By John Donovan
It is timely, given current OPL 245 events involving the integrity of Malcolm Brinded and Shell, to remind ourselves of his 6-page letter to Vince Cable a few years ago in his then capacity as UK Secretary of State for Business, describing Cable as the “contact minister for Shell”. Even if just an attempt to be jocular, the description was inappropriate. Since Vince Cable was once Shell’s Chief Economist, an approach on that basis, attempting to exploit his past relationship with Shell was entirely improper and created a clear conflict of interest on the part of the minister. Brinded was trying to persuade Cable to support Shell’s views in relation to the European Fuel Quality Directive. It is obvious from the content of the first paragraph that Shell was already exploiting to the hilt the fact that Cable was a past Shell man. The oil giant was trying to improperly influence/control the UK government just as it was doing with the corrupt Nigerian government.