The Countryside Alliance has been awarded the title of the most “inspiring political personality” of the last ten years by Channel 4 news “for its campaigns against the fox hunting ban and its defence of rural life”.
It is a strange description of the Countryside Alliance but in many ways an apt one. In a letter to CA members chief executive Simon Hart said: “The simple fact is that our campaigns have brought something completely new to British politics that did not exist before the Alliance was formed in 1997.
“The rally in Hyde Park, the Countryside March of 1998 and the huge Liberty and Livelihood March of 2002, not to forget hundreds of other events the length and breadth of the country, gave rural communities a real political voice for the first time.”
Insolence of office
Labour Peer and CA president Ann Mallalieu and Labour MP and CA chairwoman Kate Hoey received the award from Jeremy Irons at a ceremony in London on Thursday, 24 January.
In accepting the award Baroness Mallalieu quoted Shakespeare describing her own government as being guilty of the ‘insolence of office’.
Within touching distance of several Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet Ministers the Peer also took the opportunity to warn future administrations – of whatever colour – that there is ‘unfinished business’ in the countryside.