Every autumn, across the UK, something despicable happens during early mornings or late evenings, when it is still dark. Selected
With a hung Parliament, the election may have had an indecisive outcome, but in another way, it was utterly decisive. The idea that the Hunting Act should be repealed has been roundly rejected and the hope now is that we can move on from any notion of repeal or weakening.
As soon as Theresa May stepped out onto Downing Street, and announced that the country would go to the polls on June 8th
"If Brexit means Brexit, then the hunting ban should mean a hunting ban". So said legendary explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Voters in Andrea Leadsom's own constituency -and indeed those in the constituency of Theresa May - are opposed by huge margins to a return to fox-hunting. According to a projection carried out by Ipsos MORI, 81% of voters Andrea Leadsom's constituency back the Hunting Act, with just 18% favouring repeal. In Theresa May's constituency, the figure is 80%.
Joe Hashman and I were politely received by an audience that was clearly against the hunting ban. At the end of day though, about 150,000 people went to the Game Fair and less than a hundred came to the Fox Hunting debate. The debate has moved on and so should we all.
Unfortunately, the people who want rid of the Hunting Act have friends in high places, and even this weekend we heard confirmation from a Conservative spokesperson that the Government pledge to repeal the Act remains on the table.
We went into the weekend just about as prepared as we could be. Our shops had postcards for our worried customers to sign, an anti-hunt window display, our staff all altering their rotas to be present at the Parliament demo on Tuesday...
Tuesday is Emmeline Pankhurst Day, and whilst I am not going to throw myself in front of a horse to make my point about British democracy on this occasion, this is a vitally important constitutional matter.
I shudder to think what will happen if these amendments pass on Wednesday. Our Government will have been the one to technically legislate for a return to cruelty. We cannot let them. It is wrong. At its very best, this is misrepresentation of the electorate, dirty play and a backward step for our progressive nation.