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All the News of the World The Sunday press on Labour's commitment to a Bill banning hunting with hounds
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THE ONLY substantive defence of hunting is whether the majority have the right to withdraw what a minority prize as an essential liberty. We may not like fox hunting, but we should not set the precedent of the state withdrawing any individual freedom without very good reason. The difficulty is that this principle denies Parliament the legitimacy for almost any law it might want to make - and so undermines democracy.

The Observer

HUNTING FOLLOWERS are the surviving remnant of the yeoman clan that gave shape and meaning to our countryside. They hunt not out of blood lust and cruelty, but because it is their way of returning as a team to the natural order of things, rejoicing in the bond between species. They take no pleasure in the kill, and are convinced that there is no better way of living with the fox than this sport which generates such a passionate respect for him. The hunt is the core of their community, the one activity that includes all those who live and work on the land, and which dissolves all the barriers of class, profession, education and style. To the bigots of New Labour this real community suffers from one insurmountable deficit: it is not politically correct. (Roger Scruton)

The Sunday Telegraph

COMPARED TO the Yugoslav army the countryside lobby can be a fearsome bunch. They're not about to haul the camouflage netting over the horse- box and hunker down at the first whisper of a Bill. They'll wax up their jackets and march down The Mall, baying for the brush of anti-hunting Bill sponsor Michael Foster MP and sticking the odd terrier into New Labour boltholes.

The Countryside Alliance portrays itself as a misunderstood minority hounded by an urban bully. In reality it is a simple matter of democracy. Foster's Bill won 411 votes in the Commons and secured the biggest ever majority for a private member's action. In a MORI poll last year, four out of five urban dwellers wanted to see a ban. More surprisingly, two- thirds of country dwellers were opposed to hunting. The British people just don't happen to like it.(Graham Harvey)

The Mail on Sunday

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