Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Vote buying

Under the headline Hunt community goes on war footing, The Times reports on the preparations made by the hunting fraternity in advance of the ban coming into force.

Hunters have been warned that they should carry passports for their horses during a hunt. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs insists that horses must have their passports when they are away from the stable.

Checks should also be made to ensure the roadworthiness of all cars, vans and horse-boxes and that they are properly taxed and insured.

Hunts have even been told to remove all antique hunting memorabilia from hunt premises, because this equipment “might be construed as dedicated entirely to illegal purposes”. A network of defence solicitors is being drawn up.

This is so depressing. It really does bring home the fatuousness of the whole grubby vote-buying saga that was the hunting ban. Tony Blair wants to be remembered as a radical reforming prime minister. I think his opportunity is gone though. Future generations will remember him as the prime minister who tried to sell off people's freedoms to buy himself a few votes.