LETTER: Is there a link?

In 1908 pensions were introduced in to the UK. You had to be over 70. Small opportunity for lying as the census for births was started in 1831.

This produced an OAP population of miniscule size, much less than one per cent. In all of Ireland, then part of the UK, records of births and deaths had not started until much later. There was no official record of who was over 70.

In the Second World War railway ticket collectors at London termini not only collected train tickets but a large number of Woodbine cigarette packets cut to the same size. The shade of green was identical.

Two post cards from history. Post cards about dishonesty. Or from another direction tiny efforts to rebalance the wealth/poverty level that tilted throughout the 20th century.

In the 16th Christmas of the 21st is a display in Lewes showing something similar, fox hunting and supporters. Fox hunting, hunting with dogs, is illegal. Has been now for many years. The popularity of the law, banning hunting, is growing.

Eighty-two per cent of the population support the legislation (Independent p8 26, 12, 16) and yet every Boxing Day a display of support for fox hunting takes place.

A parallel I can think of is that opposition to the banning of use of mobile phones in moving cars is organised. A troop of car users wave their phones from the open windows of a moving fleet saying we are not using them but we are driving one handed and showing opposition to the law.

The police are present, not to reinforce the law but to protect the right of this protest to take place. And if not enough police one year more are drafted in the next. This happened in response to the fox hunting event in Lewes this year.

An interesting aspect of this is the level of wealth screaming among the supporters. Anyone with an eye to clothing costs, shoe cut and general air of money not being an object could see where fox hunting, with a few exceptions, gains its support. And this elite is protected by growing numbers of law enforcers to show outright disregard of the law being observed.

Perhaps it is the wealth that says we will do what we want and ride in the face of an attempt to civilise animal welfare. At the same time in non-fox life is the most ferocious attack of the rich against the poor not seen for over a hundred years. Is there a link between the two?

Colin Frost-Herbert

Abinger House, Abinger Place