When hunt supporters visit the office of a Tory cabinet minister these days, they like to turn up armed and dangerous. And so it was when a delegation from the Countryside Alliance arrived for a private meeting with the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson a few weeks ago, wielding an alarming new poll of their membership. Setting the dossier down in front of Mr Paterson (one of their few allies in government), they spelt out the bottom line: 13 per cent

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This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated

Tags: Cameron, Coalition, Conservative, Countryside Alliance, grass roots, hunting, South Thanet, UKIP