"Liberty has never come from government.
Liberty has always come from the subjects of government.
The history of liberty is the history of resistance" - Woodrow
I've little time for foxes. The cubs are cute enough, like the young
of almost every species, but once they grow up they turn into messy,
vicious little bastards as anyone who keeps chickens will tell you.
Here in the country we see mercifully few of them (except as road-kill
- nothing escapes the keen-eyed farmer in his elderly Land Rover) but
in the London suburbs my sister's dustbin is regular victim.
I've little time for fox-hunters, either. Anyone who gets pleasure
from charging round the fields in the rain, bumping up and down on a
lumpy great horse and shouting horsey things in a haw-haw voice is
several sandwiches short of a picnic if you ask me. But then I don't
suppose most fox-hunting people would be interested in the things I do
for pleasure, either. Each to his own.
So do I care whether or not some ratty piece of vermin gets chased
and killed by a pack of dogs cheered on by another pack of hooray
Of course not. Frankly, I couldn't give a toss either way.
What I do care about is the fact that lovely Mr.Blair feels it his
part of his duties to interfere with the normal, traditional lives
most country people wish to lead. In fact, it ought not to be a
function of government to interfere with the normal lives of ANY
people, whether they live in Westminster, Walthamstow or Warwickshire.
We elect a government to run the country for us - to collect taxes in
moderation (huh!), run the railways (huh!), organise schools,
hospitals etc. (huh!), police our borders (huh!) and so ensure that we
can live our lives in it as we see fit. We don't elect it to tell us
how to behave or what we may and may not do. In fact, we
should be telling it what to do.
So long as I pay my taxes, drive on the left-hand side of the road
and refrain from the more extreme forms of self-expression (so killing
and eating young virgins is probably a no-no) it's simply none of
Mr.Blair's business how I spend my time and take my pleasure, or what
relationship I have with the natural world around me. I'll .... er,
let's see .... bugger badgers for a hobby if I want to.
Once Mr.Blair has admitted the principle of giving in to one minority
pressure group, the world's his oyster. Which bunch of cranks will he
listen to next? The Flat Earth Society? Nudists? Born-again Americans?
- oh, no - that's already happened
P.S. ...... I think I just wrote something profound without
realising it. I think most of us would agree that the government is
failing at all the tasks we expect of it. So what exactly is
it for, and why do we tolerate it?
Sir John Mortimer CBE QC: "My main
objection is to the idea that a majority, however sincere, or a
government should seek to impose its ideas and views about the
pastimes and way of life of any equally sincere and respectable
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