It looks like Britain's Countryside Alliance is drawing ever closer to accomplishing its goal—a repeal of the 2005 Hunting Act that effectively bans fox hunting. The law has been hard fought by hunt supporters through protests, political scheming and, well, outright rebellion. The latest war of words between the Countryside Alliance and the liberal Labour party is entertaining if not offensive to those who hunt with dogs.
First, the Countryside Alliance accused Labour party rural affairs minister Dan Norris of ignoring evidence that fox hunting isn't cruel and suggested he's only a minister because PM Gordon Brown had "scraped the bottom of the barrel."
Norris responded: "I offer pro-hunters this tip if they are really seeking the truth: Get out in the real world, stop just talking to those who hunt, and ask ordinary people their views. They would then know loud and clear the opposition to the cruelty they seek is increasing."
If I may interject, I find it a scathing irony that so many big-city elitists can preach open-mindedness and tolerance in one breath and belittle hunters as redneck bumpkins in the next. When it comes to guns, hunting and the culture of rural America (or Britain) in general, I've found them to be some of the most close-minded people in existence. Now, getting back to the feud, here's the retort from Tim Bonner, PR man for the Countryside Alliance:
"Being lectured by a member of the current Government on the 'real world' is a badge of honor—perhaps if Mr Norris joined it, he would understand why he is a member of the most unpopular government of modern times, which trails in the wake of a party committed to repealing the Hunting Act."
Bonner was referring to the Tories, Britain's conservative party. The Countryside Alliance is campaigning for the Tories' return to power. I wish them luck.
In other political news, New Jersey has booted in my opinion the most anti-hunting governor in the United States—Gov. Jon Corzine. Corzine was the darling of animal rights groups for his support of mandatory spay/neuter laws and his refusal to allow a bear hunt despite the advice of biologists.
New Jersey's rural voters sent a message that they're sick and tired of being ignored and repressed. Let's hope Britain's fox hunters can do the same.