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A second definition of British happiness

Is country sports.

In 2011, middle-class men, and especially women, are hunting from November to April, apparently at the dangerous edge of legality, four days a week. And no one – not the police, not the courts, not the saboteurs – is able to do a thing about it.

The hunt remains what it always was: the epitome of English independence. . .

And fearlessness.

Fearless female equestrians make up the majority of the field.

Love of country.

It's not difficult to glimpse the allure of a rural tradition that goes back to Merrie England and the greenwood tree. Salisbury Plain offers its own special magic: a pastoral theatre in which to experience a lovely dawn; the flight of rare birds; filigree spiders' webs laced into the hedgerows; immemorial tranquillity, and a lonely blue sky scored with vapour trails, almost the sole reminder of modernity.

And love of community.

. . ."What I love about the rural community," she tells me, "is that it's a well-glued society of mutually supportive people. But it's a completely different value system from the world of the cities. . .

Thanks to An Englishman's Castle for the link.


A postscript with image and quote provided by Never Yet Melted

Tony Blair said he initially agreed to a hunt ban without properly understanding the issue. [Alas, not the last time this would occur.- Ed.]

Then, during a vacation in Italy, he found himself talking to the mistress of a hunt near Oxford.

“She took me calmly and persuasively through what they did, the jobs that were dependent on it, the social contribution of keeping the hunt and the social consequence of banning it, and did it with an effect that completely convinced me,” Blair said.

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