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The Flipper Generation

Mark Sandell Mark Sandell | 19:13 UK time, Monday, 19 June 2006

A phrase coined by our Environment Correspondent Richard Black in his excellent piece on the BBC website and repeated at the top of our programme. He talked with Annie in Bermuda and Michelle in Ontario to start with. Michelle took the view that the west shouldn't be interfering with Japanese culture, while Annie was apalled by the ending of the commercial ban and talked about the tourist money Bermuda gets from whale watching trips.
John, a caller from Farnborough in the UK, thought the debate wasn't about the west against Japan, but he questioned why they were killing whales "for scientific purposes" but the meat was ending up in shops. Richard told him that the convention allowed this.
We received this e-mail from Y.Katakura in Japan, and read it out on air : "Many believe whales are intelligent with no proof. I am sure people shouting whales are endangered don't even want to know about various types of them, some of which are not endangered. It bugs me when some nations killing tons of pigs and cows pompously lynch our culture. I hate eating smelly whale meat, but I refuse to see our sovereign right restricted by self-righteous and uneducated mass. Endangered? Prove it. Intelligent? Prove it. Cruel to kill and eat them? Then, you stop eating pigs"
Richard Black told us the e-mail reflected the views of many people in Japan.
William in Canada e-mailed us and irritatingly included one of those " i bet you don't publish this" lines which usually winds me up, but we read it out anyway "Yes, the whaling ban should be lifted. There is an abundance of whales and they are animals like any other, and there is no reason they should be protected. Japan, Norway, Iceland and aboriginal people have hunted whales for centuries.
No, this comment will not get published. It does not fit in with the anti-whaling propaganda campaign."
Later in the debate we heard from Karl in Bridgetown, Barbados and Jonathon in Portland,Oregon. Karl felt the Caribbean countries who took part in the vote had been "manipulated". Beth in Perth, Western Australia, fears for the future of the planet if we don't take conservation seriously.

Later, you talked to us about the Rakhi Sawant case in India. She is a so-called "item girl" who was -allegedly- forcibly kissed by bhangra singer Mika Singh at his birthday party last weekend. The vast majority of callers said either that Rakhi was taking part in a publicity stunt, and that she shouldn't have been out after midnight where people were drinking. We quoted on-air a blogger called Tejal who said " The focus has been on what clothes she was wearing, whether she invited the assault or whether it was a publicity stunt. No wonder rape is on the rise in the country" and another- Mangs- posted this succinct comment; "Clothes. Provocation. Past Behaviour. Exaggerated affront. But at the end of the day, a No is a NO is a NO."

Finally, Wimbledon and why men and women don't get paid the same prize money. Neil Harman of the Times doesn't think it's right, but some of our callers disagreed, saying that tickets are easier to come by for women't matches- and that they only play best of three sets, not best of five.


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