Sheepdog host to direct anti-Olympic campaign

Indira Das-Gupta

Ex-BBC presenter Robin Page has set up a pressure group called The Countryside Against the London Olympics, which will attempt to spoil London's 2012 bid as revenge for the hunting ban.

Page fronted the BBC series One Man And His Dog and is chairman of the Countryside Restoration Trust, although this organisation is not part of the new group. The Countryside Against the London Olympics is a coalition of organisations, but Page is keeping the identities of members under wraps until a demonstration in London later in the year.

Page, who delivered a letter to Downing Street last week outlining the group's gripes, said: "It will be an anti-urban demonstration by the countryside. Hunting is just the last straw. Urban Britain has not listened and has continued to interfere in things it does not understand, so now the countryside will interfere with the town and try to stop the Olympics coming to London in 2012. The Olympics will suck money away from the rest of the country and direct it to London, as per usual.

"I don't know anybody who is actually in favour of the Olympic Games being held in London. It would be much better off being held in the developing world. Kenya, for example, would benefit greatly from being able to host such an event. If it was needed, the richer countries could always pay to put in the necessary infrastructure."

Page also plans to write to the International Olympic Committee. "We just want them to understand how the Government has abused its powers," he said.

Zac Goldsmith, editor of The Ecologist and son of the late Sir James Goldsmith, is to be patron of the new group.

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