Saturday, 19 November 2011
This Lorry leads a convoy of about a dozen 4x4's through the village several times a week. Always weekdays and always packed with plastic crates and gun cases.
A military exercise at the Stamford Training Area? A crack platoon of elite soldiers off to do battle around the replica Afghan village which is built there?
The truck is packed with a forelock of stick wielding pensioners in olive drab and camouflage fatigues whilst the 4x4's contain a motley selection of estate agents, solicitors, Company Directors and saloon bar sleazeballs armed with shotguns, neatly pressed green ties, Barbour jackets and silver hip flasks.
They are on their way to a grain feeding station near the wood where the "beaters" from the truck will walk slowly across the field to disturb pheasants for the "arses" to blast with their wide angle shotguns. These pheasants have been reared and overfed specifically for the purpose of being slow enough for the dimmest hooray Henry to hit.
At lunch time the convoy repairs to the pub where the "beaters" sit huddled in the bar whilst the "arses" sit in the restaurant area getting louder and louder and toe-curlingly embarrassing.
I check my watch. Yes, it is the 21st Century. Where are the robots and flying cars?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a rabid left wing Dave Spart. I've got nothing against farmers shooting rabbits. I'm not one of those townies who moves to the Country and turns into a hunt saboteur. After all, even Hunts never bred foxes specifically for their "sport" nor overfed them to make them easier to catch.
No, this little pantomime of the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible is actually indefensible on every level. How can we morally justify breeding creatures to frighten and kill for sport? Why are we allowing a collection of extreme right wing thickos to carry lethal arms in public and keep them at home? Why are we perpetrating the feudal system?
If anyone would care to join me in a heroic convoy ambush mission, armed merely with catapults and moral indignation, just let me know.