Tag Archives: #trafigura

Social media’s impact on politics, part one: the groups that face extinction

Welcome to a two-part series about the real impact social media (or social networking) is having on politics in Britain. In part one I look at the groups which face extinction, whilst in part two I will look at why pundits searching for the impact of social media on politics in 2010 are looking in the wrong place.

What impact has the introduction of cheap colouring printing technology had on British politics? Almost none. Certainly many more leaflets are colour than used to be the case, more target letters contain colour inserts and a generation of amateur designers have had the …

Posted in Online politics and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 8 Comments

NEW POLL: Who is your Liberal Voice of the Year?

Ten days ago, in the dying days of the last decade, LDV launched our search for the Liberal Voice of 2009, to find the non-Lib Dem individual or group which has had the biggest impact on liberalism in this country in the past 12 months.

Our thanks to all who put forward nominations, all of which were considered carefully by the LDV editorial collective, which has agreed to short-list the following (in no particular order):

  • Guy Herbert, general secretary of NO2ID, for his campaigning work against the database state;
  • Peter Tatchell, for his tireless and fearless international human

Posted in LDV Awards and Voice polls | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , and | 24 Comments

Evan secures Parliamentary debate on Trafigura and libel laws

Lib Dem MP Evan Harris has secured a debate on libel law and the reporting of Parliamentary proceedings following Carter Ruck’s attempts last week to gag The Guardian from reporting details of a Parliamentary Question concerning Trafigura’s activities. (You can catch-up on LDV’s reporting of the issue here.)

The debate will take place today in Parliament’s Westminster Hall today, 21st October, from 2.30-4pm.

Explaining the purpose behind the debate, Evan says:

There is a lot of concern in Parliament and in the media over the impact of English law on freedom of expression, but the people who should be

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More Hansard quotes about #Trafigura

Yesterday we brought you links to discussion in Parliament about disreputable oil company Trafigura’s legal shenanigans to prevent discussion of their activities on the Côte d’Ivoire.

Today here’s a little more, courtesy of Private Eye’s blog. Ian Hislop, the editor of the magazine, appeared with Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger at a select committee hearing discussing the damage injunctions can do to real, investigative journalism. An unedited verbatim transcript can be found here, with the juicy bits starting around Q850, about halfway down the very long page.

In it, Hislop talks candidly about a number of incidences where …

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#Trafigura – the Hansard transcript

Astute readers may have noticed one or two mentions on the site yesterday concerning Trafigura, its lawyers Carter Ruck, and their attempts to impose a gagging junction on The Guardian preventing the reporting of Parliamentary proceedings.

Not only was the issue promptly picked up by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, but two of the party’s MPs, David Heath and Paul Burstow, were also quick off the mark in pledging to ask questions in the House of Commons – an action which, as Alix Mortimer has remarked, was perhaps decisive in forcing Trafigura to back down.

So here for your delectation is the Hansard transcript of the Commons’ exchanges which took place yestrday afternoon, starting with the Labour MP whose question sparked the whole farrago:

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Let’s all say “Thank you” to #Trafigura with a postcard

As Helen Duffett already blogged earlier today on Lib Dem Voice, a combination of the Guardian’s legal team and Twitter users worldwide combined today to restore some element of common-sense to the law – allowing the media to report a Parliamentary question tabled by Paul Farrelly asking about the publication of the Minton Report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.

LDV trafigura TYIn one sense, Trafigura and its lawyers Carter Ruck behaved shamefully in attempting to gag newspapers from reporting on Parliamentary proceedings. But in another, more profound, sense we should be grateful. As a result of their cack-handed attempts to silence The Guardian, hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of people now know about the serious allegations against Trafigura. Quite simply, this would not have been possible without the active role played by Trafigura and Carter Ruck.

It seems entirely appropriate, therefore, to say thank you to Trafigura for its role in exposing the company to far greater reputational risk than could have ever been achieved by one article published in a single newspaper.

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The net is mightier than the gag #trafigura

Breaking news from the Guardian :

The existence of a previously-secret injunction against the media by oil traders Trafigura can now be revealed.

Within the last hour, Trafigura’s lawyers Carter-Ruck, abandoned an attempt to prevent the Guardian from reporting proceedings in parliament which revealed its existence.

Labour MP Paul Farrelly put down a question yesterday to the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw. It asked about the injunction obtained by “Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton Report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura”.

The past 16 hours have …

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Heath and Burstow table urgent Commons questions about Guardian injunction #Trafigura #CarterRuck

The Lib Dem press office has just issued the following news release:

In light of the injunction against the Guardian featured on its front page today, the Lib Dems have this morning requested an Urgent Question and debate on the reporting of parliamentary proceedings. My understanding is the Speaker will decide after midday today if he is happy to allow these to proceed. If this were to happen, the question would be asked this afternoon and the debate would take place tomorrow.

UQ – David Heath
I would be grateful if you would give consideration to the following Urgent Question to

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Nick Clegg tweets about #trafigura (and #CarterRuck)

Nick Clegg (or at least his office) has just tweeted the following:

Very interested concerned about this #trafigura / Guardian story the @LibDems are planning to take action on this

If you’re not on Twitter – where #trafigura is now the top-trending topic – then this post from Rob Fenwick will give you the astonishing background: namely that libel law specialists Carter-Ruck have succeeded in slapping an injunction on the Guardian preventing the newspaper from reporting the following question tabled in Parliament:

Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made

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