Tag Archives: Hunting Act

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

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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.”

“Inexcusable”

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:

150712gervaisfoxhunting

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.

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Labour’s ‘assisted dying’ bill and its relevance to the hunting ban

Backbench Labour MP Rob Marris is offering Parliament its first vote on assisted dying since 1997.

The timing of this Bill’s arrival in the House of Commons is very useful for those of us who oppose the repeal of the Hunting Act (and who keep an eye on the social media).

Here’s why (from Twitter):

150609huntingANDsuicide

Perhaps this will clarify for MPs of all parties why the fox hunting ban must remain in place.

Source: Assisted suicide back in Parliament as MP reignites Dignitas debate with Private Member’s Bill – Mirror Online

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SNP fails at first challenge in Westminster

Do Tory voters really want this idiotic mob rampaging through their streets and backyards after an innocent creature, intending to rip it to shreds? Well, they support "welfare reform", which isn't far from the same.

Do Tory voters really want this idiotic mob rampaging through their streets and backyards after an innocent creature, intending to rip it to shreds?
Well, they support “welfare reform”, which isn’t far from the same.

Some of us knew the Scottish Nationalists were more full of wind than bagpipes, but now we’re all seeing the evidence of it.

It seems the 56 members of the SNP who managed to con their countryfolk into electing them to the Westminster Parliament are set to betray the rest of the United Kingdom in the worst possible way – or betray their own “principled” position – over fox hunting.

Everyone in the UK should be aware, by now, that the Conservative Government is planning to repeal the Hunting Act 2004, in which hunting foxes with dogs was banned in England and Wales.

Scotland banned hunting in 2002, therefore supporters of the SNP merrily told the rest of us that the Parliamentary SNP would be holding to its “principled” position, and would be abstaining from the vote on whether to repeal the ban.

150517principledSNP

This directly contradicts statements made by party leader Nicola Sturgeon that the SNP would represent the interests of all of the UK. Here’s what she said: “If the SNP emerges from this election in a position of influence we will exercise that influence responsibly and constructively, and we will always seek to exercise it in the interests of people not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK.”

Not only that, but does anybody remember the stink the SNP (amongst others, including notably the Greens) kicked up when the Labour Party abstained from a vote on a moratorium on fracking (in England, not Scotland) in January (this vote was always doomed to failure; Labour was supporting a move to regulate fracking, that would delay any work until after the election)? Or the stench the SNP created over an abstention on a vote (that was actually totally irrelevant) on the Bedroom Tax? These were used very strongly in the run-up to the general election to create the impression that Labour had betrayed the people of the UK and supported the Conservative Party.

In that case, would an abstention on fox hunting not be a similar betrayal of the people of the UK – and support of the Conservatives – by a party that had made a solemn vow to represent the interests of people “not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK”?

Most people in the UK don’t want the Hunting Act to be scrapped. They don’t want hordes of overprivileged stupids riding roughshod across their property, chasing some poor, innocent little creature that will be ripped to shreds if it is caught. Some of us find that barbaric and abhorrent.

Still, supporters of the SNP made it perfectly clear that they were 100 per cent behind an abstention on the “principled” grounds they had mentioned: That the rest of the UK is a foreign country and it is none of their business; their own ban will not be affected.

Then Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “The SNP has not yet taken decision on this. We certainly don’t agree with repealing ban.”

150517sturgeontweet

Oh! That puts a new complexion on the matter, doesn’t it?

Now they’re damned either way.

If they abstain, they betray Nicola Sturgeon’s promise that the SNP would use its influence “in the interests of people not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK.”

If they vote, they betray the “principled” position claimed by supporters, that they would not vote on matters that do not affect Scotland.

There is no way out of this dilemma.

Now, can you imagine the torrent of abuse that flowed from SNP supporters on Twitter as this matter was tweeted out on Saturday (May 16)?

Don’t bother; here are some examples received just by this writer.

In this exchange, we see SNP supporters claiming that Scotland is a country completely separate from the UK, implying that SNP MPs voting on fox hunting in England and Wales would be similar to French, German or Luxembourg MPs voting on it (the difference being that those really are separate countries, with no representation in Westminster. The SNP has put MPs there, so it has a duty to vote on legislation there):

150517SNPworld

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Here’s a little more on SNP “principles”, claiming the rest of us don’t understand what they are, along with more about the rUK being a foreign country:

150517SNPprinciples1

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Then there are the person attacks. Here are some milder examples that were aimed at this writer yesterday. Notice that very few have anything to do with the subject at hand:

150517SNPpersonal1

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This one is based on the oft-repeated lie that Labour’s support of the Charter for Budget Responsibility was also support for £30 billion of spending cuts planned by the Conservative Party. There is no mention, in any of the charter’s 20 pages, of any spending cuts at all. The Charter has been available for many months – plenty of time for everyone to read it. Therefore anybody suggesting Labour supported any cuts at all, by supporting the Charter, is a liar – including Oscar Carr.

150517SNPpersonal3

The SNP is, indeed, to blame for the SNP planning to abstain on the Hunting Act repeal.

The SNP is, indeed, to blame for the SNP planning to abstain on the Hunting Act repeal. This Writer isn’t causing problems, though – just bringing them to public attention.

150517SNPpersonal6

They all know This Writer supports Labour – this was a weak attempt to pour ridicule on that party by association.

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This one is absolutely bizarre. One can only posit that this person lost the capacity for rational thought.

Nobody mentioned any "wide spectrum" of SNP supporters; the discussion was focused on those involved in the conversation.

Nobody mentioned any “wide spectrum” of SNP supporters; the discussion was focused on those involved in the conversation.

150517SNPpersonal9

This one seems to think Yr Obdt Srvt tweets for the Labour Party:

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Finally, here’s someone who’s a bit confused. Presumably they had read the dialogue and presumed that the Hunting Act under (loose) discussion related only to England, because in a weak bid to attack This Writer, they tweeted:

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Yes, Mr Buckley. Welsh MPs will definitely vote on the repeal of the ban on fox hunting in England and Wales.

These are just examples – mild examples – of the personal abuse that comes from SNP supporters when anybody dares to question the actions of their party (apart from the last tweet, which was a mistake, made in a mistaken belief). It was time somebody made this behaviour public.

But will the SNP itself do anything at all to bring its supporters’ behaviour back to acceptable levels of conversation? Or does the SNP revel in it?

After all, what could do more to help the cause of Scottish independence than an impression that Scottish people are insensitive, selfish bullies who’ll do their best to batter opponents into submission by whatever means are available?

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Tory barbarians will try to legalise fox hunting if they win in 2015

Role reversal: Let us hope that Cameron and his thugs won't have a chance to restore fox hunting next year; instead, let us hope that his political career will be endangered instead.

Role reversal: Let us hope that Cameron and his thugs won’t have a chance to restore fox hunting next year, and that his political career will be endangered instead.

They’ll say the purpose is to control vermin, but when it comes to hunting foxes with dogs, the only vermin are the Conservatives and their voters who support this.

According to the Daily Torygraph (and others), the Conservative Party election manifesto will include a commitment to a free vote on repealing the ban on hunting with dogs, if the party wins the general election in May next year.

For many of us, this will provide another reason to vote against the Conservatives and anybody who sides with them on this matter.

The fox population should be controlled – this is true – but it has been demonstrated many times that there are many routine ways of achieving this unpleasant necessity.

Only primitive, bloodthirsty, irresponsible barbarians like the Conservatives would want to turn it into a brutal ‘sport’. According to the report, it seems they want to tell us the Hunting Act, which banned it, was “wrong-headed”.

But – oh, look – the manifesto is being written by Oliver Letwin, the man who (allegedly) told us the National Health Service would not exist after five years of a Conservative government.

When it comes to primitive barbarism, he’s got ‘form’.

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The promises of Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats – what are they worth?

Not a lot, if this cartoon from the Telegraph is worth anything:

libdempromises

Of course, Torygraph reporters are probably aware that Nick Clegg secretly agreed to go into coalition with the Conservatives back in March 2010 – two months before the last general election (the so-called negotiations after the poll resulted in a hung Parliament were a sham) – and it was at this time, not in May, that the Liberal Democrat promise to abolish further education tuition fees was dropped.

Clegg went on to run a relatively successful campaign (as far as these things go for the Lib Dems) on the back of that promise – a promise he had already broken.

Now he’s accusing his Conservative Coalition partners of following a “serve the rich, smash the poor” agenda since they got into office. He was a willing part of that agenda.

In The Guardian on Saturday, his excuse was that the Tories had “mutated almost out of recognition” since the Coalition agreement was signed. This is not true. The Tories we have seen since then are the Tories we recognise. David Cameron’s “compassionate Conservatism” was the lie.

“We went in with partners who told us they were green, but they are not. They told me they weren’t going to bang on about Europe, but it’s all they bang on about. They said they believed in civil liberties and they want to trash them,” said Clegg.

“I can understand why they have done it. They are in a complete blind panic about UKIP, but I like to think we have not raced across the political spectrum like that.”

Wrong again. The Tories are in a panic about UKIP (see yesterday’s article on the Hunting Act) but that has little to do with the policy areas Clegg was highlighting. Tories always want to trash civil liberties; they always trash the environment – one of their first planned acts was to sell off all the common land in the UK; and they always, always “bang on” about Europe. Even if they weren’t so bitterly divided about it, they would use it as a distraction technique to dupe voters.

[Image: Another Angry Voice.]

[Image: Another Angry Voice.]

Now the Tories have ‘scooped’ the Lib Dems by claiming they will increase the tax-free personal allowance for low earners to £12,500 per year, something Clegg was planning to announce as one of his own party’s policies – and something to which UKIP beat them both.

Labour has ‘scooped’ the Lib Dems on the NHS, with a pledge to increase funding by £2.5 billion per year, knocking Clegg’s £1 billion promise into the proverbial cocked hat. Labour is also promising to introduce a ‘Mansion Tax’, stealing another well-known Clegg aspiration (and did you see how the Tories responded to that? Hypocritical, when one considers their rabid support of their own Bedroom Tax).

One has to wonder what he has left to say.

“Sorry” might be a good start.

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Poll: Should the Hunting Act be repealed?

Maybe this one is a foregone conclusion, but it’s always worthwhile to gauge current public opinion.

Following the revelation that the Conservative Party wants to repeal the Hunting Act because members fear they could lose half a million votes to UKIP otherwise, tell us:

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How UKIP became pawns in a new plan to bring back fox hunting

The hunt is on (possibly): Nigel Farage shaking hands with Surrey hunter Mark Bycroft, who had freely admitted punching a protester in the face, with no warning or provocation, at a hunt meet on December 14, 2013.*

The hunt is on (possibly): Nigel Farage shaking hands with Surrey hunter Mark Bycroft, who had freely admitted punching a protester in the face, with no warning or provocation, at a hunt meet on December 14, 2013.*

It seems UKIP is again pushing the Conservative Party further into the right-wing of politics.

This time, the subject of fox-hunting is rearing its bloodstained head once again. The first Yr Obdt Srvt heard of it was in an email from Vox Political‘s alleged masters in the Labour Party.

It begins: “Did you hear what Liz Truss – the Tory Environment Secretary – announced was top of her priority list last week?”

Bringing back fox hunting. That’s right – instead of sorting out the mess they’ve made of our country, the Tories are fixating yet again on overturning the decade-old ban on this brutal bloodsport.

“Let’s make so much noise that the Tories have to leave fox hunting in the dustbin of history. There is so much that the Tories should be doing right now that would make life better for millions of people in our county. Doesn’t it just speak volumes that they’re choosing to obsess over this instead?

“Labour consigned fox hunting to the history books – and that’s where it belongs. Help us keep it there.”

This is followed by a link to a petition against the proposal which also asks the reader to make a donation to Labour. It is a particularly annoying practice of the party at the moment; admittedly, Labour needs cash to campaign, but tricking people into connecting to a donation site by telling them they’re doing something else… that’s not the way forward.

So if anybody has a link to a petition page that doesn’t want your money as well, please get in touch.

That was the story, and it all seemed cut-and-dried, right? Wrong.

Several hours later, a blog article by the ever-engaging John D Turner provided invaluable information about UKIP’s part in this affair.

It seems the Country Land and Business Association (described here as a sort of trade union for the landed establishment – a description that is both apposite and insulting at the same time because these people wouldn’t want to be seen dead in a union) has been lobbying both UKIP and the Tories for the return of foxhunting.

It was later reported that UKIP could benefit from half a million extra votes if the Tories refuse to commit themselves to repealing the Hunting Act, implying that UKIP supports this move already.

That was in August; Elizabeth Truss came out with her announcement a little more than a month later.

This tells us several things:

Firstly, UKIP may be many things but it absolutely is not the party of the “people’s crusade”, or whatever nonsense its representatives were spouting during the European election campaign. It’s pretty much a ‘given’ that Nigel Farage’s hope for the blue collar vote started to evaporate when he revealed UKIP’s tax plan was to give all the money to the extremely rich, and disappeared altogether when the Conservatives announced an even more regressive policy in response.

Secondly, UKIP is quite happy to be the pawn of rich landowners.

Thirdly, the Conservatives are terrified that UKIP may be able to steal away their support, and this means they will copy any UKIP policy in a desperate attempt to be more like UKIP than UKIP. Anyone in the Labour Party who finds this funny should look at the economic policy currently being promoted by Ed Balls, and remember Rachel Reeves’ ‘tougher than the Tories on welfare’ speech, before trying to make political headway on it.

The practical upshot of all this?

In this renewed right-wing attempt to bring back fox-hunting, it seems UKIP have been cast in the role of fat, red-coated, “Tally ho!”-screaming hunters…

… and the Conservatives – how unusual for them! – in the role of the fearful fox.

* Here’s the story. Scroll down the page to the entry for December 27, 2013 (it has the same image as at the top of this article).

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Bloodlust: A backdoor plan to bring back hunting

Blood. Sport? Not all foxes are ripped to pieces by the hounds that hunt them - but this one was. [Picture: INS News Agency]

Blood. Sport? Not all foxes are ripped to pieces by the hounds that hunt them – but this one was. [Picture: INS News Agency]

It seems that killing badgers is not enough to sate the Conservative Party’s bloodlust and its members are now trying to restore fox hunting with packs of dogs.

According to the Daily Telegraph, The Federation of Welsh Farmers’ Packs (who?) has commissioned a report to assess whether lifting the limit on the number of dogs used to flush out foxes (for farmers to shoot) will improve efficiency.

Unsurprisingly – because these studies always provide the result desired by the people paying for them – it showed that using a full pack of hounds can be almost twice as effective as using just two dogs, as required by the current law. It also claimed that this could improve animal welfare, as the pursuit could be over much sooner, and use of snares – condemned as cruel – could be reduced.

It isn’t a reintroduction of ‘The Hunt’ by the strictest interpretation of the idea, but restoring the right to use a pack of hounds to chase a single fox would be wide open to abuse, especially by the kind of landed Tories who think they should be able to do whatever they want, to whatever they want, and the Hunting Act 2004 was a gross imposition.

The Coalition Agreement of 2010, of course, includes a commitment to a free vote on repealing the Act – but many Conservative MPs now accept that they might not get enough support to secure the reversal. Many see this as the most convenient alternative.

It’s the old ‘bait-and-switch’ trick again, isn’t it? They have transferred it to the countryside but the form is still the same: Find an acceptable pretext that will act as a cover for the real change to the law that will be imposed.

And there’s no mystery about why they want to bring back hunting. It’s a metaphor for the Tory lifestyle, isn’t it?

They say they’re going to “get tough”, or some similar flannel, and then – after they have wheedled their change into law – we all discover that this means siding with very large, or very bloodthirsty animals to bully, hound (in both senses of the word) and possibly even cause the death of a much smaller creature that they have isolated from its fellows.

Oh, how brave. Oh, how sporting!

It will be bloodier than the DWP’s attack on the disabled.