by Christian Wright
The magazine,’Tatler’, is targeted towards the British upper-middle class and members of the aristocratic upper class (wiki). Rather good article therein on the issue of impending land reform in Scotland.
“To outsiders, Scotland has always seemed a romantic place. The castles! The reeling! The men in skirts! But… these days Scotland is not only teeming with tufty dukes and earls, but also with smooth Danish fashion tycoons, Tetra Pak heirs, British royals, Egyptian billionaires, French bankers… Half the private land is owned by just 432 people, with 50,000-acre estates rubbing up alongside one another.”
“Those who are most fearful.. are the nobility. Let’s call it Old Scotland… If you’re Old Scotland, then you probably live in a castle… You own 40,000 to 140,000 acres, you probably have a mountain (instead of 4,000 acres of bland home county). You have your own tartan. You are a member of a clan…You also possess somewhat confusingly, an English accent too, because you went to public school.”
“New Scotland is largely made up of foreign money. For several decades, Scottish estates have been slowly bought up by cash from abroad. ‘Although only five or six estates a year come on to the market,’ says Evelyn Channing from Savills’ Edinburgh office. ‘They come for the sport, for the fishing, the shooting, the stalking. And for the privacy. If you own 50,000 acres of land it’s quite hard to be photographed on it.’
Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai has a 62,000-acre estate in West Scotland, just off the tip of Skye. Scotland’s richest man is another Emirati gentleman, Mahdi al-Tajir, who owns the Highland Spring mineral-water company and 15,000 acres just outside Gleneagles. And Mohamed Al Fayed can occasionally be found at his pink castle, Balnagown, 30 miles north of Inverness.”
Of course none of these elites have anything much to do with authentic Scotland or its people. The so-called Old Scotland is just an earlier caste of parasites, being gradually pushed out by new money.
They all have to go, the estates broken-up and the land made accessible to the People and to entrepreneurs and business, who will use it more productively.
The current state of play really is inequitable and an insult to the democratic process. These folks will have to find another country in which to play laird and lord of the manor.
Indyref is over of course, yet remarkably, the demand for Scottish self governance has grown dramatically since September 18 2014, to the extent that the SNP swept all before it in the Westminster elections.
The formerly dominant Labour Party and the LibDems experienced extinction-level event on May 7 2015 (Of course in Westminster parliamentary terms, the hated Tories are long buried and turned to stone. The Tories received the lowest proportion of the Scottish vote in their entire history ).
The indyref and the disgraceful behaviour of the Unionist parties, politicians, the state broadcaster (the BBC), and Her Majesty’s press, during that campaign, has radicalised Scots and revolutionised Scottish politics. It is only now dawning on the Establishment the scale and permanence of this sea change.
As it relates to your readership’s interests, the resultant determination to take back our country does not bode well for the cohorts profiled in this article. There will be no confiscation of property, but 400-odd individuals owning half the entire country, while the other 5.3 million are squeezed to the coasts and penned in the Central Belt, is simply not sustainable.
Oh and incidentally, what you quaintly call “New Scotland”? . . . well it has the same problem of illegitimacy as “Old Scotland”, and it has nothing to do with ancient history, and everything to do with building a more equal and just society.
I do understand that you reactionaries among the current stakeholders of these properties don’t like that, but what the people of Scotland are signalling by their support of this radical change, is that they don’t care that you don’t like it.
Find somewhere else to build your exclusive theme parks, we’ve had it with you.