Whaling or a woman?

I’m not sure why a protest against Japan’s plans to resume commercial whaling should be such a Conservative occasion as this clearly was, with a strong presence from the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation as well as Boris’s father Stanley Johnson and Tory MEP for the East of England John Flack as speakers.

Animal rights is an issue that cuts across party divides, but the more radical side of the movement including most of those I’ve photographed at protests against the annual slaughter of dolphins at Taiji cove outside the Japanese Embassy seemed to be missing.

I’m clearly not sufficiently aware of the political nature of conservation and animal welfare, and this does appear to have been organised by Conservatives for Conservative conservationists, with no speakers from Labour, Lib-Dem, Green or other parties in Cavendish Square.

But we did see some disgraceful behaviour by some photographers, pushing protesters and other photographers out of their way as they rushed to photograph conservationist and former Tory spin doctor Carrie Symonds, not for anything she had to say, but because she was Boris Johnson’s girlfriend. I try to avoid occasions where the paparazzi are at work, as on this occasion butressing their reputation as the scum of photography.

And unfortunately their rudeness and assaults were rewarded at least by the popular press, whose accounts of the event hardly mentioned whales and were almost entirely illustrated by pictures (some rather poor) of Symonds and gossip about her and Boris. For the media it was about the woman rather than whaling.

Of course I did photograph her too, and did file four of her in the 44 pictures┬áto the agency from the event, rather more than of the others who spoke, and you can see those pictures along with many others at ‘No Whaling’ rally and march.


There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.