The activity in the countryside this past week has been phenomenal, the sight of tractors scurrying around the fields in a mad dash to get spring crops in at last, has been a relief. Another week or so of wet fields and freezing nights would not have helped, so although late for some crops at least we can say ‘job done’. Here the lupins are in and both we and the pigeons are waiting for them to break cover.
Despite a week of dry there are still fields which are barely ready.
The sad sight of a smart Massey Fergusson tractor stuck up to its axels in a wet patch, unfortunately for the farmer beside a busy A road, gave some of us a timely reminder that there but the grace of God go I. We narrowly avoided a similar situation just a few days earlier.
With the warmth we gained over the weekend and the promised rain mid- week, hopefully the crops will now be off to a good start and will begin to make up for lost time.
It would also be helpful if the grass would grow as the cattle are still housed here as there is not enough grass to justify turning them out. I am baffled as to why the grass does not grow in the fields but is rampant in the garden. I am having to mow the lawns regularly to keep them trim but over the fence the grass hardly moves.
One hundred years ago this spring Emily Davison was killed as she threw herself under the King’s horse at the Derby in 1913, in protest at the government’s failure to grant women the right to vote.
I wonder what she and her friend Emily Pankhurst would have said if they could have predicted the lack of interest shown today in asserting our democratic right to vote.
This was graphically demonstrated last week by the pathetic turnout of both men and women for the county council elections. Across Sussex those who voted was on average a mere 30 per cent.
Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women’s Franchise League which fought to allow married women to vote in local elections. I suspect she would be turning in her grave if she could see the complacency and lack of interest in such matters by those eligible to vote today.
These women were passionate in their quest to gain the right for women to have equal status with men and be able to take their place in their community, public life and to gain their democratic right to vote.
In 1903 they founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) which gained notoriety for its activists whose members were the first to be called ‘Suffragettes’.
In their quest to be taken seriously and be noticed history recalls they smashed windows, caused arson and went on hunger strike.
In 1914 as War began the Suffragettes ceased their campaign to help the war effort.
Eventually in 1918 the People Act gave voting right’s to women over 30, and finally in 1928 women were at last given equal rights and were able to vote at 21.
Today not only do we all have the right to vote, it is surely our duty to take an active interest in ‘who governs’ Britain, whether locally or nationally.
It is however quite obvious that the public are becoming frustrated and indignant with the antics of party politics, which is why I believe they should not be an issue in local government elections.
Interestingly enough the number of ‘Independent’ candidates who were successful last Thursday does somewhat confirm that others are of the same opinion.
The surge in support for the UK Independence Party is a sure indication that welfare reform, immigration and Great Britain’s relationship with the EU are the issues which the grass root voter is concerned with.
It was thus before the General Election in 2010 but leaders of both main parties decided to ignore the messages being conveyed to them by hard working activists at the coal face.
Perhaps now the Prime Minister will sack his special advisers, disband his focus groups and listen to the public.
It is time to take notice of the concerns of the people whose endeavours create jobs and oil the wheels of our country.
They are tired of being told what they should think by politicians whose lack of experience with everyday issues regarding the basic skills of running businesses, finding jobs, gaining an appropriate and meaningful education, and in some cases just surviving, is negligible.
Corola Godman irvine