The Indians are on the warpath.
Something significant happened about two years ago and it was a signal that the times they were a changing. Greenpeace tried to disrupt a Russian drilling platform in the Arctic and the protesters were promptly arrested, with their ship being impounded. On previous escapades, the Russians kept the activists in jail for a few days before letting them free to become martyred ecowarriors in a blaze of publicity, but not this time. Various charges of a grave nature were laid against them as the bear threw a big scare into Greenpeace.
They were eventually pardoned by Gospodin Putin and the ship returned after a year moored in Murmansk, which means after being unused through a Russian arctic winter it’d have to be refurbished.
The message from Russia to Greenpeace and various other foreign NGOs, who thought they could interfere with what it considered to be its strategic interests, was quite stark. From now on, stay out of our business or we’ll throw away the key next time. Greenpeace, like all thugs who’ve been given a smack, has stayed well clear of Russia ever since.
What was significant was that even when the Russians were considering putting them in prison for fifteen years, no foreign government appeared to give a damn beyond a few diplomatic tut tuts. What was worse was that the greenish segment of the population didn’t appear to be that bothered either. Outside of a few C-list actors copping a bit of free publicity in poorly attended demos outside the Russian embassy, that was the extent of the backlash.
The reason for the muted reaction is that Greenpeace as an organisation has moved from a position of being generally supported by the average person to being actively disliked by most people. There are various reasons for that drastic turn around in sentiment but once you get past their top executives jetting to work on a weekly basis, a few sex scandals and them losing millions speculating on the futures market, it’s because they’re seen as a bunch of arrogant and irritatingly self-righteous, holier than thou trust fund kiddies on a save the planet ego trip.
It’s okay to abseil down into a football stadium and halt a Bundesliga game because you’re protesting and fifty thousand avid football fans, never mind the millions at home watching it live on TV, will of course not get pissed off. It’s okay to threaten people about knowing their name and address, because you’re protesting and everyone will understand. It’s okay to chain yourself to various structures and totally disrupt everyone else’s day because you’re protesting and they’ll understand. Yeah, right.
The only way forward for the developing world is to actually develop an industrial infrastructure. All that starts with generating electricity in industrial quantities and that means coal-fired generating stations. The situation those countries find themselves in is their efforts to power up are being actively sabotaged by foreign NGOs, all of which are being financed by massive amounts of foreign cash being funnelled in and deployed with little or no accountability, and in great secrecy.
China doesn’t have a foreign NGO problem because environmentalism has absolutely no traction in a rich country that’s building two coal-fired generation stations a week and consuming massive amounts of coal bought from all around the world. It’s always been tough on foreign devils attempting to interfere with its next five-year plan.
India however has a foreign NGO problem and has decided the time is right to do something about it. As with all changes of policy towards foreign organisations, you have to send some unambiguous signals that will be read and interpreted correctly by the others. This comes down to making an example of one of the more high-profile ones and that unenviable perception of Greenpeace has resulted in it being slotted neatly into that frame. They can be taken out and nobody will give a damn.
The Indian security services in a carefully leaked assessment have branded it a subversive danger to the country and its own internal shenanigans have not exactly aided its cause. Apparently some of its top organisers have been so busy using funds to finance a whisky-fuelled life of luxury and excess, that they neglected to notice a culture of sexual harassment and even rape within their own organisation. Under some pressure, they’re reviewing their procedures and even got around to firing a few individuals. You’ve obviously got to be going at it hard to get thrown from the Greenpeace India gravy train.
It gets better though. All the funds flowing into their bank accounts from abroad, appear to have a slight audit trail problem, which is to say there actually isn’t one. Nobody’s quite sure where it was all coming from or going to, but one thing was for sure, they were in breach of their legal status and were promptly deregistered with their bank accounts frozen. After a lot of grovelling, two accounts were unfrozen but every rupee in or out now has to have the nod from a government department.
Most organisations would take the hint and be a touch more circumspect in their relations with a government that holds all the cards but of course we’re talking about Greenpeace and its sense of self-entitled arrogance. They immediately started poisoning the international NGO waters around India and the government of course reacted.
One of the whisky-fuelled Greenpeace India high lifers got pulled off an outbound aircraft taking them to address a climate conference abroad because they found themselves on a no-fly list, courtesy of the Indian government. It’s strange how all these Greenies lecturing us on our once a year flight to a holiday destination, seem to spend so much time jetting around to some funded climate confab or another.
Having covered the outbound flights, the Indian government took a hard look at the inward ones, resulting in a blacklist of NGO undesirables who were not to be allowed into the country. Greenpeace being Greenpeace, they had to test it, resulting in a Greenpeace Australia apparatchik getting escorted by his ear on to the turnaround flight straight back to Australia.
Foreigners who are employed by NGOs in India now have to go through a vigorous Visa application process, and if they take one footstep outside its permissions, will be going home.
Having made a very public example by successfully putting a choke chain around the scrawny neck of Greenpeace and bringing it to heel, they got to work on the other host of NGOs, and have revoked the registration of ten thousand – yes, ten thousand – of them in the last year.
Personally, I thought when Greenpeace decided to damage the tea export business of India by doing “research” that indicated the product had been contaminated by insecticides, it was a big mistake. Get between people and their morning cup of tea and you’ve just bought yourself a world of trouble.
On a more serious note, Greenpeace, like a number of obscure organisations who have the arrogance to think the can operate as covert puppet masters in other people’s countries, are increasingly seen as the foreign enemy within and are going to be rooted out
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