Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cameron Would Repeal Hunting Ban.

I've said often that David Cameron enjoys his lead in the polls because he is very careful not to tell us what his actual policies will be. On the few occasions when he has indicated what he would do were he the Prime Minister; for example, the fact that he proposed doing nothing during the economic collapse and would have allowed the market to do whatever damage it would have done, left me thinking that - were he honest about his policies - he would be nowhere near as electable as he currently appears to be.

Now, he has spoken out to say that the new Conservative government would repeal the ban on fox hunting. That strikes me as simply perverse. If he wants to lose his party's image as the nasty party who looks out for toffs then this is precisely the wrong way to go about it.

Writing in The Independent today, the Environment Secretary Hilary Benn says: "Quite why this is something that would be a priority for a Tory government, instead of the economy or tackling other concerns, is hard to explain to the public and [the Conservatives] have failed to do so."

Last night, Mr Benn explained: "David Cameron used to hunt foxes. He talked about fox-hunting in his first speech to Parliament, and he has said that if he becomes Prime Minister he will get rid of the fox-hunting ban.

"But like the vast majority of people, I think the barbaric act of letting dogs tear foxes to pieces should not return to our countryside. If you think the Tories have changed, their views on fox-hunting with dogs make it absolutely clear that their priorities haven't."
The Independent are portraying this as Brown launching yet another class war against the Tories, but I don't agree with the way they have chosen to frame this. The person who chose to raise this subject was Cameron by promising to repeal fox hunting, and fox hunting is a sport which is indulged in only by the British upper class. There are no housing schemes where fox hunting is practiced.

One senior Labour source said: "We are not saying hunting will be the centrepiece of our election campaign. But it is an issue that concerns many people and it says something about the Conservatives. They say 'we are all in it together' but their policies, whether on inheritance tax or hunting, show that under a Cameron government there would be one rule for their friends and another for the rest of us."

When Labour's focus groups remind voters of the Tories' stance on hunting, many people are said to reply: "I guess they haven't changed." People are surprised that Mr Cameron wants to overturn the ban, and Labour believes the policy undermines his claim to have modernised the Conservative Party.

It's a simply bizarre thing for Cameron to have taken a stance on as it simply reinforces the image of his shadow cabinet as a bunch of old Etonians, hopelessly out of touch with the concerns and hopes of millions of ordinary Brits.

And yet, that is where he has chosen to go. Between this and his promise to hack away at public services, I actually think there is more than enough to tell us what kind of Tory party he would lead if elected.

And yet, they look odds on to walk into Downing Street at the next election. Unbelievable.

Click here for full article.


Geoffrey Woollard said...

I hope and pray that the Hunting Act is not repealed or otherwise undone. We British led the way in banning the slave trade and in banning slavery in the Empire, we led the way in banning bear baiting and cock fighting, and we led the way in banning hunting and hare coursing. We must continue to make progress and not let our civilisation take a backward step. And, besides, if Cameron, Hague, Herbert, etc., think that repeal would be a vote winner in rural areas, they are very much mistaken.

And please don't forget the vile 'sport' of hare coursing -

Kel said...

Most of the public are overwhelmingly opposed to the ban being overturned so I don't know who Cameron thinks he is pleasing by proposing this nonsense. Other than his own insane backbenchers.

Anonymous said...

You only think that because you don't live in the countryside, where the vast majority of people are pro-hunting.

Author, I have to take issue with your assertion that hunting is only for toffs - it's total bollocks and shows how little you know about the sport. Hunting in fact is practised by people of all classes, as you would know if you bothered to learn about it before condeming it out of hand.

Kel said...

You only think that because you don't live in the countryside, where the vast majority of people are pro-hunting.

The vast majority of people in this country don't live in the countryside which is why something like 73% of people support the ban.