BY JIM BROWNE
Since the inception of Country Squire Magazine, there have been the trolls and the sock-puppets, the weird comments and the spam – all those negatives that are part and parcel of a web existence.
There was even a twenty-page letter from one oddball, with an obsession for one of our writers, who couldn’t quite work out whether they were offended like Mary Whitehouse or fixated like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Not to mention the sabs with their torrents of hatred for another CSM writer – that affable fellow who has a penchant for red trousers.
What can one do? Apart from call the poor old police, obviously, who are fed up to the back teeth with having to play nursie now that the web has dragged all the anoraks away from the Railway Enthusiast and other lunatics into virtual real-life interaction (when, let’s face it, the only interaction these types got before the invention of the Internet was with a box of Kleenex).
Some of the abuse received by the magazine has been directed at our support for the British Countryside. We’ve been called bumpkins, grockles, hicks and hillbillies. One Twitter user seems to enjoy calling us one-eyes. While a Hillary supporter with anger issues from Seattle is absolutely sure we are redneck hilljacks, whatever that might mean.
Here’s Twitter user Allan Skerratt having a pop:
On receiving this barrage of insults from Allan, the Country Squire Twitter account moderator (who shall remain nameless) – normally such a tranquil, civilised and “the reader is always right” kind of chap – let Allan know that he loved the irony of a fellow called Skerratt (meaning housekeeper or butler) from Stoke (from where Allan heralds) preaching about inbreeding.
The moderator received twenty lashes and has promised never to repeat.
The point I want to drag up here is that London is full of wonderful countryside. Our capital is replete with farms, splendid countryside walks, hunts, rivers and parkland. The rest of Britain’s cities, even Stoke, are a stone’s throw away from the countryside. So, calling those who provide a platform for the countryside by a myriad of insulting names is way off the mark.
So, look here, you townies, tenderfoots, greenhorns, fudgies, city slickers and flatlanders. You can insult us cooters, bush-pigs and slackjaws as much as you like but we breathe the same air (well, a cleaner version of it) and drink the same water (actually, you drink reprocessed pee but, hey-ho, it’s still British water) and we have the same sized gardens (err) and suffer from the same traffic congestion problems as you (hmm). So let’s just forget our differences, shall we?
As Theresa May said, it’s a time for unity, Britons. And so it is.
Take the example of dear Allan Skerratt from Stoke.
Even Allan came round eventually to the ways of us bumpkins. Now he’s a declared fan of Country Squire Magazine, although he still needs to work a tad on his spelling….