I must have seen it millions of times, but never really thought about it.
But how long have BP been sponsoring the FT Brussels Briefing?
And what does that mean for FT journos reporting on EU lobbying?
Let’s say a reporter moves over from the FT to BBC, Sky, Channel for or ITV.
Will she bring the same unwillingness to run anti-BP stories that would have served her well at the FT?
Extinction Rebellion were outside the BBC this weekend reporting on the BBC’s deathly silence around climate change.
The BBC has given far more attention to the Ineos-sponsored unregulated breaking of the 2 hour marathon barrier than it has to the murder by Syrian and Turkish troops of a Kurdish political leader.
The same attention hackers that take the money from BP and propagandise for Ineos are the ones who want to deny equality to women in the Middle East and remain silent when the Turkish President orders the murder of the same Kurdish fighters that had defeated ISIS.
Where is Hillary Benn now, who as Shadow Foreign Secretary rebelled against his own leader, Jeremy Corbyn in order to passionately argue that Britain bomb Syria particularly to take out ISIS?
He has moved on to Brexit and has no time for the Kurds.
But since “quitting politics” he’s already backed Trump in the US election and now he’s doing the same for the leader of the French National Front.
In the tenth minute of this 40 minute interview Farage asks Le Pen if she feels British Prime Minister Theresa May snubbed her by inviting her rival Emmanuel Macron to Downing Street.
Farage himself never let UKIP enter Le Pen’s nationalist grouping in the European Parliament.
In this 30 second clip Le Pen refers to Macron as not being the sort of person she thought Theresa May would want to meet as, in contemporary French politics, he’s the key salesperson of deregulation and Globalisation.
Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage bond over Theresa May’s terrible judgment.
They correctly point out that it makes no sense for Theresa May to say she stands for Brexit and threatening immigrants but then roll out the red carpet for Macron and not Le Pen.
Farage points out that Theresa May wanted nothing to do with Trump until some days after he was elected – despite the supposed similarity in their agendas.
Farage and Trump, unlike Le Pen, strongly back deregulation.
They refer to it as cutting red tape.
But Le Pen talks about protecting French workers from deregulation.
Trump and Farage pretend to rail against corporate power but their loyalties lie with the uber-rich.
Could it be a similar story with Le Pen?
A former top lawyer and daughter of a multimillionaire, her party also needs big cheques but courts and delivers a mainly working class vote.
The only things they really agree on are the threat of open borders and Islamic terrorism.
Le Pen shows solidarity with May and Farage against the vindictiveness of the European Union.
She says the EU wants to punish Britain.
Farage asks her about how she wants to protect French businesses and whether there is room for trade with Britain.
Le Pen says her Economic Patriotism means ensuring French Local Authorities buy from local suppliers.
She also says further measures should be taken to protect french industries from ‘dumping’ – where foreign firms sell their products cheaper because they are able to produce more for less due to weaker labour and environmental laws.
I feel China and Germany are being alluded to here but there’s no mention of British and American exporters and the huge deregulation going on in the USA which they plan to use to boost exports to France.
On the other hand she says she also wants France to “conquer the world” and therefore favours trade.
She concludes that for some industries you need protection but not for all.
This is similar to Steve Bannon’s assertion that he is not a White Nationalist but an Economic Nationalist.
America already had a Buy America policy under Obama.
And while France’s local industries obviously ought to be protected, there are massive inconsistencies in Le Pen’s argument.
But Farage doesn’t point them out.
How can global waves of economic nationalism and protectionism help French exporters?
But we can still sell to each other with minimal taxation, right?
Farage asks if by threatening to impose tariffs on Britain, the EU is ultimately making French workers pay to protect the EU project.
Conversation moves on to talk of migration, borders, Calais and suspending the Schengen agreement.
Brits living in France are reassured that they will not be threatened.
Le Pen says many of the French in London will return to France.
Taxes will be cut as unemployment falls and public spending is cut.
Le Pen says being a Muslim in France is not a problem – it is sectarianism she says she objects to.
She says she is against Islamist Fundamentalism.
When asked about anti-semitism in her party Le Pen says she doesn’t tolerate it and would prefer not to be judged by the words of all her supporters.
Farage says he knows how it feels to be judged by one’s supporters.
Conversation then goes to Putin.
Le Pen argues Russia and US are both as important as each other and that Russia has done a lot of good in Syria.
Farage asks if borrowing from Russian banks compromises her.
Le Pen says she couldn’t borrow elsewhere but that her lender doesn’t choose her policies.
On Trump – Le Pen says she too opposed TTIP and is glad he wants to be a President of the US and not of the world.
Le Pen says there’s definitely a global revolution going on.
She points out that it is funny that the Anglo Saxon creators of neoliberalism are now the ones who reject it.
Farage says that it was Brussels who created this neoliberalism and not the Anglo Saxons.
Le Pen replies that the Anglo-Saxon world implemented Liberalism and the EU has turned it into Ultra Liberalism.
She says that either way, they are both now on the same side.
This doesn’t feel unlike rival football hooligan firms enjoying a friendly beer before resuming normal service and beating the crap out of each other.