I sent this piece to the Mirror a while ago.
I must admit my first reaction to the announcement from Theresa May that there was to be a snap general election was mild disgust. It was obvious in an instant that this was nothing to do with strengthening her position in negotiations in Europe, as she lamely pretended. How could it ? No – it was planned out of purely callous and cynical self interest. She had been advised that the Tories were further ahead than ever in the opinion polls, and it was a great time to try to increase her majority in the House of Commons (in spite of the fact that it would immoblise this country in the middle of crucial negotiations with Europe) . But I think for a moment we all almost believed the Tory newspapers’ attempts to show her in a favourable light – a woman valiantly seeking to provide “Strong and Stable Leadership”. What a joke, in the light of the laughing stock she has become in Europe, and the fact that she historically advocated Remain anyway – until taking the opposite point of view gave her a ticket to Power. Every time you hear “Strong and Stable leadership” from now on, just think “Strong and Insatiable Appetite for Power”. Wanting to give her a last benefit of the doubt, I was nevertheless momentarily hesitant to re-introduce our Common Decency campaign – maybe there was no point this time ?
My hesitation turned into anger and resolve when I saw Theresa May’s shocking admission last week that she had “always been in favour of foxhunting”, and she intended to bring in a vote in the House of Commons on the repeal of the Hunting Act, commensurate with a return to those abhorrent blood sports which roughly 85 percent of the British public regard as completely unacceptable.
Why would she make this rash announcement, just when she seemed to be safe in the ratings? Well, it’s blatant self interested maneuvering again. By doing this, she enlists the help of those Countryside Alliance supporters who will rally round like they did for Cameron, and help Theresa May’s bloodthirsty chums to get re-elected. Has she forgotten what revulsion this would produce in the rest of us?
The backlash that I saw following this announcement convinced me that the country might just be ready to send Theresa May packing the same way they had pushed David Cameron out of the door, in recompense for his very similar vaunting arrogance in the Brexit Referendum. Now that the blinkers are off, we see Theresa May in her full glory – a ruthless insatiably ambitious woman with not a shred of compassion for man or beast.
I do not use these words lightly. It’s been shown many times that a disregard for the feelings of animals generally corresponds with a similar disregard for people’s feelings too – especially the poor, the sick, and the voiceless, a quality which we have already seen in Theresa May’s cold and twisted smile. The attitude of a person to blood-sports is actually a kind of litmus paper … it’s a fairly reliable indicator of whether the person has a decent conscience or not.
Yes, I, along with so many others, was willing to give Mrs May a chance, and believe that perhaps she had a decent heart beating in her body. But the events of last week have banished that view forever. This is not a nice woman. This is a quietly dangerous woman, hell-bent on establishing herself as a virtual dictator in this country, at which point she would be able to continue to smash the Health Service so it can be sold off to unscrupulous business concerns, without a backwards look, continue, unchallenged, to widen the gap between the very rich and very poor, and, believe it or not, try to enable the barbaric blood sports of the last century to return to Britain.
Just in case any of you arcasee thinking that foxhunting might, just be kind of … okay… ? Let me remind you how the hounds are trained, by unleashing them, hungry, on newly dug-out baby foxes. The hounds which do not show enough ferocity are immediately shot. The pitiful pictures of those beautiful tiny fox cubs torn into a bloody mess will always haunt me. The argument that foxhunting is a form of pest control is, of course a downright lie, because the remaining Hunts have been caught red-handed, breeding foxes just so that they can be released as live bait in front of those half starved packs of pounds. It’s all lies. There is no justification. Fox hunting is a disgusting, deplorable, sadistic activity, and anyone who endorses it deserves not a moment’s sympathy. We have now seen the rise of the Clean Boot hunts, in which it is a man who is pursued, not a fox, and no blood is lost. All the fun of the chase, country air, a hard ride, but no blood – no torture of innocent animals. This is the decent future of hunting. There is no excuse for the other thing … no possible excuse for a return to barbarity.
To my mind, this election has now turned into a God-given opportunity for us, finally, to wake up in Britain to the fact that this awful woman needs to be sent packing. I’m hoping that the young people of this country will register in time to make sure that this happens. As I have emphasised so many times in the past, Common Decency is colour blind. It is not anti-Tory. There are some great Tory MPs in the House of Commons right now – like Tracey Crouch, Andrea Jenkyns, Henry Smith – who are committed to Decency in all its forms. We need to keep them there. But Common Decency is absolutely opposed to the wrong kind of Tory, as epitomised by the very (as Patrick Moore pointed out some years ago) unpleasant Mrs May. This election has become all about getting rid of Mrs May.
Let’s get to it.
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