No blogger likes to be ignored and so comments are like gold dust especially to an intermittent blogger like me.
Today I received a smidgeon of gold dust: Gary Busch with whom I’ve had many online conversations about the Trafigura – Probo Koala saga left a comment – not the most polite or respectful I’ve had - on a recent post in which, he asked if I was a “useful fool”.
The easy and flippant way to answer is to say, “No! I am a useless fool” but flippancy sits ill with my new-found faith and so I answered respectfully.
Below is his comment (with a couple of typos corrected).
“I read your piece with interest. I have gone through much of the correspondence between us and I am puzzled about one thing. You claim to be a seeker of truth and an impartial observer but you seem to have access to a whole lot of documentation and reports, some of which have not been found in public circulation.
Can it be that you are not neutral at all but a hack writing for Greenpeace, the obvious source of these documents?
Is your neutrality a blind to avoid attracting a lawsuit for libel or are you just a 'useful fool' whom Greenpeace and the other ecofreaks use for the dissemination of their ill-advised allegations?
In short, who are you really working for?”
If only Gary had access to my stats he’d know that no self-respecting organisation would leak anything to me. Pointless! Pissing into the wind!
But still my occasional posts are tweaking one tail, at least.
I sent this back to Gary.
I will ignore your jibes and address your serious points.
"who are you really working for?"
I am a blogger - now an infrequent blogger - and I write on subjects that interest me. I write for NO-ONE but me!
You say "Is your neutrality a blind to avoid attracting a lawsuit for libel"? I have been in contact countless times with Trafigura. If they felt that my writing breached limits I have no doubt they would tell me regardless of any neutrality. They have never approached me about the accuracy or inaccuracy, fairness or unfairness of my writing. Either I am too small to bother about or I have never breached their limits.
You say "you seem to have access to a whole lot of documentation and reports, some of which have not been found in public circulation." Clearly we should concentrate only on those which you say "have not been found in public circulation." I try to be rigorous and link to my sources. Certainly I have not had privileged access to any information from any source whatsoever. Where information has been given to me - for example, from both Trafigura and their lawyers, Macfarlanes - I have referred to them and made that publicly available, if possible.
Let me have a list of the reports etc about which you are concerned and where I refer to them and I will try to identify the public source.
Please tell me what information, reports etc you are concerned about and I will try to tell you where I found them. [Calum’s comment: I did say the same thing twice – apologies] If you want copies of any which you can't find then please ask and I will forward.
I’ll let you know when I hear back from Gary.