“The Fox Hunting Ban, and all attempts to strengthen or extend it, is nothing short of a crusade against Liberty.”


RIGHT FOOT FORWARD by HenryJohnTemple

It is an issue that rears its head seemingly annually, like some sort of new public holiday. Hours upon hours of Westminster’s time dedicated to debating a sport enjoyed by a very small number of people, and only opposed by the mainstream when the news feeds are devoid of filters to place over ones profile picture on matters that will generate more likes.

Ask either side: either we are seeing the vestiges of a class-war being fought in Parliament, or we are seeing a collection of hoary old rural traditionalists baying for blood and wearing strange clothes.

Yet time and time again, Fox hunting and it’s regulation continues to rear its head in Westminster, forcing Members of Parliament to trapce down the corridors after hours of the same arguments being made, as if on loop, acting out some bizzare rendition of groundhog day each and every time the Parliamentary cycle begins to slow, and the more radical backbenchers get a chance to slip in some of their socialist playbook onto the order paper.

On one hand, defenders of the sport will argue that to curtail Fox-Hunting is just another attempt by the ‘old-left’ to reignite a long since resolved class war, in their latest attempt to tear down the establishment, and reclaim the wealth the borgiouse stole from them. They cannot close Eton, they cannot ‘reclaim’ that London Mansion you apparently stole, but by jingo they can take your Hunting!

Stemming from an ever more propograted belief that to have one’s share of the wealth, you just take it from others, rather than create it yourself, it is some small solace that this misconception is being rejected in areas such as Yorkshire, which lean ever more in favor of right-thinking politics, such as that espoused by the LPUK, LL and some elements of the Conservative Party.

On the other hand, we see an increasingly marginalised countryside right wing, long since abandoned by many, demanding their traditions and ways of life are protecting – not arbitrarily banned by those who tend only to head into the Country to visit inlaws.

Yet, as the left in the United Kingdom leans ever more to the Metrosexual politik of its ilk, becoming more of a chuntering mass of Zone 2 snobs, issuing ill thought out decrees on how the ‘simple folk’ ought to live their lives, ensconced as they are in their franchised coffee shops, we see the same arguments rising to the fore.

Hiding behind a facade of ‘animal welfare’, the class war begins again. What little extasy could have been drawn from burning down parts of London in the Riots, seems to have left a hollow void in the souls of the modern left, far less temperate and grounded than their old-guard colleagues, and so they take to kindling a new fire, on whatever issue they can find.

There is a certain irony to the so called ‘Liberal Left’ that we see putting such motions to the house. Their idea of Liberalism and the pursuit of Liberty, appears to extend only to those who share their views, and hell and damnation to all others. Labours old guard, far more grounded that the newcomers, must be dismayed indeed.

Ultimately, the argument for Fox Hunting must take a different direction in light of this increased intolerance from the new-left, where one is met by cries of bigotry and elitism, the right thinking individual must respond with a renewed call for Liberty. From within Camdens Coffee Houses, ask yourselves – does it harm others, and does it harm me?

When it comes to Foxhunting, the simple answer is – No.

Until Fox Hunters begin the chase on Hampstead Heath, it affects you in no way whatsoever.

So, why do you really oppose it?

It is worth remembering, one cannot be selective as to whom liberty is bestowed.

Yet, no matter how one looks at the Fox-Hunting Debate, and the current regulation to strengthen the laws which constrict it, the matter of Liberty cannot be avoided, no matter how hard both sides attempt to steer clear of that word.

When Tony Blair first introduces the ban on Fox Hunting – dedicated some 220 hours to its discussion, in stark contrast to the 18 he allowed for the Iraq War – he was symbolising a reversion of Parliament to the rule of tyranny by majority, in which several hundred thousands people from suburbia, rallied in defence of the apparently helpless Fox, to override the rights of those whom this new law would actually effect.

Liberty is meant to protect the individual from the tyranny of the majority, something which all sides can agree on when it comes to protecting those minority groups which are currently politically ‘trendy’, yet the same torchbearers fall eerily silent when it comes to extending that Liberty to others. In contrast, it is my belief that the Liberty of the Individual can only be protected if that individual is afforded the freedom of choice, holding the willingness to bear the consequences of those choices, beneath an impartial system of law.

Banning things we do not understand, and then strengthening that regulation, on matters which do not impact or effect us, flies in the face of that idea, and emboldens an ever more top heavy state with the moral fervour to fuel further infringements on our liberty.

Of course, there are those who shall read this article as they chomp into some flatbread and mull their triple shot soy lattes, in barely concealed indignation. Why did this article not come with a trigger warning? Why is this person not as progressive as I? Yet, that is the beauty of the term progressive, as described by Peter Hitchins, in his book ‘The Abolition of Britain’:

“This is the joy of being a progressive . Whenever your views are rejected by experience, common sense and tradition, it is because you are ahead of the rest of the population, never because you are eccentric or wrong or just plain arrogant, or because they are not convinced by your arguments. They will catch up, and if not, so much the worse for them.”

To conclude, just because you live in a city and have ready and steady access to the good libraries and public transport, does not make you any more moral nor superior than those country folk we increasingly see reviled. Just because a tradition is not understood, does not mean it is wrong, and just because a practice offends but doesn’t affect you, does not mean it should be subjected to a ban.

Hiding behind the word ‘Progressive’ does not morals make.

The Fox Hunting Ban, and all attempts to strengthen or extend it, is nothing short of a crusade against Liberty, an attack on Freedom, and a cynical attempt by the modern left, to weaponise the court of public opinion, to erode the freedoms this nation and its people rightfully enjoy.

Lord Henry John Temple, the Baron Carrickfergus is a Democratic Unionist Party peer and a conservative commentator. Views expressed here are his own.

This column was written for The Daily Telegraph by DUP Baron HenryJohnTemple of Carrickfergus as an opinion editorial. The views expressed are not necessarily representative of those of The Model Telegraph Media Group, its editors or its proprietors.

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