Another note on hunting

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Here is a Daily Telegraph article on Kate Hoey, Labor M.P. for Vauxhall (just across the Thames from Westminster) and chair of the Countryside Alliance, on the ineffectiveness of the New Labor ban on fox hunting, supposedly in effect for a year this week. More foxes are being killed and more people are going out hunting, Hoey notes. Miss Hoey says the imposition of the ban has appealed to the "British rebellious streak" and people who had never hunted before have started riding out with hounds. Despite warnings from the alliance last year that the ban would lead to thousands of hounds being put down, she says that none has so far been killed and no jobs have been lost.

"All the hunts have far more people going out with them. A lot more women are going out, more young people. People are getting fed up being told how to run their lives."Miss Hoey adds: "In the longer term [the law] will have to be repealed, not just because people who hunt want it to be repealed but because the police say it is not working."A cabinet minister admitted privately that the ban had been "a complete waste of time." He said: "It was the Labor Party talking to itself rather than doing what the voters wanted."There have been no prosecutions by the Crown Prosecution Service since the ban took effect a year ago tomorrow. So much for the efforts of the metrosexual elite to regulate the lives of others. Of course it's inconceivable that an American state would ban hunting altogether, although states regulate hunting in many and various ways. But the power of the state to stamp out what the temporary majority in the state apparatus consider repugnant is not entire. Free people have this pesky habit of acting like free people.

Kate Hoey is an interesting politician. I went out campaigning with her in 2001, when she was the outgoing minister of sport in the Labor government. Walking through the crime-ridden council houses of Vauxhall — so tantalizing near Westminster Hall and the locale where the gaudy postmodern apartment of the hero (?) of Woody Allen's Match Point is installed in a high-rise apartment by his wife's rich family — she modestly called herself the "Labor candidate," not the incumbent M.P. As she explained to me, when Parliament is dissolved, all M.P.'s are suddenly out of office and are not M.P.'s again until they have won the next election. She is a native of Northern Ireland and has written intelligently against policies that appease the Sinn Fein terrorists there.

An interesting and admirable politician.