THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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March 2007

At the British Embassy in Moscow tonight...

Image036 ... for a fashion show. The Ambassador made some interesting comments about the Litvinenko case. Apparently, a decision is expected from the Crown Prosecution Service shortly and may involve asking the Russians to extradite a suspect. He expects this to increase political tensions between the two countries, which are already high, but assured the assembled businessfolk that he thought politics and economics could be kept separate.

Let's hope so.

Green talk but no green walk? | Ethical living | Guardian Unlimited Environment

Link: Green talk but no green walk? | Ethical living | Guardian Unlimited Environment.

Raised_hand_1I honestly think this is the best confession I have ever read in Pravda  The Grauniad. One of its writers effectively admits, without a flicker of embarrassment, that he thinks his readers' principles are often just for show.

"Hands up anyone who isn't a hypocrite. Come on, own up. Who out there actually lives by every one of the principles they profess to uphold?"

For the benefit of any passing Guardianistas, please consider that a principle you merely "profess" to uphold is more of an affectation, really. Still, it probably impresses your "right on" friends down at the wine bar every bit as much as a real principle, so don't worry.

On the other hand, if you would like to start living a principled life, perhaps you should use more intellectual rigour when forming your principles? You might consider only adopting those you are able to live up to? You might reflect on the notion that, in professing principles for others to adhere to, while failing to do so yourself, you are following in some fairly unsavoury footsteps.

Just a thought.

'Contaminated' fuel fury

Link: BBC NEWS | UK | Drivers tell of 'contaminated' fuel fury.

This is an interesting story. Early indications suggest that the fuel in question originates from Greenergy, an independent oil company specialising in less environmentally-unfriendly fuels.  Its "mission statement," in typical jargon, is:

To deliver financial and environmental solutions to our customers through innovation and the development and management of secure, sustainable fuel supply chains.

The company ships 275 trucks of fuel a day (one full oil tanker). If an entire consignment was defective (or made defective by the company's "green" additives), then many cars will have been damaged.

While every company should be considering the environmental impact of its products, I worry about a company which focuses more on "green" issues than quality.  The "mission statement" is notable for the absence of any reference to quality and it should be remembered that the "customers" mentioned are the supermarkets and independent petrol stations, not the motorists running about, all unknowing, with "innovative"  additives in their fuel. Consider also the following quote from their website which, in the current context, is rather interesting:

Our specifications are at the leading edge of technology, driving forward the debate in Europe and the UK on the relationship between fuel quality [my emphasis] and emissions.

We must wait and see who, if anyone, is to blame for this story. Greenergy may be entirely innocent and I don't mean to suggest otherwise. My only comment for now is that customers should drive businesses, not political posturing or "debates."