Considering the level of outrage about the policy of deploying drum lines and killing big sharks, you may be wondering why the WA State Government is going ahead with it.

I think that there are two reasons for this. Firstly, they are pretty sure that despite the noise created by the anti-cull protesters and their fellow travellers in the media, most West Aussies are quietly in support of this approach. Premier Colin Barnett said as much during a live blog session earlier today.

I doubt this is a hunch, too. Politicians always do research about these things. Sure, focus groups and polls are not always accurate. But they are a pretty good guide of public sentiment. And I'm sure the Libs have thoroughly looked into this most divisive and emotive of issues and are quietly confident that most people are in support of their policy. 

That said, even if it were 50-50, or they had minority support, I think Barnett would still pursue it. Why? Because in that scenario if he were to pander to the shrieking greenies he may retain popularity in the short to medium term. But what if another fatal attack were to occur? Considering what's gone on in the past, and the woeful lack of decisive action taken, it really would be the straw that broke the camel's back. The tide would almost certainly turn, and dramatically. 

Basically, Barnett really has to do something about the shark problem, and it has to be proactive. Now that he has done this he's in a much better political position. Firstly, it might work. If it doesn't -- which is a risk, of course -- at least he can say: "We did something. We acted." I'm sure these possibilities were considered, and formed part of his decision making process. 

But back to his perception that there is majority support for his position: It might seem odd to some people that he's so confident, given the enormous and sustained expression of outrage about his "shark cull". But when you look at who's behind much of it, it's clearly not a spontaneous manifestation of the public will. It's been generated by the usual suspects -- extreme greenies and lefties who hate conservatives with a passion. And true to form they make a point of intimidating those who are in support of Barnett's actions. They do this by loudly ridiculing or just shouting down anyone with a contrary view.

And they are not above vicious online harassment. The cruel campaign against the girlfriend of surfer Chris Boyd, killed in a shark attack down south, is a nauseating example of the lengths some of these shark-huggers will go to in their quest to stop the cull. Truly sickening. No wonder so many people are afraid to speak up against them.