Fight back now to preserve our precious heritage of inner-city tranquillity

Share
Related Topics
THERE has been a lot of talk about the Countryside March this Sunday, but not much attention has been directed to the March Against the Countryside, a counter-demonstration planned to take place at the same time.

"The country people are coming to London to complain that we city people hate the countryside," says Junkin Askew, editor of Downtown, the magazine for people who hate the colour green. "And they're absolutely right - we do hate the bloody countryside! But we don't go parading round country lanes with banners saying so. We've got more important things to do. However, this Sunday we're making an exception and we're going to organise a march. A March Against the Countryside. A historic first."

Who will be on this march ?

"Well, I think the keenest and most vociferous section will be those journalists who moved to the country to find a new way of life and became disillusioned and had to move back to London. There must be at least 20,000 of them."

Why so much disillusion among journalists?

"Well, this is the way it works," says Junkin Askew. "A journalist moves to London. He writes lots of pieces about the joys of being in London. After a while, he runs out of nice things to say about London - the clubs, the theatre, the food and all that. He gets bored with the River Cafe and with parking problems. So one day he writes a piece about the pain of living in London and finds he has mined a whole new vein. There then follows a series of articles about how nice it would be to get out of London, following which he has only one possibility: he has to move out of London."

This makes it sound as if journalists only move in order to find new material, doesn't it?

"Well, of course they do. You country people don't understand the town way of life, do you? Anyway, the journalist moves to the country and fires off a few pieces about the country. If he has a humorous bent, he will write pieces about how much noisier the country is than the town. If serious, he will write about the wonder of being able to see the stars at night. Then, after an interval of reappraisal, he will suddenly realise how crashingly boring it is in the country - how much he misses his friends, his nightlife, his contacts - and he will move heaven and earth to get back to London."

And then write lots of articles about how glad he is to be back?

"Of course. It's all about turning your experience into cash crops..."

And who else will be on this March Against the Countryside ?

"Oh, there'll be people from all walks of life. There'll be hunt saboteurs who can't get out and about like they used to, and miss their old sport. There'll be people who used to have country cottages and bless the day they sold them. There'll be people who can't stand whingeing farmers and people who can't stand whingeing landowners, and there'll be people who were once traumatised by being ordered off private property and other people who once got lost down country lanes and never quite forgot how terrifying it was to see a signpost saying `Little Petherington 1 mile' and not knowing what it meant, and there'll be property developers and builders..."

And what shape will this March Against the Countryside take?

"A very London shape. We'll all get up at about nine or 10, have a cup of tea, drift down to the shop to get the paper, come back, take the dog to the park or take the children swimming, drift down to the pub at about 12, come back for a late lunch..."

It all sounds rather haphazard, doesn't it ?

"Haphazard?" says Junkin Askew. "Well, you might call it that, but we townees think of it as incredibly laid-back. That's what we are in the town, laid-back. None of this rushing around like you do in the country. Take it nice and easy in London..."

Oh, come on! I've been in Oxford Street! I know what stress looks like!

"Oxford Street?" sneers Junkin Askew. "No proper Londoner ever goes to Oxford Street. That's a ghetto for country people visiting London. Do me a favour."

This Sunday: The March Against the Countryside. Start where you like. March where you like. Down the pub about one at the latest, OK?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

 

Ed Miliband's conference speech must show Labour has a head as well as a heart

Patrick Diamond
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments