Saturday, April 21, 2007

‘Prejudice with a halo’

The RFI into the sinking of the FV Gaul, after many months spent looking at the available evidence, including the results of the 2002 underwater survey, concluded at the end of 2004 that the loss of the vessel had been caused by crew and shore staff negligence. (Obs.)
Yet, five years earlier, in 1999, John Prescott, in a flash of visionary prescience, had already anticipated its results: ”Returning to the Gaul and the Derbyshire, I don't want to prejudge the formal investigation. Indeed, I must not.” our Deputy Prime Minister said humbly; “But already the signs are that the water integrity of the vessels may have been breached, not only by the weather, but also by inadequate attention to good seafaring practice.” he, nevertheless, pressed on.
John Prescott’s statement was later condemned by the International Transport Workers' Federation, who argued that: “It is too early to say what the cause was”. [1]
The Deputy PM was subsequently proven wrong in the Derbyshire case, and as to the Gaul…
Moral: for a visionary to stay in business, his visions should, occasionally, come true.
[1] Source of information: ‘Casualties: Poor seamanship may have caused Derbyshire loss’, David Osler, Lloyd’s List, 6 July 1999

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