Tories and Lib Dems dismiss animal cruelty in hunting issue

Tories and Lib Dems dismiss animal cruelty in hunting issue

Radio 4 Todays Programme reveals damming insight into party policy

The Today Programme 26th April 2010

On the show were

Labours Hilary Benn Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Conservative MP Nick Herbert Shadow DEFRA Minister and former Political Director for the

Pro blood sport British Field Sport Society (BFSS)

Lib Dem MP David Heath,  Shadow Leader of the House 

Click on the Radio 4 image to listen to the interview

At a time when people are making up their mind over which party to vote for. A clear divide has been provided by the BBCs Today Programme on Radio 4. The replies given to the questions on the show by Conservatives Nick Herbert and Liberal Democrat Mr Heath are quite appalling. Mr Herbert tries to pretend that the Conservatives do not see repealing the ban as a priority. While Mr Heath speaking we can only assume on behalf of Lib Dem policy can’t even be bothered to consider the animal cruelty that is involved.  

The issue of animal cruelty due to hunting is of great importance to the nation and should not be ignored. Hunting is of course one issue yet one that crosses so many areas. For if a person can see nothing wrong in deliberate animal cruelty. Then why would they care about people and their rights. David Cameron has shown repealing the hunting ban  is central to his thinking. He has made this issue an election issue himself. Many people in the country are shocked when they learn Mr Cameron wants to bring back extreme animal cruelty. If it was not for David Cameron this campaign may not have been needed.

Yet it’s not just David Cameron. Nick Clegg was against the hunting ban being introduced (Channel 4 News) He also seeks with his Party to kill tens of thousands of Badgers just like the Conservatives intend. Only Labour has been constant in their support to introduce the hunting ban and are committed to protecting it.


The first 3 minuets of the broadcast are very revealing.

Nick Herbert tried to distance himself and David Cameron from appearing to be obsessed with repealing the hunting ban. Yet this is a man who’s has spent nearly all his life involved in blood sport and its promotion. This speaks clearly to us that the Tories are desperate for people to know of just how important they see repeal.

The Tory talks of change, yet one thing we would agree with does need changing with them. They should change their name to the Countryside Alliance Party. For the Conservatives are not the ones who call the shots in that party anymore.

David Heath for the Lib Dems did everything to avoid the question, his attitude sums up what many fear about the Lib Dems that they just do not get it. They fail to grasp how this issue is important to people. Instead of saying how cruel hunting with dogs is they dismiss it as irrelevant. It’s quite staggering that the Lib Dems appear quite relaxed at ignoring the importance of animal welfare.

You will hear him say a typical response of I do not know what my colleagues would do on a free vote? Well Mr Heath is the Lib Dems Shadow Leader of the House. That means he would know as its his task to know what his MPs are thinking. This is just another Lib Dem example of sitting on the fence. Added with Nick Clegg who was against the ban it means you just can’t trust the Lib Dems on this issue.


Only Hilary Benn defended the hunting ban and only he raised the issue of animal cruelty. In doing so showing out of all the party’s Labour is the only party that is in touch with real concerns people have. Labour has shown commitment throughout the election to protecting the hunting ban. This commitment Hilary gave is in line with the views of Gordon Brown and the Parliamentary Labour Party. Labour MPs have spent decades campaigning for the hunting ban and want to see it kept and enforced.

Labour also aims to go further to protect our wildlife. In their Green Manifesto  they have also called for a full review of all animal crime law and enforcement. Code if ever needed that the Government wants to get tough on those that break the law. It also indicates  they are willing to challenge the attitudes of the police to enforce the ban better.


The Free Vote Myth

A free vote is where MPs are given the option of voting as they are inclined to without having to consider the direct needs of their party. This means that no party whip are used. A party whip is  not someone who goes round whipping MPs, but an MP who uses encouragements of talking to lobby for their party’s policy. With a Free vote there is no such talks and the MPs are meant to be free to vote however they wish. It is not often used and tends to be for votes that are related or linked to morality. [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=david+cameron&iid=8609974″ src=”8/e/a/4/CONSERVATIVE_LEADER_DAVID_5be1.JPG?adImageId=12687724&imageId=8609974″ width=”144″ height=”190″ /] So all very nice so fay…However David Cameron is using the free vote option to mislead you. A free means next to no nothing if you know you MPs will vote in majority for your policy. So it’s a fancy way of making out nobody forced them to. In reality is just a way for Cameron to sneak through repeal of the hunting ban without being accused of forcing it on parliament.

It’s a con…Cameron if he did win, be it outright or with the backing of the Lib Dems, he would get the repeal through. He knows he will have a majority to do so. Most Tory MPs and new candidates back repeal. He even knows with a hung parliament that if the Lib Dems were to join with them that is highly unlikely Nick Clegg will stand in his way. Some 26 Lib Dem MPs voted against the ban being introduced in 2004. Even without any extra Lib Dems supporting that. They would bolster Camerons free vote to get the repeal through.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg would have stitched up a deal long before they made public their coalition. There is little doubt of that. Nick Clegg is not going to bat to defend the hunting ban. Why would he, he never supported it in the first place. Also no matter what Nick Clegg says the Tories would have many more MPs then him. So Clegg will just be the side show. Cameron has given his party over to the hunting lobby. They will want blood and that is exactly what they are after. The hunting lobby have given the Tories financial support and help to win marginal seats with Vote Ok. The Hunting lobby will be expecting a quick return of hunting. That is the price Cameron paid yet never thought to ask the nation what they felt on the issue.

So when you hear the Tories or even Lib Dems mention a free vote its worthless. 


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