Saturday, 5 June 2010

Trafigura Sideshow: Different Sides

Yesterday I posted about a sideshow:

Given the allegations of last week and the now started court case in Amsterdam, yesterday’s findings of the Dutch Advertising Code Committee are no more than a sideshow.”

Subsequent to this post I came across two sides of opinion.

On the one hand was Dr Busch, whom I have posted about previously, who left this comment.

“Typical Green media coverage. Everything that Greenpeace alleged in its complaint was found to be a gross exaggeration or a lie that was confounded by already settled legal issues.

The only complaint the DACA raised against Trafigura was that it hadn't explained fully its social and humanitarian programs in West Africa; including sponsoring local football teams, charities and environmental remediation.

Perhaps Trafigura will explain this more fully in response to this media distortion. Other than that the DACA found that the Greenpeace complaint was pure bollocks. What a shambles.”

I have to say that this is not untypical of Dr Busch’s responses to the Trafigura affair.  As far as I can recall he has not written one sentence which was, in any way, critical of Trafigura or its actions.  I would expect a balanced correspondent to have found at least one.  I will, of course, correct this if I am wrong.

I’d better check my writings!

According to Dr Busch the full finding has not been made public but he appears to know more than is in the public domain. 

Does he? And how could he?

Or is he extrapolating, exaggerating from the little information there is?

Was “Everything that Greenpeace alleged in its complaint …found to be a gross exaggeration or a lie …”?

Was the one point which was found against Trafigura only because “it hadn't explained fully its social and humanitarian programs in West Africa; including sponsoring local football teams, charities and environmental remediation.

 

This is one side but there is another in which much of the media sits.

DutchNews said this:

“Trafigura misled with newspaper ad: advertising standards body

Friday 04 June 2010

Oil trader Trafigura misled the public when it published advertisements in a number of Dutch newspapers claiming the company had done its best to be economically and socially responsible in western Africa, the advertising standards authority said on Thursday.

The complaint was brought by environmental organisation Greenpeace.

The authority said the passage in the advert in which Trafigura said it 'always strives for positive economic and social involvement in the West African region' was 'misleading and unfair'.

The claim relates to the Probo Koala scandal, in which tonnes of toxic waste owned by Trafigura was dumped in Ivory coast by an unqualified local contractor.”

Only after this is it mentioned that other claims of Greenpeace were rejected but the impression has been created by that point.

In another blogpost the only mention in a 300 word post that not all Greenpeace claims were upheld was this,

The RCC has partly upheld Greenpeace’s complaint ….”

The rest of the post was about the particular claim won by Greenpeace.

Dr Busch, DutchNews, Dear Kitty, whoever, are free to write about Trafigura exactly as they see fit.  That is their prerogative.

I prefer more balance. 

Whatever I may think of Trafigura or Greenpeace privately is irrelevant to what I post.  I want to know the truth and I can only do that by being objective – or striving to be so.

I must admit though that imbalance in others’ writing makes it much easier for me.  Different angles are thrown up with which I must consider before I find my balanced view.  This doesn’t make me susceptible to propaganda from one side or the other but allows me to see what is propaganda.

Therefore, my advice to others is to keep doing what you’re doing because you’re helping me to keep doing what I am doing!

1 comment:

  1. I find it quite patronising for you to say “ he has not written one sentence which was, in any way, critical of Trafigura or its actions. I would expect a balanced correspondent to have found at least one. “ The simple answer to your assertion is that everything I have written is not only the truth but a truth that has been backed up by professional testimony of experts in court under oath and validated by the decisions of competent and experienced judges. When you compare this with the fantasies, self-promotion and lies of the great Green international circle jerk of self-indulgent ‘commentators’ it is difficult to know how a ‘balanced view’ might be achieved. Greenpeace and its ilk are plain wrong and every impartial court and legal proceeding has proved this to be the case. Where on earth do you expect to find a ’balanced view’ between truth and fiction?
    Equally you appear to be casting doubts on the accuracy of my comment on the DACA report. You say “According to Dr Busch the full finding has not been made public but he appears to know more than is in the public domain. Does he? And how could he?” How did the Dutch News and the other journals get their information to make their comments if the judgement hasn’t been published? The answer is simple, the DACA leaked its report to the local authorities (where an election is underway) and to journalists. I received my information from the same sources as Dutch News but I reported what the DACA actually said and not what they didn’t say.
    Keeping track of Trafigura is not what I do and, other than a few pieces on my website some years ago, I haven’t written about it. In the course of my consulting work I frequently come in contact with this Green Hysteria where incompetent and under-educated ‘activists’ cause real harm to corporations and society by promoting an agenda which has only a marginal attachment to reality. They act as both judge and jury without any responsibility for assessing the truth of the matter or ceasing their actions when the truth is proven. I understand that these people are relatively powerless and inconsequential ciphers in the real world of politics and economics and get some self-esteem by preening themselves in the glow their lies create. At some point this posturing should end.
    So, if I am not balanced between truth and fiction, reality and self-delusion, impotence and responsibility I apologise; but I don’t really mean it.

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