Author Archive for Julian Ware-Lane

23
Nov
09

Saving the Tories from themselves

Dan Norris MP, Minister for Rural Affairs addressed the Support the Hunting Act (Ban) UK fringe event at the East of England Labour Party Regional Conference in Stevenage this weekend.

Also on the platform was Gary Hills, campaign director for the Support the Hunting Act (Ban) UK, and Julian Ware-Lane, Parliamentary Candidate for Castle Point.

Issues were discussed around the whole animal cruelty issue, and what this meant in campaigning terms for Labour candidates at the General Election.

Dan Norris made the point that we were saving the Tories from themselves, that animal cruelty often led to other anti-social activities, and our campaign not only had the welfare of animals uppermost in our minds, but also the misguided pro-hunt supporters.

Julian Ware-Lane spoke about the resonance of this issue when out on the doorstep and that here was a clear dividing line between Labour and the Conservatives.

We must drum home the message that animal welfare will be set back years if the Conservatives are returned to power.

24
Sep
09

The erosion of democracy due to the actions of the hunting lobby

“Those who rely on freedom must uphold the rule of law and have a duty and a responsibility to do so and not try to substitute their own system for it.”
The above quote is from Margaret Thatcher. The hunting lobby would do well That's enough of your gamesto heed these words.

Protests are part and parcel of the democratic process. When a government does something or passes a law that an individual or group disagrees with then it is a sign of a healthy democracy that protests take place.

What is not healthy is the flagrant disregard for the rule of law. That path leads to anarchy.

Every one of us has an obligation to our neighbours and communities to respect our democracy. There are due processes and these must be adhered to.

In this aspect the hunting community is behaving irresponsibly. They are flouting the law. We all know what they think of the Hunting Act – but they are not above the law and only damage the agreement between the people and government by their actions.

How the hunting lobby sees the issueIf a future Conservative government repeals the Hunting Act I will not be happy. However, that is how our democracy works and I will restrict my protests to democratic, and lawful, means.

26
Aug
09

Inspired by marmalade

It is not often that I find political inspiration whilst preparing breakfast, but such was the case this morning. With my glass of milk I had marmalade on toast. The marmalade was Fortnum and Mason’s Old English Hunt Marmalade, and the jar comes with a label bearing a picture of a fox wearing a crown.

The label states:

“The Pytchley Hunt has been well chronicled from the mid 17th century. Fortnum & Mason MarmamladeThe traditional pre-hunt breakfast prizes the energy-giving properties of marmalade, and this medium-cut recipe is exactly how they like it.”

This product, it seems to me, embodies a lot of British attitudes to tradition; proud of the past, happy to reference it, using the iconography in a modern setting. But being proud of the past and being happy to use it in a modern context does not mean that the British want their society cast in aspic, unchanging and harkening back to some mythical past Eldorado.

Actually, hunts are not banned – only that part that includes the chasing down and extermination of a wild animal is. Drag hunting is perfectly acceptable and is the sort of compromise that allows tradition to sit with modern-day sensibilities.

Of course, there are some who want to maintain a mid 17th century tradition unchanged. Their arguments conveniently ignore reality. The mid 17th century was a time of regicide, of medicine and science still dominated by quackery and superstition, of fledgling empire and slavery.

We no longer send children up chimneys or throw our sewage into the street. Perhaps we need a trade-off here – those who insist on the 17th century barbarism of hunting foxes should also take the rest of what that century had to offer – no electricity, cars, anaesthetic or medicine. This is, of course, unrealistic. What the 17th and 21st centuries do have in common, though, is the belief in the primacy of law. Law must be obeyed; bad laws should be changed by Parliament, not flouted.

Life before electricityI am a fan of tradition. I belong to the National Trust and enjoy what English heritage has to offer. The historic houses and castles that I visit no longer have a retinue of servants. There is a balance between showing the past and catering for the present.

This is what those who would hunt must realise – by all means dress up and enjoy your country rides, but accept that society has moved on. It is no longer acceptable to inflict pain in the name of sport.

The fox on the Old English Hunt Marmalade label wears a crown. This can be interpreted in a number of ways. I like to think that since the extinction of bears and wolves in the British Isles the fox now sits atop the food chain – the king of the British jungle. Let’s not demean his presence by allowing barbarism to return.

(It may seem unbearably posh to enjoy Fortnum and Mason’s marmalade, but it was in a hamper bought for my wife as a treat. Mason’s Old English Hunt Marmalade is delicious – buy it here.)




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