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Saturday 30 May 2015

Sun Pundit Countryside Fail

After getting so much else totally wrong recently, but with lots of time on her hands, a big mouth to shoot off, and access to social media, there are never too many opportunities for (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch to make a fool of herself. So after the alleged “British Bill Of Rights” failed to materialise, off she went on one over the possible repeal of the ban on hunting foxes with packs of dogs.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014

Now, here on Zelo Street there is no particular strong opinion on this one: I’ve heard both sides of the argument many times, but what is all too obvious is that Young Dave and his jolly good chaps have better things to do than waste Parliamentary time with the issue. The electorate might also take a dim view, given around 80% of them would like to see the ban remain. But in has waded Ms Mensch, to prove how much she doesn’t really know.
The Hunting Ban is the worst kind of vicious hypocrisy. Attack conditions in abattoirs not the natural deaths of hunting. Or cosmetic tests”. No thanks, I don’t want to look over there. Try again. “And by the way I can't ride a horse and I have never been on a hunt in my life. I just hate both double standards and anthropomorphism”. Whatever.
Here is what happened with the Hunting Act: Tony Blair wanted war in Iraq. He didn't have the votes. He traded the HA for those votes”. Bullshit. “That is an historical fact and it shows you how the left are motivated not by principle, but by sheer hatred of people not like them”. It’s only “an historical fact” in Mensch land. “The Hunting Act is not about animals it is about fifth-raters prioritizing an attack on country people”.
She’d know all about “fifth-raters”, of course. What about foxes, anyway? “Chickens run terrified. Foxes kill them for fun. They don't eat them. Just kill them … more than half the time there is no kill. I despair at the low to zero level of knowledge on hunting by townies”. But there are other ways of disposing of foxes, aren’t there? Er, she’s thought of that one: “Also, the hunt ban morons seem to think that farmers won't control the vermin that are foxes. They will. With deadly gas”. Eh? Sure about that?
A gassed fox can take days to tie”. Might even take days to die, too. Or perhaps they don’t use gas: “the entertainment derives from the chase not the kill. Otherwise we'd just watch poisoned foxes”. So they poison them? I’ve heard enough: time to put Ms Mensch straight. And as my witness, I call not some namby-pamby liberal townie, but an ardent Thatcherite well versed in all things Countryside, who also knows how to ride a horse.

Step forward Melissa Kite, who is also a Proper Journalist (tm). Ms Kite wrote a Comment Is Free piece for the Guardian back in July 2013, titledA short guide to the country for townies – as requested by David Gower”. Here, she describes (I thought it was hilarious, but if you’re squeamish, well, you’ve been warned) how her local gamekeeper had been called out to deal with a fox. He shot it. No gas, no poison. Bang. No hunt required. Dead.

Louise Mensch not only talks twaddle about how the Hunting Act came into being, she has bugger all knowledge of the countryside. Townies? That is exactly what she is. End of.


Lampy said...

Hunting with horses and hounds was a C19 solution to a shortage of cavalry cannon fodder, it is not a particularly effective way of controlling fox numbers. Curiously enough, up here in Scotland, where foxes can decimate the vast numbers of pheasants reared for shooting (a pheasant having little or no brain, no discernable instinct for survival, and the aerodynamic qualities of a housebrick, is not best suited to avoid a clever predator), the gamekeepers don't waste time fannying about on horses, they go out at night and shoot them. Seems to work, they wouldn't do it otherwise.

rob said...

And I thought that fox hunting was just a pastime for R S Surtees to be able to write a lot of Jorrocks.

In his day, the fox was thought so much a pest that they were specially bred, or given plenty of room to breed, just to keep "the sport" alive. And when a hunt day was in prospect the entrances to the lairs were stopped so that the foxes couldn't go to ground.

Landowners that didn't "keep" foxes or allow access to the fox hunters were frowned on by many of the locals as horses, fodder, saddlery etc formed a major part of the economy.

I believe Surtees enjoyed hunting for the exhilaration of the chase but he could see the incongruities too.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

When Anthony Eden did the decent thing and resigned the Foreign Secretary job, his successor was Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, Viscount Halifax.

In November 1937 Halifax decided to cement relations with his German opposites by accepting an invitation from Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring to a hunting exhibition in Berlin. This he did in his capacity as Master of the Middleton (Yorkshire) Hunt.

Halifax then joined Göring, shooting foxes in the east of the Reich.

He then went on to Berchtesgaden, and mistook the late and unlamented Führer for a footman.

Says it all really.

Stephen said...

Foxes don't kill for fun. The idea that they do is pure anthropomorphism. Only humans kill for fun: killing for any other predator is just instinct. They would take everything they kill "Back to the burrow", but they can only carry one at a time.

Stephen said...

Max Hastings - a supporter of fox hunting supporter - said years ago that hunters would have a much better argument if they conceded that they just do it for fun. No one has ever believed any different, and their talking about "pest control" is generally seen as the piece of mendaciousness that it is.

Malcolm Redfellow - and shooting a fox (as I know from Wodehouse) is seen as worst thing a huntsman can do (depletes the stock).

peter said...

I wonder how La Mensch would explain those 'natural deaths of hunting'.

She could go on to expound on the notion that foxes have a sense of fun - and how that squares with her hatred of anthropomorphism.

Anonymous said...

If ripping apart an animal was humane, why doesn't vets use that method to put pets to sleep?

rob said...

@ Peter

"I wonder how La Mensch would explain those 'natural deaths of hunting'."

Perhaps the falling off your horse attempting to jump a fence whilst under the influence of too much of the stirrup cup?

The runaway horse jumped over the fence but it fell
The runaway horse jumped over the fence but it fell
The runaway horse fell on her back, and gave her rider a nasty crack
Sent him to hell, hell, hell, hell, oh hell.