‘Cruelty transcends party politics’

Posted on December 12, 2012

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Today (12th December), an item was posted on the web-site of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) titled ‘Cruelty transcends party politics’.

‘… Politics has changed in Britain. The traditional distinction between left and right has been overtaken by a new wave of diverse independent thinkers and pressure groups. As membership of political parties falls, support for single issue groups and charities are on the rise. Organisations like the League have to change and adapt to a new and eclectic climate.

Concern for animal welfare is one such issue that reflects the changing nature of politics. The 2010 election saw a new generation of Conservative MPs enter Parliament who are opposed to hunting. Just two weeks ago myself and Joe Duckworth, the League’s Chief Executive, met with one such Conservative MP, Tracey Crouch, who opposes the repeal of the Hunting Act and the badger cull. It was encouraging to hear Tracey’s views, and many of her Conservative colleagues now support our aim to end cruelty in the name of sport.
I am a recent recruit to the League (I joined as the Senior Public Affairs Officer for Westminster and England this September) and my background in politics could be considered atypical for this organisation. I spent over four years working in the private office of David Cameron from 2006 to 2010 in his role as Leader of the Opposition.  Mr Cameron has been clear over his personal desire to see the Hunting Act repealed, and he leads a party traditionally associated with the pro hunting lobby. Why then, given my career history, have I joined the League?
I have always been opposed to hunting and cruelty. These are values that I have found in many colleagues during my time working in Westminster, and these same values can be found in organisations like Conservatives Against Foxhunting (also known as Blue Fox) which has 26 Conservative MPs pledged to retaining the Hunting Act. In addition, its sister organisation, Blue Badger, worked with the League and our campaign partners to successfully oppose the badger cull due to take place this year. The new attitude to animal welfare has not gone unnoticed by the media. In August 2011, the Daily Mail reported on the “new Urban Tory women MPs” who were committed to keeping cruelty history and who would oppose any attempt to repeal the Hunting Act.  You can read the article here.
I hope that my personal background and connections will enable the League to raise its profile in Westminster and engage with those who wouldn’t normal consider themselves to be natural supporters, whilst reaffirming and consolidating relationships with our long time supporters. In 2013 we will take this one step further by launching “Friends of the League”, which will bring together parliamentarians from all the major political parties and help raise awareness of our campaigns. Although retaining the ban on fox hunting remains the League’s core priority, we are leading on many other issues, such as wildlife crime, snaring, dogfighting and bullfighting, which are garnering support from all sides of the political spectrum.

In just a few short months in this job, I have made contact and held meetings with MPs from all of the main political parties. It is clear that, whatever peoples’ personal politics are, the vast majority of the public support our aims and objectives; so do a growing number of politicians who want to stay in touch with their constituents. This is because cruelty is not a political issue, but an issue of basic humanity …’

Read the item and add your comment online at www.league.org.uk/blogpost/761/Cruelty-transcends-party-politics

Please support the League Against Cruel Sports and all their campaigns.

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