Shell has for many years supposedly operated within an ethical code which, according to its current shell.com webpage on the subject, was first published in 1976.
This does not tally with the relevant pages in “A HISTORY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, Volume 3,” about the history of the code – known in the 1990′s as the Shell Statement of General Business Principles.
Apparently they were first drafted in 1962, restated and first published in 1976, made freely available to the public from 1981 and reformulated in 1997, for the first time including human rights.
(According to the current version, they were last updated in 2005.)
The principles pledge “safe conditions of work” (Page 243).
In reality Shell management operated a “Touch F*** All” safety policy on North Sea platforms, which cost Shell workers their lives. Safety records were routinely falsified. After the Brent Bravo explosion, Shell admitted responsibility for avoidable deaths and received a record breaking fine.
According to page 307/8, relating to Shell business principles, criticism from Shell employees “should be considered an asset…”
In reality, Dr John Huong, who worked diligently for Shell for decades as a production geologist, was sacked after criticizing deliberate deception of Shell shareholders over claimed oil and gas reserves. Dr Huong is a deeply religious man with a conscience, so he did not fit in. The exact opposite of The Reverend Fraudster Sir Philip Watts.
Eight Royal Dutch Shell companies subsequently joined forces to obtain an injunction in an unsuccessful attempt to stop this website from publishing criticism emanating from Dr Huong. So much for another claimed virtue of the code: transparency. Shell buried Dr Huong in injunctions and threats of imprisonment.
A Shell executive, Mr John Johns, suffered a similar fate for his misplaced faith in the claimed principles.
Both Shell employees were deceived by comments and pledges about the principles made by senior executives, including Mark Moody-Stuart.
EXTRACTS FROM PAGE 357
Mark Moody-Stuart, Group managing director, stated in 1996 that the public at large now demanded to be convinced that a company practised what it preached. This had clear implications for how Shell companies put their messages across: ‘a fine line had to be steered between a willingness to listen to others and maintaining the courage of one’s convictions’.
The following is a reference to the code in an extract from a letter that Moody-Stuart sent to the Guardian in response to their publication of an extraordinary article: “Unlovable Shell: Goddess of Oil” in November 1997:
“the Statement provides, for our employees to follow and for the outside world to judge us by, an ethical framework which is mandatory, not optional: just having those principles is not enough. In the past: an oil company could say “trust me” and expect that to be enough. Today, people say, “tell me” “listen to me” “show me”. Trust has to be earned by transparency. That’s one of the most important lessons we’ve learned in Shell”.
(Link to more extracts from the Moody-Stuart letter, published by the Guardian)
The supposed existence of and undying commitment to the ethical code was also used to bolster confidence in the integrity of the oil giant with oversight authorities.
For example, Form-20F declarations filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, which contained false information about the volume of Shell’s hydrocarbon reserves, made repeated reference to Shell’s business principles. Each such return was signed by a Shell executive director.
In reality, under the management of Moody-Stuart, “value creation teams” had been formed to conjure up proven oil and gas reserves from thin air. The deception, fraud, lies and cover-up, resulted in the biggest scandal thus far to engulf the company.
Many companies doing business with Shell no doubt felt, as we did, an extra sense of protection knowing that the company supposedly operated within an ethical framework.
Soon after it became apparent that a Shell executive had repeatedly stolen ideas we disclosed to him in strictest confidence, we raised the subject of the code (and continued to do so through the years).
Instead of honouring the pledge’s made in the code, Shell decided to back the thoroughly dishonest executive who had rigged a contract tender process so that a company which had not run in the race was miraculously awarded the contract. The company had a close association with the Shell executive.
We had rung alarm bells far and wide during Moody-Stuarts reign, warning that Shell management was unethical.
This is an extract from a leaflet distributed to Shell employees at Shell HQ buildings in London and The Hague:
I caution all businesses contemplating trading with Shell UK Ltd to be on their guard. In my experience, they are masters of double talk and double-dealing. It has at times proved almost impossible to extract the truth from this company.
Bearing in mind that Shell has pirated a series of ideas that Don Marketing disclosed to them in confidence, I take the view that they should fly a “skull and crossbones” flag over Shell-Mex House as fair warning to all who enter.
A press statement released by Shell gives some idea of the scope of our activities. We were told that it was drafted by an irate Shell Chairman.
People must have thought we were unhinged, but subsequent events described above, including the forced resignations of three Royal Dutch Shell executive directors, proved that our warnings were well founded.
We wondered at the time whether legal action could be brought against Shell based on non compliance with the pledges contained in the code?
Hence the self-explanatory correspondence below:
Letter to Shell General Counsel and company Secretary, Mr Richard Wiseman, dated 2 June 1997
Initial response letter from Mr Wiseman dated 3 June 1997
Considered response letter from Mr Wiseman dated 5 June 1997
Faxed letter to Mr Wiseman (Shell Legal Director) dated 22 April 2004
Response email from Mr Wiseman also dated 22 April 2004.
It struck me that although Shell said in its very carefully crafted response that “there was no intention to create a document for use in the court”, that does not necessarily rule out the possibility that the promotion of the code, on a global basis (e.g. the Profits & Principles campaign), has not created a right to bring legal action when Shell fails to honour its pledges.
In other words, although it might not have been Shell’s intention to create a document for use in the Courts, perhaps they inadvertently did so?
If there is no legal redress, then such codes amount to no more that a confidence tricksters charter when used by unethical multinationals, such as Royal Dutch Shell, to pretend otherwise.
Posted in: Alfred Donovan, Business Principles, Dr. John Huong, GoogleNews, Human Rights, John Donovan, Litigation, Oil, Outspoken Articles, Richard Wiseman, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Shell, Sir Philip Watts, The Guardian, United States.
Tagged: John Donovan · Oil · Royal Dutch Shell Plc · Sir Mark Moody-Stuart · Sir Philip Watts
John Gallen writes:
I thought this may be of interest considering all the coverage of the fighting in Israel / Palestine over the past couple of weeks.
It is often said that Ireland or the Irish are anti-semitic. Something I have never believed. And now we have some proper research from the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism, Tel-Aviv University Their data has been put into a choropleth map by a Evangelos Kapros of TCD. More on him here
Anyway, according to this map there has been 1 incident in Ireland per 2.4m individuals between 2001 and 2010.
The UK – 1 incident per 51,000
The USA – 1 incident per 75,000
So, the likelihood of an antisemitic incident is 32 times more likely in the USA than Ireland and 47 times more likely in the UK.
I think that should put an end to any nonsense of this island being called antisemitic for good. The next time someone speaks out for Palestine, it is more likely a show of solidarity for an oppressed people than any type of antisemitism.
Just for information royaldutchshellplc.com is a site that is highly critical of Shell and its associates.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a Shell website nor is it officially endorsed by or affiliated with Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
From: John Donovan <email@example.com>
Subject: Constant attacks on the website royaldutchshellplc.com
Date: 11 November 2012 15:29:54 GMT
Dear Mr Brandjes
I would like to bring another serious matter to your attention.
I refer to the constant attacks on our website royaldutchshellplc.com.
There are three strands to the activity.
The first is denial of service attacks where the site is flooded with traffic. We have upgraded our server a number of times in an effort to deal with these attacks, but the scale is such that even our latest high capacity dedicated server has crashed due to massive spikes in traffic, which cannot be due to normal activity.
BLOCKING SHELL BLOG ENTRIES
For over a year we have received attacks on the site in the form of massive numbers of blog entries being received. They have recently reached a level whereby legitimate blogs are crowded out, effectively blocking criticism against Shell. Blog postings arrive every few minutes 24/7 for several days. Then cease for a few days. The time interval between the blogs, during the periods when they are being received, is random. Multiple languages are used including Dutch, Greek, French and mainly English. Different IPS addresses are used for each blog. Different content, mostly nothing to do with Shell or related matters. The amount of text changes on every blog. Sometime just a few lines and sometimes a long screed. Different aliases are used on each posting. One posting contained a threat to hack the site. Despite the machinations, we have evidence that all of the blog activity comes from one source, with clues that the source is located in the Netherlands.
THREATS RELATING TO SAKHALIN ENERGY
We also receive forwarded emails almost every day, sometimes several times per day, from a source relating to Sakhalin Energy. The emails contain multiple languages. In more recent months, this party has also copied the emails to Mr Voser and to senior people at Gasprom, Sakhalin Energy and the UK police. The emails have contained implied threats against us personally arising from our intervention in the Sakhalin2 project. This party also seems to be located in the Netherlands.
We had initially wondered if some or all of the activity was due to mis-identification i.e someone thought they were attacking a Shell website. However, given the amount of time the attacks have gone on and the fact that we personally have been targeted, it seems that possibility can be ruled out.
We do not know if the multi-pronged attacks are co-incidental or coordinated.
Given the 24/7 nature of the blogging activity, it appears that someone has very deep pockets. Someone who does not like us very much.
I would be grateful if you could check whether an operation directed against us by Shell may have got out of hand?
As you know, Shell has used undercover activities against us in the past and more recently, set up a counter-measures team as well as initiating a global spying operation against us involving a Pittsburgh based agency with specialist expertise in cyber-crimes/warfare.
Is any of this activity still in progress?
I have recently brought these matters to the attention of a specialist UK police cyber-crimes unit as I understand that the activity I have described is unlawful.
ANY RESPONSE FROM SHELL WILL BE PUBLISHED HERE UNEDITED
Best Image from last week Week
Actor and former Culture Ambassador Gabriel Byrne’s fresh and countercultural take on The Gathering 2013, accusing it of being a shamelessly-commercial sham aimed at fleecing Burberry-clad Yanks whilst at the same time, Ireland “didn’t a shit” about the Disapora including the plight of those Irish working illegally in Ireland. His words struck an authentic chord with some, and inspired the brilliant Japlandic who produced the best images of last week
Irony of last Week
On Thursday this week, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was in Berlin to accept a statuette from a German media association after being named “European of the Year 2012”. The optics just look all wrong in the context of an uncertain bank debt deal, and Germany now presenting us with a new hoop to jump through where we have to demonstrate our uniqueness. But when you consider thatThursday was also the day when the utterly bust and zombified Anglo, or IBRC, paid €24m to bondholders, some or a majority of which commonly believed to have been paid to German banks. €24m will buy you a lot of kitschy statuettes. Or home help hours.
via NAMA Wine Lake.
via NAMA Wine Lake.