Sunday, June 10, 2007

After you, Sir

Organisations, like people, have their own memory and moeurs.
Despite the political assaults on the time-honoured institutions of this country, some, it appears, have not been completely transformed.
This looks to be the case with Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (although nowadays their declared purpose of existence is the management of risk, as opposed to their past aims of simply improving ships’ safety).
Demonstrating that institutional history is a better guide than our government’s agenda, LRS have chosen, it seems, to recall and stick to their original virtues and integrity, and, in response to our recent enquiry about the Gaul, have sent us the following message:
Dear ******
Thank you for your email and explaining your position. The legal enquiry is complete on the Gaul and information passed to the MCA. It will be Lloyd's Register's intention to work with them should they decide to take this further. If the MCA or other official body contract you to study this and request Lloyd's Register to assist, then we will be happy to participate in such a study, but not before.
I wish you success with your research.
Yours sincerely,
Marine Director
Lloyd's Register
This answer doesn’t sound, at all, like a statement of faith on the merits of the 2004 RFI. Does it?
Now, the final say in the Gaul saga rests with our Secretary of State for Transport, who, so far, has been rather non-committal.
However, once he realises that somebody straddling the fence is not going to get very far in either direction, he will have to take, we hope, the appropriate decision.
Because Lloyd’s Register have just said: After you, Sir!

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