The Third Leader: Lore and order

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The Independent Online

Tally-ho! My learned colleagues above me have consistently expressed the view that, given the parlous condition of Britain, Europe, the World and the Universe, rather too much fuss has been made about whether people on horses should be allowed to enjoy themselves chasing, with distinctly unfriendly intent, foxes.

Naturally reluctant though I am to pursue a different line, I must still insist that this country didn't get where it is today by exercising a judicious sense of proportion. One thinks of Alfred concentrating on matters other than the pressing question of lunch, Drake feeling the need to finish his bowls, and almost anything to do with Sven Goran Eriksson.

So I should like to salute the resident of Elcombe, near Stroud, who has instructed a solicitor to apply for an Anti Social Behaviour Order against the Cotswold Hunt. "If they were a bunch of lads with motorbikes and pitbulls then the police would apply for an Asbo straightaway," says Mrs Jeanne Berry.

Indeed: I have long felt that there has been something of an imaginative lacuna in exploiting the full potential of the Asbo. Following Mrs Berry's lead, might I now suggest the following candidates as well: motorists who don't indicate on roundabouts, people who use "disinterested" when they mean "uninterested", and pedestrians with loud wheels on their suitcases.

And, of course, people who complain about the above, and bang on endlessly about mobile phones, pavement cyclists, call centres, cold calling, lack of ties, difficulty opening things, the weather, and nothing to watch on television. Further: logic, reason and the famous British sense of fair play demand that those who fail to secure an Asbo should themselves receive one. Let the proceedings begin!

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