Who Owns Scotland?
Land Reform Guidance
Training of Trainers
Territory, Property, Sovereignty & Democracy in Scotland
A Brief Philosophical Examination
By Ed Iglehart
|"Like a man travelling in foggy weather, those at some distance
before him on the road he sees wrapped up in the fog, as well as those behind him, and
also the people in the fields on each side, but near him all appears clear, though in
truth he is as much in the fog as any of them"
One should never pretend to be unbiased. To comprehend anything fully is beyond the
best of us, but this is not to say we ought not try to get as broad a view as possible.
Our assessment of any situation will always be influenced by our personal situation and
history; that is: socially (including education and media intake), physically &
economically (which, taken all together comes to ecologically?)
Virtually none of the ideas canvassed below are originally mine. The quotations are
obviously not. Errors in text or thinking very likely are. I hope that those among whom I
have chosen to settle do not feel my remarks to be out of place or to otherwise take great
offence. I am, after all, living here by personal choice.
- "I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me,
- That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly,
- and my blood is part of the sea..."
D H Lawrence
|"When a child is born, we recognise that it has a natural right to
its mother's milk, and no-one can deny that it has the same right to mother-earth."
William Ogilvie of Pittensear; Birthright
in Land, 1782
The land gives birth to us. It precedes and is necessary to human consciousness and
our capacity to appreciate the spiritual. We are all, from microbes to members of
parliaments, expressions of the living Earth, awakened clay. That we can imagine ownership
of land at all is barely credible, and proof of our prodigious mental elasticity.
Ancient peoples commonly regarded themselves as belonging to their lands, as do
surviving aboriginal societies. In the activities of family or tribal groups, communal
occupation, use, and/or cultivation according to need and industry was and remains the
rule for defining territories.
|"SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave
little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have
|Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the
former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively
by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions.
The first is a patron, the last a punisher....
Thomas Paine, On the Origins of
|Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of
kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of
conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other
The conversion of territory into property would seem to have developed as a result of
the shift from semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer societies towards agricultural settlement, as
implied by Locke:
|"But the chief matter of property being now not the fruits of the
earth and the beasts that subsist on it, but the earth itself, as that which takes in and
carries with it all the rest, I think it is plain that property in that too is acquired as
the former. As much land as a man tills, plants, improves, cultivates, and can use the
product of, so much is his property."
Second Treatise on Government, 1690
This implies a certain flexibility in that as a family became larger or smaller, the
boundaries of holdings would be expected to change with ability and need, and such is
believed to have been the case in pre-Roman Europe.
It is also clear that continuation of ownership can only be ensured through residence and
|"All Right of property is founded either in occupancy or labour. The
earth having been given to mankind in common occupancy, each individual seems to have by
nature a right to possess and cultivate an equal share. This right is little different
from that which he has to the free use of the open air and running water; though not so
indispensably requisite at short intervals for his actual existence, it is not less
essential to the welfare and right state of his life through all its progressive
William Ogilvie of Pittensear; An
Essay on the Right of Property in Land, 1782
|"Many nations have gained victories and made conquests as the Romans
did; but none has equalled the Roman in thus making the ground he had won his own by the
sweat of his brow, and in securing by the ploughshare what had been gained by the lance.
That which is gained by war may be wrested from the grasp by war again, but it is not so
with the conquests made by the plough;"
Theodor Mommsen; The History of
The idea of individual (or private) ownership of fixed parcels of land is thus a
relatively recent phenomenon, and by no means universal. In a very real sense it can be
seen as the inevitable result of the replacement of custom in earlier, more innocent
societies by statute in more individualistic societies.
When property is created by a legal title, transferrable for money or other
consideration, intimacy, the mutual ownership between land and occupier, gained through
residence, labour and improvement can be ignored, and land can be accumulated or disposed
of at will. Absentee owners, inconceivable before, can evict residents with the full
support of the law.
|"When god-like Odysseus returned from the wars in Troy, he hanged all
on one rope a dozen slave-girls of his house-hold whom he suspected of misbehavior during
his absence. This hanging involved no question of propriety. The girls were property. The
disposal of property was then, as now, a matter of expediency, not of right and
Aldo Leopold; The Land Ethic
The origin and purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live and
enjoy their property in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the
governed, not for the governors. The ultimate power (sovereignty) in a society, therefore,
rests in the people themselves, and they may exercise that power, either directly or
through chosen representatives, in every way they are competent and that it is
This concept, the ultimate sovereignty of the people, finds one of its earliest
recorded expressions in the Declaration of Arbroath, where Robert Bruce is declared king
and the representative of his people:
|"Him, too, divine providence, his right of succession according to
our laws and customs which we shall maintain to the death, and the due consent and assent
of us all have made our Prince and King. ....Yet [should he prove false,] we should exert
ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and
ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King;"
Declaration of Arbroath, April
and as re-stated in The American Declaration of Independence: "Governments are
instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
| It is not enough that men should vote; it is not enough that they
should be theoretically equal before the law. They must have liberty to avail themselves
of the opportunities and means of life; they must stand on equal terms with reference to
the bounty of nature.... This is the universal law. This is the lesson of the centuries.
Henry George Progress and
It is probably impossible to arrive at a description of democracy which will satisfy
everyone. Nevertheless, I suggest two general principles:
|The people being sovereign, should first determine and agree in free deliberation the
form of the institutions of government, what sort of governors there are to be, their
duties and powers, the manner by which they are to be chosen, and how long they are to
|Representative democracy can be said to be a form of government in which the sovereignty
of the people is expressed through the direct participation of the mass of the people in
the election of their governors at intervals. |
The present situation in Scotland, while generally satisfying the second principle
above, falls somewhat short on the first:
|The new 'constitutional settlement', while developed largely by a portion of the people
of Scotland, and approved in principle by referendum, could not take effect unless allowed
by the Westminster parliament, which also reserved significant powers to itself.|
|The same can be said of the system of 'local' government, which has been re-designed,
curtailed, and kept in financial thrall for the imagined convenience of the centralised
bureaucracy with very little 'free deliberation' possible on the part of the governed. |
I will not labour this point further except to say that the ready acceptance on the
part of the people (or apathy) of the idea that central government is competent (in both
the legal and common sense) to determine the form of local government was and remains the
largest of the surprises I have experienced here. That it should happen twice in just over
two decades, and is likely to happen again when Holyrood can get round to it defies
|"By the union with England the middling and inferior ranks of people
in Scotland gained a complete deliverance from the power of an aristocracy which had
always before oppressed them. "
Adam Smith; The Wealth of Nations,
That Scotland has the most concentrated pattern of land ownership in the 'free world'
is apparent to anyone who cares to look. It is also a fact that large portions of
Scotland's land are owned by corporations and other absentees.
Of the rural land, 2, 275,768 acres are in the ownership of public bodies and
16,207,236 are in the ownership of private bodies. Of this privately-owned rural land
(Population 5,000,000 = over 3 acres per Scot):
||is owned by
||66 landowners in estates of
||30,700 acres and larger
||is owned by
||120 landowners in estates of
||21,000 acres and larger
||is owned by
||343 landowners in estates of
||7,500 acres and larger
||is owned by
||1252 landowners in estates of
||l ,200 acres and larger
So two thirds of Scotland is owned by one four thousandth of the people!
Andy Wightman; Scotland, Land and Power, 1999
|"To put the bounty and the health of our land, our only commonwealth,
into the hands of people who do not live on it and share its fate will always be an error.
For whatever determines the fortune of the land determines also the fortune of the people.
If history teaches anything, it teaches that."
Wendell Berry; Conserving Forest
I would like to briefly discuss the role of land tenure as it pertains to the
operation of government, and whether democracy according to the principles above is
feasible in a situation where participation in the development of the present laws
and structures of government was a monopoly limited to landowning males, thereby
excluding the bulk of the population until only a few generations ago.
|"But it is not so much the absurdity as the evil of hereditary
succession which concerns mankind. Did it ensure a race of good and wise men it would have
the seal of divine authority, but as it opens a door to the foolish, the wicked; and the
improper, it hath in it the nature of oppression. Men who look upon themselves born to
reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their
minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially
from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true
interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and
unfit of any throughout the dominions."
Tom Paine, Common Sense,
The connection between the ownership of land and political power has been a feature of
social theory from the classical period down the ages to Margaret Thatcher's drive to
convert council tenants into owners (substituting the tyranny of the mortgager for that of
the landlord) and the Blairite concept of "stakeholders," be they 'communities'
or individuals. Such thinking has not been restricted to purely democratic societies:
|"In the case of Rome the Servian Reform (Servius Tullius, 578-534
B.C.) shows very clearly not only that the agricultural class originally preponderated in
the State but also that an effort was made to maintain the collective body of freeholders
as the pith and marrow of the community. The conception that the constitution itself
rested on the freehold system permeated the whole policy of Roman war and conquest. The
aim of war was to increase the number of its freehold members."
Sir Albert Howard; An
Agricultural Testament, (introduction), 1940
The thinking of those who founded the American revolution and the succeeding wave of
revolutions throughout Europe, returning land to the peasantry and establishing the
tradition of Human Rights, was developed by the philosophers of the
"Enlightenment"; Montaigne, John Locke, David Hume, William Ogilvie, Benjamin
Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, George Mason, Adam Smith, and others. (see references) It is interesting to note that not a few of these
were Scottish; some found it best to operate in anonymity, and some were imprisoned or
fled to exile.
|"As soon as the land of any country has all become private property,
the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent
even for its natural produce."
Adam Smith; The Wealth of Nations,
1776: Book I Chapter VI
|"It is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as
possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most
precious part of a state."
Thomas Jefferson to James Madison,
|"He who is permitted by law to have no property of his own can with
difficulty conceive that property is founded in anything but force."
Thomas Jefferson to Edward Bancroft,
|"The unequal division of property... occasions the numberless
instances of wretchedness which... is to be observed all over Europe."
Thomas Jefferson to James Madison,
|"Whenever there is in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed
poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate
Thomas Jefferson to James Madison,
|"I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable.
But the consequences of enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of
mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking
care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human
Thomas Jefferson to James Madison,
|"If the overgrown wealth of an individual is deemed dangerous to the
State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the
better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra-taxation violates it."
Thomas Jefferson: Note in Destutt de
Tracy's "Political Economy," 1816
It would be foolish to suggest that we should attempt a return to some sort of
imagined arcadian paradise, but the increasing separation of people from direct relation
to and dependence on land has been a cause of concern to the developing environmental
|"Perhaps the most serious obstacle impeding the evolution of a land
ethic is the fact that our educational and economic system is headed away from, rather
than toward, an intense consciousness of land. Your true modern is separated from the land
by many middlemen, and by innumerable physical gadgets. He has no vital relation to it; to
him it is the space between cities on which crops grow. "
Aldo Leopold; The Land Ethic,
This was and remains true in America, where Leopold was writing. The industrialisation
of agriculture has continued to force accellerated clearances through economic
In Scotland, indeed in the whole of Britain, centuries of enclosure and eviction
created a vast class of displaced people whose only recourse was to migrate to the
industrial centres. This proved quite a convenient source of labour for the emerging
industrial owners, who frequently converted their growing wealth into political power by
purchasing land. This power was reinforced through the provision of tied housing for their
Meanwhile, all over Europe, the peasant uprisings re-established the rights of small
freeholders, but the British state was uniquely successful in resisting the trend, often
with recourse to considerable force, applied on behalf of the ruling landed elite.
Strangely, this is a source of pride to many of my neighbours.
|"a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial
appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of
Tom Paine; Common Sense,
Sir Albert Howard, the brilliant agricultural scientist and one of the principal
founders of the Soil Association and the concept of "Organic" farming, was in no
doubt about the connections between land and society, as illustrated by the extracts
already cited above. I wonder if the following longer extract from the introduction to his
Agricultural Testament (1940) can be read without noting
the resonance between Scotland and the last days of the Roman Empire?
||"These splendid ideals did not persist. During the period which
elapsed between the union of Italy and the subjugation of Carthage, a gradual decay of the
farmers set in; the small-holdings ceased to yield any substantial clear return; the
cultivators one by one faced ruin; the moral tone and frugal habits of the earlier ages of
the Republic were lost; the land of the Italian farmers became merged into the larger
The landlord capitalist became the centre of the subject. He not only produced
at a cheaper rate than the farmer because he had more land, but he began to use slaves.
The same space which in the olden time, when small-holdings prevailed, had supported from
a hundred to a hundred and fifty families was now occupied by one family of free persons
and about fifty, for the most part unmarried, slaves. 'If this was the remedy by which the
decaying national economy was to be restored to vigour, it bore, unhappily, an aspect of
extreme resemblance to disease' (Mommsen).
The main causes of this decline appear to have been fourfold: the constant drain on the
manhood of the country-side by the legions, which culminated in the two long wars with
Carthage; the operations of the Roman capitalist landlords which 'contributed quite as
much as Hamilcar and Hannibal to the decline in the vigour and the number of the Italian
people' (Mommsen); failure to work out a balanced agriculture between crops and live stock
and to maintain the fertility of the soil; the employment of slaves instead of free
During this period the wholesale commerce of Latium passed into the hands of the large
landed proprietors who at the same time were the speculators and capitalists. The natural
consequence was the destruction of the middle classes, particularly of the small-holders,
and the development of landed and moneyed lords on the one hand and of an agricultural
proletariat on the other. The power of capital was greatly enhanced by the growth of the
class of tax-farmers and contractors to whom the State farmed out its indirect revenues
for a fixed sum.
Subsequent political and social conflicts did not give real relief to the agricultural
community. Colonies founded to secure Roman sovereignty over Italy provided farms for the
agricultural proletariat, but the root causes of the decline in agriculture were not
removed in spite of the efforts of Cato and other reformers. A capitalist system of which
the apparent interests were fundamentally opposed to a sound agriculture remained supreme.
The last half of the second century saw degradation and more and more decadence.
Then came Tiberius Gracchus and the Agrarian Law with the appointment of an official
commission to counteract the diminution of the farmer class by the comprehensive
establishment of new small-holdings from the whole Italian landed property at the disposal
of the State: eighty thousand new Italian farmers were provided with land. These efforts
to restore agriculture to its rightful place in the State were accompanied by many
improvements in Roman agriculture which, unfortunately, were most suitable for large
estates. Land no longer able to produce corn became pasture; cattle now roamed over large
ranches; the vine and the olive were cultivated with commercial success.
These systems of agriculture, however, had to be carried on with slave labour, the
supply of which had to be maintained by constant importation. Such extensive methods of
farming naturally failed to supply sufficient food for the population of Italy. Other
countries were called upon to furnish essential foodstuffs; province after province was
conquered to feed the growing proletariat with corn. These areas in turn slowly yielded to
the same decline which had taken place in Italy.
Finally the wealthy classes abandoned the depopulated remnants of the mother country
and built themselves a new capital at Constantinople. The situation had to be saved by a
migration to fresh lands. In their new capital the Romans relied on the unexhausted
fertility of Egypt as well as on that of Asia Minor and the Balkan and Danubian provinces.
Judged by the ordinary standards of achievement the agricultural history of the Roman
Empire ended in failure due to inability to realize the fundamental principle that the
maintenance of soil fertility coupled with the legitimate claims of the agricultural
population should never have been allowed to come in conflict with the operations of the
The most important possession of a country is its population. If this is maintained in
health and vigour everything else will follow; if this is allowed to decline nothing, not
even great riches, can save the country from eventual ruin. It follows, therefore, that
the strongest possible support of capital must always be a prosperous and contented
country-side. A working compromise between agriculture and finance should therefore have
been evolved. Failure to achieve this naturally ended in the ruin of both."
CONCLUSION: Back to the Future (or Betray the Future?)
It will be a difficult task to write a better conclusion than Sir Albert's above, but
I shall attempt to bring us into the twentyfirst century, and into Scotland in particular,
where I have lived almost half my life.
There can be little doubt that the ownership of property empowers the owner, whether
it be the family home, a smallholding or working farm, or at the other extreme, thousands
of acres, tenanted or not. That the strength and health of a culture, particularily one
espousing democratic ideals, depends upon the widest possible distribution of such
empowerment is apparent from the foregoing pages. That this power is unevenly distributed
in today's Scotland is clearly recognised in official Scottish Office papers:
|"Land is a defining issue for the people of Scotland." and:
a Development Strategy for Rural Scotland
|"Rural Scotland is characterised by gross inequalities of wealth and
power. To achieve real sustainable development, which ensures proper life chances for all
our rural people, we must widen the power base and introduce greater democratisation and
local community involvement." and:
|"A key resource in rural Scotland is the land, and land reform will
play a major part in the Government's strategy ...".
Thus, prior to the establishment of the new Scottish Parliament, the New Labour
Government identified land reform as important and commissioned a consultation: "To
take this Manifesto commitment [to "initiate a study into the system of land
ownership and management in Scotland"] forward,...look comprehensively at the range
of reform options available...to identify and assess proposals for land reform, ...and
their likely impact on the social and economic development of rural communities and on the
natural heritage." Ibid.
The Land Reform Policy Group (LRPG) , a
handful of Scottish Office civil servants & an academic, convened by a Lordly
Minister, duly observed:
|"Land is a key resource. The lifechances of people living in rural
areas depend on how it is used. All too often in the past, the interests of the majority
have been damaged by the interests of the few who control that resource." and:
Identifying the Problems (February 1998)
|"Land reform is needed on grounds of fairness, and to secure the
public good. The Groups initial review of the evidence indicates that present
systems of land ownership and management in rural Scotland still serve to inhibit
opportunities.... the way landholdings are owned and managed can have a critical impact
upon the lands ability to sustain rural populations. The work of the Group should
have a liberating effect in freeing up the land resource." and
|"The pattern of land ownership in Scotland remains dominated by a
small number of large (often very large) estates. The majority of the land consists of
under 1,500 private estates. About 12% of all land in Scotland is in public
Now I know where Andy got his figures!
And, in their final recommendations, LRPG identified the need for:
|"increased diversity in the way land is owned and used: in other
words, more variety in ownership ...which will lead to less concentration of ownership and
management in a limited number of hands, particularly at local level, as the best way of
encouraging sustainable rural development;" and
Recommendations for Action, Introduction, January 1999)
|"increased community involvement in the way land is owned and used,
so that local people are not excluded from decisions which affect their lives and the
lives of their communities..."
So it it not surprising that the leadership of the new Scottish Parliament have given
a high profile to land reform, as a good example of long needed "radical
change," and have been trumpeting it as "an essential element of their wide-
ranging plans for a modern Scotland." [Land Reform: Proposals for
Legislation, July 99]
Considering the points raised consistently throughout the consultation process, the
Scottish Executive might have been expected to present an agenda for legislation which
would involve reform in the following areas;
What is surprising instead, is the timidity of the kitten being paraded as a tiger
of radical change: "The proposed legislation will create new opportunities for
community ownership and for access to the Scottish countryside." We are informed the
proposed legislation will accomplish this (laughably modest) objective by creating:
IN SUM: Community ownership, Access, Conservation, and outright ownership for
the existing pattern! The proposals for community ownership are so
limited by the definitions of community as to be likely to have absolutely no
effect on the problem of concentrated ownership identified
throughout the entire consultation process. There are no other proposals which might be
expected to have any effect on the existing pattern of ownership. On access &
conservation, it must be admitted, there is much of value, but the real betrayal is in the
headline-grabbing "Abolition of the Feudal System":
|"A key element in the land reform programme will therefore be a
series of measures currently being prepared by the Scottish Law Commission to remove
outdated and unfair land law. Firstly, by the time that the Scottish Parliament is in
being, a draft Bill will be available to abolish the feudal system (which is
still susceptible to abuse) and to replace it with a system of outright ownership
of land... The significant contribution which these law reforms could make towards
comprehensive land reform is welcomed."
Recommendations for Action
The most significant contribution regarding land reform would seem to be the sweeping
away of the beneficial concept embodied in feudal land law - that ownership is subject to
the sovereignty of the people - and its replacement by a system of "outright
|"It is of supreme concern that we are about to initiate legislation
which, under the popular guise of land reform will, if handled as planned, be the defiant
and ultimate triumph of a project begun around 800 years ago by the Scottish aristocracy,
namely to wrest to themselves all power over land from the Crown. They have been
remarkably successful so far because they have made the land laws of this country."
Andy Wightman, Land & Power, P34.
A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an a' that!
But an honest man's aboon his might
Guid faith, he mauna fa' that,
For a' that, an a' that,
Their dignities, an a' that,
The pith o sense an pride o worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.
-- Robert Burns --
There were only 2652 Parliamentary voters in Scotland when Burns was writing. This
number included all the landed gentry and their lackeys. These were undoubtedly the
"proud usurpers" who caused the "oppressions, woes, and pains",
referred to by our patriot bard. Compare this number with the 1252 owners of two-thirds of
|"What an unbelievable irony if, just as the House of Lords in the
Palace of Westminster loses the power to revise Scottish legislation, a land reforming
Scottish Executive, delivers to the lairds their final prize in its first piece of
Andy Wightman, Land & Power, P34.
Fortunately, many others have noted this alarming possibility, and the matter is sure
to be aired as the legislation proceeds, but in the environment of party-majority,
coalition and whipped voting, there is considerable doubt whether this ill-advised course
can be averted. The elegance of the Power Elite in engineering it's coup de grace
through the agency of a coalition of supposedly left-of-centre parties has to be admitted
its irony. The selling out of the interests of the sovereign people to the Establishment
by the parties of the Scottish Executive, should it succeed, will indeed rank with the
events of 1707!
What force or guile could not subdue
Thro' many warlike ages,
Is wrought now by a coward few
for hireling traitor's wages.
The English steel we could disdain,
Secure in valour's station.
But English gold has been our bane:
Sic a parcel of rogues in a nation!
O, would, or I had seen the day
That Treason thus could sell us,
My auld grey head had lien in clay,
Wi Bruce and loyal Wallace!
But pith and power, till my last hour,
I'll mak this declaration:-
`We're bought and sold for English gold' ---
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
-- Robert Burns, 1791 --
|"THESE are the times that try men's souls. ...Tyranny, like hell, is
not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict,
the more glorious the triumph....Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods;
and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly
Paine; Crisis, December 23, 1776
|"The present winter is worth an age, if rightly employed; but, if
lost or neglected, the whole continent will partake of the evil; and there is no
punishment that man does not deserve, be he who, or what, or where he will, that may be
the means of sacrificing a season so precious and useful."
The present Scottish Parliamentary Session is worth an age, if rightly employed; but,
if lost or neglected, the whole country will partake of the evil; and there is no
punishment that man (or woman) does not deserve, be he (or she) who, or what, or where he
(or she) will, that may be the means of sacrificing a season so precious and useful.
To any reader who has gotten this far and remains unconvinced, may I commend Andy
Wightman's excellent book, Scotland: Land & Power, which
discusses these matters in compelling detail.
||"It must be remembered that there is nothing more
difficult to plan, more uncertain of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the
creation of a new order of things. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would
profit by the preservation of the old institutions, and merely lukewarm defenders in those
who would gain by the new ones."
For the sake of the present exploration, it is fair to say that my views are
conditioned by a Northamerican childhood, raised and educated in the (state-provided)
institutions of the United States and Canada. In the US, young people are educated in the
history and principles of civil society and democratic government (American style, of
course) from an early age generally until the age of 20, if formal schooling is continued
past 16, generally the earliest exit allowed. Primary School in Canada left me with a few
memories of resisting indoctrination (a childish loyalty to US?)
Those Canadian years, however unwittingly, gave me some sort of sense of 'scotch/irish'
culture, and twenty years later, allowed me to easily feel at home in Scotland. The past
three decades observing and living within the forms of democracy practiced here have given
me many surprises, and have broadened my view. It is also material to my attitudes that,
with the exception of the period of higher education and very early employment, I have
resided in owner-occupied freehold property.
Paine; On the Origins of Government, January, 1776
Locke, Second Treatise on Government, 1690; V: On Property
|Theodor Mommsen; The History of Rome, transl. Dickson,
London, 1894 (quoted by Howard)
|Aldo Leopold; The Land Ethic, 1948
of Arbroath, April 6th, 1320
Smith; The Wealth of Nations, 1776
|Wendell Berry; Conserving Communities, 1995 Conserving Forest
Communities, 1995 Private
Property and the Commonwealth, 1995
Wightman; Who Owns Scotland, Canongate, 1966 AND: Scotland: Land
and Power, the agenda for land reform, Edinburgh 1999 Available from the author: 9 Inverleith Terrace Edinburgh EH3
|Sir Albert Howard; An Agricultural Testament, 1940 (introduction)
Common Sense, January 1776
|Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government, University of Virginia,
|Professor William Ogilvie of Pittenseer; Birthright in Land, an Essay on the Right
of Property in Land, 1782
George, Progress and Poverty, 1879
|THE ORIGIN OF PROPERTY IN LAND, by Galliard Thomas Lapsley (American
Historical Review, volume 8, (1902-3) pp. 426-448.)
|Government Papers: Here for the White Paper: and Here
for the Abolition of the Feudal System LRPG
reform legislation:, Feudal
Law reform legislation: