The prime minister’s real problem is his betrayal of conservative values
The case of hunting
SIR – I disagree with Arthur Bayley’s suggestion (Letters, January 16) that there is no moral justification for hunting and killing animals with dogs for sport and pleasure.
For many, the various forms of hunting are both necessary and enjoyable. Many people enjoy shooting, stalking, angling, snooping, raking, and falconry. However, sportsmen do not like to inflict cruelty on their prey, and to suggest otherwise is unfair and inaccurate.
Those who oppose country sports are often selective about which ones they want to ban, and as a result their beliefs and demands are inconsistent.
Wadhurst, East Sussex
SIR – When fox hunting was still legal, a research project was undertaken in which each fox killed by a particular hunt was sent to a laboratory to establish how it died.
In each case, the fox was found to have died instantly following a bite on the back of the neck by the lead dog; all wounds to the body had been inflicted after the death of the fox. Tearing dead meat is not cruel.
Hunting must be better than the current situation, where so many foxes are being shot and injured. It is very difficult to take down such a small, fast-moving target – and so the animals move away and die slowly.
Few who hunt have ever been close enough to the front of the hunt to see a fox dispatched, so it is a myth to claim that enjoying such a sight is the reason for the hunt. Those who oppose it do not object to the depiction of wild predation in wildlife television programs, which are considered family entertainment.
St Ives, Huntingdonshire
SIR – Your second feature article (January 16) suggested that to avoid a collision with an asteroid emerging from one of Earth’s “blind spots” one should consider moving “the planet a few centimeters to the left”.
No, we’ve already gone too far to the left. Let’s move it to the right.
Sir Michael Ferguson Davie
Objective of HS2
SIR – Keith Forsdick and Keith Whittaker (Letters, January 16) are wrong to claim that the original justification for HS2 was not based on capacity.
Following HS2 Ltd’s options report, the order document issued by the Department for Transport in March 2010 stated: “1. That over the next 20 to 30 years the UK will need radical change transport capacity between its largest and most productive agglomerations, both to facilitate and accommodate long-term economic growth; 2. That alongside this additional capacity there are real benefits for the economy and for passengers from improving journey times and therefore the UK’s connectivity.
Crawley, West Sussex
SIR – Last week’s letters summarized why HS2 should be frozen.
Also, claims by HS2 management that speeds of 250 mph will be achieved need to be looked into. On a trip of just 100 miles, how long will you spend at over 200 mph, and what levels of acceleration and braking will passengers be subjected to?
The sunk cost of this project is still low compared to the final estimate.
East Grinstead, West Sussex
What the Romans did
SIR – Allow me to put into context the guilt aroused with regard to the British Empire and the “evils” of colonialism.
The invasion in 55 BC. BC and subsequent colonization of Britain was the best thing that ever happened to this country. Before the arrival of the Romans, the people here were hide-clad hunter-gatherers, with social discipline imposed according to the will of the fittest.
As I drive along Ermine Street and the Fosse Way, I salute what the Romans left us. More so during my career as an English lawyer, when I learned the value of the rule of law as a concept – originally introduced here during around 450 years of Roman settlement. Oh, and the Romans also brought us Christianity. Not everyone’s cup of tea, I agree, but the bedrock of British culture.
Everything that the Romans brought to us as recipients of Pax Romana, we then brought to many parts of the globe as Pax Britannica. We walked on worthy steps.
The Reverend His Honor Peter Morrell