On fighting the hunting ban…

Charles Moore believes that the English pro-hunting lobby is too emotional in terms of how it’s planning to fight the recent parliamentary ban: “Extraordinary that English people now need to learn lessons from Solidarity in Poland, the anti-apartheid struggle and the Civil Rights movement in the United States”.

He suggests beginning by getting the facts of the case straight:

“First, work out the nature of the injustice. This does not consist in the desire of Parliament to regulate hunting, but in the ban, because it is oppressive and unsupported by evidence. Lord Burns collected evidence for the government. He established that hunting was no crueller than any other form of killing foxes, and therefore made no case for a ban. This did not deflect the abolitionists. Almost all refused invitations from hunts to come and see what they did: they positively proclaimed their ignorance, and thus that they were making law on the basis of prejudice. They then abused the purpose of the Parliament Act by forcing through something that was not part of the government’s programme. So the law is unjust in manner and matter. It therefore helps the rule of law to defeat it!”.

  • Colm

    The brave workers of Poland struggled for the right to have the simplest of independent representation in a tolatiraian state.

    The struggle against Apartheid was by a majority population struggling against racial domination and the humiliation of being treated as inferior due to their skin colour alone.

    The US civil rights movement was a similar struggle by a minority group no longer willing to ‘sit at the back of the bus’.

    Makes perfectly logical sense that the next great noble struggle should be for the right of an ‘oppressed’ people to maintain their ritual of making an entertaining sporting spectacle out of the tearing to pieces of wild animals.

  • Young Fogey

    …or alternatively for a despised minority group to maintain their quirky cultural traditions in the face of a bullying minority intolerant of cultural diversity.

    Personally, I don’t think the fox hunters will do much – they’re all fur coat and no knickers. Which is a bit silly because if they just ignored the ban it would be unenforcable.

  • Colm

    ‘quirky cultural traditions’

    That’s a quaint term for it.

    ‘ cultural diversity’ yeah and that’s what they use to excuse wife beating and female circumcision in some quarters.

    “it’s my cultural rights innit” – What a great and civilised society we would have if everyone decided to ignore laws and did whatever they wanted. All laws would be unenforceable then.

  • Christopher Stalford


    “ignore laws and did whatever they wanted.”

    An unjust law isn’t a law at all. The House of Commons could pass a law declaring the sky was purple and the moon was made of cheese. It wouldn’t make it so.

  • Colm


    Who decides what is an unjust law?. Anyone who cares to!

    If we lived in a culture that failed to recognise the concept of cruelty to animals at all then singling out fox-hunting could be seen as unjust.

    However the right of government to legislate for animal welfare has been accepted for centuries . We can all agree or disagree to what extent this should apply but the answer is to lobby for legislative change or indeed reversal of applied laws.

    Your answer about the moon made of cheese is nonsensical. A Law declaring the moon is made of cheese wouldn’t be unjust , it would simply be factually incorrect. The banning of fox-hunting is a legal action not a statement assuming scientific fact.

  • Young Fogey

    ‘quirky cultural traditions’
    That’s a quaint term for it.

    Well, it is a rather quaint cultural tradition, practised by toffs and culshies. So what? Let them get on with it. What gives you the right to impose your values on other people?

    ‘ cultural diversity’ yeah and that’s what they use to excuse wife beating and female circumcision in some quarters.

    Yeah, Colm, and your attitude was what was used to lock gypsies in barracks, starve millions of Central Asian nomads through forced settlement, force the American Indians on to reservations, deny Australian Aboriginies the vote… two can play at the silly comparisons game.

    What a great and civilised society we would have if everyone decided to ignore laws and did whatever they wanted. All laws would be unenforceable then.

    Colm, everyone ignores some laws sometimes. Everyone. Including you. And sometimes thats an honourable thing to do. When the ANC and Solidarity refused to accept the legitimacy of their illegitimate governments, that was a courageous, heroic thing to do. And when gay men or drinkers in ‘dry countries’ at various times and places disobey laws aimed at them, I personally see no wrong in that. And if the fox hunters just keep hunting foxes, good for them. Don’t ask me to be involved, because I think it’s distasteful, but good for them all the same.

    the right of government to legislate for animal welfare has been accepted for centuries . We can all agree or disagree to what extent this should apply

    Less foxes are hunted to death in a year in Britain than children are killed by the ‘coalition’ forces in Iraq. Yet the backbenches of the Labour Party are prepared to turn a blind eye to the latter as long as they get to ban the former. What a load of useless, morally bankrupt tossers. A snatter has more backbone.

    This has nothing to do with animal welfare. If animal welfare was the issue, battery farming would be much higher up the priority list. It’s more to do with an ersatz social radicalism that acts as a kind of methadone for socialism for people who are disgusted at what they and their political party have become. We may all be a pack of stuck-up Guardian reading eejits supporting a government well to the right of Thatcher, but as long as we get to save the little foxey-woxeys, that’s OK. It makes me want to vomit.

  • Colm

    Young Fogey

    Firstly I am not imposing my values on anyone. I couldn’t if I wanted too. You don’t know my values. My comments thus far may appear to give an indication but I haven’t actually said if I approve of the ban on fox-hunting. To be honest i wouldn’t lose any sleep either way. What does annoy me though is the ridiculous exaggeration of ‘human rights’ abuse and arrogant threatened defiance of the law from those who simply can’t accept a lawful decision.

    Where is the Human rights or cultural abuse. There is nothing to stop the hunt community from continuing the hunt as a ‘cultural event’ the dressing up , the horseriding , the hounds , the bracing ride in the countryside without the killing of a fox at the end of it. Now you may laugh and say that is the point of it, but a democratic society has the right to choose to protect animals in whatever way it chooses. It is arrogant nonsense to claim that those who enjoy the kill as a part of the hunt must always be allowed to do so.

    As to your point about gypsies and aboriginies and forced settlements – what rot. Talk about twisting an argument. I was actually making the opposite point I was not making comparisons. I was talking purely about how much of a cop out it is and in fact a justification of abuse to use ‘cultural diversity’ as a principle to excuse lawbreaking. After all it is the ‘cultural diversity’ or ‘traditions’ arguments you use to justify fox-hunting in defiance of the law that could be used to justify real abuses such as those of gypsies and aboriginies.

    Yes it can be noble and honourable to disobey the law when the law is not properly democratically mandated and their is no electoral way of changing it (the black majority in apartheid South Africa) or where the activity targets and discriminates against minorities whose behaviour is private and fully consensual (homosexuals) fox-hunting just doesn’t come under any category that justifies defiance of the law – and frankly neither does drinking alcohol in dry countries , or are you again assuming the arrogant position that your values trump other countries rights to determin their own laws.

    At the end of the day however we can whinge that the passing of this law was an excercise in labour class prejudice but the same could be said of many laws, Thatchers Trade union restrictions and abolition of the GLC, The Major govts’ clampdown on the rave scene and countless numerous laws which anger some groups and please others but Britain has yet reached a point where real human rights are being abused to the extent that people have to defy the law.

    I don’t approve of this government I am not a cheerleader for them. I want them out at the next election and am happy to see the Tories back in if you must know but If fox hunters are to be seen as in the right to break the law then why not people who don’t want to wear seat belts or crash helmets , or clothes in public, or who like taking class a drugs or having sex in public or any other activity that they like regardless of th laws position.

    If the hunt community wish to continue the killing of foxes they should lobby for the next parliament to recind the ban not just defy it.

    Banning Foxhunting is annoying and frustrating for those who participate but then again there are thousands of decisions in everyday life that do the same to all of us. defiance is not noble , it’s arrogant and step to promoting lawless anarchy, and the vast majority of those who hunt really wouldn’t appreciate that if it came about.

  • unionist_observer

    the bill does reek of city dwellers lecturing country folk. These morally outraged city people should see what a fox can do to some farmyard animals, pretty gruesome.

  • Moderate Unionist

    I wonder what the comparative position would be on say whaling, or dolphins in tuna nets, or clubing seals, but then again what about trout and salmon fishing(I wonder if they will ban that too?)