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Red Faces at Shell Over Leaked Memo

George C. Scott as General George S. Patton

(George C. Scott as General George S. Patton)

Recipients of this email missive from David Greer, the beleaguered Deputy CEO of Sakhalin Energy (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell), were confused by some of it’s more confusing and/or rather archaic turns of phrase. “Pipeliners and engineers love to fight and win, traditionally” Greer observes, puzzlingly. He continues, “All real engineers love the sting and clash of real challenge.” Stinging and clashing not traditionally associated with engineering, you’d have to say, but maybe that’s just how this fucker rolls.

Most bizarrely of all, he speculates that “when every one of you were kids, you admired the champion marble player…”

Sadly, this stirring, inspirational memo turned out to have been ripped off, almost in its entirety, from General George S. Patton’s famous Speech to the Troops on the eve of the D-Day landings. That’s the same speech, incidentally, which delivered by George C. Scott in the Oscar winning movie Patton, and which appears in almost every anthology of historical oratory ever published. So near yet so far, eh Davey Boy?

Patton was famous for his no-holds-barred rhetorical style. Based on the same speech, here’s how Greer’s memo could have finished, if he wasn’t a total pussy:

“We’re going to murder those lousy [rival oil company] cocksuckers by the bushel-fucking-basket. [Engineering] is a bloody business. You’ve got to bust their [T-squares], or they will bust yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. When shells are hitting all around you, and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that, instead of dirt, it’s the blood and guts of what once was your best friend’s [scientific calculator], you’ll know what to do!” and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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