It is intended too to stimulate the ancient resentment of those who look down on us from horseback, treat the countryside as if they own it, and happily risk breaking their necks for the occasional unpredictable thrill of a good chase that has not been planned in advance by a human being. Not the types to be fostered in Mr Blair's bland, suburban, modern Britain in which all human activity shall be regulated, and thrills limited to soap opera or shopping. Or crime.
Politicians should earn votes by implementing policies that will actually effect and improve their constituents' lives. The right to roam may do so. Abolishing hunting certainly won't, as the nearest most voters have got to a hunt is on television. Stirring up prejudice and intolerance for political ends is cheap and may be a British tradition, but it undermines the integrity of democracy.