It's seems that BP really is too important to the British economy to fail, as I suggested last Wednesday - David Cameron has a phone call today with President Barack Obama and is expected to raise concerns about American condemnation of the company.
Meanwhile Boris Johnson, has accused the US of indulging in "anti-British rhetoric", whilst (lord help us) Piers Morgan has apparently said that Obama seems to be on "an absolute witch hunt" against BP's CEO Tony Hayward. As you can see from the front-pages above, the right-wing press joined in yesterday with its favoured brand of nationalist rhetoric. And never let it be said that at least one national newspaper journalist would miss out on using this evening's clash in South Africa between England and the USA as a convenient metaphor. Congratulations to the Independent for rising to the challenge.
The problem for Fleet Street's finest is that the Americans are right to criticise BP. As the excellent coverage in Mother Jones magazine over in the States has demonstrated, BP has received $93 million for its clean-up operation from the federal government but in spite of upbeat messages last month that it has "turned a corner", the area affected by the oil spill has continued to grow. Coordination of workers and equipment has often been disorganised, oil spill workers have not always been paid and there are only 60 cleaning up around the 1700 acres of Elmer's Island Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana, where BP's response to media scrutiny has been to gag those working for it and exclude journalists. Meanwhile, every positive prediction made by Hayward about the company's ability to cap the underwater well have proven false, as have its initial estimates that the leak is the equivalent of just over 5,000 barrels per day.
Then there is the evidence of how unprepared BP was for a disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Its Regional Oil Spill Response Plan, written in 2009, is riddled with inaccuracies and according to the environmental group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, "contains no information about how to cope with a deep water blowout".
For the sections of the press that are energetically defending a great British company (now only 40% UK-owned) from the restless colonials, the environmental consequences of BP's actions before and since the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig are bad, certainly, but not as bad as the impact on BP's share price and on British pension funds. I know we have come to expect a staggering lack of proportion from our newspapers, but this really is off the scale.
It is undoubtedly the case that the cosy relationship between the US government and the oil companies, especially during the Bush-Cheney years, has contributed directly to the disaster. Obama has done little to curb the power of Big Oil and planned to extend drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
But perhaps we should be grateful to the press and to idiots like the Mayor of London. The more righteous patriotic indignation is spouted in Britain, the greater the likely that the American public will grow even angrier about the power of the oil companies - and not just those whose loved-ones died on the Deepwater Horizon or whose livelihoods have been destroyed by BP's incompetence, misinformation and lack of preparation.