Saturday, 6 March 2010

An interesting legal question

The arrest of two ships owned and operated by "Green" activists trying to stop the Japanese hunting whales has, predictably, got the Australian Green Party's mouthpiece into what I call "outraged self-righteous" mode. Considering that they have managed to lose a high speed and rather valuable racing craft in their latest confrontation with the whalers by placing it in a position which made a collision inevitable makes their tactics, in my view, highly questionable.

Why the need for such a high speed craft in the first place? Firstly, its hull form and design meant it was almost a "stealth" craft. Second, its enormous speed enabled it to intercept the whalers and then obstruct their operations. Inevitably, it got too close and a whaler rammed it.

If that were all, I might have some sympathy, not much, but some. I don't support whaling, I see no need for it. Japan hides behind a let out clause in the UN agreements on whaling that allows the slaughter under the heading of "research" though what exactly one is researching in slaughtering them is not clear. The Ecowarriors on the other hand have no legal status and use the tactics of piracy and terrorism and, I'm sorry, that is unacceptable. They endanger lives, they endanger shipping and the break every international law in pursuit of their ideology. That is a totally unacceptable approach.

Boarding another ship in an effort to seize it, disrupt its operation in a lawful pursuit - and though the ecomaniacs may not like it, the Japanese operation IS lawful - is an act of terrorism or piracy. Its piracy if anything is removed from the ship boarded and terrorism if the other vessel is damaged.

So, whatever the moron leader of the Australian Greens thinks is irrelevant. The Australian Government has no option. International Law, which these same Greens invoke when it suits them, has been broken by their activists. A complaint has been brought through the proper channels and the police have been instructed to take action. Personally I hope, but doubt I will have the satisfaction of seeing, that the crews are arrested and charged with terrorism.

For far too long now, "activism" has been seen as a legitimate way for minority groups such as the Greens, to force their often ill considered and frequently costly and damaging ideologies on the rest of us. Its time to stamp on them hard.

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