Beleaguered BP chief executive Tony Hayward is to take his company’s strategy for tackling the Gulf of Mexico spill into a new phase by sitting on the Florida coastline in a ceremonial throne and instructing the oil not to advance any further.
‘We got the idea from the 11th century Viking king of Denmark and England who tried the same stunt with the sea,’ said a BP spokesman. ‘Some people refer to him as Canute, but for the purposes of historical accuracy and to better reflect Tony’s own personal style, all our promotional material refers to Tony as being a real modern-day Cnut.’
Hayward’s advisors are certain that this latest attempt to contain the oil spill will show the BP supremo in the light that millions around the world have always seen him in. ‘For those of us who’ve worked with Tony for years, we knew it was only a matter of time before he showed everyone what a Cnut he is. Some people are born Cnuts, others have to work their whole lives to get recognition. This is no less than Tony deserves.’
Experts agree that Hayward has all the basic ingredients to succeed as a Cnut. ‘He’s in a position of great power, has only the merest grasp of scientific fact and doesn’t let reality get in the way of his worldview. More than anything this challenge is a question of character. Can Hayward show he is more of a Cnut than Cnut himself? Can he be the über-Cnut? I really think he can.’
However, hopes that Hayward’s heroics might halt the advance of the oil slick were dented this afternoon when rehearsals for the attempt went badly. A BP spokesman said that Hayward was ‘stonewalled’ by the waves of oil which ignored his instructions and continued to lap about his feet, before accusing the slick of ‘astonishing complacency’.
Sadly things went from bad to worse when a typographical error was later discovered in the BP press release. ‘Come and watch Tony Hayward, BP’s biggest shitter, as he sits on the throne and tries to force his waste out to sea,’ read the statement. ‘It’s unfortunate,’ said a spokesman, ‘but these things sometimes happen. Tony is also described as the Cnut from Kent. We’re just double-checking the spelling of Kent.’