Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

THANKS to last weekend's `Liberty and Livelihood' march, fox-hunters have won over a new constituency of people who, while they might not approve of the sport, recognise that it is possible to object to something without calling for it to be banned. It is just a shame that the countryside lobby has such a lousy record when it comes to defending the liberties of people other than hunters. Though it has moderated its language since the last countryside march in 1998, the Countryside Alliance remains an organisation which, hunting, shooting and fishing aside, has a strong predilection for stopping people doing things.

The Countryside Alliance opposed in shrill tones the `right to roam' over moorland and open country, and the Country Landowners' Association is still trying to fight the legislation through the courts. Parliament, the latter organisation asserts, does not have the right to take away from landowners the right to exclude others from venturing on their land. Yet the power to exclude others from large tracts of the country was only born with the enclosure Acts, most of which were passed by Parliament before the reform Acts. …

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