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The Countryside Alliance propaganda machine is hard at work, exhorting anglers to support their forthcoming protest march. But why, what does the CA want from Angling?

 

The CA was created to oppose the long overdue ban on hunting with hounds. Yes, there is a crisis in farming and rural affairs, matters with which anglers have great sympathy. But perhaps the CA is capitalising on this to gain support from more moderate factions than the fox and stag hunting fraternity.

 

A typical strategy of the CA appears to be its infiltration, via Bob James, of the Anglers Conservation Association. Perhaps this is seen as a means of making itself acceptable to anglers.

 

A little bit of detective work shows the CA for what it really is. In the past the name 'British Field Sports Society Investments Ltd.' has appeared alongside 'Countryside Alliance' on annual accounts. So, now the thorny question, is Angling a 'field sport'? Most Anglers don't consider it as such. Granted it comes under the heading of 'hunting', that we can't deny. But Anglers contend, quite rightly, that Angling is NOT a 'bloodsport'.

 

Angling is, as it has to be, a conservation driven body. We depend on a healthy environment for our sport. As such we are in direct conflict with many who fund the CA. Funding has, or does come from major names in the construction industry. One such company is Persimmon Homes, their destruction of greenfield sites in East Anglia is frightening. This is amazing hypocrisy when one considers the CA's expressed concern over the loss of greenfield sites.

 

Why does the CA want Angling onboard? I would suggest it is because the great British public, by and large, finds Angling both moderate and acceptable. This view is being abused and exploited by various CA members. Some of which have been heard on radio and television as saying that Angling is less acceptable than fox hunting! Their ludicrous arguement being that if Angling is acceptable then fox hunting must be more so.

 

Angling is being forced to defend itself, is being forced into the CA front line as a means of diverting attention from fox hunting, as a means of defending unacceptable bloodsports.

 

Any Angler who attends the forthcoming CA march is putting a thoughtless nail into Angling's coffin. If you support the CA then the 'anti' faction will tar all Anglers with the same unacceptable brush. Angling will be seen as supportive of the barbaric slaughter with hounds. Whilst, in effect, most of us are totally opposed to it. Your support of the CA will be used against Angling. It will come back to haunt us.

 

The CA has hijacked Angling. If you are opposed to that then say so. Don't fall mindlessly for the CA spin. Stand and be counted. Publicise your objection. For example, place a card in your car's rear window saying 'ANGLERS AGAINST THE COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE'. Don't just sit there being walked over, being used and abused. Let the conservation lobby know that we are fighting many of the same battles.

 

If you have the ability, post this call to arms on as many sites and forums as you can. Send it, under your name, to your local newspaper or to your local M.P.

 

Don't let angling be dragged down with the fox and stag hunting lobby. Their battle is not ours.

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Hi Peter,

how about the slogan

"Coarse angling AGAINST The Countryside Alliance"

"Keep your Bloody hands of our sport"!!...

Your views are the same as mine on this subject ,so I wont repeat all you have said,but there is eneough wrongs in fishing(especially Pike Angling) without these cretins coming on board.Lets hope common sense prevails and anglers disassociate themselves with these slaughterers of our wildlife...Des

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Dear Peter,

 

Judging by the number of responces your thread here has recieved from anglers that post on AN, I would say that so far, most dont give a fig about the CA one way or another. And, apart from the same names posting that are openly against foxhunting, I conclude that in fact, most dont give a fig about foxhunting either. I rather think that it is over presumptuous to assume that angling is generally anti-foxhunting. Much the same to presume that the general public is either. I find that in life, as well as in angling life, people have enough problems of their own and just dont need to carry the excess bagage of other peoples problems. Anyway, fishing is the release from everyday life and the main reason why they actually GO fishing. I can just imagine the majority of anglers wanting to get embroiled in angling politics or CA politics.

 

As for the CA trying to "highjack" angling? Well, its now been over a week and the CA haven't got back to me over the questions I posed to their "GO Fishing" campaign. And guess what Peter? I doubt that they will either.

 

The truth of the matter is, the MOU has effectively seen off the CA trying to get course angling on board their bus.

 

Yes, the CA are trying to get as many anglers turn up on their Liberty March next month. But who are they trying to kid. Angling? Or themselves?

 

Course anglers in this country have a long history of NOT joining anything. And that goes exclusively for all branches or groups within their own particular aspect of our sport. Do you honestly think Peter, with the slightest chance of any remote certainty, that angling is going to support the CA when it cant be bothered to support their own sport?

 

Dream on Peter. You have more chance of becoming the next Tory prime minister.

 

Now theres a thought that boggles the mind!

 

Regards,

 

Lee.

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i'm an angler and i fully support hunting with dogs .

 

the reason no ones bothering with this post could just be that people like my self are sick of explaining to people why hunting needs to continue.

 

i have my views and you have yours.

 

just dont presume to speak for me coz you dont.

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As a slight side-issue to all of this, whilst driving to and from a regular fishing venue of mine, I saw a total of five large advertising boards (for want of a better expression) calling all and sundry to the "Liberty and Livelihood March". All were situated ON farm-land.

 

I saw NO MENTION WHATSOEVER on these boards of the organising body - the Countryside Alliance!

 

So, could it be that the CA are trying to pull others (besides anglers) in to swell their ranks on the 'hunting with hounds' issue?

 

How many of the general public will attend, believing they are marching for other reasons?

 

[ 18. August 2002, 12:11 PM: Message edited by: mpbdsnu ]

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"Coarse angling AGAINST The Countryside Alliance"

Is anyone producing car window stickers?

 

Re: Peter Waller...give the anarchist a cigarette.

 

[ 18. August 2002, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: Peter Sharpe ]

English as tuppence, changing yet changeless as canal water, nestling in green nowhere, armoured and effete, bold flag-bearer, lotus-fed Miss Havishambling, opsimath and eremite, feudal, still reactionary, Rawlinson End.

 

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Angling is NOT a blood sport!!!

Angling is a Town AND Country Sport.

If you want the likes of Bob James, Charles Jardine and Richard Burge to run angling vote for CA.

DCB

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Dear Pete Sharp,

 

Had to use your surname Pete so as not to confuse with Mr Waller.

 

Next time you go fishing Pete, consider where the club that controlls your fishing gets its fishing from. Farmers possibly. And a great many of these farmers support the Countryside Alliance for various reasons. Some because they shoot. A minority because they hunt. But a great majority because they truly believe membership within the CA adds another voice for them getting a better deal from government on farming issues that effect their livelihood. Or so they believe.

 

I happen to know the farmer personally who owns the land at one particular river venue where you sometimes fish Pete. He, and his brothers who farm adjacent farms, are all keen CA supporters.

 

Perhaps that fact is not to your liking, but farmers DO have a right to hold THEIR opinions as well.

 

What has all this to do with my post?

 

Fishing clubs right across the country are facing enough problems arising from anglers deserting river venues. In turn, some land agents ARE starting to demand more money for their fishing rights. Many clubs as a result are going to the wall because of that.

 

By taking the road to having anti-CA "stickers" placed in anglers cars will merely serve to pour petrol on what is for now, a small camp fire.

 

Also, am I right in assuming that Peter Waller fishes from the bottom of his garden or launches his boat from the same to poddle around the Broads. Is Peter going to then sport his sticker in his car parked on the drive at the front of his house?

 

As I have previously stated;

 

The MOU has effectively seen off the CA campaigning to gain course angling numbers. Course angling itself is NOT going to join the CA either. Or the NFA. Or the SAA. Or anything else for that matter. Unless of course, angling politicians get their PR act together once and for all.

 

Having anti-CA stickers in anglers cars will serve only ONE purpose. And that is to alienate anglers from those farmers where we obtain so much of our fishing rights from.

 

Or, we could all sell up and buy a house at the side of the Broads.

 

Regards,

 

Lee.

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I admit the remark about the car window stickers was a bit tongue in cheek, but does this mean everyone has to go along with every farmer's personal whims?

 

Most farmers allow fishing on their land because they need the extra income. (Whether farmers should be allowed to control access to vast stretches of the country's waterways just because they border their land is a different matter altogether).

 

The majority of farmers seem to be dyed-in-the-wool Tories, so that obviously forbids any anglers from having the audacity to sport a Labour Party sticker in their cars at election time. I suppose anyone with an RSPCA sticker is on dodgy ground, or even an RSPB one come to that. Heaven forbid if someone was to sport a pro-EU sticker! For months before a general election, you will see them displaying Tory posters in all every field which borders a main road though, subjecting everyone to a vain display of the power of ownership.

 

Freedom of thought in relation to angling seems to be one-way traffic as far as most farmers are concerned then, and whiffs of feudalism to me.

 

If hunting and shooting were banned, they would be even more likely to have to capitalise on one of their remaining assets and allow fishing. If this is not the case, they really ought to stop complaining about how hard up they are all the time.

English as tuppence, changing yet changeless as canal water, nestling in green nowhere, armoured and effete, bold flag-bearer, lotus-fed Miss Havishambling, opsimath and eremite, feudal, still reactionary, Rawlinson End.

 

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Dear Pete, (sharpe)

 

Via Graham, I was privy to one of your "letters" intended for publication on farmers you wrote some time ago. From its contents, I remember that you were pretty anti-farmer all round.

 

Perhaps you would like to see a change in the law that forbids farmers from being able to charge angling clubs access to their land. Wont happen I'm afraid. Rights to Roam covered this one extensively when it was at the beginning of its drafting stage.

 

You are infact quite wrong in saying that farmers need the income that fishing provides on their land. Actually, quite the reverse is the reality. That is why a lot of farmers DONT allow access via their land to fishing clubs. They dont want the hastle or the litter that anglers leave behind. Or the gates they leave open.

 

Relationships between angling clubs and their farmer tennants are tenuous at the best of times. Great care is taken by these clubs when leases are re-negotiated because their memberships rely on the fishing that such venues provide.

 

Tell me Pete, what are the personal farmers whims that you have had to go along with?

 

How many farmers do you actually know well personally? I know around 250 very well. A third being old customers of mine. I KNOW for certain that they vote around 50-50 between the major political parties. Some Tory. Some Labour. And; If you look closely into past and present Labour MP's personal lives, you will be surprised to find that a lot are infact farmers. Jim Callahan. Remember him?

 

Some farmers are extremely hard up. They have less income coming in than you do Pete. Many, have no real income at all after their expences are covered. This is a absolute fact. Many farmers, have gone to the wall. This is also a absolute fact. Many will continue to go to the wall. This is also a fact.

 

Please Pete, if you want to come in here and criticise farmers or the farming communities in rural areas that they live in, including yours, please be sure of your facts.

 

And when you have visited the widows of farmers whose husbands lives got so bad, so desperate, that they shot themselves, you might be able to come here and tell me how well off farmers and the farming community really are.

 

Farmers feudalist? You haven't got a clue about farmers.

 

Regards,

 

Lee.

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