At the start of the month, I rebuked the nonsense in the media that Gordon Brown had reverted to the politics of "class war, plain and simple. Soak the rich, crow about it, and damn the consequences." As I said then, "New Labour's war is against the poor." However, such basic realities don't register with the corporate media.
Hence, today's Independent tells us that "Brown declares class war on hunting." The story is in reference to an opinion piece in their own paper written by Environment Secretary Hillary Benn. In it, Benn tells us that we should "celebrate the fifth Boxing Day without the sight of foxes being torn to pieces in our countryside." His argument is a powerful one;
In years to come I think we will look back with horror at a time when hunting wild animals with dogs was viewed as respectable entertainment. Like badger-baiting, cock-fighting and fox tossing (I kid you not), ripping animals to shreds with dogs will become a relic of history.
He cites the fact that "according to a recent Ipsos Mori poll, three-quarters of the population do not want hunting with dogs to be made legal again" to back up his argument. That "72 per cent of the rural population want to keep the ban in place" whilst "84 per cent of Tory candidates want to repeal the ban" demonstrates that the Tories are "pretty out of touch with the public mood."
Whilst there are issues, such as the lax enforcement of the ban, and that more people might be attracted to the "sport" by its taboo status, I cannot disagree with the sentiment. Fox hunting is one of the last remaining vestiges of blood sport, and the pretext of pest control is a flimsy one.
But what of class?
Benn insists that "this isn't a class issue, nor is it about the countryside against our towns," because "lots of people in rural areas oppose fox hunting." Rather, "it is about what we think a decent, civilised society should stand for." Indeed, the only evidence offered by the Independent's Andrew Grice for the "class war" angle is that "the move follows Gordon Brown's attack on Mr Cameron's plans to cut inheritance tax, which he said were "dreamed up on the playing fields of Eton"."
There is a class war element to the movement against fox hunting. But it comes from Ian Bone, not Gordon Brown;
If the Tories go ahead with lifting the ban we need to do a Countryside Alliance demonstration in reverse. On the day the bill is introduced into the Commons for first reading we should rouse every radical we’ve ever known, including the resting,retired, the lame and the halt – maybe even the fucking dead – and launch a full on class war assault on parliament in alliance with every animal lover – and theres a fuck sight lot of them – in the country. Grappling irons, trebuchets, boiling pitch and lead………TALLY -FUCKING -HO!
However the media want to pitch the election battle, Gordon Brown will never utter those words in parliament. He is not opposing the Conservative stance on hunting out of any sincere concern for animal rights, just as he is not about to hoist a black flag and declare war of privilege and the parasitism of the rich. His only concern is getting votes and holding onto power.
By the same token, David Cameron couldn't care less about the damage New Labour has wreaked upon the ordinary people of Great Britain. His party is no "alternative" to the incumbent government, rather a more hardline sector of the elected oligarchy that masquerades as parliamentary "democracy." Likewise, the Liberal Democrats represent a softer edge, and the BNP the worst extreme of that exact same mentality.
Whoever you vote for, what you will get is a party that represents the interests and designs of domestic elites and the decision-making sectors of society. The "differences" between parties are nothing more than ruling class factionalism. Fox hunting is just the first of many issues with which we can demonstrate that fact.