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Pro-hunt group threatens J18-type violence

Squall Download 2, Dec-1999/Jan-2000, pg. 6.

The chairman of a pro-hunting lobby group has threatened to riot if its demands are not heard and responded to by Tony Blair.

John Jackson told the first annual Countryside Alliance conference: “That nasty little riot in the City of London some months ago showed us all the organising potential in what can now be done. That was for a bad purpose. The Alliance will realise that potential for a good purpose.”

The Countryside Alliance - whose members include Lord McAlpine, Andrew Lloyd-Webber and the Duke of Westminster - was formed in 1997 as an amalgamation of the Countryside Movement, The British Field Sports Society and the Country Business Group. The conference held in London at the end of October was attended by around 300 people.

John Jackson's invocation of the disturbances which followed the 'Carnival Against Capitalism' in the City of London on June 18 was another in a series of rhetorical references to public outrage which have populated the Alliance’s press campaign. Despite being a minority pursuit to which 80% of the UK are antipathetic, the Countryside Alliance has consistently portrayed the pro-hunt campaign as being the stuff of popular uprising. Andrew Lloyd-Webber was amongst a host of big landowners who bussed their workforce to London for the big Countryside March in 1998. The event solicited profuse quantities of publicity from the Daily Telegraph, who displayed an unusual zeal for street demonstration with the headline “Vive La Revolution!”; probably the only cause for which the newspaper's avowedly pro-hunt editor, Charles Moore, would sanction such a rabble rousing rally cry.


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