New COVID-19 exemptions show clear class bias

Peter Stoddart, YCL Student Officer

New coronavirus regulations came into force in England, Wales and Scotland today (14 September 2020) which restricted all group activities to no more than 6 individuals. There will be differences in however in how the so called ‘Rule of 6‘ will be applied in the separate parts of Britain.

Despite these restrictions, it emerged today that the government has made grouse shooting and other ‘hunting’ exempt from the restrictions. A loophole in the legislation allows hunting and shooting groups to hold  gatherings of up to 30 people. Despite current laws against fox hunting, it remains unclear if foxhunting is also ‘exempt’.

The Hunting Act 2004 was brought in to curtail fox hunting, however hunts have continued despite the legislation.

Boris Johnson has previously said he ‘loved’ fox hunting in a ‘semi-sexual’ way and encouraged illegal hunts to ignore government bans (Photo courtesy of the Hunt Saboteurs Association)
The Hunt Saboteurs Association have been busy this year disrupting blood sports events across the country (Photo courtesy of the Hunt Saboteurs Association)

The Tories’ continued obsession with fox hunting highlights the class bias at the heart of the Tory Party and the government. As the YCL have argued throughout this crisis, the Tories are unfit to deal with the affects of the pandemic and are unable to support working class people. These latest exemptions highlight this.

Similarly, the lack of testing, the prompt reopening of schools – where cases are rapidly rising and the proposed end of the furlough scheme next month, all highlight the inhumanity at the heart of this government.

YCL General Secretary, Johnnie Hunter said: “the priorities of Boris Johnson’s Tory government, protecting illegal blood sports and the landed gentry, is a clear signal of disdain for working people during this critical period as we battle a second spike in coronavirus.

He added, “This clear contempt and Tory incompetence shouldn’t be forgotten. Johnson’s ‘One Nation’ Conservative Party is anything but. It’s a Party which exclusively looks out for big business, vested interests and big landowners – always and everywhere at the expensive of working people.”

Peter Stoddart

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