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Why stop at foxhunting, Jeremy? What about hanging, drawing and quartering?

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Deep down, we always knew it would end this way. Like England losing in a World Cup semi-final, like Piers Morgan starting a fight with a gay footballer, like the Dalai Lama revealing himself to be as woke as a man from the 1970s who tells random women to “smile more, love”. We always knew the Tory leadership campaign would, eventually, come down to foxhunting. Why wouldn’t the most consequential leadership election of our lifetimes, one that could potentially define this country’s relationship with the rest of the world and bring ruin to our economy for decades to come, be defined by a debate on whether or not it is right to tear a live animal apart with angry dogs?

Having been at plenty of dinner parties with middle-class Tories from the home counties, I can tell you there are really only three topics of conversation – foxhunting, Hugh Bonneville, and London knife crime statistics (the latter only since Sadiq Khan became mayor). These debates are not usually naturally occurring, but rather brought up by the host to distract from the fact that the venison is a little dry, or that Tabitha has clearly been having a torrid six-month affair with the gamekeeper. And the same applies here. Jeremy Hunt has made – and then quickly retracted – a promise of a free vote on foxhunting, mostly to distract from the fact that economists and EU negotiators have roundly dismissed his detailed no-deal plan. You might wonder what foxhunting has to do with the immediate Brexit-related problems facing this........

© The Guardian