No, BP announces its expansion into Libyan waters, thus waving a red rag to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Does BP not have PR advisers? Did nobody in the upper echelons think that it might be better to keep this under wraps for at least a couple of weeks, so that the proposals emerged in the dog-days of August when everyone that matters is on holiday?
The tortuous saga of BP, the Gulf of Mexico, the Lockerbie bombing and an America which feels itself badly wronged took another turn yesterday when it emerged that the oil company is about to start drilling at an even greater depth in, of all places, Libyan waters.
And, as that information was being absorbed, there came an announcement that Jack Straw, the former justice secretary, had declined an invitation to attend the upcoming US Senate hearing into possible links between BP and the release last August of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who was convicted of the murder of 259 passengers on Pan Am Flight 103, and 11 Lockerbie residents. Megrahi, who was diagnosed with cancer, was put on a plane back to Tripoli after doctors said he had only three months to live.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is investigating allegations that the release, officially on compassionate grounds, was ordered in return for economic co-operation, including access to oil and gas fields. Tony Blair, former prime minister and "friend of Gaddafi", has also become embroiled in the affair.
At any rate, the episode lends succour to the proposition that the size of a company is in direct proportion to the stupidity of its management.