Julius Hussain: BP as Shakespearean drama is now playing world-wide

The BP drama is now playing world-wide. Tony Hayward has been cast as the flawed leader brought down by his recklessness. Echoes can be heard of the tragedy of Saddam Hussain, and his defeat by the coalition of the willing


BP could face a wave of protesters and angry shareholders at its first annual general meeting since a disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It is almost one year since 11 workers were killed when a drilling rig leased by BP exploded, unleashing millions of barrels of oil. Fishermen from the US are set to be among protesters at the AGM in London. Meanwhile, BP is trying to save a £10bn alliance with the Russian state-owned oil company, Rosneft, from collapse. The share swap deal would have resulted in both companies jointly exploiting potential vast new energy reserves in the Russian Arctic Circle. It was a key part of BP’s turnaround strategy and aimed at delivering future growth…


Scene one

The shareholder’s forum

Angry shareholders
Lord Browne and Dudley [a BP executive]

Dudley: In faith, can these be holders of our shares
Our people, true to our venturings?

Lord Browne: What’s friendship when the chips are down?
They come from deeply watered gulf
And arctic wastes with angry tales
Of treachery. Hear what they say:

1st angry shareholder: You killed our hopes, our family, our shores

2nd angry shareholder: And now abandoning the wasted West
You freshly seek alliances of shame
To the East ..

Lord Browne: Enough. The West is done I say

1st angry shareholder: Not done for us. Nor yet enough by far
The evil Julius did not act alone

Dudley: Nor did he, though he bore the shame alone
And works now but to right those dreadful wrongs

Lord Browne: ‘Tis said he raises a new army for those purposes

2nd angry shareholder: His purchases. How will they meet our needs?
All must be paid, repaid and paid again
And still will not put right our angry wounds

Lord Browne: Friends, bondsmen, journalists, lend me your ears
I come to bury Julius, not to praise him

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