A few months ago the Department of Culture media and Sport launched an 'Icons of England' website to find out more about what people regarded as quintessentially English <Here>. To their accute embarassment, Foxhunting was not only nominated but received the highest number of votes. A small minority of the comments were from the usual 'animal-rights' suspects, so what is the DCM&S doing about it?
Why they have decided to include foxhunting in their 'Icons of England' results, but have renamed it "Foxhunting and the Ban". Talk about changing the rules after the fact. It is crystal clear that the hand of a deeply embarrassed New Labour minister is behind it.
Just hours before the expiry of a FOI request by the Countryside Alliance, The DCM&S has justified the decision with the words: “Images of hunt saboteurs and scuffles with the police spring to mind alongside hunting as an icon of England". The CA response:
“Foxhunting is an icon of England, an activity inextricably linked to the English countryside. Public opinion opposes the Hunting Act, which has been shown up as a worthless law which merely allowed Labour backbenchers 700 hours to express their prejudice and bigotry.Quite.
Foxhunting was nominated as an icon; the ban was not; and while laughable, it is extremely concerning that the DCM&S suggests that thugs in balaclavas fighting with the police is an icon of Englishness. The DCMS has succumbed to political pressure, and in doing so, is promoting precisely the sort of animal rights extremism which the rest of the country is at pains to avoid.
There has never been a picture of a hunt saboteur on a beer mat, and there never will be.”