My view of the march

  • Horse & Hound correspondent Robin Page was arrested outside the House of Commons this afternoon, after he lay down in the road in protest at the anti-hunting bill which the Commons debated today. He was led away by two police officers to a police vehicle, but it is not known if he has been charged.

    Well over 2,000 supporters of hunting had gathered in Trafalgar Square to protest about the second reading of the hunting with dogs legislation which Tony Blair’s government announced in the recent Queen’s Speech.

    Heavy police caused the marchers frustration as they were escorted in batches down Whitehall and into Parliament Square and to me this seemed to make the traffic congestion worse.

    I have been on several House of Commons protests and this time the policing was much more stringent and intimidating.

    When I asked one officer why it was necessary to police so severely people who had in the past behaved in an exemplary fashion, he replied: “That’s what they want. I come from where there’s trees growing myself”, which indicated that extra police had been vanned in for the occasion.

    At one point the crowd sang out three cheers for the police and throughout the march the crowd and police laughed and chatted together. The crowd’s anger and frustration was directed at the Prime Minister, commonly referred to as “Phoney Tony”, and his backbench MPs, who refuse to read the Burns Report and acknowledge that it makes the point that there is no justification for a hunting ban.

    The bewilderment that, while Britain literally grinds to a halt, its rail, road,hospital, education and welfare services under severe pressure, our privileged Members of Parliament see fit to waste valuable time on a bill which will create a new class of criminals out of decent, law-abiding citizens.

    When Governments get so out of step with the people they serve, they arecourting disaster.

    Don’t delay. Phone the countryside alliance’s liberty and livelihood march hotline (tel: 0906 788 1680) and register your intention to stand up and be counted on March 18.

    Britain has always prided itself on being a free country, but we are going to have to fight to keep it that way. Its bad enough Britain being a nanny state, don’t let Tony Blair turn it into a police state.

    What I now begin to understand, is that when Tony Blair preached tolerance before the last election, what he really meant was that he will tolerate us as long as we are good children and do as he says.

    Problem is, Prime Minister, that when you took £1.1million from the political animal lobby you forfeited the respect of a large section of the population.

    The tail of the Labour Party is currently wagging the dog.If only we had a Prime Ministerwho could get his act together and throw out this ludicrous piece of legislation. But we haven’t, that’s why they call him Phoney Tony.

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