HAD HE listened to country people, Mr Meacher would know that landowners and farmers have never been more willing to co-operate voluntarily in giving walkers access to their land. Mr Meacher chose to listen to the Ramblers' Association and other pressure groups, for whom a walk in the country is more an act of aggression in the class war than a chance to enjoy the smell of country air.
The Yorkshire Post
THE RAMBLERS Association likes to claim that there are millions of people who want the unfettered right to struggle through heather and over untracked scree. No doubt there are a few intrepid - if not foolhardy - souls who would derive enjoyment from such pursuits. But Mr Meacher was not addressing them. He was speaking to that militant minority for whom the Kinder Pass trespass is still a vivid event, and for whom the property-owning classes are an implacable foe. This was not New Labour, but Old Labour at its worst.
THE SWEDES, the Germans, the Danes, the Norwegians and the Swiss all enjoy the right to walk over all, or much of, their countryside. It's not too much to ask that we too should have a right on a similar scale to the rights our European neighbours enjoy. If we are ever to have a citizens' Britain, with a proper mix of rights and duties, it ought surely to include the right to move freely throughout the land of our birth. Never again should we ask people to risk their lives for their country in war and then deny them the opportunity to walk in it should they return.
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