:: Thursday, September 16, 2004 ::

Tally Ho

daily mirror

The Surrey branch of Class War went on the rampage in a style that put to shame the efforts of their urban counterparts in the eighties. This time it was fox hunting that was the issue not the poll tax. It should be pointed out that it was the other side of the class war who were on the march. Specifically:

Amongst those understood to have been arrested are Otis Ferry, 21-year-old son of rock star Bryan Ferry, and England polo player Luke Tomlinson, 26, a close friend of Prince Harry.

The historical constitutional echoes of ruling class pals of the monarchy invading parliament are uncomfortable and will have a negative resonance in a way that the Countryside Alliance probably don't even realise. They should reflect that fox hunting only exists because Cromwell banned deer hunting. The republican aspect of anti-hunt sentiment still exists.

But the CA claim that they are the democrats. In a press release on their website they state:

Todays' massive Alliance demonstration outside Parliament against a hunting ban is not about hunting, Chief Executive Simon Hart has said.

Thousands of people have been converging on Westminster since early this morning for the demonstration, which is expected to attract over 10,000 protesters.

Speaking to a packed gathering of national broadcast and print media this morning on the steps of Parliament Square Mr.Hart, joined by Alliance President Ann Mallalieu, stressed that the protest went far beyond the specific issue of hunting to the fundamental issues of political prejudice politics and discrimination in a liberal democracy

So it wasn't even about hunting? Try to focus on the issue guys. And did we hear you complaining about a lack of democracy when we went to war in Iraq in the face of majority opposition. Not galloping around on a horse with a stupid red coat on drinking sherry, going to war.

But the CA is likely to be sitting in a daze, not knowing quite what has hit it this morning. All the sympathetic coverage gone and replaced by images of hooray henry's invading parliament and cidered-up tractor enthusiasts fighting the cops. I'm sure some of them are doing what us lefties always do on these occassions, wondering if it was a put-up job by agent provocateurs.

Much of the trouble probably also comes from a lack of demo experience. The demonstrators thought they might be in for a bit of pushing and shoving, those of us who know the Met could have told them that a trip to casualty was more likely. The cops had no riot gear on and weren't expecting trouble. So when it came they panicked. TV pictures clearly showed that they hit everyone who came near the barriers, in the face with wooden truncheons. Ouch.

:: Alister | 10:28 am | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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