The Red Rose

The Historic Tory Support of Fox Hunting

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In the last few days, it has come to light that Theresa May plans on holding a vote to repeal the ban of hunting with dogs. People, especially conservatives, are acting with genuine surprise. Why?

The Tories have had a vote to repeal the ban of hunting with dogs on their manifesto for the last four elections.

If you, like many others, “have always voted Tory but definitely won’t now” – you have already willingly voted for blood sport in the past. The Conservatives have proudly and openly supported a repeal since the ban was introduced by Labour.

In fact, as can be evidenced by a leaked e-mail from pro-hunt Tory peer Lord Mancroft, the only reason they haven’t held the vote yet is because they have a private agreement with the council of hunting associations to only hold a vote when they say so:

“First, we need a cast iron manifesto commitment from the Conservative Party, as we had in the last four election manifestos. Like everyone else, we will have to wait until the manifesto is published on 8th May to be certain,but Simon Hart MP and I have received assurances that such a commitment will be carried forward to the 2017 manifesto. I have made it clear that we will only provide support on that basis, and that if the manifesto does not contain an acceptable commitment, we will withdraw our support.

It is important that everyone understands why the idea that “the Government did not honour the manifesto commitments after the 2010 and 2015 elections” is incorrect. On both occasions David Cameron made it clear that he would authorise and fully endorse a vote in a manner, and at a time, of our choosing.

During the Coalition Government a vote could only take place if the Liberal Democrats agreed, which they did not. After 2015 the Scottish Nationalists reversed their earlier commitment to abstain from any votes that did not impact Scotland, and opposed the proposed Statutory Instrument, and consequently the Government Chief Whip did not think we could win a vote in the House of Commons.

All the advice we received was that we should not risk such a vote unless we had a reasonable expectation of winning. We therefore concluded it was not in hunting’s best interests to put the matter to a vote. I am sure that was the correct decision.”

Theresa May’s support of fox hunting has never been secret or hidden, she has proudly voted against the ban at every opportunity. The Conservative support of fox hunting has never been secret or hidden, it has been proudly placed on their manifesto each and every election since the ban was introduced.

I cannot understand why people are surprised by this, Tory policy has always been in favour of the blood sport. What I can understand, is people’s surprise at the timing.

We are in a considerably volatile political climate, with the country in a serious crisis in many areas. Among issues like child poverty, collapsing wages, the NHS falling apart, soaring crime rates and of course Brexit, the most politically challenging situation in generations, the Tory’s have decided now is the time to again rekindle the plot to allow their posh mates to practice blood sports.

There are many different polls that have been done on fox hunting and the numbers vary, but the public opposition of fox hunting has always remained in a firm majority. The public quite simply do not want this – and why would they?

Fox hunting is the barbaric recreational practice of chasing a terrified animal for miles with dozens of baying hounds, cornering them and then watching in glee as the fox is torn to shreds by dozens of hounds in a horrific, slow and tortuous death.

Every vote you give the Conservatives is an endorsement of this policy, it is an endorsement of blood sport – whether you like that fact or not., voting for a party is an endorsment of their policies.

Think about this guy at the ballot box: