What's so wrong with profits?

It’s that time of year again where the oil companies report their profits. It’s a time of year that winds me up with such lazy and ill informed media reporting designed to whip up public hostility to the idea of companies doing well.
Today it’s Shell. They’ve reported a profit of about £14 billion or billions as Gordon Brown might say. This is wonderful. A British company competing and winning in a highly competitive global market, providing thousands of jobs, helping to keep the country running with new oil finds, helping our balance of payments and paying billions of pounds in tax. It also helps the upkeep of our pensions funds as they hold a significant portion of the shares.
How do the media choose to report it. Well for every news report I saw this morning, there was a reporter on a Shell forecourt asking motorists if they’re being ripped off in view of these obscene profits. It’s the same every year and perpetuates this myth that profits are wrong, and they all go to one or two fat cats while everyone suffers. It’s so lazy of the media. What do they expect, oil companies to subsidize the British motorist so only the Government makes money out of them? We have some of the cheapest petrol in Europe, it’s only when the Government takes its 70% that it becomes the most expensive.
Of course the unions have to have their say. Unite’s joint general secretary Tony Woodley said the profits were "quite frankly obscene" and "Shell shareholders are doing very nicely whilst the rest of us, the stakeholders, are paying the price and struggling." He also wants a windfall tax on oil companies. What a good idea!! Let’s take legitimate profits from a company so it has less to invest in finding and producing the petrol, make it a target for a takeover and lose another British company(well at least part British). That way we can lose billions of future tax revenues, a few thousand British jobs and do a bit more damage to our pension funds.
So how about praising a British success story that’s funding a significant part of our public services, instead of lazy ranting about a tax driven petrol price. Expect the same when BP reports.


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