Today, the seal hunt officially started, and the McCartney's seem to be amazed, seeing as how they personally came out in an attempt to convince the government to stop the hunt. Of course, they only succeeded in embaressing themselves - first by Sir Paul's saying they were in Newfoundland when they were actually in New Brunswick, then by his wife's boorish behaviour. They got their photo op with a cute whitecoat (never mind that it's illegal to hunt whitecoats in the first place. That whitecoat was in more danger from them and the media than from hunters). The Canadian government kindly chose not to charge them for breaking the law, seeing as how it's illegal to interfere with marine mammals in Canada. Perhaps if the little cutie hadn't missed when it snapped at Mrs. McCartney, they wouldn't be quite so sympathic, but then, who knows.
And now they're back in the news. They've asked people to boycott Canadian seafood, claim the boycott is already taking effect, and that it's costing Canada more than the seal hunt takes in. Not that they've taken the time to find out just how important the seal hunt is to indigenous peoples, to maintaining cod stocks, or the preventing overpopulation of seals and the environmental damage they're causing. Cod aren't as cute as whitecoats, and it's much hard to pose next to one for pictures.
I found this part of the ariticle interesting.
Roger Simon, an official with the federal Fisheries Department, said at a briefing for hunt observers that the government isn't overly concerned about what appears to be increasing momentum for the protest.
He said there only seems to be more because of high-profile appeals by the McCartneys and by former French actress Brigitte Bardot.
"It's the McCartney effect," Simon said.What he's acknowledging is that the mere presence of celebrities to a cause is enough to give the perception that lots of people actually care one way or another. It's publicity, nothing more.
Well, hunters are now asking for their own boycott, though it wouldn't be of any effect until next year. They're asking helicopter companies and the like to refuse to take protestors out to the ice floes. As it is, "the major fuel supplier at the only airport on Iles de la Madeleine has already agreed not to refuel helicopters carrying hunt protesters."
Here's hoping. The McCartney's claim that Canada is loosing its reputation over the seal hunt. If we are, I'd say it has more to do with people like them spreading myths, misinformation and lies about the hunt, and not because of the hunt itself.