I was presenting a ‘Keep the Hunting Act’ petition on the doorstep last week. I found the response very interesting. A vast majority ofPetition respondents signed the petition, admittedly I was in Brighton which is not representative of the nation, but I maintain that the ban has public support, a recent poll suggesting support was at 75%. People who signed the petition were from a cross-section of parties including the Conservatives, in fact the very same poll concluded that 62% of Conservative voters support the ban, yet still the Tory leadership call for a vote. This, to me, seems shocking but support has already been discussed at length on this blog; I want to deal with something else.

One response that I received at the doorstep was very interesting; I was told that our priorities were wrong, that whilst he agreed with the petition he would not sign it. I was told we should be talking about the economy, about jobs. There is some sense in what he said, we need to talk The cruelty of huntersabout the economy, and we need to talk about all the big issues that affect everyone. This does not mean that we should allow the Conservatives to trample on our legacy and pursue their own self-interest. It would be foolish for us to base our whole election campaign on hunting, but we must show people what the Tories will do if they come to power.

The Conservative eagerness to repeal the Hunting Act demonstrates three things. Firstly it shows their continued support for bloodlust something partly due to hunting being embedded deep into Tory culture but also due to the finance the hunt lobby continue to provide for the Tories. Secondly it represents a challenge to Parliamentary democracy, turning back more than fifty years of campaigning, mass public support and . Thirdly it suggests a broader return to the old order, where Conservative MP’s defend their own interests and protect their own hobbies over what is right.

When we look at priorities, the Conservatives want to give themselves and their buddies the right to chase foxes and have their dogs slaughter them; weDavid Cameron want to create jobs for the unemployed, opportunities for the young working generation and help for the most vulnerable. It is not Labour that has their priorities wrong. It is the Conservatives who have gone out of their way to formulate a scheme to bring fox hunting back; we are only defending what is ethically right. Labour has better policies around the key issues and the Conservative lack substance in all the main policy areas. It is our job to raise awareness of hunting and many other issues where the Conservatives are wrongly prioritising and more importantly wrong.


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