"It is a noble old British tradition in some quarters to get up early on both Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, put on strange pink clothes and venture into the countryside on horseback to rip the throat out of the first fox you see. Maiming and murdering our wild mammal population is now illegal — but still the hunters were out in record numbers. They had a terrific time. They were once again able to wear their clothes and trot about braying to one another, condescending to the lower orders. Sure, they were deprived of the pleasure of actually killing an animal and, subsequently therefore, smearing the blood on the face of some infant out on his first 'kill'. But overall they pronounced the hunts an enormous success. So what’s the problem, gentlemen?
"Banning fox hunting, we were told (by the Countryside Alliance, the toffs and their genuflecting peasant followers) would wreak havoc on the rural economy. Where, exactly, is this havoc? How many jobs have been lost? How many hunts disbanded? How many rural villages condemned to poverty and decay? It was all rubbish — and the rather cheering thing is that we knew it was rubbish at the time. So, you lot, when you’re out tomorrow morning, remember: Foxes 1, Hunters 0. And a Happy New Year." —Rod Liddle