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By John Donovan of

A decade ago we had a team outside Shell HQ handing out leaflets every week on a regular basis.

At the time, thousands of loyal experienced Shell employees were being ruthlessly culled. Shell later paid a high price for hiring contractors to replace lost skills. Is the same short-termism being repeated now?

“Transformation” under Moody-Stuart, “Transition 2009” under Peter Voser; different buzzwords, same outcome. Staff working at the coalface treated like disposable non-entities, while greedy and ruthless executive directors pump up their obscene, bonus and stock option packed, fat cat “compensation”.

Even if caught deceiving financial regulators and Shell investors, as the reserves fraudster Sir Philip Watts was, they are assured of a huge payoff ($18.5 million in his case) and are indemnified against all potential legal costs.

Interesting to note that the Form 20F declarations to the SEC highlighted Shell’s claimed General Business Principles… honesty, integrity, transparency, respect for people – all the PR crap designed to fool investors and Shell suppliers. What we have described as a confidence tricksters charter. The declared proven oil and gas reserves were, like Shell’s ethical code, illusionary.

Returning to the subject of self-aggrandisement, this is what former Shell exec Paddy Briggs said in May:

“What characterises Shell head honchos in recent times is that it is all about self. Power, position, perks and obscenely inflated bonuses and rewards – and to hell with the business or the tradition or the history of this once great company and once respected brand. And to hell with the stakeholders as well. Suppliers, Partners, local communities, employees, pensioners and society at large are the disposable small fry in the selfish and self-centered world of Van Der Veer, Cook, Brinded and the rest.”

The latest “head honcho” has added to the anxiety of some Shell employees by requiring them to reapply for their jobs. Not as bad as water boarding, but still a form of torture to those of a nervous disposition. Voser describes the insult as “an interesting exercise because we could really select those we are keen on.”

It seems a cruel undeserved imposition by the nice Mr Voser, bearing in mind that the overwhelming majority of Shell people are loyal, decent, and hard working.

Our beef is still with the hypocrites at the very top, such as Malcolm Brinded, who pay lip service to the SGBP while supporting and encouraging IP theft, a corrupted tender for a major contract, and the notorious “TFA” safety culture on North Sea Platforms which cost the lives of offshore workers.

In future leaflets, we will provide information about these and other, even more sinister Shell misdeeds.

Published by John Donovan of
Email address for leaked Shell docs: [email protected]

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

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