The missus of buccaneering Pete Bethune, the barmy bloke who boarded the Shonan Maru 2 in the early hours of Sunday morning, has made a great case for leaving him where he is, which probably is locked up in the brig.
It’s that he is nothing but an attention-seeker and headline-grabler.
At least one Labour MP wants the Government to step in and get him off the boat which he voluntarily climbed aboard to make an impossible if not preposterous citizen’s arrest.
“Pete Bethune is a great New Zealander and deserves more support than he’s currently getting from the Government,” said Labour MP Darien Fenton on the blog Red Alert.
To give him more publicity, which seems to be his oxygen?
Those who know the Ady Gil skipper, whose protest vessel sank after a collision with the Japanese whaling ship, say he will be loving being in the media spotlight.
Every minute that he and the Sea Shepherd protesters are in the news is a minute that people are thinking about Japanese whaling.
It seems the bugger didn’t bother telling his wife or two teenage daughters about his quixotic plan to approach the whaling ship by jet-ski and haul himself up in an attempt to carry out a “citizen’s arrest” of its captain.
Sharyn Bethune says they have learned not to worry too much about him, adding their daughters “have grown up with it”.
Maybe he does them a favour by gallavanting around the world.
She estimates that in the past five years her husband has been home in Auckland for a total of one year. “It is very tough – lucky we’re very independent.”
She says he likens himself to a “conservation warrior”.
But now she is saying she would like the Government to do more to help her husband take action against the vessel that sank his boat.
She worries about an outstanding payment for the Ady Gil – which the couple mortgaged their house to build. “Whether the money will come through now the boat is sunk I don’t know.”
The Herald says she is fiercely supportive of his motives for going aboard the whaler, saying he had a right to serve papers after the loss of his boat.
But she acknowledges there are those who might think his actions were a “little bit selfish”.
“In saying that [he had a right to board the boat], I also believe …” She pauses. “He’s got a couple of kids.”
But is Bethune in any trouble (except troubles of the financial sort)?
It seems not.
Mr Bethune told New Zealand officials yesterday he was being well cared for and was happy to return to Japan with the Shonan Maru 2, where he may be charged with trespass.
As for the missus, she agrees her husband’s uncompromising approach gets results.
“As soon as he’s off the boat the media will go away,” she said, “and his aim is to get as much media attention as he can.”
This can only mean he is happier to be on the Japanese boat, winning headlines, than off it, being starved of publicity.
That’s about the only good reason Alf can see for getting the bugger off the Japanese boat.