Saturday, 20 April 2019

SO MUCH OWNED BY SO FEW


Half of England owned by less than 1 per cent of population, research finds

Palko Karasz


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Half of England owned by less than 1 per cent of population, research finds
Land ownership in England, a source of enormous wealth, is often shielded by a culture of secrecy harking back to the Middle Ages.
But a researcher says that after years of digging, he has an answer.
Less than one percent of the population — including aristocrats, royals and wealthy investors — owns about half the land, according to Who Owns England, a book that is to be published in May.
And many of them inherited the property as members of families that have held it for generations — even centuries.
In the book, author Guy Shrubsole, an environmental activist and writer, identifies many of the owners and compiles data gathered by peppering public bodies with freedom of information requests and combing through the 25 million title records in the government’s Land Registry.
He reached a striking conclusion — that in a country of around 56 million people, half the country belongs to just 25,000 landowners, some of them corporations.
The findings go to the heart of a potent political issue — economic inequality — that is roiling nations and feeding populist movements on multiple continents.
The Labour Party seized on Shrubsole’s findings, first published this week in The Guardian.
“Don’t let anyone tell you our country doesn’t need radical change,” Jeremy Corbyn wrote on Twitter.
Comparison to other developed countries is difficult, because they do not have national land registries.
Records can only be viewed one at a time through hundreds of local registry officers, they are not fully open to the public and ownership can be obscured through shell corporations.
But Britain has greater wealth inequality than peers like Germany, France, the Low Countries and Scandinavia — though less than the United States.
And the UK has not seen the kinds of wars and revolutions that over centuries wiped away sprawling estates owned by nobility in most of Europe.
Who owns the “green and pleasant land” of the English countryside can be a well-kept secret, in part because a large segment of it does not even figure in public records.
Government efforts to make a public accounting of land ownership date to the 19th century, but according to the Land Registry, about 15 percent of the country’s area, most of it rural, is still unrecorded.
“Much of the land owned by the Crown, the aristocracy, and the Church has not been registered, because it has never been sold, which is one of the main triggers for compulsory registration,” the registry says on its website.
Mr Shrubsole began documenting England’s estates after the Brexit referendum in 2016.
“If Brexit really meant ‘taking back control of our country’ then I’d like at least to know who owns it,” he wrote in an op-ed in The Guardian a year after the vote.
Housing prices in England are among the highest in Europe and have soared during the last generation.
Mr Shrubsole’s book documents ownership, maps unregistered land and argues that the concentration of ownership helps keep available land scarce and expensive.
Houses, stores, office buildings, schools and farms are often held under long-term leases, paying a steady stream of rents — directly or through intermediate leaseholders — to major landowners.
He said that by publishing his research, he wanted to start a conversation.
“It should prompt a proper debate about the need for land reform in England,” Mr Shrubsole said. The issue of land relates to the country’s housing crisis, to economic inequality, to climate change and the intensive use of farmland, he added.
The ancient idea that wealth meant land does not always hold true in modern times.
But, land accounted for half the UK’s net worth in 2016, according to data from the Office of National Statistics — double that of Germany and higher than in countries like France, Canada and Japan.
Britain’s net worth more than tripled between 1995 and 2017, driven primarily by the value of land, which rose much faster than other kinds of assets.
“The main economic challenge and the social justice issue is that for the last 30, 40 years, landowners have enjoyed enormous unearned windfall gains at a faster rate than wages or the economy have grown,” said Josh Ryan-Collins, head of research at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London.
“There is nothing that the landowners have done to earn those incomes,” he said.
He said that even agricultural land has become the object of speculative demand, pushing prices and gains for landowners up further.
But even if land reform has not been on the agenda of the Conservative government, it has had to address the housing crisis and agricultural subsidies.
Recently, Conservatives have focused their criticism on the European Union’s farming and forestry subsidy system, which has put aristocrats, the royal family and wealthy investors among the top recipients of taxpayer-funded aid.
The Queen’s estate in Sandringham, north of London, received £695,000 in aid in 2017, according to a public database of payments.
An agriculture bill in Parliament promises to change farm subsidies after Brexit.
Instead of direct payments based on the total amount of land farmed, payments in the new system would be based on factors such as contributions to the environment, animal welfare and public access to the property.
“As we know, many of the beneficiaries are not even UK or EU citizens, but foreign citizens who happen to have invested in agricultural land,” said environment secretary Michael Gove, during a 2018 debate on the bill in Parliament.
“It is a simple matter of social justice and economic efficiency that we need to change that system.”
Most of the European Union is also grappling with concentrated ownership of farmland, though not to the same degree.
A 2017 report by European Parliament lawmakers said that in 2010, three percent of farms controlled half the agricultural land within the bloc.
“Agricultural land is not an ordinary traded good, as soil is non-renewable and access to it is a human right,” the report said.
“As with the concentration of financial wealth, too high a concentration of agricultural land splits society, destabilises rural areas, threatens food safety and thus jeopardises the environmental and social objectives of Europe.”
Scotland, where land ownership is in the hands of even fewer people and organisations, has enacted a set of land reform laws.
In 2004, it abolished feudal rules that were still in effect, helping many longtime tenants to become outright owners of their land.
Other legislation introduced the right to roam, giving the public access to vast privately held lands.
“The example of successful land reform programmes in other countries, like Scotland, should give us hope,” Mr Shrubsole wrote in his book.
“Get land reform right, and we can go a long way towards ending the housing crisis, restoring nature and making our society more equal.”

Sunday, 16 December 2018

the achievements of 21st century conservatism

1.RECORD NUMBERS OF ROUGH SLEEPERS
RECORD NUMBERS OF AND USERS OF FOODBANKS AMONG WORKING PEOPLE114000 DEATHS OF BENEFIT CLAIMANTS
FIRST UK GOVT. AND PM EVER TO BE FOUND IN CONTEMPT OF PARLIAMENT
SURELY A RESIGNIG ISSUE REAL TERMS CUTS IN BENEFITS FOR
UTTER FAILUREOF EU NEGOTIATIONS AND AN ERRONEOUS SELFISHLY EXPEDIENT DECISION TO HAVE A REFERENDUM IN THE FIRST PLACE
CATASTROPHIC OUTSOURCEING TO THE LIKES OFCAPITA FAILING TO RECRUIT ENOUGH SOLDIERSAND THE LIKES OF SERCO AND GROUPN4 FAILINGH ON PRISONS AND PROBATIONTHE DEALS ARE CORRUPT CABINET MINISTERSHAVE SHARES IN ALL THE OUTSOURCEING COMPANIES
DISABLED PEOPLE DUE TO FREEZE

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

NBHTRITISH GAS 3RD PRICE HIKE IN A YEAR

UNOFFICIAL CARTEL
 OF THE BIG THREE EON EDF AND BRITISH GAS HAVE ALL HIKED RATES AT LEAST TWICE THIS YEAR FUEL MARKET IN THE UK IS 

BROKEN GOVERNMENT DOES NOTHING

Anti-Corbyn campaign


picture


I'm 66 years old, and have never seen such a concentrated, vicious and deliberately inaccurate character assassination campaign as this. It isn't just Israel, though I'm sure that they are stoking the fire, but also the establishment, which is terrified that a real socialist will bring about a more equal society and redistribute their obscene wealth to the rest of society.
The anti-semitism furore is mostly manufactured and I haven't heard a single example, and certainly nothing which would justify the incredible attacks on Corbyn. It is clear that this campaign is targetted at Corbyn, as apparently there was no problem with anti-semitism before he was elected leader. The msm, especially the BBC, has a great responsibility for this campaign, with endlessly repeated stories of faux outrage at relatively banal and benign measures e.g. the definition of anti-semitism, which has been fully adopted apart from part of one example.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

universal; credit forms impossible

to credit: jovike via photopin cc
More than a third of people helped by Citizens Advice struggle to provide the evidence needed to complete their Universal Credit claim, new research from the charity finds.
With government data showing late Universal Credit payments are usually due to challenges submitting evidence, Citizens Advice asked people who came to the charity for help how difficult it was to meet these requirements. Of the people helped who qualify for extra costs under Universal Credit:
  • 48% found it difficult to provide evidence for health conditions
  • 40% found found it difficult to provide evidence for housing
  • 35% found it difficult to provide evidence for childcare
The charity also found that people receiving their first full payment late stood a higher chance of getting into greater debt, or falling into it. When people didn’t receive their first Universal Credit payment on time, their chances of being in debt increased by a quarter (23%). They were also 60% more likely to borrow money from a lender to help tide them over.
One mum-of-two had to wait an extra three weeks for her first full Universal Credit payment, which covered her rent. She was not told to bring her tenancy agreement to her Jobcentre appointment and struggled to get another appointment quickly. In the meantime, she went to a foodbank and borrowed money from friends and family members to tide her over.
As people must wait 5 weeks before receiving their first Universal Credit payment, their finances are often already stretched. This is particularly problematic if they have no income beyond an Advance Payment, which they are required to apply for. Any delays to this mandatory wait can then be more acute.
In total there are 10 stages to making a Universal Credit claim, many of which are time sensitive. If a deadline is missed, a claim may have to be started again. Some people are finding the process so complex that 1 in 4 people who were helped by Citizens Advice spent more than a week completing their claim.
the facts are for disabled people the dwp has information going back years they have the information there is no need to pile on pressure to disabled people who have a big enough struggle on cut benefits the budget for pips is25% lower than disability living allowance meaning the replacement benefit is much less to the claimant just another case of unnecessary bullying of society's most vulnerable many case workers from social services are very little help seeking to palm off help to well overwhelmed citizens advice  bureau universal credit is a catastrophic mess
DWP MINISTERSARE BLIND TO THE PROBLEMS  AND UNCARING BOUT THR CONSEQWUENCES HOW LOW HAVBE WE FALLEN TO ALLOWTHE MOST VULNERABLE TO BE TREATED IN SUCH A SHAMBOLIC MANNER.


Friday, 27 April 2018

bnp and ukip mayboth be almost dead but a camouflaged version remains


T
he Football Lads Alliance (FLA) are
trying to use the tragic deaths at the
Manchester arena last May to peddle
their Islamophobic agenda. They plan to
march in the city on Saturday 19 May.
And the ‘Democratic’ Football Lads
Alliance (DFLA) is to march alongside
Tommy Robinson, former leader of the
English Defence League, in London on
Sunday 6 May.
For all the FLA’s talk of being “united
against extremism”, their real agenda has
become clearer in recent months.
The Premiership has now issued a
warning to clubs about the FLA and its
links to right wing extremists.
The far right was allowed on the FLA’s
most recent outing in Birmingham in
March when around 2,000 joined its racist
event.
FLA founder John Meighan welcomed
fascist Tommy Robinson onto their
protest. The main speaker at their rally
was Anne Marie Waters, a notorious
Islamophobe who leads the far right For
Britain party.
And racist abuse was dished out at
Asian bystanders as the FLA marched
past.
Newspapers such as the
Times
and
Observer
, have reported on the racism
and Islamophobia at the heart of the FLA.
Their secret Facebook page is full of racist
and Islamophobic posts.
These have included threats to the
shadow home secretary Diane Abbott and
the London mayor Sadiq Khan.
FLA supporters have also expressed
support for Darren Osborne, the man
who carried out the murderous assault on
Finsbury Park mosque in north London.
Islamophobic
It is now clear that the FLA is pushing a
racist and Islamophobic agenda and is
openly working with the far right.
Stand Up To Racism does not believe
that we should let their growth go
unchallenged. That’s why we’re calling
on anti-racists, trade unionists, faith
groups and campaigners to join our
demonstration opposing the DFLA
in London on 6 May, and the FLA in
Manchester on 19 May.
Our demos are supported by leading
trade unionists and campaigners. In
Manchester the protest is also backed
by three local MPs, the Labour leader of
Manchester City Council, and many others.
Don’t let racism divide us.
Oppose the rise
of the Football
Lads Alliance
Stand Up To Racism factsheet
ACROSS EUROPE
far right
groups are gaining support,
from the Nazi Front National
in France to Victor Orban’s
antisemitic and Islamophobic
government in Hungary.
In the US Donald Trump’s
racism encouraged fascists to
go onto the streets, such as in
Charlottesville where Heather
Heyer was murdered last
summer.
In Britain the far right has
declined. Thanks to anti-
fascist campaigning the Nazi
British National Party no
longer has MEPs and scores
of councillors and the English
Defence League (EDL) can no
longer mobilise thousands.
The electoral success of the
xenophobic UKIP has also
been halted and reversed.
But the Tories under Theresa
May still scapegoat migrants,
refugees and the Muslim
community and are egged on
by the right wing press.
This has fuelled racism
against Muslims on the
streets.
In the wake of terrorist
attacks in Manchester and
London Bridge last year,
groups such as the FLA began
to talk of Muslims as an
enemy within.
They push the same
narrative about Muslims as
racists did about black and
Asian people in the 1970s and
Jewish people in the 1930s.
Muslims are not the
“problem” or the “enemy”.
And football should be for
everyone.
We can’t allow racist
marches that scapegoat one
section of our society to go
unopposed on the streets of
our multicultural cities.
It’s time to make a stand.
Stand up against the growth of the racist right
Sunday 6 May, 12pm,
Speakers’ Corner,
Hyde Park, London W2 2EU
For more information see the facebook
event “Oppose Tommy Robinson and the
Democratic Football Lads Alliance”
Saturday 19 May, 11am
Manchester Piccadilly Gardens
For more information see the facebook
event: “Manchester demonstration: Don’t let
the racists divide us”
• Sign the petition against the FLA marching
in Manchester at: bit.ly/2H3kx0U
JOIN THESE PROTESTS
Tommy Robinson, Nazi
Nazi Tommy Robinson is a poster boy for
the far right—and is treated like a celebrity
on FLA marches.
He was leader of the fascist English
Defence League (EDL), a street movement
that sought to terrorise Muslims.
Under Robinson’s leadership EDL
members engaged in violent assaults on
Muslims, trades unionists and
anti-fascists.
Robinson is also a former member
of the Nazi British National Party. He
sees the FLA and DFLA as a potential
recruiting ground for his fascist ambitions.
Robinson has called a far right gathering
at Speakers’ Corner in London on 6 May
and the DFLA have said they will join it.
Anti-racists must oppose them.
The FL A’s far
right friends
Who are the
DFLA?
The Democratic Football Lads Alliance
(DFLA) broke with John Meighan’s FLA
leadership after falling out over money.
But their politics are just as racist.
They have linked up with what’s left of
the racist Ukip party (see below). Ukip
leader Gerard Batten spoke at the DFLA
rally in Birmingham in March. His speech
was unashamedly Islamophobic.
And Ukip MEP Bill Etheridge spoke
at their rally in Telford and they worked
together building for their rally in
Rochdale. Other figures on the Telford
protest included Mo Fyaz, a close associate
of Tommy Robinson.
The DFLA also work with Veterans
Against Terrorism , a deeply Islamophobic
group. The two groups have organised
marches in towns where police and
authorities have failed victims of child
sexual exploitation. They are trying to
push the racist lie that sexism and abuse
are specific to Muslim men.
UKIP link up
with street
movement
Ukip are hoping to rebuild their base
by appealing to the far right because
they looked set for a total wipeout in the
English local elections in May.
Their MEP Bill Etheridge invited former
members of the fascist English Defence
League to join Ukip and make it into a
“real force”.
Ukip funder Lord Pearson recently met
with leading far right figures in the House
of Lords. At the meeting were the leaders
of Veterans Against Terrorism, Nazi Toni
Bugle and members of the DFLA.
We cannot let Ukip revive through
realigning the forces of the far right.
Anne Marie Waters,
leader of far right
For Britain
Anne Marie Waters set up the far right
For Britain party after she was judged too
Islamophobic even for the racists of Ukip.
Waters said the “only evil we have
legalised is Islam”. In an undercover
ITV programme, last year, Waters
referred to Muslims, as “these f***ers”.
She went onto say, “Stop all Muslim
immigration now.”
Waters launched the UK arm of
the racist Pegida organisation in 2016,
along with Tommy Robinson.
Waters, like Robinson and the FLA,
admires Donald Trump. His anti-
Muslim bile encourages them.
She spoke at the FLA’s Birmingham
march. Waters said that Robinson
was welcome to join her new group,
“Regardless he can’t stand for election
because of his record.
“But I’ll certainly open up the party
for him to join”.
She is also linked to Generation
identity (GI), a European far right group.
FLA leader quits,
but danger remains
John Meighan, the founder of the FLA, has
quit the movement. Pressure from anti-
racists and internal criticisms inside the
FLA saw Meighan fending off accusations of
financial irregularities.
His boasts about a 20,000 strong turnout
by the FLA in Birmingham also came to
nothing when only 1-2,000 marched.
But while Meighan’s departure is a
victory nobody should think it heralds the
end of the FLA. If anything his resignation
could make it easier for the fragmented
‘movement’ to come together.
It’s just as important to mobilise against
the FLA in Manchester now as before
Meighan jumped ship.
JOIN STAND UP TO RACISM TODAY
Stand Up To Racism is a broad based
organisation made up of anti-racists,
students, trade unionists and faith groups.
We organise various activities and
events aimed at challenging the rise of
racism. For more information and to help
with our campaigns, please get in touch:
Tommy Robinson (centre) was mobbed when he joined an FLA demo in London
Photo:
Geoff Dexter
‘Stand Up To Racism’
@AntiRacismDay
standuptoracism.org.uk
info@standuptoracism.org.
uk