The no one will own their land, will they?

Their intervention came after Ms McLeod, the Land Reform Minister, said that “on occasion” blameless owners could be forced to sell their property to local communities if the latter had a “strong application”.

For if you can be forced to sell it then you don’t really own it, do you?

24 thoughts on “The no one will own their land, will they?”

  1. This is a disastrous policy, mostly led by getting idiots to vote against the landed classes, as if the landed classes who own big chunks of the highlands are actually particularly wealthy today. As they say, most of the rates for this land isn’t worth collecting.

    Seriously, why couldn’t these fuckers vote for independence? It would have been worth it just to watch from south of the border as they descended into McVenezuela.

  2. It’s Holyrood, we’ve been getting this shit for years – have you only just noticed?

    The outrage over 400-odd families owning half of Scotland is just stupid as well.

    Most of what they own is vast areas of pretty barren land in the Highlands. Most of it is pretty unproductive: permission to build on it would never be given (because it’s pretty) and only sheep/deer farming can be done on it (and NZ are the winners at that game).

    Sporting estates and tourism are about all that could be done on a lot of it, so frankly they are doing everyone a favour by owning and maintaining land that no-one else could afford to run.

  3. You’ll also note that Scottish Ministers will be able to make s39(3)(a), by regulation only, determinations about what does and does not constitute a home.

    You can imagine the trotskyite wing of the SNP chortling away at that little one.

    Bigger than we think you are entitled to? Not a home.

    You are a pathetic modern kulak running a small business from a home office? Not a home.

    You have converted an outbuilding into offices for your small to medium business? Damned bourgeoisie! Pity what used to be “your home” is on the same plot. Not a home!

    etc, etc.

  4. Crofters own livestock. That’s “kulak” that is. Won’t be allowed.

    Remember the lot that are in charge in the SNP now are townies. The entire countryside will be handed over to something suitably Scottish like the John Muir Trust, who will be given powers to summarily execute anybody caught “improving”* any land in any way.

    Anybody caught actually farming will have three generations exterminated and the rest sent to the Gulags to be established in the south-side of Glasgow (where there are dragons …)

    * Wind farms, of course, are clearly not an “improvement”, therefore will actually be mandatory.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    GlenDorran – “Sporting estates and tourism are about all that could be done on a lot of it, so frankly they are doing everyone a favour by owning and maintaining land that no-one else could afford to run.”

    I don’t know. Those estates are doing an excellent job of keeping the countryside in good condition but they are keeping it in one condition only – grouse and deer moors. Their natural state is probably forest.

    While this law is vile and the people behind it worse, I don’t mind the idea of the Highlands being covered in forest again. Especially if wolves are released to roam semi-wild. Scotland already has beavers. I vote for bears next.

    But of course, the Scots voted for Year Zero under the Caledonian Rouge so everything they get …..

  6. SMFS

    Yeah, that’s a fair point. Some estates are reforesting as they realise there is money in it from leisure (eg mountain bike trails).

    I’d like to see lynx reintroduced.

  7. I reckon there’s a lot more money to be made hosting grouse shooting rather than BMXing. If only because the former’s customers are older and thus have more money.

  8. Andrew M:

    Yes, but these estates may be hedging their bets. There are agitators looking to get hunting banned completely. At the moment the SNP don’t want to piss off the hunting tourists too much (as you say, they bring in lots of money), but give it time.

  9. SMFS & GlenDorran

    The problem with bringing back extinct fauna is that the conditions under which they once lived have altered. It isn’t just a matter of letting trees grow again ( not necessarily a simple job in itself ) but there’s the much larger human population and associated infrastructure as well to consider. Bears and wolves like to roam and then they come into contact with us. One of my cousins lives in Vancouver and regularly has bears turning up in her and her neighbour’s gardens, usually Black Bears so not too much of a problem but it might be and I don’t think it would be at all popular here*. I’m always a bit baffled as to why so many people are keen on these reintroductions when the wildlife we’ve still got is often struggling to survive. I’d rather have Hedgehogs back in the garden than bears in the woods.

    Reintroducing the Lynx ( assuming it was ever native here in historical times, over which there seems some doubt ) is a good idea though. Quite harmless to humans and not much of a problem with livestock.

    * There’s the extra cost and bureaucratic capture to consider here too. Lot’s of park rangers and their bloated management structure to pay for.

  10. “you don’t really own it, do you?”

    Nothing new about that. Since squatters’ rights were abolished, all property in E&W has been held solely under a license from the government.

  11. Apparently it’s not Venezuela-on-Clyde they’re shooting for any more, it’s Zimbabwe-on-Clyde.

    But it reminds me of that old anecdote that has been oft repeated in these parts – how do you become a millionaire Scottish landowner ? Start with 10 million.

  12. Bears aren’t uncommon around Vancouver and aren’t put off by people, will happily wander down a busy street. Amusingly a bear sanctuary was cancelled because the area was deemed to be unsutiable for bears, shame no one told the ones that live there. Mountain lions seem to have been a bigger problem this last year though and they tend to be more dangerous.
    Places are branching out into mountain biking etc. as for the ski areas it gives them year round income.

  13. “Their natural state is probably forest.” Why? It hasn’t been for thousands of years. The “Caledonian Forest” is a factoid, just so much hooey. Read Oliver Rackham; he’s very good at dispatching factoids about the countryside, especially about woodland.

  14. So Much For Subtlety

    dearieme – “Why? It hasn’t been for thousands of years. The “Caledonian Forest” is a factoid, just so much hooey. Read Oliver Rackham; he’s very good at dispatching factoids about the countryside, especially about woodland.”

    Parts of the Highlands remained forest down to the Clearances when some of the lairds sold their timber for a pittance. At least they were criticised for doing so.

    I have read Rackham. He is dismissive of the idea the whole of Britain was forest. I don’t think he is so dismissive of the idea that parts of Scotland were. But I might be misremembering him.

  15. So Much For Subtlety

    Thornavis – “The problem with bringing back extinct fauna is that the conditions under which they once lived have altered. It isn’t just a matter of letting trees grow again ( not necessarily a simple job in itself ) but there’s the much larger human population and associated infrastructure as well to consider.”

    Well the long-term depopulation of the Highlands is continuing. Nothing is going to stop it. Which is one reason the SNP’s crofter-nostalgia is so stupid. No one in their right mind is going to live that way. So increasingly the countryside has less potential for this sort of conflict.

    “Bears and wolves like to roam and then they come into contact with us. One of my cousins lives in Vancouver and regularly has bears turning up in her and her neighbour’s gardens, usually Black Bears so not too much of a problem but it might be and I don’t think it would be at all popular here*.”

    How many Canadians get eaten by bears every year? I would love to see a bear wandering into my back garden, myself. Admittedly I would have to be more careful with the dogs.

    “I’m always a bit baffled as to why so many people are keen on these reintroductions when the wildlife we’ve still got is often struggling to survive. I’d rather have Hedgehogs back in the garden than bears in the woods.”

    I am off hedgehogs at the moment because their fan club won’t allow them to be culled on the Hebrides. But I don’t see this as an either-or. I expect that the two are linked. If we can provide enough land to support a wolf pack, we will also protect a whole range of other animals as well.

    As an example of what I mean, in one of the best headlines ever, the Irish think that the return of the pine marten means the return of the red squirrel:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/alien-v-predator-red-squirrels-rising-1.552207

    This is what I mean. When we drive animals into extinction we have all sorts of unintended effects on the biosphere. The good example being that the fall of the Berlin Wall led to a decline in German butterfly numbers. It turns out that butterflies like soil that is turned over. Something that used to be done by bison. No more bison, well, not many. But the Soviet tanks did a pretty good imitation.

    So, the shorter version – pine martens are good. We need more of them. Especially if they eat grey squirrels.

    “* There’s the extra cost and bureaucratic capture to consider here too. Lot’s of park rangers and their bloated management structure to pay for.”

    There are schemes that pay Italian and French farmers every time their sheep are attacked by wolves. I don’t think there needs to be a lot of bloat here, but I would prefer my money spent on that than on academics at the City University. Best of all would be to leave my money with me and I would voluntarily subscribe to such a scheme.

  16. ” No one in their right mind is going to live that way.”

    There are increasing numbers of “crofters”. Who are they? People who have made their money elsewhere (London, Edinburgh, the rigs) and want to experience the “real”
    Highland lifestyle, but with the benefit of not having to rely on the income their “business”‘is generating.

    Meanwhile, the people born and brought up there leave to make real money elsewhere. They may move back at a later date, but only when they have a pot of money to support themselves.

    Where do I get this knowledge from? My cousins, and their school mates.

    Island life is hard. The SNP romantics from Glasgow and Edinburgh are selling a fantasy.

  17. So Much For Subtlety

    GlenDorran – “There are increasing numbers of “crofters”. Who are they? People who have made their money elsewhere (London, Edinburgh, the rigs) and want to experience the “real” Highland lifestyle, but with the benefit of not having to rely on the income their “business”‘is generating.”

    It is the Swampie equivalent of the English middle class moving to the countryside. A game I play with my cousins is to try to find an English village with a single farmer in it. They are all stockbrokers these days. At least to a surprisingly northern latitude. All the real farmers have moved to the city and got jobs. Or they live in housing estates on the edge of the older villages.

    “Island life is hard. The SNP romantics from Glasgow and Edinburgh are selling a fantasy.”

    When millions of Blacks flee the south for the north of the US, we are dealing with an even larger movement of people off the land. This is tragic in many ways. But it is not to the people fleeing. Yes, the Clearances were not a pleasant thing. But does anyone but me even flirt with the idea of keeping subsidence peasants in an African-style economy with a Siberian-type climate?

  18. @ GlenDorran
    There are lots of empty crofts because the number of stinking rich guys from the Edinburgh financial sector or the Aberdeen oil sector is tiny relative to the crofters who cannot make ends meet since the abilitionof the Hill Farm Subsidy afte Heat joined the EEC.

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