We’re not proud of all our her­itage

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your Views - By Derek J Chick BA, I ENG, MIET, MIFL

Re­gard­ing Nigel Thorn­ton# s ar­ti­cle on P26 last week. I am not a fox hunter, I have rode a horse but that’s about it. You em­pha­sise “pro­tect­ing our her­itage” as a plus for the pur­suance of fox hunt­ing’s ma­jes­tic im­age. I agree, our Bri­tish her­itage is ar­guably very wor­thy of pro­tec­tion. How­ever, what el­e­ments of our her­itage are we proud of and what el­e­ments do we brush un­der the ta­ble? Some would ar­gue that fox hunt­ing is a “sport”, oth­ers would to­tally dis­agree. I tend to agree with the lat­ter. The def­i­ni­tion of sport to the lay­man is, an abil­ity to com­pete with other hu­man be­ings to­ward achiev­ing a com­mon tar­get ob­jec­tive that wins! Does the ac­tiv­ity of fox hunt­ing achieve this? With whom are the gen­tle­men and ladies com­pet­ing with? The fox; the dogs; the en­vi­ron­ment? Dif­fi­cult to de­cide this. But I can only see one re­sult – the live fox loses against over­whelm­ing com­pe­ti­tion. I fully ap­pre­ci­ate that rid­ing horses as a group presents an ideal so­cial net­work­ing op­por­tu­nity and a sense of en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­pre­ci­a­tion for our fan­tas­tic coun­try­side, plus - the dogs get plenty of ex­er­cise. The aris­to­crats of our UK so­ci­ety pro­mote tra­di­tion and her­itage, I wel­come this, how­ever, The Birch and the Guil­lo­tine are no longer used! I say, keep tra­di­tion, keep her­itage but move on with mod­ern think­ing and adapt to the views of the gen­eral UK pop­u­lace, not the elit­ist and pow­er­ful Eto­nian club mem­bers de­sire for “no change”. Maybe its time the par­tic­i­pants in this coun­try­side ac­tiv­ity in­vested some of their wealth and time in “tech­nol­ogy and hu­man­ist thought”. Let’s in­vent a “fox scent” that is dis­trib­uted on a route through­out the grounds prior to the hunt with a rag fox at the end! Mind you, the dogs wouldn’t be happy to sav­age a fluffy life­less im­i­ta­tion Fox at the end , or would they?

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