BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN
DW: Good afternoon. Thanks for reaching out.
Anti: You are scum of the earth! How can you sleep at night and be Editor of that hunt-supporting rag?
DW: Hold your horses. I look at hunting as a neutral. I’ve never been on a hunt, although I was once dragged out on the Yorkshire moors in winter for beagling as part of a collective punishment after getting busted drinking at school.
Anti: Country Squire even has a stag as its logo!
DW: I’m no hunter. However, after examining the subject of hunting and getting to know both sides, my sympathy lies with the oppressed hunting community. Any moral high ground you antis had, you have wasted over the years through your mischief and underhandedness; via your no-name Twitter accounts and associations with terrorism. The vote-rigging and manipulation of Labour politicians as an excuse for some Marxist class war has been brazen and inexcusable. This magazine – which I am bloody proud to edit – is a platform for all kinds of views. Numerous times antis have been offered a right to reply on the magazine to pro hunt articles and have not once stepped up to accept the challenge.
Anti: How can your sympathy lie with the hunting community? They torture innocent creatures.
DW: Your views are absolutist. They blindside you. If there was one madman going round slaughtering hundreds of thousands of foxes you’d still focus your ire on the tiny hunting community. Why? In what way is the death by slow starvation of an urban fox deposited by do-gooder townies in the countryside not torturous? Why are you not targeting the townie pest controllers killing thousands of urban foxes? Why are you not chasing after car manufacturers whose cars kill and maim thousands of animals each year, many of whom die after hours, sometimes days, of terrible suffering? You’re illogical in your thinking and your conduct. Hunting after the 2004 act has changed profoundly and hunting methods have adapted. You still fail to see the fox as a pest, which is your right, but the evidence from the countryside and unbiased academics is stacked high against you. You choose to manipulate, fabricate and obfuscate instead of facing the facts before you. You and your comrades’ tendency to see the hunting community as bloodthirsty bastards is simply not borne out by the facts. Use your head sometimes! Any old idiot can reach conclusions based purely upon their heart.
Anti: You have clearly never met a tamed fox.
DW: Indeed I have – on a day out in Bridport – and I stroked it as if it were a Labrador. If people wish to tame and keep foxes as pets then they should have every right to do so. They are then no longer pests. You see – and this is a message to your anti pals – it is not the creature that should be blanket judged, it is the creature’s behaviour. An important lesson therein lies.
Anti: You are comparing us to animals?
DW: We are all animals. Some more civilised than others in the way we choose to operate and protest. In my opinion the wrong way – the cowardly way – is to balaclava up, trespass, threaten horse riders and scare their horses, shout out all kinds of invective even in front of children, hang around hunters’ driveways, target hunters’ employers and suppliers online and abuse the mechanisms of government by sending off letters using an army of fake names. The politicians you have in your pockets are part of the injustice – ignoring objective studies and reports while favouring the propaganda of academic stooges. Call me old-fashioned but you follow in the footsteps of the IRA and Al Qaeda in your masking up, terrorising innocents and grooming of perps – how do you feel about that? Faking videos to entrap hunters and those working with animals perverts the course of justice.
Anti: We have the police on our side.
DW: No you don’t. Having a sprinkling of groomed police officers working on your side hardly legitimises you; it merely delegitimises them among their sound colleagues, who are the vast majority of police officers, who respect and uphold the actual law. You are yet to convince me that your whole show is not some cynical, Corbynite, anti-capitalist class war designed to tug the heart and purse strings of the predominantly townie public via your propaganda videos. That is not to say that occasionally the hunting community, like any community, suffers from one rotten apple or another – and the laws of the land are broken.
Anti: The majority of UK voters are with us and not the hunters.
DW: Just as EVEL allows the English to vote on English-only matters in the face of devolved parliaments in other parts of the UK, so I believe the countryside should be allowed to choose for itself in countryside matters. I was a townie once – I rarely left W1 – and hadn’t a clue about the subject. There are strong voices in the countryside, who know what farming entails and who understand the intricacies of land management far better than townies. I have met these people. They are not the Beano’s Lord Snooty as you make them out to be. They live and breathe the countryside. In fact these people would be the last people in Britain to have an opinion on urban planning.
Anti: Votes for the countryside is never going to happen.
DW: Really? You townies said the same thing about Brexit. Look where that got you. Inconvenient though it may be to you, this country is not yet all covered in concrete.
Anti: You are on the losing side here, Dom. Give me a few days and I’ll write you a right of reply piece.
DW: Thanks Chris. I look forward to receiving it.