The 'Blue Foxes' have put the issue of 'hunting with dogs' back on the political agenda. They are a group of Conservative lady MPs who do not believe the Hunting with Dogs Act should be repealed. In today's Western Mail, and reported on the BBC in Wales, much is made of an intervention in the debate by Andrew R T Davies, leader of the Conservative Group in the National Assembly for Wales. Andrew takes the view that the Coalition Government should hold a vote in Parliament on the issue, and comes out firmly on the 'repeal' side.
This is interesting from several perspectives, the first being whether the Assembly group leader should be telling the Coalition Government what it should and shouldn't be doing. Must declare that I'm entirely comfortable with this myself. No reason why he shouldn't tell us what he thinks, as long as he realises that its not going to make any difference. So happens, I agree with much that he has said, though not in any hurry to hold the vote. There's too much else in the Government's in-tray at the moment.
The Hunting with Dogs Act is a very bad law, which has already become discredited. Much hunting is continuing, within the law, simply by changing certain practises, making a a mockery of the Act. It really ought to be repealed. But its not so simple. Firstly we do not know that there is a majority in the House of Commons in favour of Appeal. Not enough 'repealers' were elected, and a few have turned out not to be 'repealers' after all. There may not be a very big coven (or is it pack) of 'Blue Foxes' but they do make a difference. And there's absolutely no point in holding a vote that is going to be lost!
Personally, I would vote for repeal if there were to be a vote - just as I was ferociously opposed to the legislation as it was being passed in the first place. For someone who has never hunted, or taken pleasure in any form of country sport, including fishing, for over 40 years, my outrage was and remains intense. Libertarian instincts flow strongly through this rural breast. In fact I was so outraged that I've allowed the Tanatside Hunt to meet on my farm ever since the ban was introduced, and they will be free to do so for evermore.