Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Total - We're The Good Guys.....Honest Guv'

Apologies if this is already common knowledge, but I have been catching up on the news this last week after a hectic few days. Whilst popping into my local, friendly Total garage today, I came across a leaflet outlining its justification for remaining in Burma. The leaflet was predictably full of false sentiment and one passage in particular caught my eye:

'Our presence in Burma brings responsibility, but a decision to leave the country would entail similar responsibilities. If TOTAL left Burma, we would be replaced immediately by other operators who may not apply the same social or ethical standards. There would be no real impact on the State's revenues or on the political debate, but there would certainly be a negative impact on the Burmese people. As long as we believe our operations on the Yadana project contribute to the welfare of the people of Burma, TOTAL is committed to staying and demonstrating that our presence is more beneficial than our absence.'

Yes, all those other oil companies are nasty wicked people, we are good and kind and pure. Mmmmmmm.

The leaflet also draws attention to their website: http://burma.total.com. The website itself is a perfect example of corporate propaganda. Some of it needs to be seen to be believed. The image of Total as an altruistic, benevolent organisation is, frankly, absurd in the extreme. They are in business to make profit, all other considerations are secondary, least of all human rights.