Did you know that 80% of rural Britain is AGAINST fox hunting?

This is extremely interesting and very, very important. I didn’t know that 80 per cent of people in rural Britain were against fox hunting. The fact simply wasn’t reported. On the other hand, there was a lot of publicity given to spokesmen of the NUF and Countryside Alliance about the so-called ‘democracy of the hunt’, how it was a deeply rooted rural tradition and the impression given that the people of the British countryside solidly supported it.
I’ve no doubt, however, that this finding is absolutely correct. One of my friends grew up on a farm, and he told me that the local hunt was roundly despised by many of the other farmers in the area. The people, who liked and followed the hounds were indeed the rich gentlemen farmers. One of the reasons they were hated, apart from the cruelty of hunting itself, was the simply fact that they believed they had an absolute right to charge through others’ property regardless of the rights and wishes of that landowner. When I was at College over twenty years ago, one of the other lads came from Exeter in Devon. He was very left-wing, with a deep hatred of the local hunt. One of the things they had done, which had caused shock and very deep resentment, was to pursue their quarry into a primary school playground, and then torn the animal’s head off in front of the terrified children. It became a scandal throughout the south-west.
And if we’re looking at it as rural vs town issue, we can actually now reverse the argument and turn it on the fox hunters themselves. During the 19th century many fox hunts were subscription hunts, that it is, you paid your money to join. And not all of their members came from the countryside, by any means. Many of them were respectable middle class types from the new, emerging towns, like Birmingham. So the question becomes whether we are looking at a genuinely authentic piece of rural England, or whether it’s a bit of the countryside falsely presented as such mostly as a piece of heritage tourism for well-heeled townies.

And no matter how you look at it, Oscar Wilde is still right: they are the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible.

Pride's Purge

(not satire)

We’re constantly told the debate about hunting is a matter of rural opinion vs urban opinion.

Well not according to this opinion poll by IPSOS MORI.

According to their survey, exactly the same percentage of rural inhabitants – 80% – are against fox hunting as urban inhabitants – also 80%.

And even more surprisingly, slightly more people who live in the country (89% and 94%) are against hare coursing and badger baiting than townies (87% and 92%).

The truth is that the Countryside Alliance and the National Farmers Union are NOT representative of rural opinion.

In fact the NFU is not even representative of farmers – they only represent a mere 18% of them, mostly the richest landowners:

Most farmers support the badger cull? Erm, no actually, they don’t.

But the question is, if the public in both rural and urban areas is so solidly against fox hunting, why…

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3 Responses to “Did you know that 80% of rural Britain is AGAINST fox hunting?”

  1. Florence Says:

    I stayed in an Essex village for a while in the 1970’s, and the householders were very anti-hunt there, and t was a topic that split the village strictly on class lines. One incident while I was there consisted of the hunt pursuing a fox through the garden. The horses & hound were milling around in the garden, and when the owners went out to complain got horsewhipped! I would suggest that fox-hunting has never been supported by the majority in the country side – especially as the ownership and maintenance of the horses and hounds has been a rich mans prerogative.

    • beastrabban Says:

      That is interesting, as it does back up what I’ve heard from my friend. As for the householders getting horsewhipped on their own property for complaining about the hunt’s intrusion – that just shows the sheer arrogance of the hunting aristocracy. So much for all the Tories’ talk about a man’s home being his castle, and you have the right to repel burglars and intruders with lethal force. Except when they’re in pink and after the local wildlife.

      • Florence Says:

        I did forget to mention how it all ended – the “horse-whipper” was dragged from the saddle and decked with a single punch. I don’t support violence, of any sort, but the hippie concerned was just acting out of instinct and self-preservation. The local police were involved by the hunt, and the hunt were told to stay off private property, under threat of legal action for trespass & action likely to cause a breach of the peace. So even in the hide-bound shires, where the class system was alive & kicking, the police were sure where the majority interest was.

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