Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

ONE of the charming aspects of our parliamentary procedure is that concerning private members' bills, whereby obscure backbenchers are allowed to take part in a ballot for a once-in-alifetime stab at changing the law. Needless to say, these dictators for a day have an unnerving tendency to want to ban something or other. And, not unusually, it is something to do with furry animals.

Number eight in this year's ballot was Ken Livingstone, who wants to outlaw hunting with dogs. One place below him is Gwyn Prosser, Labour MP for Dover, for whom the world's greatest injustice is the export of live farm animals. He has duly prepared a bill which would impose heavy fines on anybody who dared cross the Channel with a sheep, whether it be for slaughter or further fattening.

The bill, thankfully, wouldn't prohibit the transportation of animals over long distances within the United Kingdom if it did all livestock farming would have to cease. …

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