ON Wednesday evening, February 16, as dusk fell, I got off my horse for the last time after an activity that I have been conducting for the last 40 years, ever since I was a small child.

My daughter, aged 11, was with me. One day she might be one of the last people left alive who can remember hunting.

It is an activity that marks the seasons, starting in late August when the corn has been cut and finishing in early March when the first green shoots are poking through the earth.

It is an activity that attracts a broad church of people from bricklayers to undertakers to solicitors, doctors and High Court judges. It is a way of life for thousands of people in this country.

Governments judge their success on the amount of legislation that they pass.

It matters not whether it is good law. It matters not whether the benefit outweighs the harm that it does. It matters not that it puts people out of work and ruins businesses.

This is a law that will not prevent the death of one single fox. This is a law that is unjust and affects the liberty of the individual.

Whatever happened to the tolerance that has always marked our society?

Down - yes, I am very sad.

Out - definitely not. I, like thousands of others who have never had a political bone in their bodies, will now engage in political activity before the election.

Mr Blair, watch this space.



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