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.”