As crude oil continues to devastate coastlines and communities in the Gulf of Mexico, BP executives will be enjoying a cocktail reception with curators and artists at Tate Britain. These relationships enable big oil companies to mask the environmentally destructive nature of their activities with the social legitimacy that is associated with such high-profile cultural associations.Here we go again. A bunch of righteous lefties hectoring others to do their bidding. They use a new angle on application of the tobacco control template, but the sentiment remains the same - no-one should deal with a company of which they, personally, disapprove.
We represent a cross-section of people from the arts community that believe that the BP logo represents a stain on Tate's international reputation. Many artists are angry that Tate and other national cultural institutions continue to sidestep the issue of oil sponsorship. Little more than a decade ago, tobacco companies were seen as respectable partners for public institutions to gain support from – that is no longer the case. It is our hope that oil and gas will soon be seen in the same light. The public is rapidly coming to recognise that the sponsorship programmes of BP and Shell are means by which attention can be distracted from their impacts on human rights, the environment and the global climate.
These no marks - most regularly heard when squealing for more goverment 'investment in the arts' - are demanding that the Tate refuse vital sponsorship on dogmatic grounds. Who is then supposed to pick up the tab, they don't say. Not their problem, that. And besides, there's always the magic money tree in Whitehall ever ready to produce another harvest at will, eh?
Tobacco money is now tainted after institutions became fed up with the constant righteous shrieking, drinks industry cash may soon be going the same way. But if the aim of these startingly naïve luvvies is to relegate the oil industry to pariah status, there is one slight problem.
You see, tobacco and alcohol can be - and often are - cited by the righteous as largely unnecessary to everyday living. The same, however, can't be said for oil. The Daily Mash, as always, puts it best.
Professor Henry Brubaker, of the Institute for Studies, said: "Oil companies aren't pumping this stuff just so they can have it sitting around in buckets under their stairs.If these 171 dickwads have ever flown, they are hypocrites. If they own a car/use buses/trains they are hypocrites. Hell, if they signed this fucking letter by way of an e-mail to a central co-ordinator, they are hypocrites.
"They pump it because you want it. [...] So whenever you feel tempted to have a go at BP, what you should do instead is either sell your car and any objects you own which contain plastic, or shut your stupid fucking face."
Whiny, tax-sponging, bleeding heart socialists generally are.