10 June 1999
Rural issues hijacked by the Right
RURAL issues have been hijacked by the far Right, according to environmental campaigner George Monbiot, writing in The Guardian.
Professor Monbiot reviews a book called “Another Country”, written by the Social Affairs Unit, which sets out ideas loosely formulated by the Countryside Alliance.
He says the authors knowingly confuse the interests of rural people with large landowners and property speculators.
The book argues that rural people are an “oppressed minority”, persecuted by an “urban population that no longer knows much of country ways”.
The right to roam, the book says, is a theft of property.
Public land, currently available for the “reckless use of all”, should be sold off to private owners so that it can be “properly husbanded”.