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Bowing to a dead dictator: pipelines, personality cults and the US Ambassador

Bowing to a dead dictator: pipelines, personality cults and the US Ambassador

Azeri democracy activists were enraged when in September, the new US Ambassador to Baku bowed down in front of the memorial to the late dictator Heydar Aliyev, father of the current dictator Ilham Aliyev.  The State Department initially tried to claim that Richard Morningstar had only laid a wreath of flowers at the memorial to...
Paul Mason discusses #TheOilRoad at the LRB Bookshop

Paul Mason discusses #TheOilRoad at the LRB Bookshop

On 4 October 2012, Newsnight economics editor, Paul Mason, was supposed to join Platform to discuss The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London at the LRB Bookshop. Unfortunately, Paul was called away at the last minute for filming, so he kindly made a pre-record of himself discussing some of...
"An unexpectedly engaging tale" - The Oil Road reviewed in the FT

“An unexpectedly engaging tale” – The Oil Road reviewed in the FT

This weekend the Financial Times featured a great essay by Ed Crooks on some accounts of the oil industry. We were thrilled that Crooks led with Fuel on the Fire and Platform’s new book The Oil Road, as well as Jeff Rubin’s The Big Flatline. Fuel on the Fire, published in 2011, reveals the oil...
As BP's "Contract of the Century" comes of age, new book reveals untold story of corruption & power

As BP’s “Contract of the Century” comes of age, new book reveals untold story of corruption & power

Today, BP’s Baku mega-oil project – one of its largest in the world – comes of age, 18 years since the Contract of the Century was signed in September 1994. To mark the anniversary, Verso Books and Platform are releasing a new book detailing its hidden story of geo-political manipulation, imprisonment of critics and environmental...
MPs find government support for Arctic drilling 'reckless'

MPs find government support for Arctic drilling ‘reckless’

The UK government’s support for Arctic Oil drilling was labelled ‘reckless’ today by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC). The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been quietly supporting oil companies’ Arctic ambitions but this is the first time there has been public scrutiny of the department’s actions in relation to Arctic drilling. The Committee published...
Tate's (near) deafening silence on #AskACurator day

Tate’s (near) deafening silence on #AskACurator day

Wednesday 19th September was Ask a Curator day, with museums and galleries all over the world taking part, including Tate. The overwhelming majority of questions put to Tate curators were about it’s controversial sponsorship with relationship with BP, but Tate curators made only a single response. To be fair, it’s not the curators that are...
Thatcher in Baku: How BP broke into Azerbaijan

Thatcher in Baku: How BP broke into Azerbaijan

The blog is based on an excerpt from The Oil Road – published with Verso on Sept 20.   ‘Lady Thatcher clearly remains a formidable foreign policy weapon for UK Ltd!’ (Foreign Office internal memo 24 September 1992) Internal Foreign Office documents obtained by Platform while researching The Oil Road reveal just how BP utilised...
Tales of Transition

Tales of Transition

James Marriott talks about Platform’s new book The Oil Road in advance of the Transition Network Conference taking place at Battersea Arts Centre. James will be inspiring people with stories of his travels from the oil fields of the Caspian to the refineries and financial centres of Northern Europe. He will also consider how we...
Putting the Oil Road on the map - 5 star review kicks off campaign

Putting the Oil Road on the map – 5 star review kicks off campaign

‘The Oil Road’ opens the lid on the often-shady energy economy, weaving absorbing travel reportage into powerful investigative journalism…If you want to know why oil matters read this book. (Time Out – 5th September 2012) Platform’s campaign to put the Oil Road on the map has been given a fine start with our new travel...
Oil money and the Academy

Oil money and the Academy

A guest blog post by Dr Alice Bell, an academic and writer interested in relationships between science and the public. She blogs at http://alicerosebell.wordpress.com/ and you can follow her on Twitter @AliceBell BP is to invest £64 million to set up an International Centre for Advanced Materials (BP-ICAM) based at the University of Manchester. It...
An "unusual travel book" along a pipeline

An “unusual travel book” along a pipeline

A Guest Blog by John de Falbe of Sandoe’s Books. I just received an early copy of “The Oil Road: A Journey from the Caspian Sea to the City of London” by Platform’s James Marriott and Mika Minio-Paluello, published by Verso, due out in mid-September. I read it in manuscript: it’s a brilliant analysis of...
London Late - The Big Money Games

London Late – The Big Money Games

London Late: The Big Money Games is a spoof newspaper that critiques and pokes fun at some of the more controversial sponsors of the Olympic Games, including BP, Addidas, Rio Tinto, G4S and Dow Chemicals. The paper has been produced by five organisations – the London Mining Network, the anti-poverty charity War on Want, the...