Friday, April 23, 2004

Man-Traps and Spring Guns
"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun". (Ecclesiastes 1:9 ) So here we are back with Tony Martin and his prospective Law. And therefore back also with the strange arguments raised in the 19th century against the abolition of man-traps and spring-guns. Oh the agonised fury of those demanding for 19th Century landholders the continued right to take 'any means' to protect their property, the predictions that preventing the setting of lethal traps would mean the plundering of all landed estates of all Game by poachers. If you want an account of this strange episode (and also accounts of the opposition to Hanging Drawing and Quartering for Treason and the introduction of the Plimsoll line on cargo ships)raid the second hand bookshops for a copy of E.S.Turners great book 'Roads To Ruin; the shocking history of social reform'. It happens to be one of Tony Benn's top ten books but don't let that put you off.

Turner's description of the Man traps debate makes clear that the Tony Martin Bill is History repeating itself first as a deadly farce then as a policy of the 2004 conservative Party. A must read to prepare for the emotive nonsense to come form those demanding the right to kill intruders into their homes. Dickens of course had a mention of the armed property protection mania in Bleak House. Martin's farm of course was called Bleak House...

Still it is possible to have some reasonable differences of opinion on this current Martin issue, thank heavens.

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