Sunday, September 19, 2004


The news from Britain about the fox-hunting ban is pretty bad. Only the House of Lords has held the ban up so far and the ban looks set to be forced through by the House of Commons despite the opposition of the Lords. Here is a pictorial coverage of one of the protests that male readers will no doubt find heartening, however.

For background on the attack on a traditional sport by British Leftists, See here.


"The ferocity of the reaction against the hunt protesters was not motivated by the way that they made a little scene in the Commons. It was motivated by the fact that many in the political and media class think that these people are scum. This provides an instructive insight into the limits of New Labour's much-vaunted belief in social inclusion. We are forever being lectured about the importance of tolerance, minority rights and respect for other people's lifestyle choices in modern Britain. But the vitriol poured on the hunters' heads shows that there are new dominant prejudices at play. The illiberal elite cannot tolerate the choices of these people, whose attempt to exercise their 'rights' is deemed not just wrong but repugnant.

It is often said that this hatred of the hunters is a class issue, because they are all 'Toffs'. The upper class types who invaded the Commons certainly seemed to be trying to live up to that caricature. But even if that was really what it is all about, what would be the point of such a petty 'class war' today? It is not as if the aristocracy exercises any power over the rest of us any more. But in any case, this is no old-fashioned class war. It is more like a one-sided twenty-first century culture war against people who do not conform to the norms of New Labour's Britain. Everything about the hunting community - traditional, rural, conservative, parochial - flies in the face of how we are supposed to live now. Hell, these people even insist on treating animals like, well, animals!

It was striking to see how, in dealing with the pro-hunting protests outside parliament, the Metropolitan Police took their lead from the illiberal elite. Under New Labour since 1997, the police have largely felt able/obliged to remove the iron glove that they used against inner-city rioters and striking miners in the 1980s, and briefly against the poll tax rioters in 1990. This week they chose to put that iron glove back on, in order to deal with a crowd of self-consciously respectable rural citizens. The hatred directed at those whom the Mirror branded 'Tally Hooligans' gave the Met the green light to baton charge the men and women in waxed jackets.

You do not need to be a toff or a foxhunter, or support their silly PR stunts, to want to oppose the puffed-up witch-hunt against them. The campaign to ban hunting is a politically motivated crusade about sanitising society by taming 'wild' people, not saving foxes. In response to the pictures of bloodied hunt supporters who had been beaten by the police outside parliament, many on the left sneered about 'toffs getting a taste of what happened to the miners'. Those of us who defended the miners in the past would do more for the cause of democracy by taking a stand against the victimisation of hunters today.

When an opinion or a pastime that goes against the tastes of our illiberal elite can be dismissed as 'Out of bounds' - something that should not only be opposed, but outlawed - it ought to be obvious that the pressing threat to political freedom does not come from five posh boys being rude to some MPs.

More here.

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