We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]


There is a superb blog posting up today by Mr Eugenides, about Trafigura, and about Trafigura’s attempts to stop people voicing opinions about Trafigura. Trafigura? I know. Who are and what is Trafigura? Never heard of Trafigura? Well, if you hadn’t heard of Trafigura before this week, you have heard of Trafigura now. And you’ve certainly heard of Trafigura now. Says Mr Eugenides, in his blog posting about Trafigura and about the libel lawyers that Trafigura has unleashed:

One day these highly-remunerated libel lawyers are going to wake up and realise that they aren’t being paid in guineas any more and that, thanks to this thing called the Interwebs, they can’t shut down freedom of speech the way they used to in the old days.

Indeed. The story is that Trafigura recently hired Britain’s swankiest libel lawyers to tell the Guardian not to mention in the Guardian that Trafigura had been unflatteringly asked about in the House of Commons, by a Member of Parliament. You read that right. The Guardian may not report on the proceedings of the House of Commons. Trafigura has been doing allegedly bad things in Africa, it seems, and an MP asked about Trafigura, in the most supposedly public place in the land, but Trafigura want their name, Trafigura, not to be reported in this connection. To which end Trafigura’s libel lawyers have told the Guardian, in a libel lawyer way that you apparently have to obey, that Trafigura may not be mentioned in the Guardian. No Trafigura, Guardian.

Here is the question, about Trafigura, recycled by Guido, in which the word Trafigura appears at the end, where its says: Trafigura. And thanks to Guido for linking to the Mr Eugenides piece about Trafigura. I would hate to have missed Mr Eugenides’s piece, about Trafigura. Guido is on a mission just now (one of many) to talk up anything even semi-coherent that anyone even semi-coherent says in favour of freedom of speech, especially if what anyone semi-coherent says involves recommending cooperation in favour of free speech by otherwise non-like-minded people. I recently discovered this to my opposite-of-cost, if you get my drift, when, to my amazement, Guido linked to this rather inconsequential posting of mine, about a bizarre woman who is trying to stop some lefties telling the bizarre truth about her. Guido’s meme is: we must all unite across the spectrum against any attempts to stifle fair comment on matters of public interest, no matter how much we may all disagree with each other’s ideological prejudices on all other topics. I did my bit by doing my bit about the bizarre Johanna Kaschke (as have many others and in particular many other libertarians) because she is farce, but, unfarcically for them, she is suing these lefties for basically saying how farcical she is by recycling a few farcical facts about her. Let us hope that the principle that truth is a defence against a libel accusation will save the lefties, even if at great expense of money and nervous energy (because even the most insane suer (is that the right spelling? – maybe not) can sometimes win).

Says the lefty I have been tuning into about this:

Oh, and I really am chuffed at all the good wishes, not only from the comrades but from many horrible rightwing bastards too. Thanks, guys.

You’re welcome.

This Trafigura thing, on the other hand, is not farcical at all, even though I laughed out loud at the piece by Mr Eugenides, about Trafigura, today.

This posting of mine, here, now, about Trafigura, is not very full of links to enable you to understand the Trafigura story, but Mr E’s piece is Bonnie and Clyde final scene machine gunned with links to what dozens of others have been saying about Trafigura, which is exactly Mr E’s point. To quote him again:

… while we can argue about the wisdom of the crowd, no-one can order it to be silent.

And long may that continue. Call it the Trafigura Principle. Or the Trafigura Effect. Or just say: Trafigura. Trafigura, Trafigura, Trafigura …

13 comments to Trafigura

  • That name again?


  • 38 Degrees are currently running a campaign on this. Take action now by emailing your MP and asking them to take a stand and stop the bullying action of Trafigura. Take action now, it only takes 2 mins. Go to:


  • If you say Trafigura three times whilst looking in a mirror do they bury toxic waste in your flower beds?

  • Steven Rockwell

    Trifigura, Trifigura
    It’s a helluva word
    Don’t what it means
    That would be just absurd
    Get on board with the rest of the herd
    Trifigura, Tirfigura, Trifigura, Trifigura
    It’s a helluva word!

  • andyinsdca

    It appears that Trafigura doesn’t quite understand teh intertubes. Now that the story has been mentioned once (here), it’s out and can never be suppressed and no lawyer in a Savile Row suit can stop it now. And their demanding it be stopped just makes it bigger news.

  • You Trifigura I say Trafigura – lets call the whole thing off…….


  • Steven Rockwell

    I’m naming my firstborn, boy or girl- it doesn’t matter, Trafigura. And if I ever start a country, that going to be the name of my nation.

  • llamas

    What judge granted this injunction in the first place?

    llamas is old enough to remember the Colonel B affair, when Lord Denning made it transparently plain that open proceedings in Parliament could be repeated freely by anybody, ruat caelum, and that even the forces of HMG in all their glory could not be used to silence a reporter from repeating in print what was said in an open session of the House.

    Now comes some jumped-up corporation or another, by and through their absurdly-named solicitors (should never have given them the right to be heard by any court, says llamas) and they actually manage to persuade a judge to grant an injunction against doing – just that?

    Should have sent them packing with a flea in their ears.

    But they never learn, do they? If they’d just left well-enough alone, the mention of their name in a potentially-unflattering light would have gone un-noticed and un-remarked in the turgid sea of Parliamentary procedure. Now their names are trumpeted from the rooftops as presumtive bad guys for not one, but two distinctly-different bad acts. Way to ruin your own reputation, guys.

    It’s not the crime that’ll get you, boys – it’s the cover-up. It’s always the cover-up.



  • One day these highly-remunerated libel lawyers are going to wake up and realise that they aren’t being paid in guineas any more and that, thanks to this thing called the Interwebs, they can’t shut down freedom of speech the way they used to in the old days.

    It is a mistake to think that libel lawyers objective is to shut down freedom of speech. Their objective is rather to be as highly remunerated as possible for as long as possible. Actually shutting down free speech sounds like end of business, something I am sure at least some of them realize.

  • Sunfish

    So, is llamas old enough to discuss llamas in the third person?

    (J/K, dude.)

    Can anybody confirm or deny the rumors that Trafigura’s lawyers have had congress with the Beast? Or with chickens?

    Seriously, though. Twenty minutes ago I had never heard of Trafigura. Now I know them only as thin-skinned whiny little punks, and this only by their own actions.

    Trafigura is apparently as slick as two snakes having carnal relations in a barrel of used motor oil.

  • llamas

    llamas is so old . . . .

    How old is he . . . . .?

    llamas was present in Temple Hall on the occasion when Lord Denning gave a farewell address to the lawyers assembled , in which he described his fond memories of serving as a Special Constable in the 1920s, and proudly brandishing the truncheon which he was issued – ‘ and I have it still!’ he proclaimed, to thunderous applause.

    Today, of course, he would have been run in on offensive-weapons charges.

    Before his life took a different course, llamas followed the ABC cases, the Agee/Hosenball matters and the farce of “Colonel B” with a more-than-passing interest, hence the imm ediate recollection of the great jurist’s ringing and unequivocal judgement in that matter.

    The judge that granted the Trafigure injunction was probably pooping diapers that day.



  • Greg Martin

    Thanks for spreading the word here! Thankful that there are media distribution platforms like twitter, search engines like TipTop for Trafigura News and people like
    Stephen Fry.

  • It isn’t over yet. The Norwegians are suing Trafigura over a consignment of the same waste that exploded in Norway.

    Trafigura is an exemplar of the way in which TransNational Corporations view themselves to be above the law. We need to reel them in with regulations, bring them under the rule of law. Do we not? Or would that be anti-libertarian? I’m only asking.