Sunday, September 19, 2004

Pro Hunt Ideology is Vapid and Shallow

I lay in bed chucking for a while listening to Radio 4 as the woman from the Countryside Action Network bleated about how all the violence at the pro-animal curtly demo on Wednesday 15th. She moaned about the rights of the minority and that the violence was all the police's fault. While it is possible that individual members of the pro-hunt lobby have been active on issues like police violence and minority rights for many years, I suspect the vast majority of them, coming from the political right, have, at best sat idly by while the police beat on people from ethnic minorities, or at the worst have supported the establishment as it waged war on those who didn't fit the rule Britannia mould.

What goes around comes around.

All this hypocrisy is obviously part of why the Pro Hunt Ideology is vapid and shallow, but to me there is a bigger reason why this is so. Five protesters, so enraged that the felt the had to use direct action, broke into the House of Commons to confront the lawmakers directly. This was about liberty and livelihood and these people were from a downtrodden rural way of life: so I guess they must have been there to confront the lawmakers about the appalling suicide rate of farmers? No. So, then they must have been there to take a stand against the crushing jackboot of the supermarkets? No. So they were there to strike a blow for the destruction of the traditional British countryside by industrial agriculture? No.

They were there to protest about the right to destroy nature on a whim, to kill for fun. This is a shallow ideology. It is also only a stones throw from an attempted justification of the unending exploitation of the natural world to its and our extinction. It is the remains of a feudal psyche of yesteryear, a belief in a 'natural' hierarchy with white men at the top. A belief that the suffering of others, lower down the hierarchy, counts less that the gratification of those at the top. In summary it is a selfish, short-term, destructive and unsustainable ideology that must be opposed: so a big-up to the Bath and Bristol hunt sabbers who have been using direct action for years to end this abhorrent practice and who, when the law comes into effect, deserve a lie-in on the weekend. However, I suspect that they, as people committed to the natural world and our harmony with it, will take up the struggle elsewhere.

Could the same be said for the pro-hunt lot when the next scandal of police brutality happens? Because chances are it will happen in the inner-city to an black or Muslim teenager and they will sit on their arse and do nothing. Maybe their new campaign slogan should be: Liberty and livelihood for me and the rest of you can just fuck off.

(And they call this a 'sport'?????!!!!)

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