Monthly Archives: October 2014

Community land ownership and Scotland’s “difficult” places

Beyond the Horizon


In January 2014 Charles Moore shared his insights on Scottish land reform via a mercifully short Spectator blog. Its hackneyed title – How is Alex Salmond like Robert Mugabe? – suggested that Mr Moore was less than enamoured with the prospect of communities owning the land on which they live. Quite the opposite in fact because according to him:

Without philanthropists, megalomaniacs and serious sportsmen pouring cash in to maintain these difficult places, their communities, and so the environment, would suffer. You can see this happening already in the islands where crofters’ rights have been exercised”.

It’s not immediately clear which Fantasy Islands were populating Moore’s imagination in his portrayal of benevolent private lairds gallantly stepping in to protect otherwise enfeebled and helpless communities with their limitless largesse. They can’t possibly have included the Western Isles where I come from and where I spent a couple of days…

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