing anger against cuts

Save South Leeds Pool

Why BP should be nationalised


Socialist Party feature

How deep is Britain's media crisis?


International socialist news and analysis

Ethnic conflict explodes in Kyrgyzstan

Donate to aid Greek socialists


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 June 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

BP:

triangle2016 hottest year on record, air poisonous

triangleFilm review: Deepwater Horizon

triangleBeyond the Pale - capitalism and the environment

triangleLooking after the millionaires, not the millions

Oil:

triangleHurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

triangleTories and Blairites in pockets of big business: kick them out!

triangleTory oil spoils v poisonous air

Socialist:

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

Obama:

triangleSolidarity not racism - Socialism not Trumpism

triangleBuild 100 days of resistance to Trump's agenda!

Public ownership:

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2