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The culture wars are raging in Britain. Now that the Conservatives are back in power, they are looking to overturn a ban on fox hunting.
The Labor Party pushed through a band on fox hunting in 2004, the Washington Post reminds us. Sounding like any member in good standing of America’s Tea Party, one fox hunting gentleman said, “I felt — we all felt — they were spitefully taking away the very essence of our liberty. But we knew the Conservatives would come back one day and put things right.”
Labor lost in May’s election and that renewed the debate on using dogs and horses to chase fox. Trouble is, Conservatives gained power only through a coalition with Liberal Democrats who are not all that eager to repeal the ban. Some Conservatives think renewing the fox hunting debate could put a strain on the new relationship.
“Few issues ignite British passions quite like fox hunting, a sport wrapped in politics and an English brand of class warfare,” write the Post’s Anthony Faiola. “Opponents insist that their sole aim is to protect animals, but hunters consider the ban a vengeful lash against the landed gentry, who were raised in rarefied worlds of inherited privilege and tradition. At the same time, the issue divides city and country in Britain much the same way gun control does in the United States, and support and opposition run strongly along party lines.”
Besides, fox hunters are taking “simulated” rides (that sometimes scare up a real live fox) and membership in hunt clubs is up. Maybe the country is doing just fine with its own version of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”