The Tories revealed today that their main priority during the recession will be to launch a campaign to repeal the ban on fox hunting. Conservative Shadow Justice Minister Egbert Garnier said the ban on hunting with hounds, which came into force in February 2005, was "monstrous high-handed tyranny" He added "it's about time we re-branded the sport and brought it back to combat the depletion of traditional values of discipline and hierarchical order".
Leader David Cameron was enthralled by Mr Garnier's pledge and said "I suppose it's better than starting wars all over the place" suggesting that the savage pastime may accord with the needs of rural communities by helping to reduce the feelings of stress and aggression during times of economic and emotional hardship.
Jonathan Crispin MP for Pindon Village in West Sussex disclosed how levels of crime in the village had increased following the ban in 2005. He mentions how "machinery has been vandalised, pimping is on the increase and there's been a lot of cattle tipping". Cattle tipping (also known as bovine toppling) is the purported activity of sneaking up on a sleeping, upright cow and pushing it over for fun. Pindon is one of several villages to have reported an increase in cattle tipping over the past four years and the increase is presumed to be a direct result of the ban on hunting. Janet Marquette who lives and works in Pindon believes that "Townies don't understand the effect the ban is having on those who live here. It's like making the city folk give up their gym memberships." Except we'd all get fat.
A proposed bill to repeal the the Hunting Act is due to be presented in Parliament next week. It is likely to coincide with protests from both pro and anti-hunting groups which are rumoured to take place in Parliament Square and outside Harrods.
Police are also prepared for attempts by the pro-hunting lobby to sabotage football matches at West Ham and Stamford Bridge after being told by a pro-hunt spokesman that "hunting is as important to us as football". However, London football fans refuse to be fazed by the rumours, so it seems, as we approached one West Ham supporter who merrily chanted "I don't care, I don't care, I don't care if you come round here, i've got my beer on the sideboard here, I don't care if you come round here. As long as you leave your muddy boots outside".