I was amazed and grateful for the amount of mail received about my column last week, both from members of the public and councillors.
So let me move onto a government decision to give a ‘free vote’ to members of parliament.
A free vote technically means members can vote according to their conscience, ignoring the views of their constituents and not being ‘whipped’ into a vote.
For example ‘conscience’ votes included one on capital punishment, where members voted overwhelmingly to not bring back the death penalty to this country.
There was the marriage, same sex couples, bill that was approved in 2013, approved by 400 votes with 175 against.
The latest ‘conscience vote’ was to relax the laws on fox hunting.
I say was because the SNP declared that they will be voting against any change in the law, thus just about scuppering any chance of the government winning.
The current government wanted to amend the hunting with dogs bill of 2002 and the Hunting Act of 2004, which was another free vote brought in by the then Labour government.
Technically the approved bill of 2004 halted a bunch of well healed country landowners wearing red jackets who went riding their horses across the countryside followed by a pack of dogs (hounds) who would spy a fox and chase it until it was exhausted, then they would tear the fox to shreds, all in the name of fun and sport!
How many people realise that hunting involves unnecessary cruelty, as animal population control can be far better done in other ways?
It is proven that the animals hunted in Britain are not significant agricultural pests, including foxes.
To the little men in their red jackets the trivial interests are sport, pleasure and the preservation of cultural traditions.
For the serious, yet misguided, side there is the protection of agriculture, the conservation of the environment and the provision of human employment.
The red coated chappies – no, not Butlins type people who make us laugh, but the tally-ho toffs – wanted us to think that they were doing a community service by clearing the countryside of sick and diseased vermin (foxes), but in truth many were breeding foxes purely for the enjoyment of their incredibly cruel sport.
Don’t get me wrong, if it were necessary to have a cull of any animal for the reason of human safety, then I would not disagree in the least and would sincerely hope that a humane way of doing this would be put in place.
Sick and diseased animals should be shot, to be put out of their misery, by expert marksmen.
Why would any MP want to vote in favour of bringing back this barbaric practice?
I couldn’t possibly call it a sport!
The big problem is of course, once the SNP and any other Scottish MPs are stopped voting on English issues, and then it is likely we will see the re-emergence of these bloodthirsty proposals being brought back to parliament.
I, for one, just hope that MPs see sense and do not bow to wealthy landowners’ obscene and perverted wishes.
Any MP voting (eventually) to reverse the laws must have a pretty fuddled conscience!
At the end of the day, surely it is morally wrong to kill for pleasure?
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