I’m an NGO-person through and through, but sometimes I do find conventional NGO tactics deeply aggravating.

Take the Kodaikanal story, and the current campaign against Unilever. A brilliant bit of in-your-face exposé on Youtube puts Unilever’s history on the Kodaikanal story front and centre of current campaigns.

Amongst others, 38 Degrees picked it up, and did a big thing about how wicked Unilever is, and how only 38 Degrees can get them sorted out.

To be honest, this is mostly tosh. As an advisor to Unilever, I’ve followed the Kodaikanal story for 15 years, rather than 15 days, and have come to understand just how massively complicated a story it is. Most of the claims made in the original video are either exaggerated or false; much of 38 Degrees’ follow-up has been a rather sad combination of bluster and egotistical trumpet-blowing that many of us in the NGO movement find pretty grubby.

But not all of it falls into that category. It’s good to ramp up the pressure on Unilever at this time. Their delay in finishing off the remediation of the site has been unacceptable, even though it’s perfectly understandable once you follow the full story.

So here’s the rub: Unilever is a Forum for the Future Partner. I’ve been an advisor to the company for nearly 20 years. So you can just dismiss this blog as a bit of self-interested propaganda on behalf of a company that we have a direct interest in.

Alternatively, you could check out Unilever’s side of the story. This is the full statement from their Senior Vice President, Sustainable Business Development and Communications, published immediately after their meeting with 38 Degrees.

And if you think there’s any merit in that response, then a really good idea would be to email David Babbs – davidb@38degrees.org.uk – directly at 38 Degrees, and ask him, politely, to post the Unilever side of the story on 38 Degrees’ website, just as I’ve posted the original video on my website.

That’s the only thing which will give people a rather more rounded view of where things really are. And organisations like 38 Degrees, which make a big thing about integrity and authenticity, owe it to their supporters to do precisely that.