I spent a sizeable part of my childhood living in one of the most rural parts of England. It's a forgotten area of the country where it appears that not much has changed in the last five decades. I would say that if the weather was fine it would be one of the finest places in the world. I make this point because I am deeply concerned at reports that Britain's rural heartland is in crisis and as we saw over the weekend almost half a million people marched through London. Their message and protest was rather dismissed by the London based media and basically the editorial line was the turnip heads are coming to town with their outdated and cruel form of hunting and their rural class system. What has happened in the countryside is little more than industrial meltdown. Starting with foot and mouth and the European Union quota system the British farming industry is in danger of going the same way as the shipbuilding industry. But the government appears not too concerned possibly because a vast majority of rural seats in England are in the hands of the Conservatives and the last time Tony Blair visited a farm he was wearing a rubber suit which basically was the final nail in the coffin of the rural tourist industry at the height of foot and mouth. The government must start taking the countryside seriously and provide the necessary funding to overcome the problems which now exist. I do not particularly agree with fox hunting but I would have thought that the government has better things to worry about at the moment. Sunday's demonstration was a cry for help by a minority marginalised by the government as Toffs. Sadly, this is not the case and the government should recognise that all is not well on Britain's pastures.