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Why doesn’t Shell sue Donovan for libel?

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 15.49.41Such deliberate misinformation (propaganda, to put it politely) is also totally at variance with Shell’s claimed core business principles. This proves beyond any doubt that the media and the public should not believe anything Shell says. The company even lies to itself.

By John Donovan

Why doesn’t Shell sue Donovan for libel?

I feel sure that this is a question that many visitors to this website have probably asked themselves many times.

It is a question that Royal Dutch Shell put to itself in July 2009. 

Below is an extract from an authentic confidential Shell internal document dated 08 July 2009 in which this very question was raised in relation to “the Donovan’s.” Shell lawyers have redacted names shown on the “Confidential Focal Point”document, other than the names of my late father and myself. A series of questions are posed and then answered, to provide a contingency script if certain anticipated questions were raised by the news media, or at the Shell AGM. 

Extract from the Shell document “Donovan Campaign Against Shell:

Why do you not sue the Donovans for libel?

• The experience of corporate defamation plaintiffs is that, even when successful, such cases draw far more attention to the untrue allegations that they would receive without the case having been brought. Accordingly, while we do not exclude this as a possibility, this is an approach to be adopted only after the most careful consideration.

This answer was completely disingenuous, as Shell had already decided long before, that Shell would not take legal action against the Donovan site. In other words, they had already excluded the possibility. 

See this authentic Shell internal email sent just a few weeks earlier, on 19 June 2009.

Extract

Also, eg we have long decided not to take legal action against the site (although Donovan would probably welcome this)…

So the relevant information Shell set out in the contingency briefing for the media and the public was 100% at variance with what Shell had already decided. 

Such deliberate misinformation (propaganda, to put it politely) is also totally at variance with Shell’s claimed core business principles.

This proves beyond any doubt that the media and the public should not believe anything Shell says. 

The company even lies to itself. 

Other information in the focal point document is also fundamentally untrue. 

Incidentally, days after the focal point propaganda information was circulated, Shell was plotting on how to get this website closed down

By coincidence or otherwise, the website has remained under regular cyber attack by an unknown party with deep pockets. 

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