Tuesday, November 07, 2006
From 1997 onwards the only really funny thing about politics was the Labour attempt to pursue the class war by banning fox hunting. They did not, of course, attempt to ban the working class sport of angling, justifying this, when asked, by some lame arguments about the physiology of fish - they feel no pain etc.. They went after fox hunting because it was perceived to be upper class and also because it was so flamboyantly visible. Finally, eighteen months ago, they got their ban. It has, however, failed miserably and hunting now carries on as before with a few minor modifications. There are 'drag' hunts where a scented trail is used. But, I learn today, there are also hunts which exploit quite absurd loopholes in the law. Notably, the act says, 'Flushing a wild mammal from cover is exempt hunting if undertaken for the purpose of enabling a bird of prey to hunt the wild mammal.' Hunts now simply take birds with them and, if the dogs get there first, well, sorry, officer, it was an accident. Personally, I find the killing of wild animals for sport - fish or foxes - repellent, though I think I would find it less so if the humans involved were equally likely to die. But this attempt to ban fox-hunting has been so hilariously inept and so utterly futile that I think the sport should continue if only to keep the class war going. It is a great consolation and one of our finest tourist attractions.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:46 am