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North London townie gits and the countryside

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 30 September 2012

Sir Andrew Motion, is the new president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. I grew up in the boonies and want to live there again one day and after 10 minutes on the Campaign’s website I can safely say that these cretins do not speak for me or for most folks who live or who grew up in the shires.

I was prompted to visit this website by Motion’s claim that Londoners should venture out into the shires and hug an animal. Yup. The countryside really needs loads of 4×4’s heading out from Islington and Camden with folks ready to scare sheep in lambing season or frighten the chickens. My only hope is that the first animals that the townies try to hug are any one of: A large gander, a fox, badger, stoat or an really aggressive cockerel. Or maybe a large bull.

Sir Andrew, who lives in North London for his work but travels to the countryside almost every week, also urged the preservation of libraries and post offices to give rural people a sense of community. Jolly good. So what else does the Campaign want to do?

Well it sure knows what the priorities of country folk are.

I see a large section on its website about climate change.

Climate change is real. It is already taking its toll on the English countryside. And if it isn’t stopped, within a few decades it will have altered many of our most cherished landscapes forever.

Farming and rural communities are already suffering the effects of wetter winters, more storms, high winds and shifting seasons. As sea levels rise, we’re likely to see dramatic further changes. In the East of England we will lose fens, beaches and probably entire villages too.

Our high-carbon economy, based on roads and airport expansion, and energy-wasting buildings, needs to make way for low-carbon, carefully planned development. We have been championing this kind of development for many years. We’re already seeing what will happen if we do not make the switch. We can still halt further destruction, but we need to take action immediately.

No arguments about global warming. For Sir Andrew and his pals it is a given.

It is also obsessed about litter. It has signed up to the campaign to have a tax levied on all plastic bags. This will of course hit the poor hardest and – although you would not believe it from listening to the Archers – there are a lot of poor folk in the countryside. But stuff them. Let’s ensure that when Sir Andrew visits the countryside it is a green and pleasant land.

Quarrying and mining? Yup that might create jobs for poor folks in the boonies. But the Campaign to Protect Rural England is against it. It is ugly and contributes to climate change. Okay. Drat. Sod the workers.

Well what about farming then? Surely the Campaign wants efficient farms that are economically viable, creating real jobs and cheap food? How could I be so naive?

Farming isn’t just about producing food, farmers help maintain the unique character of the English landscape with its hedgerows meadows, woods, and traditional barns. Buying locally produced food can help ensure a thriving future for farming.

We support sustainable farming and outdoor livestock production, as the best way to maintain a beautiful, living, working countryside, diverse in wildlife.

Most of our food comes from the big supermarket chains, which sell very little locally produced food. Buying locally produced food helps shoppers make a connection with farmers, is good for the environment and creates jobs within communities.

Hell’s teeth. Farming isn’t just about producing food. Yes it is. But as sir Andrew strolls though Islington’s farmer’s market paying £7 for some organic goat’s cheese he might like to reflect that most folks (producers and consumers) simply cannot afford a return to nineteenth century farming methods .

Any mention of fox hunting on the website? You know, killing off vermin who attack livestock and are just bad creatures? Oddly no. Foxes are for hugging clearly.

These N1 imbeciles have a vision of the countryside straight from Thomas Hardy. The reality is that farming is a tough business. There are a lot of poor people in the countryside. Foxes kill livestock. We yokels are more terrified of how to pay the bills than of (unproven) global warming. I can only hope that the Badger Sir Andrew hugs has virulent TB.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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