British politician congratulates French for Warrior bombing
Sun, 7 Feb 2010
A British politician has been filmed at last year’s climate change summit in Copenhagen congratulating the French for bombing the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior.
Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Godfrey Bloom‘s comment has prompted outrage from the environmental group, which has accused him of “celebrating” the death of Dutch photographer Fernando Pereira during the 1985 incident in Auckland.
But Mr Bloom yesterday said he had forgotten one man was killed and French secret service agents were convicted of manslaughter after the bombing, the Guardian newspaper reported.
The former Tory cabinet minister, and MEP for Yorkshire had also earlier said climate change was “a stinking ruse to put cash and power into the hands of political elites”.
Mr Bloom was filmed posing in front of the present Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior II, during the climate summit at the Copenhagen harbour.
In the footage, he said: “Here we have one of the most, most truly fascist boats since 1945.
“Well done the French for sinking (it).”
But when asked yesterday whether he regretted his statements given the death of Fernando Pereira in the bombing, Mr Bloom first said he did not know a man had been killed, then said he had forgotten.
The video appeared to have been uploaded to Mr Bloom’s YouTube channel Goddersvision on December 16 during the last days of the summit, but was later taken down.
However, the “politics magazine and discussion” blog Liberal Conspiracy obtained and uploaded a copy of the video to YouTube.
Greenpeace New Zealand campaign director Chris Harris said it was “amazing” anyone could condone what was an act of state terrorism.
Mr Harris said it made no difference Mr Bloom had forgotten a man had died in the sinking of the ship.
“The fact that he got his facts wrong I don’t think changes the situation.
“I don’t think forgetting something like that’s any sort of excuse or condones the remarks in any case.”
He expected New Zealanders would want an apology from the MEP.
“Given the fact that it was the French trying to stop us working on an issue in our own backyard I would imagine pretty much everyone in New Zealand would want an apology over this.”
Greenpeace International head of media Ben Stewart also said an apology from Mr Bloom was appropriate.
“It’s extremely upsetting to see this guy saying those things in front of the Warrior.
“Our dear colleague Fernando Pereira was murdered the day the French secret service planted that bomb,” he said.
“It was an act of terror, pure and simple, and to see a member of the European Parliament lauding it is jaw-dropping.” Mr Bloom owed the crew of the Rainbow Warrior and the Pereira family an apology, he said.
“If he can’t bring himself to say sorry then UKIP‘s new leader should apologise on his behalf. We can disagree about climate change without celebrating the killing of a man.”
Australian Liberal leader Tony Abbott last week released the opposition coalition’s new climate change policy, pledging to establish a multi-billion dollar public fund to be placed at the disposal of the largest corporate polluters and agribusiness interests: here.