BP chief executive Tony Hayward has been told by angry US politicians that the way he responded to their questions about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill made him sound like a well-trained US politician.
Despite BP efforts to contain the leak, oil continues to enter the sea, threatening states along the Gulf coast, leaving the House congressional panel determined to show how much better they were at chastising BP’s chief executive than President Obama.
However, their efforts were thwarted by a stonewalling performance straight from the play-book of the top US politicians in the last thirty years.
Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Henry Waxman, Democratic representative for California and all-round stand-up guy told us, “It was like arguing in a mirror – really, really difficult to get the upper hand whilst simultaneously hard not to be impressed with what was looking back you.”
“This was all about us politicians looking good for the cameras, and this bloody Brit has come here and used our own weapons against us.”
Waxman continued, “By way of preparation for the hearing I watched that film where Tom Cruise gets Jack Nicholson to flip out on the stand – to try and psyche myself up a bit, you know?”
“I saw myself as Tom Cruise by the way, in case you were wondering – but my plans to rile him didn’t work. At all. It would have made a rubbish movie.”
“Hayward just kept repeating the phrase, ‘It would be premature to speculate on the conclusions of the investigation that is already under way’ – which was so infuriatingly sensible.”
“What BP and Mr Hayward need to realise is that speculating on the outcome of things that haven’t happened yet is a political staple here in the US – it’s how most of us form our set-in-stone opinions on everything from our favourite beer to who will be the next President.”
“In fact, it’s already been speculated that Hayward’s steadfast refusal to speculate will lead us to speculate as to his complicity in all this. I think.”