Turning nasty

Rod Liddle - Times Online
Spoke to a man who went hare coursing the other day. “We have to be careful though,” he whispered, “on account of police informers.” Not careful enough, matey, I thought to myself, surreptitiously writing down his car registration number. He then explained, with great exasperation, how at the end of every course they had to shoot all the hares, otherwise the whole enterprise would be deemed illegal. “There’s just no alternative, that’s what the law says we have to do,” he said. “Well, you could just not go hare coursing in the first place, which is what the law really intends,” I said. He looked very puzzled, as if this thought – of properly abiding by the law – had never even occurred to him.

In The Spectator, meanwhile, one of Britain’s most celebrated fox-stranglers, the former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore, worries that the police might soon “turn nasty” with regard to the hundreds of braying pink-jacketed aristowannabes who continue to flout the ban. By “turn nasty” he means uphold the law of the land. Charles and his ilk are at other times fervent admirers of law and order. I wonder how he would feel if he were to be burgled or mugged and the police resisted the temptation to “turn nasty” bypursuing the perpetrator, but turned a blind eye instead?