Monday, April 23, 2007

Lord Ashcroft, Eco Warrior

Earlier this evening I was flicking through The Times and comes across THIS feature on Michael Ashcroft's latest venture - saving whales. He wants to persuade several eastern Caribbean nations to withdraw their support for whaling.
The island nations — Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis,
St Lucia and St Vincent and The Grenadines, which between them have a population
of 560,000 — receive a total of $16 million (£8 million) a year in fisheries aid
from Japan. In return, they have consistently voted with Japan and its principal
ally Norway at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to overturn the 1986
moratorium on commercial whaling. With the next IWC convention due to be held in
Anchorage, Alaska, next month, Lord Ashcroft has devised and funded a television
advertising campaign — which will break in these six nations this week — to
highlight a pro-whaling stance of which he believes the majority of their peoples are unaware and which has never been subjected to vigorous public debate.

I ran into Lord A at a dinner this evening and he was quick to tell me that the campaign is launching on Monday with a TV ad. I think I'd better get him on 18 Doughty Street for an interview. The Times article continues...
Lord Ashcroft’s environmental stance might appear to sit neatly alongside a
Conservative Party whose slogan for next month’s council elections is “Vote
Blue, Go Green”. A little too neat? “This has been going on for longer than that
campaign has,” he retorts. “And I’m not putting myself forward as an
environmentalist. I just like whales.”

16 comments:

verity said...

I liked his statement that he's not an environmentalist; he just likes whales. That is nice. And sane.

Unlike Dave, who's going to save the Norwegian ice floes which, frankly, have gone into hiding in case he comes back with his Central Casting huskies.

verity said...

Iain - If you get Ashcroft on, a good fellow guest might be that woman from Yorkshire who suddenly started speaking German on your show two or three weeks ago. (Not that the German is relevant, but this is to identify her as I don't know her name. You seldom put transparencies up, assuming that everyone in the entire world tunes in at the beginning of your programmes and can instantly remember all the names.) But she is a good thinker.

Or Martine Martin might also be good as she's an incisive thinker as well.

Among the men, please not that man who wears a kind of cream jacket but without a shirt with cuffs - kind of Miami Vice of the 80s - and talks with a thick glottal London accent and, despite being a soi-disant Conservative, thinks we should have more immigrants. Mr Inclusive.

It's hard for me to get names as you seldom put the name transparencies up when someone's speaking.

tedfoan said...

Verity is so right about 18DS name tags on your shows. (Why I decide to write in this soi-distant NuSpeak I have no idea but seems like fun at the time.)

But the more important point is - oh hell, I forget!

No, it's come back to me - get him on 18DS, waffle about whales a bit and then ask him why has he got so much money that he can afford to give it to a political party and not purge Africa of malaria or AIDS or some other horrible diseases? It just worries me that hyper-rich people who want to donate to something think that wasting it on political parties is the best they can do.

Lord Cashcroft said...

One does like having a whale of a time......

verity said...

While I appreciate Tedphoan supporting my long-held point about the poor quality of guest identification on 18 Doughty Street, I don't think I want to be allied with this invididual in any other sense.

He whines: "then ask him why has he got so much money that he can afford to give it to a political party and not purge Africa of malaria or AIDS or some other horrible diseases? It just worries me that hyper-rich people who want to donate to something think that wasting it on political parties is the best they can do."

No. It worries me that you - forgive me, I'm guessing here, but not hyper-rich - would imagine you had domain over other peoples' money and intentions to the point where it might "worry" you that they weren't doing as you directed.

Lord of all I survey said...

Tedfoan says:
"It just worries me that hyper-rich people who want to donate to something think that wasting it on political parties is the best they can do."

After all, He got nothing for his money, did he, my Lord?

Noël said...

I'm glad he admits that it's just because he likes whales, not because he's some fundy environmentalist.

I still disagree with him, but that's because I quite like the idea of whale meat.

Holy Mackerel said...

Is Ashcroft saving the whales or privatising them?

judith said...

I thought Geldof and Bono were ridding Africa of malaria and AIDS - how they doing?

Chuck Unsworth said...

Ashcroft is a very interesting character. Maybe he'd be pleased to discuss some of his interests slightly further West, as well.

He quite likes Florida...

As to his liking of Whales - is that for lunch?

machiavelli said...

Lord Ashcroft is a great man

Anonymous said...

Lord Ashcroft is a national treasure and a patriot, God bless him! He has personally saved around 140 Victoria Cross medals of huge national importance from being sold overseas. I understand the stunning Ashcroft collection is to go on public display too. Lord A's special interest, I believe, are the Royal Flying Corp's Great War flying aces. What impeccable taste he has.

If you interview him, Iain, please ask him to bring some of his VCs along and to tell you the wonderful stories behind them.

Also, please ask him if he has the VC won by the heroic William Leefe Robinson - and if not, why not?

Leefe Robinson was just 21 when as a lone nighthawk pilot he risked his life to achieve the impossible in a tiny BE2 aircraft which was, comparatively speaking, little bigger than a gnat, it's weapons little more than gnat bites in respect of the massive German airship he shot down. WLR was directly below the airship when it ignited and began to fall, Some 20 times the size of his aircraft, with considerably more fire power, the airship was one of a number which killed around 500 English people during the WW1 zeppelin raids. This was first airship ever to be brought down on English soil.

When Leefe Robinson was later shot down over Germany and imprisoned in a POW camp, he was so severely punished by the Germans for his heroism that his health was broken. He died shortly after repatriation, aged just 23, during the 1918 flu' pandemic.

Auntie Flo'

kelvin the cat said...

The Guardian and the Department for International Development just love Lord Ashcroft.

Neil craig said...

“And I’m not putting myself forward as an
environmentalist. I just like whales.”

Me to though I would put "environmentalist" in inverted commas because most of them are Luddites flying false colours.

The Hitch said...

auntie flo
I dont "wear" them they actually grow out of my head

Kierhardy said...

He wouldn't like whales if he had to live there!