Stick A Pitchfork In Me, I’m Done

For the head-scratching hordes who seek it, a splendid glimpse of true ‘Britishness’ is to be found in the tale of the man who entered Prince Charles’s Highgrove estate bearing a pitchfork.

Perhaps the prince himself, given his love of nature and stuff, was moved to tears at the disarmingly bucolic image of a commoner still wed to the soil by his manual labours, using the pre-industrial tool of his trade to make a point to his gardener prince. Not only that but the choice of tool -the humble pitchfork- points to key moments in Britain’s rich Christian past, when foreigners were few, cultures were not multi- and the only thing you had to worry about was whether or not the King was a Protestant.

This sort of image is all too rare in modern Britain, with its surveillance systems and airports spreading like Japanese knotweed across its green hills.

If Gordon Brown knew the meaning of Britishness, he should award this man an OBE for choosing not to crash the gates of Highgrove with a satnav-guided combine harvester.

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January 2007

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