So, my local Lib Dem MP, Tom Brake, has emailed me to ask for my views on the proposal to repeal the ban on fox-hunting. And I want to reply with the word CRUEL to show my complete horror at the suggestion – but something is preventing me. It is the foxes who use my garden on their nightly escapades, digging holes where holes are not required, leaving evidence of their passage and damaging the cars on our drive by using the bonnet as a skating rink. And you can’t tell me it isn’t personal. In the days before I became an impoverished writer, I had a series of very nice company cars. Basically, the little blighters waited until a new car had been delivered, then, within a week or so, they took turns to deface them. My favourite was a British racing green mini with a white roof. Did the foxes just damage one panel? No, they made sure that they damaged the bonnet, the roof and – somehow – the very square back. The re-spray job was a little under £1500. It is just as well I wasn’t paying. They were particularly pleased with the mess they made of my black Honda Civic R type. I could almost hear them laughing as they smugly sat in my front garden. Naturally, the foxes haven’t touched my second-hand 1.2 Corsa that barely makes it over Box Hill. It just isn’t worth their while. Now, we have experimented with humane methods of discouraging them, we really have. Matt has stragetically placed kreosote-sodden rags in flower pots near the drive. It had about the same impact as the nail polish that you use to prevent nail-biting. They developed a taste for it. Then we bought a canny little piece of equipment called a Fox Watch, which emits a high-pitched screetch every time they come within it’s radius. It was like listening to Westlife. At first they hated it but by the end of the first week they were singing along to the catchy little tune inside their heads. And they’re getting bolder. Friends have told me about foxes who come up to their French windows, and those who have been found in kitchens in broad daylight. As someone who lives near a railway line, I expect the odd sighting. What I do not expect is to find that my neighbours are encouraging them by leaving food outside their back door. So, I’m torn, Tom Brake. I propose a compromise. Can we keep the ban on hunting in the countryside but to introduce it in towns. We meet at 11.00am on Sunday near Carshalton Ponds. Wear red.