Woebotnik asks me (via email): isn't it only the bourgeoisie who are opposed to foxhunting?
I'm not too worried about the foxes (although if they are allowed their bloodsports, why aren't we allowed ours? Can we have dog-fighting and bear-baiting back please?)
No. What I detest about the sanctimonous 'rural idiots' (Marx) is their self-righteous conviction that their 'way of life' is something we should all be interested in preserving.
What is this sacrosanct 'way of life'? Rigid class stratification left over from the middle ages... the rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate .... faithful old Ted genuflecting to the Lord of the Manor... and of course no black faces to be seen anywhere....
The 'countryside' is no more economically viable than mining communities were. Not that mining communities, with their brutalised workerist masculinism, were any more worthy of preserving of course (you knew that the British Old Left was hopelessly reactionary when it became fixated upon ringfencing these archaims of early industrial capital, instead of agitating for better jobs and better quality of life for the people who lived in such communities).
(And as I've argued before, 'communities' are in any case essentially fascistic. John also usefully made the distinction between communities and collectives, which I think it is crucial to hold onto.)
But if the argument about subsidies and economic viability holds for miners, why doesn't it hold for rural communities and farmers? The sheer barefaced hauteur and arrogance of the hyper-aryan country twiterati coming into the multi-racial city and telling us 'we don't understand the difficulties they face' is utterly breathtaking when you bear in mind that the urban areas generate most of the wealth that is squandered on preserving the Medievalist Theme Park they insist in living in.
They don't have to live there, after all. They could get on their bikes and get a proper job, now couldn't they?
UPDATE: Otis Ferry