Gem of the day

BP's strange campaign to combat alleged fraud in the payouts from its $20 billion Deepwater Horizon recovery fund, ironic in more ways than one, took another twist yesterday. In a move that the WSJ correctly identified as a marked - and inevitable - shift from the company's PR-led apologetic tone in the aftermath of the Gulf spill, BP is aggressively reaching out to the mass public for help by setting up an anonymous fraud "hotline".

The company's official statement on Tuesday promoted the hotline as a resource "for people who want to do the right thing". So in that case here's someone who should probably call in: former CEO Tony Hayward. After all, when stepping down in July 2010 he assessed his role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster in exactly the following terms: "I became a villain for doing the right thing".

If he does speak up about the proportion of alleged fraud in the fund, BP had better hope Hayward's recommendation isn't based on his early approach to talking about the environmental impact of Deepwater Horizon:

"I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest...Gulf of Mexico is a big ocean."

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