Letter: Hunters' revolt

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The Independent Culture
Sir: David Aaronovitch's splendidly splenetic argument against a ban on fox-hunting ("I bet angling would be banned if fish were furry", 12 November) warmed the libertarian cockles of my heart, but I think he is wrong to dismiss "all this stuff about civil unrest".

Britain cannot cope with the current prison population of about 60,000, while the police, Crown Prosecution Service and courts are similarly over- stretched.

Research shows that 215, 000 people followed hounds in Britain in 1997, and perhaps 300,000 marched in support of hunting in 1998. Having spoken to many hunters, I am impressed by their resolve. What will happen if just 10,000 of these people decide to disobey any ban on hunting? It would be an extraordinary spectacle, and we could expect the world's media to lap it up. How the hunt-happy Europeans would laugh.

Will Mr Straw build more courts and more prisons? Or will the Government eventually decide - as it has done in Northern Ireland - that all sections of society must be "included" in some form of solution?

ALASDAIR MITCHELL

Stocksfield, Northumberland

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