Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blood sports and the old ruling class

It's started. Single-issue campaigning groups contacting candidates about their single issue. Yesterday the League Against Cruel Sports asked us to reply to this question:
If elected to Parliament and the opportunity arose, would you vote in favour of repeal of the Hunting Act?
We sent the following reply:
The good old English sport of sending hungry hunting hounds to chase aristocrats through the woods, catch them and rip them to pieces, has been slow to take off as a popular pastime. Despite claims that these predatory parasites are a foul rural presence, serving only to infect the countryside with their conceited greed and indolence, it has been hard to find dogs with sufficient brutality to enjoy the so-called sport. Those who favour such hunts claim that it is nothing more than a healthy rural tradition, misunderstood by town dwellers, and that ripping duchesses and viscounts to shreds is the most human way to rid nature of those who have only survived historically by plundering and murdering others. The Royal Society for the Protection of Useless Aristocrats has been long split on the issue, with one section accepting that such blood sport is "just a bit of harmless fun", while others prefer the idea of culling – or permanent quarantine in the House of Lords.

This laboured account would be funnier were it not for the harsh reality that rich, privileged, barbaric bullies, most of whom are brutalised at birth by hereditary right and public-school conditioning, do indeed defend their right to chase around the countryside with packs of hounds in order to savage and tear apart defenceless animals. Their callous defence is mounted in the name of sport. And because it is traditional for these parasitical killers to dress up in the costumes of their class and indulge their pleasure in watching deer, foxes and other animals being ripped apart, they respond with well-rehearsed cries of arrogant immunity to human behaviour when their ritualised sadism is opposed.

Their protest for the right to hunt and murder animals for fun is no more worthy of support than a campaign to reintroduce slavery or to bring back the deportation of criminals.

Daniel Lambert, Socialist Party candidate, Vauxhall
We understand that the MP for Vauxhall, Kate Hoey, takes a rather different attitude. But a word of caution: we are standing on a straight socialist programme and nothing else and only want people to vote for us if they want a world of common ownership, democratic control and production solely for use not sale and profit. So, if (like any decent human being) you are against killing animals for pleasure but don't want socialism, please don't vote for us.

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