With the passing of a bill outlawing fox hunting on English soil at last, there now comes the promise of a burgeoning movement chasing and killing 'Old Reynard' secretively, under cover of darkness and in places you'd least expect. The Boxing Day hunt of 2004 could prove the next big controversy of the season, unreconstructed die-hards forming an extreme faction of the Countryside Alliance who call themselves 'The Real Huntsmen' are reported to be limbering up to stage 'flash-meets' and catch local constabularies napping. Although police in the shires have no idea where these illegal gatherings may happen, forces have been working hard to build up networks of information on so-called 'countryside cells' and already they've broken up one fundamentalist group operating out of a 19th century converted barn on the outskirts of Middle Wallop.
"Those were some dangerous toffs," Superintendent Trevor Bamigboy told HDUK. "I'm just glad
there was enough money in the security budget to get 'em. But we can't pat ourselves on the cow
just yet, as they say round these parts, there's others out there with all the resources to make their
dang fool plans a reality."
In fact many churches with spires, churches with steeples, and village blacksmiths have been
commandeered by regional police forces to house scores of horses, dogs and members of the landed gentry, all expected to face arrest over the course of December 26th. This anticipated upsurge in violent activity follows the recent march on Whitehall where outraged huntsmen protested against the implementation of the long-mooted anti-hunting bill. During these demonstrations many lairy public schoolboys and beetroot-faced landowners had the shit beaten out of them by the rozzers and weren't best pleased about it. Meanwhile, in the background, a group of musicians dressed as woodland animals could be heard covering Culture Club's 'Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?' on a barge floating down the Thames.
The response of Tarquin Fotherington-Westley was typical of a stunned ruling class reaction to being smashed in the face with batons. "That's not fair!" The twenty-two year old whimpered, nursing an unpleasant headwound. "My father has 300 acres! He pays his taxes! Mummy told me they'd only attack those crusty johnnies. Why did she lie to me?" Tarquin then passed out and was airlifted to hospital. Following these clashes, communication between the two sides deteriorated to such an extent that John Jackson, chairman of the Countryside Alliance, had to disappear from public view following a paranoid rant at the government during his ill-judged guest appearance on 'The Paul O' Grady Show'. Speaking from a safe house somewhere on Exmoor last weekend, Mr. Jackson continued his inchoate rant. "This isn't about our right to watch animals being ripped apart." Gabbled the apoplectic chairman. "What they've done with this ban is threaten our whole way of life! It's tantamount to a declaration of war by Mr. Blair and his mincing urbanites - war on the countryside! Damn it, if they want war a bloody war's what they're going to get!" At this point Mr. Jackson was halted by a bout of coughing before continuing. "We've got millions of supporters around the U.K. Camilla [Parker-Bowles, partner of Prince Charles and long-time cunt] gives all her spare cash to the struggle and it'll be won ultimately, make no mistake about that. I've got to go now, pipe bombs don't build themselves."
Perhaps this is the kind of thinking which inspires attempts on the life of Home Affairs minister Alun Michael, the most recent occurring when a town crier called Barry attempted to whack him over the head with a rubber boot full of dung. Mr. Michael was the man charged with the unfortunate task of passing the proposal, a bill originally promised in Labour's 1997 election manifesto but continually put back in the hope that the issue might go away. However, with the recent publication of a white paper confirming there was no truth in the Countryside Alliance's claim that banning hunting would put a billion people out of work, contribute to a national shortage of eggs and encourage the spread of diseases such as tuberculosis, influenza and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, there was no possibility for further vacillation on the part of the Cabinet.
Us avowed metropolitan gangstas at Home Defence are naturally terrified of unfamiliar rural staples like fresh air and trees, but we wanted to understand whether our coverage of the issue was biased or flawed in any way, and with this in mind we contacted world-renowned huntmaster Robert Trench, interrupting him at Chelmsford kennels where the rugged darling of teenage huntresses everywhere was shooting Beagles who could no longer keep up with the pack.
"This is all about bigotry and prejudice." Asserted Trench, wiping the blood of a recently deceased dog from his cheek. "City folk don't take the time to understand us, so naturally they react in horror to something that's an integral part of the countryside's infrastructure. If we don't stop these townies taking over our lives what's going to be next? They'll probably concrete over my land and build a Body Shop in every ploughed field. I'm not about to let that happen, I'm willing to fight for the cause, even die for it if necessary, die in a frenzy of bloodletting just like the fox dies. Then the Real Huntsmen can wear my blood on their faces and finish our good fight... glistening blood, all that gore... uuhhhh... I'm sorry, you'll have to excuse me."
And so it seems this controversial subject is set to divide England for a long time to come. Perhaps the
last word should go to Superintendent Bamigboy, one man trying to reassure a nation stricken by intolerance
"The only good thing about those aristocrats is how stupid they are." Nodded the copper. "Centuries of
inbreeding have left them really dumb, dumber that the working classes even. We broke up one gathering last
week on a tip-off, wasn't difficult to find, them nobs are so used to parading around in jerkins and jodhpurs they
don't know anything about avoiding arrest. One of them even played his bugle for Christ's sake."
Yet Bamigboy counsels against the temptation for complacency in forthcoming battles. "We've got to nip this in the bud, that's obvious, but any force we use must be carefully controlled. None of us wants to lose this fight and find ourselves having to deal with public hangings and dancing bears. That said, if we employ marksmen to wing the hunters and they accidentally hit a horse, then those animal rights people will be all over us. And they really are lunatics."