Hounds of hate
For me, the most appalling thing about yesterday's pro-hunt protest wasn't the "invasion" of the House of Commons by a bunch of ill-dressed loons - "men in T-shirts apprehended by men in tights", as one MP quipped.
Neither was it the mob violence. (Us left-leaners are used to having our arguments ignored amidst condemnation of the actions of a minority of protestors hell-bent on causing trouble, so it's nice to see the shoe on the other foot now - let's see what the organisers have to say...)
Neither was it the response of an embattled and baton-wielding police force. (Watching the news, I was surprised not to hear any bloodied and howling protesters shouting, "Why don't you go and catch the real criminals?")
No, it was the interview with a woman in full tweed clobber perched on a horse whose justification for hunting was that her and her family go out every Saturday between September and April, and what would they do if it was banned? "What better way to spend time with the family?", she reasoned. Words fail me.
Incidentally, the incidents of bottle- and coin-throwing (50p's rather than 2p's, I imagine...) make them no better than your average football hooligan.
(To read Inspector Sands's similarly unsympathetic thoughts, click here.)