The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #51709 Message #789396
Posted By: Gervase
23-Sep-02 - 03:21 AM
Thread Name: BS: (UK Only) Anyone going to today's march?
Subject: RE: BS: 9UK Only) Anyone going to todays march?
Sorry about the late posting, but I was in London yesterday as part of the 400,000 to 600,000 people marching.
Maybe I shouldn't have been there - I don't hunt and I've almost always voted Labour. Nevertheless, I found countless people on the march like me - people who defied the simplistic media portrayal of the marchers. There were wildfowlers from Merseyside, miners' hunts from Yorkshire, terrier club members from Cumbria, smallholders from Dorset, organic farmers from all over and a huge mass of ordinary people. I'm afraid it was about a lot more than fox-hunting.
Yes, there were "toffs" there, but why should someone's accent or social background disbar them from having their voice heard? The overwhelming impression I had was of decent, ordinary people who, for once, were given a voice to protest at what they perceive is an increasingly urban and ignorant establishment.
Some of the pundits have complained that the marchers' complaints were muddled and inchoate - but that's hardly surprising when you think of the huge range of people involved. What matters is that the range of voices was heard at all.
As for public opinion - were we always to listen to the polls we would still have capital punishment in the UK, many non-white britons would have been sent 'home' in the past and homosexuality would probably still be illegal. Sometimes sensible government means listening to minorities before imposing the supposed will of the majority.
For me, yesterday was exhilarating, inspiring and - sadly - ultimately rather depressing. There was a feeling of empowerment come too late.