Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Rotating Header Image Challenged to say something positive about Royal Dutch Shell: 23 August 2006

By John Donovan

The following comment was posted by guest 1731 on our “Live Chat” facility on 22 August 2006:

“The remarks in the Richard Wiseman story come across as being melodramatic. Do you have any proof that what you are saying is true? Have you not got anything positive to say about him or Shell?”
The following was my light hearted response:

“Guest 1731 thanks for your interesting and perfectly reasonable questions. Are you a colleague of Mr Wiseman or is this he in person? If so, we are honoured by your visit. In any event, we will respond in detail tomorrow. Suffice it to say that we do have proof about the agent activity (Mr Wiseman is already painfully aware of this fact.) With regards to positive comments, we will need time to put our minds to that challenge.”
This is my more serious response.

I will deal first with the positive side of Richard Wiseman.
I have crossed swords with Mr Wiseman for over a decade in multiple legal actions.  He is a lawyer, so a degree of cunning and evasion is to be expected. He is easy to wind-up and I seem to know what buttons to press.  When annoyed, he has been known to make mistakes.  On the positive side, Mr Wiseman is a gentleman who, in my assessment, will not tell outright lies on behalf of Shell. Consequently, when he has issued denials on behalf of Shell, I believe he has done so in good faith. He has been more forthright than anyone else in the company, other than Sir John Jennings, who I got on with very well and admired greatly. It would have been better for Shell and its shareholders if Mr Wiseman had been promoted to senior management instead of thoroughly disingenuous, unscrupulous and incompetent individuals, such as Sir Philip Watts and Malcolm Brinded.
With regards to making positive comments about Shell, I drafted the sections on the “Royal Dutch Shell” Wikipedia page about Shell’s admirable “LiveWIRE” scheme and “The Shell Foundation”.  I did so out of disgust that no one at Shell or its Advertising or PR agencies had bothered to add these important genuinely positive aspects of Shell.  The aim of Wikipedia is to provide a balanced neutral picture and these two sections were badly needed for this reason. I shall invoice Shell in due course.
I will now deal in more detail with Shell’s undercover activities.

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