Sunday, 19 September 2010

Trafigura and Calum

I have been in email contact with a commenter over my stance vis-a-vis Trafigura.  I’m not going to publish an entire sequence of messages as I did once with Dr Busch.  This time I use only my last email which includes quotes from my commenter’s messages to me.

Why do I do so? Because this may show you why I continue with this story and why I don’t move on to another. If you’re interested then please read on.


The email starts on the next line:

Where to start?

Let's go back to a quote from your second last email.

You said, "I am curious to see why you seem so obsessed with Trafigura." 

I am not obsessed with Trafigura far less being "so obsessed".  In March I posted, "I imagine that there will still be controversy over the validity of Trafigura’s claims about the relative harmlessness of the waste but the focus, I think, will be on their knowledge and intent before the dumping of the waste and on the sweetening of the PMI coker naphtha in Norway and, possibly, elsewhere."  I am still interested in their knowledge and intent before the dumping of the waste.  I believe the full story has not come out yet and as I said in a recent message in this thread, "I will keep probing until more of the truth comes out or until the truth, should it be out already, becomes clear." Are there other important stories I could cover?  Yes!  I choose to restrict myself at the moment because I don't have the resources to delve in depth into another story.

Now let's look at MARPOL  /Basel

I didn't "disavow any interest in MARPOL or Basel" but I did say, "I have no interest in MARPOL or Basel per se [emphasis added]".   The intricacies of the two held no interest in me at all and were it not for Trafigura I would not be interested now.  The distinction between the two is central in Trafigura's case and so I am interested and I want to understand the relevant parts of the two conventions and how they apply to the Probo Koala.


Let's look at a composite sentence from your email,

"Can you see [that] ...  those with a task to perform which requires decision-making and responsibility  ..... can make mistakes or not forsee the consequences of a decision without having some devious or nefarious plan as their guide."

Of course I can.  I know that parenting decisions which I have made in good faith and with forethought may look terribly wrong in hindsight.  There is no difference between these decisions of mine and those made by businesses: others are affected by those decisions.  What is good for me is to be "pulled up every now and again and made to think."  I hope that I would be open to say why I acted as I did and to accept that there was a better decision to be made - if there were.  Unfortunately many businesses appear to hide, or not to admit to, mistakes whether or not they arise from decisions made in good faith.  This is the start of the path to abuse of power.  Some businesses will deliberately abuse their power but I am not putting Trafigura in this place.  They may belong there but I do not know and so I will not place them there.

Whose job is it?

You say, "What makes you think this is your job?".  All of us have a right to highlight mistakes (or alleged mistakes) and potential abuse of power wherever it happens?  If not Joe Public then who will do so?  I assume you do not believe that mistakes or abuse of power should go unreported.  Inevitably Joe Public will have less knowledge and understanding than those in positions of power but that knowledge can only be gained by enquiry.  I enquire.    Does it matter that a particular Joe may have a preconceived idea of whether or not a mistake has been made?  No provided that the the evidence is judged on its merits.   That is what I try to do.


"For some reason you link power with abuse and feel obliged to try to 'punish' or 'expose' it"

Is there a link?  Yes, but not in the way you suppose.  Abuse can only be caused by those who have some power over another.  Does this mean that all with power abuse it deliberately?  No!  Does this mean that I want to expose or punish those with power?  No!  Do I want to expose those who deliberately abuse power?  YES! 


"petulant, arrogant and juvenile"

Those who use their power well, who admit that some decisions will turn out not to have been the best, who admit that mistakes happen and who are open about the consequences of their actions will not consider me and others like me as being "petulant, arrogant and juvenile".  Those, however, who see any questioning of their actions as wrong may well see me as you describe.   It is this last group who should be exposed.


My Agenda

You say, "You are fooling yourself if you don't recognise that you have an agenda which transcends the events in question. You do not like wealthy, successful companies. This is your problem, not Trafigura's."

I have absolutely no axe to grind with wealthy and successful companies simply because they are wealthy and successful.  I have done or said nothing which shows this to be the case.  You say this about me but you are wrong ... totally. 

Do I have an agenda?  YES!  I want to expose those who deliberately abuse power wherever they are whether or not they are wealthy, successful companies or some individual who is abusing another less powerful person. 

I said earlier that I wish I could do more to expose abuse of power but I do not have the resources to do so.  That IS my problem.


I hope this has cleared up your misunderstandings about me.



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