Wherever you stand on the great British foxhunting controversy (Tony Blair’s government is forcing through legislation to ban it, for motives that owe little to animal welfare but much to class hatred), there’s no doubt that the debate itself has thrown up an entertaining range of characters for the rest of the world to enjoy.
Here’s an interview with one of the principal activists on the pro-hunting side, one Otis Ferry, the youngest master of fox hounds in the country and, incredibly, the son of Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry (their first two albums were among the greatest ever recorded, but as Kathryn once told me their music was ‘ancient history’, I had better not continue with this digression).
The interview makes for great reading, not least for this description of what happened (initially) to Otis after he stormed the chamber of the House of Commons:
“Instead of being killed, he was tackled to the ground by attendants wearing knickerbockers and tights, then taken off to office of the Serjeant at Arms. “It was actually quite comical as they tried to grapple us with their swords. Afterwards, they were charming and very polite, giving us their chairs. They brought us chicken chow mein and shepherd’s pie to eat, and let us watch the football. It was all very civilised.”
A sense of civility, alas, that is doomed by the times in which we live.