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Letters to the editor >

‘Fundamentalism’ and fox-hunting

From Revd Mike Dixon

Sir, — Which planet does the Revd Richard Thomas ( Comment, 24 September) live on? We have a democratically elected Government that made the promise in its manifesto to ban fox-hunting, which is in line with the will of more than 70 per cent of this country (according to all objective polls). The issue has been discussed exhaustively for many years, and has been brought before Parliament and overwhelmingly supported there, except in the unelected section.

To equate this with fundamentalism is a grotesque misuse of language. As many people who live in the real countryside (not the effete Oxfordshires of this world) know, the cry of the hunters is, I hope, the last croak of feudalism, where the rich and powerful still consider it their right to ride roughshod over the dastardly lower classes. Bring on the Parliament Act.

MIKE DIXON
The Vicarage, Shilbottle, Alnwick
Northumberland NE66 2XR

From Cllr Frank McManus
Sir, — The Revd Richard Thomas needs to recognise that there is nothing new in the excesses of some police officers in defending Parliament against possible hostile incursions. Similar methods were used against Vietnam demonstrators in 1968, and against miners in 1984. In neither instance has there been an adequate inquiry or corrective action of the kind that is now needed.

I hold no brief for Tony Blair; but it is Parliament that has voted unwhipped to ban hunting, in accordance with Labour’s election pledges, 1997 and 2001, to put the issue to a free vote and finalise it this session. I have never come across an instance of a party’s being so vilified for fulfilling a decisive mandate.

Your contributor has, I fear, allowed his sense of proportion to weaken — hence his excessively sulphurous invective.

FRANK McMANUS
Locksley House
97 Longfield Road
Todmorden OL14 6ND

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