Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Ban the ban?
One thing I did miss whilst away was a speech by former Conservative leader and current shadow foreign secretary William Hague addressed to the AGM of the Masters of Foxhounds Association. Reiterating the Tory pledge to repeal the hunting ban should they win the next general election, he said:
"A Conservative government will give parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote and in government time. This has been our position and it will remain our position."
Amid thunderous applause, he continued:
"The result was a piece of legislation so deeply prejudiced and so ridiculously unworkable that its existence weakens and discredits the laws of the land.
"This is a bad law and bad laws should be repealed, not ignored."
And yet, one suspects, Mr Hague's zeal for banning the Ban is not the result of a desire to rectify inadequate legislation - I've yet to hear of a Conservative pledge to enact a much more thorough and tighter hunting act, to replace the existing one - but rather because he supports blood sports. It's another manifestation of the general reluctance of the hunting community to admit that they kill primarily because they enjoy it.
And if the act is so unworkable and ineffective why are Hague and his fellow hunt enthusiasts quite so upset? One would think that, instead of condemning it, they might actually be rather pleased that an apparent sop to the anti-hunt lobby was failing to do what it promised to do. Could it be that there is more to the story then first meets the eye...?