Like a lot of those harried urban Labour MPs we’ve been hearing from lately, I feel a sort of vague discomfort with the idea of people on horses rushing through the countryside in pursuit of small, quite fluffy mammals – it’s just not very nice is it? Unlike most of those Labour MPs, though, I don’t have a constituency mailbag bulging with threats of deselection and other low-grade mischief.
The hunting ban is an ugly thing: illiberal, politically contingent and irrelevant – a throwback to an earlier era of dogmatic, one-dimensional leftism – sentimental, anthropomorphic, shabby. It’s a casual and thoughtless infringement of liberty that will save the lives of (maybe) 30,000 foxes per year – about a third of the number killed by cars. It’s such a bad law it makes me feel queasy. It’s like dangerous dogs on steroids – trashy, knee-jerk legislation for trashy, soundbite politicians. I’m a Labour Party member and I’m ashamed of it.