I had the very good fortune and pleasure to be invited to Bereleigh in Hampshire last weekend, to their fund raising Lobster Shoot. In aid of the Countryside Alliance, it wasn't an exercise in dispatching crustaceans by the gun but a clay shoot followed by a lobster dinner. Very good it was too.
The clays incidentally were a bit of a challenge and for the most part, flew through the air without much threat of being blown to bits when I was in the vicinity, much to the disappointment of my team mates who remained, surprisingly good natured throughout.
I took the opportunity to rejoin the Countryside Alliance, a lobbying organisation for country interests. I previously left the Alliance when they failed to have any meaningful impact on the last governments ban on fox hunting. I'm not incidentally, a fox hunter in the traditional sense, I'm no good with horses; I just don't like the naive and uninformed views of metro-chattering-socialists being imposed on those of us who aren't professional politicians or PR men living in Islington and Hampstead. I don't much like foxes either, murderous vermin that they are.
Many of us have been muttering darkly over our pints in the years that have passed that it would only be a matter of time before some toddler had her face ripped off by one of the rapidly growing numbers of the urban fox population. Tragically, it happened last weekend and tragically, it won't be the last.
Some people, like John Morris, who in a letter to the Telegraph today informs us that he happily feeds foxes in his garden and that they are, "a source of pleasure and joy," ought to grabbed by the scruff of the neck and dragged up to Great Ormond Street Hospital to see what these killers do to a young child.
Quickly following Mr Morris should be every misguided fool who voted for the ban and those who encouraged them so to do. To have created the conditions where babies and toddlers are not safe in their bedrooms is intolerable.
An aggressive cull of disease carrying urban foxes should be initiated forthwith and fox hunting restored to maintain the balance with these beasts with no animal predator before more tragedy visits the innocent and defenceless.