Wednesday, October 14, 2009

don't mention the toxic waste; I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it

As if prompted by my musings on the Streisand effect yesterday we were presented with an even more sweet and juicy example yesterday with the unbelievably foolish and farcical attempt by oil company Trafigura, via their solicitors Carter-Ruck, to gag the press from reporting on a parliamentary question to be asked that day in relation to the report (available via Wikileaks here) produced following the enquiry into illegal dumping of toxic waste materials at Abidjan in the Ivory Coast.

I can only assume that the pinstripe-and-braces brigade at Carter-Ruck spend more time eating spotted dick and drinking port in their clubs than they do engaging with the real world, for within a predictably short space of time the whole thing, naming names and all, was all over the internet, and the Twittersphere in particular. The predictable upshot of which is that a) they had to back down and withdraw the injunction and b) everyone has now heard of Trafigura and knows that there is a strong probability that they are unscrupulous lying bastards. Not really a PR triumph.

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