David Cameron’s interview this morning

With thanks to Tom Watson MP.

NC: Now, later in the programme if I may before you go, we’re hearing a claim that the fox hunting ban is being flouted more than another law. Are you going to repeal the ban?

DC: Well we’re going to have a free vote in the House of Commons.

NC: But what are your instincts?

DC: My personal view is the ban has been a, is a mistake. I always opposed the ban…

NC: You’re a hunter though aren’t you you’ve been hunting?

DC: I have in the past. I always thought that the ban was a mistake because I think it is very difficult to enforce. I think it’s somewhere where the criminal law shouldn’t go and I think that the mess we have now pretty much proves that. But it will be a free vote. There are, MPs take different views, there are Conservatives in my party who support the hunting ban, it will be a free vote in the House of Commons and if the ban if kept it’s kept and if it’s repealed it’s repealed.

NC: And will you go hunting again if it comes back?

DC: I personally have got other things I’m hoping to do.

NC: No but if you had any spare… what is it, you’ve been hunting, for those who don’t understand it because it’s a tremendously divisive issue, explain the joys of hunting.

DC: Well I was born, I’m a country boy, I was brought up in the countryside and I love walking in the countryside and riding in the countryside and every aspect of growing up in the countryside. I was taught to fish by a wonderful grandfather. I was taught to shoot rabbits by my dad. You know and I’ve always been a country boy and I went hunting as well.

NC: And was it for pest control or was it just for the fun of chasing the fox?

DC: Well people like, if you like riding and people like riding across the countryside and it’s an opportunity, and lots of people do it together, it’s an opportunity to see parts of the countryside you never see before. That’s a lot of why people go and it’s part of something that happened, something that happened in the countryside for a very many years.

NC: People against it would say you can do that without killing an animal.

DC: Yes of course that’s true and I do, I like riding. But the point is that the fox population has to be controlled – every farmer will tell you that and every farmer will also tell you that the methods now being used in more case gassing & shooting and trapping and snaring, are as the Burns inquiry itself found, very very cruel and the case on animal welfare grounds for the hunting ban I’ve always thought was very very weak. But as I say it’s a free vote issue. This is something I would never whip any party members to have. It has you’re right been a divisive issue, I think the right thing to do now that the ban’s been in place to have a free vote and to see whether people want to keep it or not.

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9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    “I was taught to shoot rabbits by my dad.”

    Well, my father taught me how to make roll-up fags. So what? I still don’t smoke. Moreover, despite what his father taught him, I don’t like Mr Cameron’s consistent stance on fox hunting and hare coursing. He and many in his party disgust me, in the same way that my father’s roll-up fags did, but at least that didn’t involve chasing foxes and hares for fun and so-called ‘sport.’

  2. 2

    davegb2 said,

    “But the point is that the fox population has to be controlled – every farmer will tell you that and every farmer will also tell you that the methods now being used in more case gassing & shooting and trapping and snaring, are as the Burns inquiry itself found, very very cruel”

    Tory twit! I hate comments like this!!! Gassing, shooting, etc, were just as common before the ban! It’s not like, because of the ban, they’ve had to introduce these methods! And I think the Burns enquiry said they didn’t have enough evidence to say if hunting was cruel (which obviously isn’t the same as saying hunting is not cruel).

    And of course farmers have a vested interest in wiping out all wildlife. Eg it’s no use blaming grey squirrels for the demise of red squirrels. Red squirrels, like many animals, are dying out because farmers have taken their habitat. Because of farmers we are about to wipe out badgers now.

    People like Cameron are just looking after themself.

    • 3

      sommerfield said,

      I think farmers ought to leave animals alone, they dont own the animals just because they walk over their land, and they certainly dont have a right to kill an animal because its on their land.
      The law needs changing.
      I think they ought to concentrate on growing food without using pesticides and do some good.

    • 4

      alanpowa said,

      It wasn’t that the Burns Inquiry said they didn’t have enough evidence to say whether or not fox hunting was cruel [it’s designed for chasing the quarry for prolonged periods to give good ‘sport’, surely cruel in itself, never mind the kill], but that this consideration was not within the Inquiry’s remit.

      It was Jack Straw, then Home Secretary, and never noted for his sympathy with the hunt ban cause, who set up ‘Burns’ [incidentally ensuring that any subsequent Government Bill in that Parliament couldn’t arrive in time to be passed before the 2001 election]. And it was he who set the terms for the Inquiry, which did indeed exclude considerations of cruelty or morality.

  3. 5

    journosteve said,

    This is the closest Cameron has come during the whole pre-campaign campaign to saying he wants to restore hunting with hounds. His associates, especially William Hague, have made clear the CP’s intentions anyway. This is why LACS ill-considered decision to become a charity is such a disaster in this context. It is prevented from stating the simple message, “a vote for the Tories is a vote for hunting with hounds; if you vote Conservative, you vote for cruelty..”. This was clear many months ago; I feel sad that LACS did not factor this in, and urgently reconsider its legal status. The hunting issue IS now about narrow, party politics – LACS cannot pursue its agenda while having to ignore this. This is something its Chief Exec should have considered and acted upon. Was it oversight? I doubt it; there are some very clever people on LACS’ board. Was it naivety? Perhaps – they still point to “Conservatives Against Fox Hunting”, which consists of two (utterly nice, but utterly confused) individuals. If things play out as I think they will – i.e. Tory Govt from 7 May; urgent abolition of the Hunting Act – it will mark the lowest point in LACS’ history and should serve as cause for resignation of its entire board.

    • 6

      sommerfield said,

      Well League Against Cruel Sports did what they thought best at the time.
      And its rather an under hand and desperate method the Conservatives have adopted to gain votes for themselves by promising a free vote in Parliment so there maybe a Repeal of the Hunting Act.
      Its all very dodgy to me.
      I dont think we could rely on the Conservatives to govern the country.
      And as for Huntsman well their brains are stewed in gin.
      The hard working public who earn there living, who do have morals, need to be made aware of what is going on
      The Fox Hunting Ban should be permanent there should be no repeal, and its is as simple as that.

  4. 7

    auntykill said,

    “I think the right thing to do now that the ban’s been in place to have a free vote and to see whether people want to keep it or not.”
    Well that’s easy, more than 75% of “people” most certainly DO want to keep it but we’re not the ones that are going to be asked, it’s the hunting set and ther Countryside Alliance that sre going to drive the vote!

    And Notoharecoursing has the right idea. My dad taught me to make home brew, be racist and eat meat but I don’t do any of those things now because I have a mind of my own and I used it to make my own lifestyle decisions. It’s no good hiding behind your dad Dave, you did or do hunt, it’s on your conscience not your dad’s.

  5. 8

    wendabubble said,

    Why do the farmer’s get the blame for fox hunting? It has absolutely nothing to do with farmers, in fact many farmers dislike the hunt because they rampage across their land, destroying crops and fences. The hunt don’t care a bit about the land they just use and abuse it as much as they do the foxes! So please Prime Minister stop using the farmers as an excuse to hunt!! It is barbaric, archaic and it isn’t necessary to persecute the fox. Yes it might be difficult to impose the ban but you have policemen that ride horses so it shouldn’t be too difficult!

  6. 9

    foxy02 said,

    So David what will it be next? beat up and hunt foreigner to our lands? or perhaps even someone with a handicap?after all, you want to be rid of foxes,as you say there are too many…so are you to take that twisted attitude for those as above also?….Nothing makes this sick , dated, barbaric ,dated pompus,cruel so called cull or sport right!!..its time you hung up your hat, and made way for Anne Widecombe, who realizes how wrong this is, ..oh im an ex tory thanks to you…so congratulations…im sure im not alone!!!
    If they get you in, therell pay heavily to get you out, and it wont just be ,due to the Fox Repeal…trust me, slippery slope to doom!!!

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