WHO OWNS BRITAIN’S LAND?
Who Owns the Land of Britain ?????
Author Kevin Cahill took 13 years of brilliant investigative research to complete a book entitled, “Who Owns Britain ?”, (available at most libraries, though only on request, usually) and uncovered an huge aristocratic/Tory party conspiracy to keep the land of Britain in the hands of the chosen few. As usual. It exposes a conspiracy of gigantic proportions. Cahill started his research after being tasked with the aristocracy in the first Sunday Times “Rich List.” What he came across were brick walls of misinformation, lies, and no information at all. The British Land Registry still only notes around half of England’s land, for example ! and this after being in existence for 76 years. Kevin had worked in both the Commons and the House of Lords and is fully familiar with the working of both.
He uncovers in his book the successful conspiracy to take out of circulation the second Doomsday Book, the little known 1872 ‘Return of Land Owners’, that documented who actually has title deeds to what. The aristocratic landowners, through their ancient House of Lords influence and their party connections, successfully took that second Doomsday book out of circulation, and attempted to prevent a similar one being made just before World War One, causing the then Liberal government to restrict their powers in 1910. In fact, World War One prevented the census from being completed. ‘They’ simply did not want the people to know how much of the land of Britian the privileged few considered that they ‘owned’. Out of sight, out of mind.
But the 1872 Second Doomsday book covered the current UK and Irish Republic, which were one nation at the time. What Cahill did was to compare Ireland right now to the UK. Ireland re-distributed land and the results are all too clear to see. The Irish economy is internally generated, not via handouts from the EU. And there is no estate over 5,000 acres in Ireland.
The UK currently is grossly uncompetitive in many areas, not because of the high valued pound but the high rents that prevent foreign companies from setting up here. So too the absurd situation with affordable housing. Also UK companies will think twice before opening a branch or depot simply because of the high rents due to high land values, brought about by the engineered and wholly artificial shortage, created by the appalling situation of land being in the hands of far too few and backed by a highly restrictive planning system.
The economic boom in the Irish Republic was fuelled by land re-distribution. People build larger and better homes than in the UK, as land is cheaper so more money is able to be spent on the structure and internal fitments, improving their quality of life and creating a larger construction industry, which is by nature is manpower intensive securing jobs.
The facts are that in 1872 “most” of the Irish people owned “nothing at all”. During the famine almost all the population also owned “nothing at all” (the 1 million dead was due to land ownership and laws not the potato blight), with Ireland almost wholly owned at the time by just a few large landowners. Since having its self rule, the Irish now have more home ownership in percentage terms than do people in the UK, with larger houses and houses that do not have between 50%-75% of the value being the value of the land. There are, for sure, some anomalies around Dublin. They also do not have unnecessarily restrictive planning laws that act against the interest of the masses and favour the chosen few as in the UK. The more sensible planning system assists the land-redistribution and the economy as a whole.
In 2001 a total of 52,000 new homes were built in the Irish Republic which has a population of 3.4 million. The UK, in comparison, with its population of 60 million, managed a mere 170,000. The House Builders Federation indicated that highly restrictive planning laws curtail much needed housebuilding in the UK. The message just keeps being made. The Big Issue – indeed !
Rents for Irish industry, commerce and domestic are cheaper as a result, attracting external investment.
Put all this down to land ownership. Giving the people a stake in their own country, and not under the tyranny of feudal and unknown landlords.
But Land reform was promised to the British people after WW1 by the Liberals, and again after WW2 by Labour. “A land fit for heroes”. Both of which failed to deliver. We are suffering today as a consequence of not tackling the underlying fundamental problems. British Land and its ownership.
Cahill’s is a startling expose of Britain’s most valuable asset – its land. Cahill’s investigations reveal how only the 6,000 or so people – mostly aristocrats with ancestries dating back to the Norman Conquest, but also large institutions, and of course the Crown, the National Trust, the Forestry Commission, the Barons and the Churches- own (or have pieces of paper saying so) an estimated 40 million acres of the total 60 million acres in total of this island, two thirds of the country, in fact, and they have maintained their grip on the land right throughout the 20th century. Feudal system or what ? The book proves beyond any doubt that our present system of landownership is of material detriment to the vast majority of homeowners and ordinary people in the UK, imposing taxes on homeowners while many of the wealthiest landowners in the country pay absolutely no rates at all and actually receive money, big money, in the form of grants and subsidies for them simply owning land. Cahill’s arguments are supported with 80 pages of tables, maps and statistics.
This tells the story of the “Lost Doomsday”, the Returns of Owners of Land of 1872, which until now is the only comprehensive record of landownership ever compiled. It updates and examines who owns what in all 118 counties of Britain & Ireland.
In short, Britain 70% of British land is still owned by less than 1% of the population. By the very people, in fact, who are most active in ideas of ‘population control’. The immovable vested interests of Britains landed aristocracy and its unelected elites. In a supposed ‘democracy’.
Contrary to popular belief less than 8% of the British land surface is developed. The ongoing failure of the Land Registry – 76 years on, shows that up to 50% of the land in England alone is still not registered ! The scandalous under valuation of the Crown Estate lands.
How the Church of England has “mislaid” 1.5 million acres it owned 100 years ago !
The startling accumulation of land by the Royal Family, who now own or control the equivalent of an average-sized county in England.
* The UK has 60 million acres of land in total.
* 70% of the land is owned by 1% of the population.
* Just 6,000 or so landowners — mostly aristocrats, but also large institutions and the Crown — own about 40 million acres, two thirds of the UK.
* Britain’s top 20 landowning families have bought or inherited an area big enough to swallow up the entire counties of Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire, with more to spare.
* Big landowners measure their holdings by the square mile; the average Briton living in a privately owned property has to exist on 340 square yards.
* Each home pays £550/ann. on average in council tax while each landowning home receives £12,169/ann. in subsidies. The poor subsidising the super rich. In Ireland where land redistribution occurred, there is no council tax.
* A building plot, the land, now constitutes between half to two- thirds of the cost of a new house.
* 60 million people live in 24 million “dwellings”.
* These 24 million dwellings sit on approx 4.4 million acres (7.7% of the land).
* Of the 24 million dwellings, 11% owned by private landlords and 65% privately owned.
* 19 million privately owned homes, inc gardens, sit on 5.8% of the land.
* The average British dwelling has 2.4 people in it.
* 77% of the total British population of 60 million (projected to be more in new census) live on only 5.8% of the land, about 3.5 million acres (total 60 million).
*Contrary to popular belief British agriculture only accounts for 3% of the annual economy.
* The average density of people on one residential acre of British land is 12 to 13.
* 10.9 million homes carry a mortgage of some kind.
* Average value of an acre of development land is £404,000. High in south east of £704,154, low in north east of £226,624. London is in a category of its own.
* Reservations of land have been placed by builders to a value of £37 billion to build the 3-4 million homes required. The land reserved is almost wholly owned by aristocrats; with none of it found on the land registry. This land is coming out of subsidised rural estates, land held by off-shore trusts and companies and effectively untaxed.
All figures are referenced and verifiable. This failure to re-distribute land in the UK is one of the prime factors why the UK under-performed during most of the 20th century. The artificial land shortage in the UK ramps up land prices, seriously affecting the availability and quality of homes, commercial space, etc. Under 1% of the population own 70% of the land, something you expect from a third world dictatorship — an absolute disgrace in a modern educated country. It led the ‘Sunday Times’ editorial on the publishing of the first UK “Rich List” to equate the UK with a banana republic.
The book has compiled information that is not even available to government departments. It is a brilliant piece of work.
I advise all to read it, and absorb the raw facts showing we as a nation are being ripped-off good style. As usual. That is you, me and everyone else, except the chosen aristocratic and large land owning few. A scandal that dates back to the deal struck between the Norman rulers and the papacy in Rome of the 11th century. Something has to happen ASAP to rectify this gigantic injustice which would create a more stable and stronger economy as experience from other countries as shown.
And the final statistic, it is estimated that no more than 66 people in England own between them estates of a total size equal to the 4 largest counties.
From J. Burns Curtis
Review of –
“Who Owns Britain ?”. Published 29th November 2001. by Kevin Cahill, ISBN 086241 912 3.