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Posts Tagged ‘Melissa Kite’

MÅLGRUPPER | När ett parti radikalt förändras finns det alltid en risk att en grupp trogna, ideologiskt övertygade väljare går förlorade.

The Specator december 2012

Efter förlusten till Labour och Tony Blair 1997 påbörjade Conservative Party ett segdraget arbete med att försöka göra sig själva valbara igen i väljarnas ögon.

Och precis som Fredrik Reinfeldt med Moderaterna valde premiärminister David Cameron att distansera sig från vissa väljare och attityder som förknippats med partiet. Båda partierna har gått mot mitten.

Medan Reinfeldt valde att bl.a. markera mot näringslivet som ”särintresse”, valde Cameron att inte låta sig förknippas med något som doftar aristokrati eller godsägare.

Sinnebilden av en sådan konservativ livsstil är den traditionella rävjakten till häst. På grund av ett förbud kan jaktlagen idag bara simulera en sådan jakt med hjälp av ett i förhand utlagt doftspår.  

Påtryckargrupper som Countryside Alliance, som värnar den traditionella livstilen på landet, är idag besvikna på Cameron för att han inte driver på för att få lagen upphävd – en lag som han tidigare sagt sig vara emot. Till och med Blair har i efterhand sagt sig ångra förbudet.

Melissa Kite skriver i The Spectator om besvikelsen bland dessa typiska Toryväljare.

On a perfect winter morning, I mount a dapple grey horse in an icy farmyard a few minutes from the Prime Minister’s country home and prepare to go hunting with the Chipping Norton set. David Cameron’s local hunt, the Heythrop, is meeting just round the corner from where the PM lives, in the Oxfordshire village of Dean, and the Cotswold elite are out in force.

[…]

The numbers of pro- and anti-hunt MPs do not stack up well for repeal. But it does not help that no one in government is making the case for hunting, or for any traditional countryside cause for that matter. While Labour is as urban as ever, the Tories are turning away from the shires to try to win suburban votes with policies supporting rural house-building and high-speed rail. Gay marriage is being steamrollered through. Yet no political will apparently exists to support the millions of people like me who regard field sports as integral to their identity. The countryside has been politcally orphaned, and hunting is the most visible sign of it.

[…]

Meanwhile, [Cameron’s] modish new-look MPs are in no mood to listen to the countryside. When Tracey Crouch, an A-list candidate, talks about the ‘barbaric sport of hunting’, she speaks for several of the new intake, who, disappointingly enough, seem to have swallowed whole the animal rights lobby’s twisted and ignorant view of what hunting a fox with a pack of hounds really entails, the need for pest control, the risk of wounding when dealing with vermin only with a gun.

Could it be that the values of rural types and urbanites are so now divorced from each other that a reversal of the hunting ban is impossible?

En av tidskriftens krönikörer, Charles Moore, och en av dess tidigare redaktörer, är inne på samma tema i ett senare nummer:

[P]erhaps I am sitting and brooding too much; but it does seem to me that David Cameron is losing rural support at quite a rate and not realising. In this, the failure to repeal the hunting ban is significant. The Conservatives are, in fact, right, not to press for a vote now — because they failed to win the election, they do not have the numbers to carry repeal. But the situation exposes the problem. Pro-hunting people were the mainstay of Tory activism in a great many seats in the last election. It is calculated that 94 currently sitting Conservative MPs were substantially helped by the ‘Vote OK’ campaign that mobilised hunting people. Unless something happens, they will not get that support next time. A patronising and ignorant leader in the Times last week said that ‘the compromise arrived at seems to be working pretty well’. What compromise would that be? People whose livelihood depends on hunting suffer constant surveillance by ill-natured extremists. Men leading tough and often solitary lives on low wages are harassed by a well-funded charity, the RSPCA, which spends enormous sums on prosecutions, but cannot afford to keep thousands of the animals entrusted to its care and puts them down instead. Hunt staff face the threat of prosecution under a law which is shockingly uncertain in its application. Uncompromisingly bad laws should not survive unaltered. Mr Cameron owes it to his supporters to work out a better legal way through this.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är The Spectator den 29 december 2012.

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