BP and CEO Hayward: adversary or victims?…


Old theatre masks covered the faces of actors/actresses known to their audience – no fooling them. Now, consider U.S. Congress members caught, pants-down, in outrageous statements revealing BP as British Petroleum! Such brash disregard for the corporate theatre mask is appalling and inexcusable, but maybe reason for an award from those affiliated with sound reasoning ability. After all, why not use the “BP” ruse? “KFC” works for Kentucky Fried Chicken in mollifying those living in mortal fear of fried foods. 

In addition, BP CEO, Tony Hayward, was nearly crucified for his apparently callous remark about wanting his life back. After watching him make that statement, our champion, felt it was a significant PR blunder; however, one should consider the possible context of his situation. 

His statement in and of itself, though allegedly cavalier, does not automatically rule out his concern for the restoration of other’s lives . It just means that after so much harassment from the press, he snapped out his own personal frustration with the gargantuan situation, which every other victim, in expected self-interest, has done as well. Implicit in his words, but unfortunately unexpressed at that frustrating moment was the concept that he too, as well as all the affected people, wanted his life back. And it would follow that everyone else would hopefully be restored when he was. But then again, he doesn’t live among those punished by untold future years of economic distress. 

No, Shining Man is not on BP’s payroll or accepting hidden compensation from the same; He is simply injecting a dose of reality into the veins of those habitually roasting public figures. It is now painfully evident that Mr. Hayward wasn’t chosen for CEO duty because of PR ability; moreover, I doubt that many corporate heads are selected for that prowess. Prudence demands specialized PR employees or specialist firms perform that duty. Therefore, BP’s board of directors have seriously erred in their failure to delegate PR to the appropriate expert(s). Not withstanding these substantial corporate blunders, being distinctly separate issues from that of the disaster on the leased oil drilling rig, it is possible that PR challenged Tony and BP could be classified as victims right along with all the Gulf coast and its inhabitants. One must realize that necessity is the mother of invention and all of us because of either finances or time constraints respond mainly to pressing current need. Industry follows the same path. And in the case of deep water offshore oil drilling where the technology is like that of moon exploration, the appropriate disaster response technology never found realization because there was insufficient pressure for essential cognizance of potential problems that would then justify huge expenditures for research & development. One could counter with the accusation that in light of BP’s poor PR decisions, that it might be indicative of broader decision errors that led to the rig explosion. Yes, that is entirely likely, yet at this point highly speculative. We need to know the exact cause of the conflagration before continuing with BP’s defamation.

It is highly regretful that this monstrous oil siege might be, or should be, the catalyst for the proper development of effective remediation, but such motivation has been the impetus for correction and progress throughout history. So likely, Tony and company are captive to overall industrial and governmental short-sightedness in the arena of disaster preparedness and can, as social and environmental consciousness requires, devise an effective remedy for the nasty current and possible future events. 

We have only to recall hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orléans to see the results of illusive disaster preparedness. Bourbon Street had over fifty years to prepare for Katrina, but as we all witnessed, they were no where near the ballpark. Neither was the Federal Government who, as well, should have had some supervision of the safety procedures on the Deep Water Horizon oil rig to prevent the holocaust.

Furthermore, space flight disasters led to improved operations; early train travel was viciously deadly, but now fairly safe; devastating earthquakes brought forth proper building methods; nuclear power technology was initially seriously flawed, but the French have capitalized on their remarkable improvements to provide 75% or more of that nation’s energy needs from safe nuclear fission. Everyone can look to things in their own lives that only happened because of a real and chronic need. 

Of course, it appears from media coverage that British Pe… uhh, pardon me, I mean BP, is shamefully remiss with it’s response to the widespread conflagration; however, the vast scope of technical issues to address and financial compensation is mind numbing for even those most intelligent and resourceful. Shining Man’s belief and hope is that at some point, some semblance of good will come from this and that the commercial wherewithal will emerge to prevent or, at least, adequately contain any future crude oil eruptions. 

Irony is prevalent now that the belated TV spot of the apologetic and remorseful BP Tony is joining in the cacophony of myriad hawkers on the ubiquitous tube and yes, the flat screen LED, and plasma, whatever… He appears quite sincere. And probably is, but who really knows? Let us just hope that he is and that the complex array of problems will be eventually solved. Hey, maybe it’s time to buy BP stock. No wait a bit longer, timing is everything. Too bad BP’s timing is off. 

At this historical point, there is no contest over the need for economical production of fossil fuel, though it’s days are, or should be, numbered. It is a necessity that certainly cannot afford inappropriate knee-jerk regulatory strangulation. Our hero, Shining Man, urges a thorough, thoughtful, methodical, and common sense path to the solution. He expresses his deepest condolences to all those caught in this seemingly intractable quagmire and regrets that his technologically challenged status prevents any more action than keyboard commentary.

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5 Responses to BP and CEO Hayward: adversary or victims?…

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    • Thank you, I really appreciate that you took the time to comment. I have been out of the loop for a short time because we were hit partially by hurricane Earl here on St. Thomas, so there is a lot of clean-up & repairs to do. I should be back to writing in a week or two.
      Best,
      Jerry, the Word Guru

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