Daily Torygraph starts elite panic about land reform before a blow has been struck


Under the headline, ‘Lairds could be forced to sell off land by SNP acreage cap’, the Daily Telegraph warns its readers that the Scottish Government has plans to unjustly strip landowners of swathes of their land.

There isn’t yet any actual policy in place and many land reformers were quite disappointed by the relatively tame legislation that has been passed so far. In particular, the lack of a cap on the total amount one person can own, was heavily criticised. Many readers will know that more than half of Scotland is owned by fewer than 500 people and that Scotland has what has been described as ‘the most inequitable land ownership in the west.’ The map above is evidence of this. I find it shocking to see how little publicly-owned land we have.


What the Telegraph is exercised by is a job advert for researchers to look at how other countries have legislated to ‘limit who can own land and / or how much land any single individual or entity is permitted to own.’

Needless to say, the big landowners and their representative bodies have reacted furiously to the word ‘limit’ and are warning that breaking up large estates will reduce their economic viability and damage the Scottish economy. We’ll see if the researchers report that acreage limits have damaged the economies of Norway or Denmark, for example. I doubt it.

In European countries like Norway a country seven times the size of Scotland there are only 23 estates bigger than 10,000 hectares. In Scotland, there are 144. In Denmark, people are limited to only being able to buy 620 acres of rural land and must live in the country if they wish to buy a holiday home.




13 thoughts on “Daily Torygraph starts elite panic about land reform before a blow has been struck

  1. macgilleleabhar September 19, 2017 / 8:29 am

    I hope Andy Wightman has major part in this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. William Henderson September 19, 2017 / 8:43 am


    You didn’t mention it specifically, but the Telegraph article goes on to mention the possibility of a land value tax system.

    Now we are getting down to some REAL politics!

    Just think – no more personal income tax and VAT.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clydebuilt September 19, 2017 / 11:08 am

      Scottish Government has plans to strip landowners of swathes of their land . . . . G O O D . . . The sooner the better!

      Heard Andy Wightman interviewed by Robertson this am. He said he had little idea (none might be more accurate) of what the S.G were thinking re land reform and taxation.

      Was pushing a tax on unused land, which would force owners to either sell up, do something with the land of pay the tax. Either way means more money for SG. and in some cases economic activity , sounds like a win win to me. But he has no idea if the SG. Are thinking of implementing this.

      Would like to see the Scot. Gov. to work with Andy Wightman on this. What have they got to loose?

      Liked by 1 person

      • johnrobertson834 September 19, 2017 / 11:19 am

        Once more, they’re trying to look mature and competent so as not to scare the horses. I think it’ll turn out the way Andy wants just slower.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clydebuilt September 19, 2017 / 11:55 am

        The SG going soft on Landowners where’s the gain, Landowners don’t vote SNP, as you say trying to look mature and competent . . . . It doen’t matter what the SNP does or doesn’t do its Bad.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Alasdair Macdonald September 19, 2017 / 7:27 pm

    Remember, a landowners organisation is seeking to bankrupt Mr Wightman and thus have him disqualified as an MSP. I hope readers have contributed to Mr Wightman’s crowdfunding and, will do so, if more is needed in the future.

    Undoubtedly, taxing unused land, and, indeed, having such a tax increase each year it is unused should either force a sale or be a good source of revenue for Councils.

    It would also be useful to facilitate ‘buy-outs’ by local groups of such unused plots, perhaps, initially, to foster self-building, under some form of ‘shared ownership’.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sandra Bennett September 20, 2017 / 1:10 am

    There are too many holiday homes here for other Nationalities and not near enough homes for our own kin.Putting a block on second homes and the reason why they cannot buy may stop this Colonization of our Country. I recall Wales doing this very thing years ago.
    We welcome immigrant families wholeheartedly but second holiday homes are not doing anything for us as a lot of them sit empty most of the year.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. frank hocking September 20, 2017 / 9:59 am

    Put an end to all holiday homes. by foreign people. they should not be able to purchase property in Scotland.at any price. england is still foreign to us.
    so the same should apply.


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