John Holliday: A great opportunity for the countryside *H&H Plus*


  • The weather has remained consistent across Belvoir domains. Consistently wet, that is. Statistically, a fall is more likely to result in drowning than a broken bone. We are now beginning to refer to “port and starboard” sides to coverts and “weigh anchor” instead of “hounds please”.

    Hope at last

    It cannot have escaped anyone’s attention that the Conservative Party won a resounding victory in a general election. Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party were rejected by the British electorate, an event that has reaffirmed my faith in the UK.

    Under Corbyn, Labour had become an extremist organisation with an “animal rights manifesto”. A Corbyn  win would have resulted in the end of trail-hunting, grouse moors and driven game shooting. National Hunt racing would have been on the countdown to prohibition and farming as we know it would have been finished.

    This is a great opportunity for the people of the countryside. We have five years, maybe 10, to rid ourselves of the extremists from the positions of influence and power into which they have percolated. It was deeply satisfying to see that former Labour MP and League Against Cruel Sports member Chris Williamson’s “animal rights” agenda earned him a grand total of 635 votes and a lost deposit. It is safe to say that the voters of Derby North can spot a wrong ’un.

    ‘Veganism is just narcissistic’

    We are quite rightly proud of our years as custodians of the countryside and that needs reaffirming — it certainly feels like the Countryside Alliance has lost some of the influence it once wielded in Westminster. Serious lobbying with renewed vigour is hopefully on the cards. It is not only in Parliament, however; the wider political parties need to be educated that the oversimplification of hunting and conservation is counterproductive.

    Schools and universities have been indoctrinated with nonsense about modern farming, and the malign influences of “weekend conservationists” and TV naturalists also need countering.

    Vegetarianism is a perfectly reasonable health or lifestyle choice, but veganism is just a narcissistic fantasy. Somehow, however, that culture has been normalised. Field sports are in the vanguard of much wider issues and we should take this opportunity to get back on the front foot.

    Change ahead

    A heartfelt word of thanks go to the thousands of hunt supporters who have spent their spare time leafleting for the Conservative Party under the supervision of Vote-OK. Your correspondent can report that the Belvoir were 100% successful in their given targets, helping to gain Peterborough and unseat the “Beast of Bolsover” Dennis Skinner.

    Whatsoever the weather forecasters have in store for us, there is change ahead. Brexit, like it or not, will happen, and will no doubt have unforeseen consequences both good and bad. But there is light on the horizon for rural communities and reason for optimism, and we the hold key to our destiny in our own hands. Happy hunting in the New Year.

    Ref Horse & Hound; 27 December 2019