Conformation, if it were needed, that XR is a well-heeled South of England phenomenon. A study by the Universities of Exeter, Keele and Aston finds that those XR activists lying down for a week on Oxford Street last year were overwhelmingly middle-class, highly educated (mostly female) and from the South of England (below the Severn – Wash line). Moreover, a third of those who appeared in court were from the South-west, with Stroud, Totnes and Frome providing more than their fair share. By contrast only 6% were from Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Swansea and Cardiff, combined.
Although there was no mention of Glastonbury in the newspaper report I read, I feel sure that it provided a goody number as well. After all, as Kathy Jones has it:
“Glastonbury is a small eccentric country town where many people come to live an internalised womb-like life for a time. It may be nine or eighteen months or more, before they are reborn, sometimes spewed out from the body of the Great Mother. As the Goddess in the landscape is ever-pregnant and continuously giving Birth, this process is repeated in the many different areas of life for those who live here. Visitors too are catalysed into new ways of living by the touch of Her Life-Giving Body."
In a chapter on Earth Mother – Mother Earth, Paul Vare and I explore this in our forthcoming book Learning, Environment and Sustainable Development: a history of ideas. Meanwhile, I'm glad I live in Wiltshire.