Hunting with Dogs
UPDATE : Oops ! : There’s a major error in this blog. Sorry !
Kate Hoey is of course not a Tory at all but is the Labour MP for Vauxhall (Can’t imagine there’re all that many packs of hunting beagles there btw !). Not that it’s entirely clear which party she belongs to from her website without delving around a little.
That doesn’t change the sentiment of my post – but does of course change the politics – not really to Labour’s advantage either, since this little outbreak of hunting ‘news’ does now seem entirely Labour created one way or the other.
So I guess sometimes you lose some. I think I’m a little off the mark here. I’m just glad I’m not a ‘real’ politician – I’m sure the press would have a field day if I was in parliament and made a mistake like this (and who could blame them). Forunately I’m just a blogging amateur – It does make me realise how difficult a job politicians do though with people waiting to trip them up and pounce on any error at the drop of a hat. Remember that they’re only human – like the rest of us.
In the meantime I read a different take on the recent flurry of blood sports politics at Penny Red : The Boys Who Cried Fox .
I find it interesting that someone who essentially has the same opinion as me on hunting (not really interested), can come to such a different outcome. I can’t help but wonder though whether in writing her blog Penny Red has (like me) drawn even more attention to something which perhaps should not be centre stage when there are so many other competing concerns.
I leave the original article intact so you can see how fallible I am :
It’s boxing day and supposedly up and down the country the nation engages in its traditional countryside activity. Sabotaging hunts !
Well supposedly. Funnily enough though I’ve never seen a hunt or a saboteur, or any hounds. I do hear people shooting from where I live in South Bedfordshire (but which I actually think is coming from Buckinghamshire just a few hundred yards away). I don’t know what they’re shooting – nor whether it’s live or inanimate.
To be truthful I don’t really care either. I don’t have much of a position on hunting myself. I eat meat (quite a lot these last couple of days) and feel that it’s morally right to do so – if it’s good for a tiger then it’s good enough for me.
It doesn’t seem radically more inhumane to me to hunt an animal rather than merely slaughter it. (Which could of course be an argument for vegetarianism – but not for me !)i
It’s very clear to me that lots of people – and I mean LOTS AND LOTS of people really DO have a strong position on hunting – they think it’s barbaric, and support the existing ban on hunting with dogs – and many would like to see this extended further.
The ban on hunting with dogs does not as far as I can see, cause any inconvenience to me, or my family – or indeed to anyone I can think of. Sure some people say their livelihoods are threatened by the removal of hunts – but I did say that I’ve never seen one on 40 odd years didn’t I ? – so exactly where they are is a mystery to me.
It also strikes me that hunting is one of the activities that looks pretty lame when you strip it back to it’s bare bones. – You get loads of people to dress up in poncey clothes, ride horses around the country side with loads of dogs, and find a fox that the dogs can kill. It’s called ‘sport’ so I’m told.
Well call me old fashioned, but I always thought sport was about evenly matched competitors – We have 11 people v 11 people for instance in a football match, not 2 versus 87 (and a few animals with sharp teeth); in boxing we tend to have two people of equal size fighting each other – rather than one really small one, against 4 or five really big ones with clubs.
So even though I’ve no strong feelings on bloodsports, I’m politically minded to side with the anti-hunting lobby – for two reasons – Firstly it would seem that this is the overwhelming feeling of the majority of the country; and secondly I think it odd that anyone really gets a kick out of it. A bit weird in my own humble opinion.
[Error – Kate Hoey is a Labour MP ] Which I think makes it even stranger that we constantly get the Conservatives telling us they’ll repeal the legislation on hunting with dogs (see for instance this article by Kate Hoey MP Kate Hoey: Hunting long and hard for any sense in this flawed law or the website of the pro-hunting group Countryside Alliance. They just can’t seem to help it – even David Cameron’s first ever speech in parliament spoke of Hunting with dogs – (source BBC website Minister Hilary Benn fights to keep hunting ban ). What I can’t understand is “Why ?”
Don’t get me wrong I can see two sides to these arguments – Anti-hunters for instance say that Humans are the only animals that kill for fun – well they can’t have met my cat Josephine, who is, as well as being a loveable bundle of fluff, also a sadistic killer – her favourite species for torture being common frogs, although she’s seen off a few sparrows, and a harvest mouse or two as well. None of which compares to the gory mess left by what seemed to be a pair of wild foxes in the rabbit hutch of a school I used to teach in.
And I can understand that sometimes foxes may need to be killed.
So why don’t you shoot them ? It’s quick, it’s cheap, and it’s a lot easier than putting a pink coat on and riding with a load of yapping beagles.
Why do the Tories want to repeal the hunting ban ? Why do they think that will be popular ?
I don’t really know what the polls say on this issue – but it seems fairly clear cut to me. A few people have (to me inexplicably) strong views in favour of hunting. Considerably more have very strong views against. Most people though don’t feel strongly about the issue – but would tend to side with the anti-hunters – their argument does seem to make more sense.
I’m fairly sure that repealing the ban on hunting with dogs wouldn’t be greatly popular, and would be quite a vote loser for the Conservatives.
Which is why despite my ambivalence I’m very firmly in the Anti-Hunting camp.