I'm thinking of All Creatures Great And Small, The Vicar of Dibley, Heartbeat- TV shows about warm-hearted country folk, where the worst that can be said of anybody is that he's a lovable rogue.
I blame Wordsworth, myself. All that stuff about learning lessons in morality from the lesser celandine.
But then the country comes to town in the shape of the hunt supporters. Miners or anarchists yelling their hatred at the police is in the natural order of things, but wizened old ladies in green wellies?
The MFHs and the big landowners say there'll be civil war. They have eyes like lizards and snarl in the accents of privilege. A rich man issuing threats is a chilling sight.
Of course its not as simple as country v town. A lot of country people hate the hunt. And a lot of huntsmen are rich townies who have run away. One of the leaders of the protesters is the son of Brian Ferry- the rock star.
The Queen has asked Prince Charles to stop riding to hounds. Apparently (no love lost in that family) he is disregarding her advice. What a silly, romantic fool he is. Trust him to side with his "set" against the will of the British people.
Hatred of the hunt is hatred of the big man on the big horse. As visceral as that. It's been in our blood since the Norman knights rode down Harold's hus-carles at Hastings. Odi et amo. Ooh, you brute.
The hunt is a wonderful spectacle. An unopposed cavalry charge. Red coats against green fields. Yap, yap, yap. Taroo, taroo.