These are difficult days for Britain’s New Labour Government, elected last May with a huge majority. The Government ship has been forced to sail out of sheltered coastal waters into the open sea, where it faces unexpected currents and uncharted reefs. Its navigational skills are now in doubt — a pledge to do something about cruel forms of hunting appears to have been replaced by a desire that the hounding to death of deer and foxes will continue to be tolerated, at least for the lifetime of this Parliament, and a proposed ban on tobacco advertising in sport will be applied to snooker, but not to Formula One motor racing, for reasons which are, to say the least, unclear and unconvincing.
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