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This book is the one referred to by "Atticus" in the Sunday Times of April 7. "As if Tony Blair's handling of foot and mouth had not been bad enough ( "I'm taking personal charge," he soothed in a silly space suit, then disappeared), he has now upset children from Barnoldswick in Yorkshire who wrote a book of poems about the crisis. While the Prince of Wales and even Margaret Beckett sent thank yous and donations, the prime minister's office sniffed: "Mr Blair receives so many requests he has decided to support cases where he has close a personal connection." It then returned the book so badly damaged it could not be sold. The kids asked for compo, but No 10 said it had no petty cash - perhaps it all got spent on funerals for dead cows."

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Here is just one of the poems from this extraordinary little book that apparently left those in Mr Blair's office so cold....

FOOT AND MOUTH CRISIS

You can't see it, you can't hear it
It travels through the air like a frightening ghost
The empty bleak fields from miles, miles on
Nothing to see. Everything's gone.
Death wagons trundling up and down lanes
as the depressed animals suffer in pain.
the choking smoke whirls round in the air.
the dead animals lay in despair.

By Elizabeth Stune Aged 10

The frontispiece shows a picture of HRH Prince Charles surrounded by the young children who wrote some of the poems. The drawings on the cover are by Rosemary Lodge whose kindness allowed warmwell to produce and sell cards that raised over £1500 for the Winter Feed Fund.

Queries about obtaining the book can be addressed to the West Craven Foot and Mouth Action Group
249 Gisburn Road
Barnoldswick, Lancashire
BB18 5LL

Barns and fields empty,
Harmless animals all dead
teardrops fall from eyes.

Gabriella Grose
Age 11 Settle Middle School

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