Today’s picture of the day.

Fox hunting is up for debate and a free vote again, and I’m more against a ban than ever. I’ve been considering this every time it comes up, and the main problem with the whole debate is that both sides are wrong.

The calls to ban hunting come from the urbs and suburbs and is raised by people who haven’t grasped one important fact. The foxes will still be killed, even if they are no longer hunted with dogs. The animal is a predator and scavenger, albeit a cute ginger one, and it will still be a threat to livestock. They’ll be shot, trapped or poisoned. None of these options is particularly nice, except when compared to being torn to shreds by hounds, and the trapping and poisoning will affect other animals as well.

And on the other side we have the Countryside Alliance, who keep making their claims about the number of people mobilised to support fox hunting on their march in London. Except that people were there for a number of rural matters, all of them far more important than the rights of the unspeakable to pursue the uneatable. And as for all those claims that the sport is traditional. Well, I’m sure people have been hunting for centuries but I’d lay evens odds on it being the Victorians who created the ‘traditional’ aspects, all the halloos and red (or pinque apparently) outfits.

Each side has half a dozen other arguments to trash, and given time I happily would. But the important thing here is that this fuss over a minor, if sadistic, hobby is the only real discussion of country matters. If either side actually cares about the future of the countryside they should give up this fight and start thinking about rural transport, the shrinking rural population, or the factory farming which caused BSE and Foot and Mouth. But then, solutions would require unglamorous stuff like work, planning and investment.