Sunday, May 17, 2009

Seal Hunt Fallout

Doug Saunders has a thoughtful piece in yesterday's Globe about how the Tories' attempt to make a big splash in Europe was derailed by the seal hunt controversy. Saunders explains how the Tory leader's strident defence of the seal hunt alienated the Europeans. He argues that the inability to compromise seriously undermined relations with European states.

According to Saunders, the unrelenting defence of the seal hunt was part of a pattern of Tory leadership that is at once idealistic and bullying. "Nor would he consider sacrificing the seal hunt," according to Saunders, "despite its negligible role in the economy, in order to gain a larger victory."

Saunders says that the Tory leader's approach is "to project and impose his strongly held" ideals. He quotes a senior EU official as complaining that the mistake “was that they didn't play the diplomatic game – they didn't do the Henry Kissinger stuff and make a big, visible sacrifice so they could get something in exchange. They just wanted to win everything.”

Who do you think Saunders was writing about?

Who do you think took a political hit because he refused to sell out the seal hunt?

The answer may surprise you:

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