Greenland to Greenpeace: Your Hunger for Publicity is Putting Our Lives at Risk 

Posted on Fri 09/03/2010 by


Daniel Hannan CE

Are the Inuit sufficiently grateful to Greenpeace?

Those ingrate Inuit! They just don’t appreciate all the efforts that middle class Greenies are making on their behalf!

The prime minister of Greenland – a socialist, no less – has attacked Greenpeace for sabotaging an Arctic exploration rig. Kuupik Kleist is plainly not a politician given to circumlocution:
The cabinet regards Greenpeace’s action as very serious and an illegal attack on the country’s constitutional rights. It is worrying that Greenpeace, in their hunt for media exposure, violate security rules made to protect human lives and the environment.

My Leftie friends often take such rejection badly. Aboriginal peoples in poor countries are meant to be on their side. I remember how disconsolate Green and Socialist MEPs were when the main opposition to the EU’s ban on seal imports came, not from wicked multinational corporations, but from indigenous tribes in Canada.

Lefties have always liked the idea that they are speaking for those who would otherwise have no voice – which is, of course, a very creditable motive. The trouble is that, when the previously voiceless do find their tongues, they often say things that their erstwhile protectors find awkward. A hundred years ago, socialists presumed to speak for the proletariat. When the proletariat turned out to have some uncomfortably conservative views, they shifted their attention to the oppressed peasantry of the Third World. When these, too, turned out not to have the correct opinions, they moved on to more recherché communities: hunter-gatherers in rainforests and the like.

Now even these groups have rejected the patronage of bien pensant whites. But there is one constituency left, one that can be guaranteed never to disown its self-appointed champions, namely dumb beasts. Hence the terrifying fervour of some animal rights activists: they have nowhere else to go. Contributor Daniel Hannan is a British writer and journalist, and has been Conservative MEP for South East England since 1999. He speaks French and Spanish and loves Europe, but believes that the EU is making its constituent nations poorer, less democratic and less free. He is the winner of the Bastiat Award for online journalism.