John Armstrong has chucked John Key’s promise to end whaling down the memory hole and, instead, comes out swinging against those who don’t want to give up the commercial whaling ban:
“the plan [will] allow commercial whaling for a 10-year period, but with big cuts in the numbers killed each year. This plan would buy time for the commission while restoring some control over the numbers killed – something it is powerless to do with regard to scientific whaling.”
If you believe that, you’ll believe anything. Look at the draft agreement. Do you see any reductions in quota numbers? No. The big quotas (the Southern Ocean) don’t even have numbers but those that do have numbers start in 2011 at 410 a year and end in 2020 at 410. Some end to commercial whaling.
No-one has explained why Japan would suddenly agree to reduce, and eventually end, its whaling anyway.
The reality is that the ban on commercial whaling saw the number of whales killed each year drop from over 10,000 to 2,000 last year. Sure, the number of whales killed under the ‘scientific’ loophole has increased. But what’s our reaction to people breaking the rules? Change the rules to permit them? Sounds like National’s tax policy.
“[Kevin Rudd's] tough talk should be seen for what it really is – utter expedience, making New Zealand’s stance look principled in comparison.”
Um. Fact check. Taking Japan to court over whaling was a campaign promise by Labor. If they can be criticised for anything, it’s failing to act earlier.
On the other hand, a couple of months ago we were excitedly informed that John Key had “come up with a deal to end whaling in Antarctica. Prime Minister John Key told a media conference this afternoon that the Government had drafted a deal that would see an end to commercial whaling over an undisclosed time-frame.” Turns out his plan is to reintroduce commercial whaling.
Let’s get real here. If re-introducing commercial whaling was the only workable option and it would lead to the eventual end to whaling, wouldn’t whaling and environmental advocacy groups be all for it? Of course they would. Yet the reaction from these groups has been universal and strident opposition.
So, let’s ignore the desperate spin and face reality. Key lied to us. He told us that he was going to end whaling. But the reality is that he has sold out New Zealand’s proud tradition of opposing whaling and, without mandate or consultation, turned us into a pro-whaling nation.