Letter: Hunting: our last true sport

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Sir: Trevor Phillips ("I'm sorry, they're still unspeakable" 12/7/97) expresses surprise at seeing Lord Steel standing in defence of fox-hunting beside people who have in the past shown little interest in the rights of minorities or the liberal view of society.

But surely it doesn't matter whether or not they believe what they're spouting now about being a persecuted minority. It doesn't even matter whether they ever apply the lesson they have learned of what it is like to be on the receiving end of the prejudices of the majority.

What matters is that if you believe in minority rights and a liberal society, then you have to defend those rights even if the people on whose behalf you argue are people you dislike or disagree with. It is the Hollywood view of political argument to think that there are the good people and the bad people and you can easily decide which you are going to defend. Sometimes you have to defend rich, empty-headed fools and bigots too.


High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire