Tag Archives: bastards

Tories might lose the country’s support over fox hunting, Macca? When did they have it?


It’s funny, the way even high-profile figures can get the wrong end of the stick.

Paul McCartney, for example, has warned the Conservative Party that it could lose the support of the UK electorate if a free vote next week results in the re-legalisation of fox hunting.

Perhaps someone should remind him that the Conservatives have a wafer-thin majority of just 12 MPs; six by-elections and they’re impotent.

In fact, even with this vote they are playing dirty. Knowing that a free vote to repeal the Hunting Act will not win enough support, David Cameron and his friends have worked out that they could restore hunting by bringing the law in England and Wales in line with that in Scotland. The SNP’s 56 MPs would not be able to vote against this in good faith, and will probably abstain, leaving the Tories with a majority of around 50 (believe it or not, there are Conservatives who oppose hunting).

Cameron absolutely cannot rely on the support of the electorate: His party won only 24.3 per cent of the available vote at the general election in May, making his government one of the least democratic in our history. And polls have consistently shown that a clear majority of the British people want the barbaric practice of hunting foxes with hounds to remain illegal – more than 50 per cent of us.

Macca, 73, has spent decades campaigning for animal rights. He said: “The vast majority of us will be against them [the Conservatives] if hunting is reintroduced. It is cruel and unnecessary and will lose them support from ordinary people and animal lovers like myself.”


Fellow musician Brian May has been far more outspoken; he accused supporters of next week’s vote of being “a bunch of lying bastards” on the BBC’s Newsnight programme last Thursday.

Some mouthpiece for the hunt-supporting Countryside Alliance had been on, spouting the usual tripe: “This is about addressing exemptions in the Act, which were agreed by both sides when the Act was going through, for pest control reasons, for catching a diseased or wounded animal or something like that.”

Dr May responded: “It’s a very underhand act I’m afraid, because Cameron for years has promised a free vote – a fair fight on the repeal of the Hunting Act.

“He has now realised that this probably won’t end up with what he wants so this whole thing has been put together by circumventing the normal democratic process.

“So you introduce a little modification to an Act but this modification actually disables the whole Hunting Act and effectively this is repeal under a new name. I think this is a very Machiavellian and rather inexcusable way of behaving.

“I believe it’s a pretence. I think you’re a bunch of lying bastards.”

Here he is saying it, at around 5 minutes, 40 seconds in:

Other notable celebrity opponents include Ricky Gervais, who tweeted:


In fact, it seems the mouthpiece from the Countryside Alliance has shown us the way forward.

This Writer cannot imagine why a wounded animal would need to be “removed” by a hunting pack; in the wild, the law of natural selection would probably see that it is “removed” without human interference.

And if this is about pest control – removing a diseased animal so it cannot spread an infection – then it should be necessary for the hunters to prove any fox was diseased before they set the dogs after it.

This leads to a further question about epidemic: If hounds are sent after a diseased fox, won’t they catch and spread the illness themselves?

Perhaps the Tories – and their Countryside Alliance co-conspirators – should be made to answer these questions before any change in the law is considered.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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PIP policy hitch while Tory boys bitch

Stumble in the (political) jungle: Who wants to see two Tory clowns drawling weak attempts at wit when their party's policies are bringing the country to its knees?

Stumble in the (political) jungle: Who wants to see two Tory clowns drawling weak attempts at wit when their party’s policies are bringing the country to its knees?

Even boxing promoters would have had a hard time talking up the ‘spat’ between the so-called Grey Man and the Quiet Man of politics.

The hyperbolic talents of Don King would be hard-pressed to hide the fact that what Sir John Major and Iain Duncan Smith need, more than anything else, is a sense of proportion. People are suffering, and all they do is squabble.

It was Major who opened hostilities. In a speech on Tuesday, he questioned Smith’s attack on the British social security system, saying: “I truly wish him well. But it is enormously complicated and unless he is very lucky, which he may not be, or a genius, which – the last time I looked – was unproven, he may get some of it wrong.”

We were to see evidence of this very quickly, as the government has been forced to announce that its plan to shift people from Disability Living Allowance to the new Personal Independence Payment has been delayed. Instead of rolling out across the whole of England, Scotland and Wales next week, it will now happen in only certain areas.

If their condition changes, claimants in Wales, the East and West Midlands and East Anglia will transfer to PIP. Otherwise, everybody will remain on DLA.

The announcement echoes one earlier this year, in which Smith’s much-trumpeted Universal Credit rolled it, not so much with a bang as with a moan – in just one pilot area, where only the simplest cases were handled.

For those affected, this can only be a relief. PIP will be payable to fewer people than DLA because it has tougher requirements. For example, people used to qualify for the mobility component if they could not walk 50m; under the new benefit this has been cut to 20m for no good reason.

Sir John’s remarks revived hostilities between himself and the Work and Pensions Secretary that have been dormant since the early 1990s, when Smith was one of a group of Tory rebels who campaigned against the decision to sign the Maastricht Treaty for European Union integration.

In an interview at the time, Sir John described his opponents as “bastards”. He repeated the phrase in Tuesday’s speech, admitting its use was “unacceptable” – but then he added that his “only excuse was that it was true”.

Smith, nicknamed ‘Returned To Unit’ (or ‘RTU’ for short) by this site in recognition of his many failings and unanswered questions about his army career, responded by telling the Evening Standard: “I just say I think we should all look at each other and be a little more pleasant.”

Is that so, Iain?

May we take it that this is a new policy, and you will be telling staff in all your Job Centres and every DWP office, up and down the country, that they should be more pleasant to the people who have to use the excuse for a service that they provide?

Are they now to stop trying to bully people off Jobseekers’ Allowance any way they can, and to actually start treating their fellow citizens with the respect that has been missing from those places since you took over as Work and Pensions Secretary?

Perhaps the private Work Programme providers you pay to take these people off the unemployment statistics will start actually trying to help our unemployed people, instead of putting them on pointless courses in things they know already and pocketing the lion’s share of the cash?


Well, that’s no surprise to anyone. You don’t listen to anything but your own beliefs. It’s long past time you grew up and admitted the failures inherent in Universal Credit, PIP and all your other reforms. In other words, get your priorities right.

And Sir John? That goes for you, too. You have no right to the moral high ground when your government set the scene for many of the problems we have today.