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a countryside cry

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Monday 23 September 2002 2.37pm
In the absence of our esteemed MP, Simon Hughes, my family and I struck out yesterday to represent the minority view in South London and support the countryside.

This was my first countryside march and I fully expected some violent clashes with the ‘die-hard' anti-hunting lobby. To my surprise, the more ‘tree-hugging' elements of our society had clearly decided to go ‘to ground'. Instead, I witnessed a parade that was fighting for the cornerstones of our ‘liberal' society - a parade that was fighting for liberty and tolerance. I did not see Kate Hoey or Vinnie Jones but I did see 400,000 people defending their culture and identity.

It has been said that the anti-hunt vote has more to do with the last vestiges of class divide. The sheer diversity of people yesterday, surely, puts paid to that misconception.

Whether you enjoy blood sports like hunting or fishing yourself, can you not feel a certain compassion for a minority who are being blighted by ‘intolerance and prejudice'?
Monday 23 September 2002 5.08pm
When you say "fighting for the the cornerstones of our ‘liberal' society", what exactly do you mean?

I witnessed yesterday's protest too, but from the perspective of someone stuck in traffic wondering about the irony of it all.

Think about it: September 22nd was European Car Free Day. On this day, whole cities across Europe closed their central areas to traffic. In London, a token gesture results in Tower Bridge being closed. One bridge, closed for one Sunday in a year, to highlight the case for removing our dependence on cars.

Meanwhile, the Countryside march goes ahead. TWENTY roads are closed to allow the marchers to make a vague point of 'liberty'. Ironic perhaps?

One of the bizarre things people were protesting about was the closure of rural shops and post-offices. Yet, study after study has shown that the increase in car use by these VERY SAME PEOPLE has been the largest contributor to this effect. People who have happily travelled to out-of-town Tescos or shopping malls for the last twenty years can hardly start blaming the government now. Perhaps they should protest against themselves.

And what of the other hilarious part of the protest: A demand to buy British food produced from British farms? It would be interesting to see the weekly shopping cart of some of these people, and see if they choose their food on price or on convenience or on whether it is locally produced.
Wednesday 25 September 2002 11.33am

Thing is Tom I feel that a lot of the Countryside issues that people were told they were marching for might get traded away for the government saying okay we won't ban fox hunting. Its classic. The... err political side of the CA can then claim a victory. Sad because all those Post Offices and Bus Routes are not going to get any better as a result.

Farmers too have had a hard time too of . To be honest I cannot imagine the effect of all that culling it must have been terrible. But it seems people actually dont much care about our agriculture being able to feed the country (the old stategic view).

I dont think it really is about "Toffs". Livelihood ? Yes. My suggestion is that the CA take over the food distribution infrastructure and implement a coup against EEC agricultural policy Simultaneously re scaling the whole operation so that it works on a more local network basis ( bear in mind "locally produced" food in London means its from anywhere in the South East.)

Although I am basically against hunting there are some excellent books by French people about Culture, combine the ideas you find therein and seek out a few friendly anti-globalists who will go for it and campaign for you as an indigenous people whose minority way of life is being interfered with.

love your crook

All the best

Wednesday 25 September 2002 1.10pm
As usual, Polly Toynbee has said everything there is to be said about this:,5673,795570,00.html

Wednesday 25 September 2002 1.54pm
She is to New Labour what the Daily Telegraph is to the Tories.

There is a lot in what she says that is true but the elimination of culture and diversity is still a fact. No matter if you agree with hunting or not, you should revel in cultural diversity. As Charlie boy said, this is simply 'acceptable' ethnic cleansing - the chattering classes (who, ironically, were essentially enfranchised by Thatcher's Conservatives when they privastised Council housing at give away prices) getting one over the 'auld enemy'.

All the champagne socialists at the Guardian, the BBC et al are enjoying this. They control the middle ground and this fox hunting malarky is a sop to their old working class roots. Good luck to them - as the Tories found out, it doesn't last forever...

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