With all of the legislation and regulation New Labour has brought upon us, it is awfully good to see that one of their key legislative achievments is in tatters. With the help of a few well-intentioned members of the Opposition, the Government was able to pass the ban on foxhunting in 2004. It took them several attempts and they finally had to invoke the Parliament Act (for only the fourth time since 1949) which allows a bill to become law despite being voted down in the House of Lords.
So what a joy it is to see that the effect of the ban as been to increase the interest in foxhunting. The number of anti-hunting protesters continues to dwindle. The League Against Cruel Sports has seen its membership decline from 18,000 to between 5,000 and 10,000. Their spokesman wouldn’t be any more specific, according to the Sunday Telegraph. They are having to sell up their offices and find cheaper accommodation. At the same time the number of hunt participants has risen to 68,000.
The anti-hunt campaigners have always been a minority. It is only because the urbanisation of the UK has made a Labour Government, comprised principally of townies, able to trample on the historic rights of the countryside. The hunters have put up the often violent attacks by protesters. (It’s amazing how animal rights people have such little regard for humans.) When the Government trampled on then, they uncharacteristically put up a fight. Most of the time Brits follow sheepishly when the Government tells them what to do.