Saturday, 26 December 2009

Berkshire Hunters

The political divide is in evidence once again as the traditional Boxing Day confrontation between pro- and anti-hunt campaigners provides an excuse for each side to rejoice and indulge in some old-fashioned festive fisticuffs.

Anneliese Dodds mounts up in favour of animal rights to warn about the risks of voting for a Conservative government at the next election in a few months time, making the claim that "the vast majority of people in both urban and rural areas are against fox-hunting being made legal."

She makes a passionate plea that "today must not be the last 'cruelty free' Boxing Day".

But this only puts John Redwood MP on the scent, giving him the prime excuse to launch a vicious outburst against 'class warriors' and their 'detoffication agenda'. This is something to get your teeth stuck into, and conservative attack dogs are clearly trained hunt in packs in the comments.

Though it would be unfair not to mention that Mr Redwood also draws an interesting comparison on the urban/rural, working class/landed gentry split.

However, as this archived article from the Hunt Saboteurs Organisation (about the fear of rioting around Mortimer West End which pervaded throughout the mid-to-late 1990s) shows, the real issues are less about the perceptions of cruelty associated with blood sports than the civic disorder and overzealous response which inevitably surrounds events.

Meanwhile the South Berkshire Hunt and Old Berkshire Hunt have reorganised online in recent years to promote their interests and support a review of the current legislative bans.

In particular the Old Berkshire Hunt helps coordinate the vote-ok coalition to oppose anti-hunting MPs and campaign for a repeal of the Hunting Act.


Update: The debate inspires me to offer a few thoughts about the subject on my other blog. Readers may not be surprised that I don't sit easily with either side.

Oranjepan says:
Just don't confuse the issue with the cockney rhyming slang, whatever you do!

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