26
Dec
09

Labour announces hard-hitting campaign to expose the Tories pro-hunt agenda.


Labour has announced a strong and hard-hitting campaign to highlight the Tories pro-hunting agenda, specifically David Cameron’s own links with the pro-hunt lobby and his own record in supporting attempts to repeal the ban.

Repeatedly the Tory leader has talked about his love of deerstalking and promised that a Tory government, if elected, would hold a free vote on whether or not to repeal the existing anti-hunt legislation.

I am in no doubt that such a move will be swiftly denounced by commentators as class war on go Labour’s part, but let’s get a little perspective here. It is extremely easy to divide the hunt issue on class lines, not to mention strategically beneficial. However, this is not about class.

This is about retaining legislation that, despite the undermining efforts of hunt-goers, outlaws a practise that is barbaric, archaic and of little benefit to ordinary people in the countryside. In my time as a resident in East Anglia, I have encountered many people who have at least supported the ban in principle but would possibly agree that there are still many individuals who insist on flouting the law with impunity.

They’re people with real concerns about animal welfare. It is the duty of us who also oppose the ban to ensure that these concerns are met and used to challenge the pro-hunt lobby.

This is a bold move by Labour, especially because of the way such a campaign will inevitably be interpreted. In these times of recession and recovery, perhaps these issues seem trivial. However, if the Tories and their friends in the pro-hunt lobby will insist on making the legislation an issue, then Labour and animal welfare organisations have a duty to challenge and oppose them, for the benefit of animal welfare and countryside democracy.

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