You just knew, watching Tony Hayward bobbing and weaving and sliming around at his hearing, that he’d been coached the night before by a murder board of corporate image specialists and tort lawyers, each impersonating a congressman as he fired scattershot questions at him.
“Look contrite,” they admonished Mr. Hair Mousse. “Apologize all over the place that it happened. Take the arrows. Make the martyrdom of St. Sebastian look like a Sunday picnic, but whatever you do, DON’T ADMIT YOU DID ANYTHING WRONG!”
Any such disclosure, any slip into the matter of willful negligence, could mean billions in court. We won’t know anything until the investigations are finished, he said. Blame? Not his province, thank you very much. The matter should be put before an adjudicator.
It’s all a joke because we already know the answer. We’ve heard the testimony about the arguments over whether safety measures should have been taken, or whether the potential damage to BP’s profits was just too heavy to take the trouble.
What do you do with a person who feigns repentance when his heart and mind remain wrapped around the idea of safeguarding the bottom line above all else?
How about some condign punishment? Throw him in a cell lined with defective Chinese drywall, where he can spend the balance of his days inhaling the brimstone-laced fumes of a corporate irresponsibility that he had nothing to do with.
God knows BP’s victims have already been condemned to such a fate.