Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a holiday in the UK and most of the Anglo-Saxon world, being the day after Christmas, also known at St Stepehen's Day. The origin of the name is disputed but seems to have something to do with handing out of boxes of presents from the lords of the manors to the serfs.

Today, it is known as a sporting day, with some major race meetings taking place, a full programme of football and the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne (in which England have failed again dismally, but well done that man Shane Warne, captain of Hampshire Cricket Club, on getting his 700th wicket amongst the ifve he took today).

It is also a day for fox hunting and all the major hunts will have met up today and ridden off into the countryside with their hounds. By law, they are not actually supposed to be meaning to hunt foxes, despite the fact that hounds are trained to sniff out a fox and follow its trail. No, but if the hunt should happen to come across a fox, they ARE allowed to follow the fox and, basically hunt it to its death. This nonsense law was passed by the British Parliamnet two years ago after very many hours of Parliamentary debate. It was felt that Labour Party supporters had very fixed and negative ideas about fox hunting and that the Government should do something to meet their concerns. So they spent inordinate amounts of time trying to passs a Bill, which was meeting opposition from the House of Lords (unsurprisingly enough). Indeed so much time that there was so little time left to debate Britain's entry into a war in Iraq. Despite this being a much more important issue than fox hunting, the matter was given very little time in Parliament. Someone accused Tony Blair of being a genius ot have arranged it this way.

My view is and was that fox hunting should be left to the country people as a traditional pastime and large employer in the countryside and that we should not have invaded Iraq alongside the Americans. Mind you, while I was happy enough to enjoy the specatcle of the hunt meet this morning, I would not have enjoyed the business end of the hunt, just as I enjoyed the roast beef we had last night, regardless of what had happened earlier in the abbatoir.



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