Friday, December 03, 2010

FV Trident Investigation – the paper trail (part 1)

In our post of 17 October 2010, we referred to a statement by Department for Transport in which they advised that the DfT’s shipping safety research folder Ref. No. MS/92/12/09, which contained information about the stability of the Trident, had been routinely destroyed, apparently, like many other official documents that are no longer deemed relevant to current goings-on.

At the same time, the Trident victims’ families had also requested the Department to provide them with the title and information about the contents of this folder. After much delay, the Department for Transport answered these questions by admitting, simply, almost casually, that the title of that file had been “Intact Stability in relation to Trident PD 111” and that, although they “no longer hold information on what was contained in the file”, “clearly, from the title of the file, this would have been information relating to the stability of the Trident.”[*]
Hey, the official might have added, and what are you going to do about that?

So we now have it confirmed that the file in question contained information on the very issue that has lain at the heart of the original and current public inquiries, and which the latest investigation has been trying hard to avoid making a correct pronouncement on.

Anyway, on the subject of the 'shredded file', more is yet to come…

[*] The Trident victims’ families’ FOI request and the answer provided by the DfT can be viewed at the following site:


Raj said...

As the awaited pronouncement draws closer it becomes ever clearer just what has gone on in order to arrive at a suitable conclusion (for the Department of course).
On reading the reply to the F.O.I. request I felt obliged to contact the OAG to inform them on this matter. I would have hated them not to have known, but then again facts doesn’t seem to bother them in the least. After the NMI "scandal" they brazenly went on air to announce that it had been published in 1976 and was freely available, not so . Again we felt obliged to inform them that back in 76 the Department were somewhat selective on what information was dispersed to the taxpaying public. We did of course ask if some sort of retraction was in order for the sake of accuracy, however their silence appeared also to be a case of “What are you going to do about it”


gadfly said...


I agree that brazen is an apt word to describe the tone of the spin, subterfuge and blatant lies that the authorities will now routinely employ when in pursuit of their dubious goals.

What is also really shameful, is the fact that the DfT have turned what used to be a relatively simple, straightforward and principled though sad task (where, following a serious casualty, impartial authorities investigated and established what went wrong and why people had lost their lives) into an extremely complex, entangled and expensive legal process, so wrapped up in deceit, politics and partisan interests that the truth of the matter is no longer a desired outcome.

Of course we are all still free to ponder what we are going to do about it... but one thing is sure: the truth will prevail.

Best regards

Mrs Jeannie Ritchie said...

Disgusting, is the name that comes to mind regarding this Fatal Accident Inquiry into Loss of Trident in which 7 young men died

Our the " Department for Transport" should stop all the scheming to hide the truth for a few minutes and hang their heads in shame and hold a minute silence for these poor souls who lost their lives on a vessel which was unstable and also not up to IMCO standards.

gadfly said...

Mrs Ritchie, we totally agree with your sentiments. It is revolting to see how the new government, just like the old, continues to allow the DfT to get away with this sort of thing. The Department has certainly not gone out of its way to help either you or the other families come terms with your loss, in fact it is glaringly apparent that they have made things much worse by dragging matters on for over 35 years now.
It is just about nine years since the Trident’s wreck was discovered and, in the intervening period, instead of telling you what had happened to the vessel and your loved ones, the DfT has spent much of its time engaged in plotting, scheming, politicking, delaying things and spending lots of public money.

It is obvious to anyone who takes an interest in this case that Trident lacked sufficient stability, but because the ‘powers that be’ wouldn’t like that to be the official finding, their officers have been working flat out to prevent such an outcome.

As to feeling remorse for what they have done (and are continuing to do) - the grey men and women in London, who spend their time plotting and scheming, do not serve or even empathise with the general public, and they are quite prepared to wreck people’s lives in order to hide their own failings.

They are shameless, they are absurd, and they deserve to be exposed.

Mrs Jeannie Ritchie said...

What you have said is totally correct as per the opinion of the families and the general public who have paid over 6 Million for this sham which was to be a Fatal Accident Inquiry ,but rest assured we shall ensure that the truth shall prevail.

We the families have on top of our loss 36 years ago have had to put with since the wreck of Trident was found by divers in June 2001 all the lying,scheming,deceiving by the DfT aided by our "The Office of the Advocate General" who conducted,hosted this Sham for more than 50 days at public expense
The instructions for our OAG came we are sure from our People dressed in Grey in London.
Where are the morals,integrity,democracy that our fathers fought for.
What morals are left for our children and grandchildren we question.
To tell the truth is easy to try to hide the truth I would think is more work.
DfT ,OAG stop working overtime come clean.
We have requested to them:
Put up and running the whole Trident Org so that all the people also the families who paid for this Fatal Accident Inquiry can read what went on these 55 days in court.
Someone in power has to stand up and say enough is enough,no more shredding of documents ,reports on Stability in an Inquiry when the whole question was the stability of Trident.

Now the DfT tells us the families that they do not now have the files on the modifications on Trident sister ship the Silver Lining ,these modifocations were required to make it seaworthy ,bring it up to the stability standards so that it was realeased to sail.

We await the next fairy tale from our DfT ,we are old,hurt but certainly not broken by this sham.
The truth always stands
Give us what we the families are seeking for, for our loved ones.
The truth and nothing but the truth so that we also can go forward safe in the knowledge that justice prevailed.

gadfly said...

Mrs Ritchie,

Sorry for the the delay in publishing your comment above, but our blogger notification facility no longer advises us when a genuine comment has been posted, but only when we receive obscene spam messages, of which we have recently started to receive more and more.

We will, of course, do our part.

gadfly said...

Mrs Ritchie, once again we agree with your words. We have also started to wonder what our brave soldiers fought for in past wars and are fighting and dying for today. We brag about civilising and bringing democracy to distant foreign lands, but our own democratic practices at home fall far behind any acceptable minimum standards, and our own government bodies are incapable of showing basic respect for the rule of law or a modicum of honesty.

We had also noted that the DfT has somehow managed to ‘fix’ the façade of the website; however, behind it, the transcripts of evidence – amounting to some 55 days of spin and hot air – continue to remain hidden from public view.

Our best wishes to you and the rest of the families