Balaclavas, steel pipes and thugs. The ugly face of the Tory Party?

This is a related piece from last year, in which Tom Pride describes the yobbery and thuggishness of the Portman Hunt, which is supported by David Cameron and Julian Fellowes. The Hunt’s leader, Simon Hoare, has developed on green belt land, and the hunt was subject to two complaints by the National Trust because they damaged an Iron Age hillfort. I’m an archaeologist. Britain’s physical heritage means much to me, as it does to other archaeologists, and everyone fascinated by this country’s history and ancient past. When the Blair government passed the ban on fox hunting, there was a lot of whining about how this was an attack on the country’s ‘heritage’ and ‘tradition’. Well, some traditions deserved to be abandoned, like cock fighting and beating children to make sure they remember the parish boundaries. But this shows how the fox hunting fraternity – and sorority – truly regard Britain’s heritage. If it gets in the way of their mindlessly sadistic fun, they don’t think twice about trashing it. Well, if they have no respect for Britain’s ancient heritage, I see no reason why anyone should give any credence or respect to them when they claim fox hunting is part of it.

Pride's Purge

hunt thugs

The National Trust has complained to a hunt in Dorset accusing them of twice damaging an Iron Age hill fort.

The accused – the Portman Hunt — is infamous for particularly thuggish behaviour, as the above portraits of their local hunt supporters yobs in action show.

The hooligans seem to think they can ride roughshod* over whatever they want – trampling over national parks and protected ancient monuments.

But the Portman Hunt has friends in very high places. The local Tory MP — Simon Hoare — is a big supporter of local hunts and hunting in general.

Not that Hoare would be bothered by anyone riding roughshod over undeveloped land anyway. Before he became a Tory MP in 2015, Simon was involved in a scandal as a property developer for lobbying Tory MPs to allow his company to build on green belt land.

So he knows all about riding roughshod over our national…

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