It being that time of the year the BBC and others have, with all the predictability of the sun rising in the morning, wheeled on their favoured ones to call for the ancient and traditional practice of hunting to be effaced forever from our lives. Having wasted 700 hours of Parliamentary time, they now seek to waste police time.

Thus the other day the BBC’s pet harpy, Ann Widdecombe, who must single-handedly have done more to turn people off the notion of being a Tory than anyone in history, was on, blathering away for loads more police time to be spent chasing, literally, up hill and down dale after those who dare to ride out to hounds and do whatever they want to do of a fine winter’s day on horseback or on foot (with the beagles or the bassets, or if you are really fit, the fell packs of the Northwest).

All those whose homes have been looted, those scarred for life in a pub glassing, those who come out to go to work in the morning to find their car has been trashed, all those victim of some awful crime which affects their lives for ever, all will be really pleased that the police, who are thin on the ground as it is, should be diverted from the task of detecting real crime to that of enforcing the unenforceable.

Then there is this particular fool upon whom the Independent today choose to hang their hat, one John Bryant:

Before the ban, hunts killed as many as 25,000 foxes each year, a number which John Bryant, a wildlife expert who specialises in the humane removal of foxes from urban areas, believes has remained largely unchanged in the past three years.

He said: “A fox is lucky to get passed its first birthday and even luckier to pass its second. It is a combination of factors, chiefly motor vehicles. They are also being shot by farmers, caught in snares and still hunted, despite the ban. I think it’s had virtually no effect. They are constantly being persecuted for no good reason.”

Oh please….!

“Persecuted for no good reason”: what a lot of tommyrot that is. Try telling that to a farmer trying to eke out a bit of a living by keeping some chickens for free range eggs who comes out to find the lot slaughtered in the night by a nice cuddly fox.

And they are being shot. Isn’t that what we were all told we should do instead of hunting them on horseback if we really wanted to control them? Why has that suddenly become anathema to these stupid people? But then the real agenda is not killing anything anyhow, isn’t it? Vegetables, anyone?

Oh and we are knocking them down with our motor cars. Better ban people from driving in rural areas then, lest the poor little foxes might end up as so much roadkill.

And what, for sakes, is this fool doing humanely removing foxes from urban areas? The only place to remove them to humanely is the countryside. Well thanks very much for increasing the number of foxes that want to kill our chickens and lambs. No wonder country folk despair of bunny huggers.

Ann Widdecombe, who ought as a Tory to know better, is calling for so-called hunt monitors to be licensed and given special protection in law from being obstructed. So another group of busybodies who want to interfere in our lives is created, no doubt at the public expense. Instead of the Police we will have a one-issue vigilante force composed of political activists stalking the countryside on the off chance of catching someone doing something which may, or then again may not, be against the law. What an awful creature she is. When she leaves Parliament, all free-born countrymen will raise a glass and a cheer.

The Hunting Act 2004 is as poorly drafted a piece of legislation as Parliament has passed in a hundred years and is largely unenforceable. No wonder the Police find something rather better and of more use to ordinary citizens to do with their time than prat about the countryside trying to unravel the dos and donts of hunting legislation. What a waste of public time and money this has all been. And for all their effort they have managed just twenty convictions for offences under the Act in three years. What a joke.

Reports may be found here, here and here: take with as much of a pinch of salt as you wish, for it is a free world, for the moment at any rate.