Comment following Tony Blair's pledge to outlaw hunting with dogs.
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The Independent Culture
The Express

REACHING FOR a ban is not only wrong, it is cowardly. The cruelty involved in fishing can be great too. Keeping furry animals in tiny cages in hot, suburban houses for the enjoyment of small girls isn't exactly kind either. Why hasn't Tony Blair promised to move against people who catch perch and mackerel for fun? Why isn't he going to ban the keeping of hamsters and gerbils, except in Government-approved conditions? Because sport fishermen and small, cross girls are much larger constituencies, than fox hunters, that's why. Where is the great difference in principle? This is a cynical move by the Government. It will do it no good. (Andrew Marr)

The Spectator

WHY HAVE they done it? If it was an old-fashioned, old-left Labour government, who truly believed that hunting was an important moral issue, one could, perhaps, have understood it more. But for our modern, middle-of-the-road New Labour rulers it is merely a bone to be thrown to its tiresome backbench dogs. And could the pounds 1,100,000 they've received from Ifaw and Pal have anything to do with it? Surely not! (Penny Mortimer)

The Sunday


INTOLERANCE MASQUERADES as a form of toleration; in fact, it is a totalitarian morality, which inverts the old scheme of values and makes them into crimes. After hunting will come shooting, and fishing, steeplechasing and any other activity that offends the urban conscience. Indeed, anything that smacks of our past will be just disapproved of, and then forbidden by law. And before long there will be punishments for those who say that this is happening. (Roger Scruton)