If you’ve been reading this blog since it began several months ago, you may recall the strong reactions from some quarters that greeted our announcement that the Countryside Alliance we’re joining the Convention as partners. Both myself and Anthony Barnett wrote posts defending the decision to work with the CA – and a diverse mix of other organisations – on an issue of such vital political importance.
The former chairman of the CA, John Jackson, who is closely involved in the Convention and will be chairing the session on Judges and politicians – who decides?, was moved to write an article on the history of the CA and its purpose as an organisation. We have now published that article on openDemocracy’s UK blog, OurKingdom. Contrary to popular belief, the CA isn’t simply “about” fox hunting and neither was the 500,000 strong demonstation it organised in 2002, according to Jackson. For, “whilst most of the marchers came from the countryside, less than one tenth of them were, or ever had been, involved directly in hunting. And of the ten grievances for which remedy was sort in the petition delivered to Downing St after the march only one related to hunting – a point much of the press missed.” One of the primary roles fulfilled by the CA, says Jackson, is to defend the liberties of a rural minority against an urban majority.