I’m in a rage.
Three Peaks Cyclocross, the utmost highpoint of my sporting year has been cancelled.
I can’t explain the training, spending, dieting, thinking and analysis that this race spins my life into – particularly in the period from June to September each year. I’m now rudderless and feeling very, very down.
The context in which this sits is what makes my blood boil. The Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) outbreak 250 miles to the south of the area and consequent restrictions on the movement of livestock should be just that; restrictions on the movement of livestock. Instead, we have emotionally charged minority (yet again) in rural areas thinking that the movement of people should be stopped.
The multi-million pound inquest into the 2001 outbreak of FMD showed conclusively that to restrict the movement of people was an unmeasured over-reaction, and not warranted or justified by reason. It was an emotional ‘reaching out’ to the farming community from a panicked government and led to the break-up of MAFF, (acknowledging that rural areas are not about farming, and agriculture cannot be seen as the prime income for rural areas – they are far from it).
Yet, here we are, in 2007, with no restrictions in force within 250 miles of the Three Peaks, effectively banning the movement of people on pure knee-jerk emotion.
Will people be free to walk all over the public footpaths, bridleways and open access land around there on 30th September, in whatever numbers they want?
Yes they will.
Will it make any difference to the spread of the FMD problems in Surrey?
No it won’t.
Was this decision made by someone whose hands are tied?
Of course. That’s why I totally respect John Rawnsley and feel for him greatly at this time.
I’m still fuming.