Disposable legislation

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.

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1 comment

  1. I don’t think we should bat an eyelid. Plenty of groups have had their traditional pursuits ripped away from them by the march of modernity. This is one of those laws that have been on the way for decades, but which the aristo-gentocracy have always thought they would fend off for ever. I give Blair no credit at all for doing it well or doing it honestly, but sometimes you just have to recognise that there is popular will to do something and let it get done. I don’t think this bill speaks at all to any repressionist leanings in the labour party – it’s the defenders of hunting who see this as a fundamental infringement of their ancient rights who worry me. Don’t make me laugh.

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