Comment posted Are tenant farmers, let down by bad law, also snagged in politics? by Mairi.
Well said Bob. Earlier today I endured the a committee stage of the Land Registration Bill in the Scottish Parliament. In essence it is a simple measure – to create a full Land Register for Scotland, a listing that (a) is embarrassingly lacking right now, and (b) is left to excellent individual campaigners like Andy Wightman who collate and publish who actually owns our land.
Sad to say, even sensible, practical amendments were knocked back by the Minister – Fergus Ewing, often on the grounds that ‘lawyers and land-owners have been consulted …’. I cannot accept the rationale that if lawyers and landowners think it is OK, then the rest of us should blithely accept it. For example, there should be no completion date, says Fergus. If owners don’t register their land – that’s not a problem. The Keeper can ask them to do so, but no date has been set by which time owners must comply. So the Register can remain incomplete, and those with something to hide can continue their concealment.
There seems to be a worrying pattern, whereby the SNP high-command don’t want to do anything that upsets the land-owners. And if that means tenants suffer, or communities wither, then that is of no interest. This is not even what the SNP grass-roots want.
Bob – count me in on your campaign. This whole issue needs a lot of effort, and I’m very keen to help.
Mairi also commented
- The serious point Ken, if you care to engage with the topic rather than make cheap party political points, is that lots of legislation emanating from the Scottish Parliament appears to be wanting. Don’t take my word either, http://www.firmmagazine.com/news/2797/Judge_challenges_quality_of_Scottish_Parliament_legislation.html
For that both the technical drafters and all the politicians (ministers in government and others in the scrutinising committees) need to take responsibility. All parties need to have a look at what they could do better. No-one wilfully drafts or votes to pass poor quality, weak or ineffective laws. But it happens. I think because we legislate too much, too often and too readily – ie go for quantity rather than quality.
Many problems needed an administrative solution, not a legislative one. Is the latest anti-sectarian legislation actually going to achieve much? Did we ever need to *legislate* on the nutritional standards of school meals? Take action – fine, but pass laws that then keep lawyers and courts busy? I don’t think so.
Anyway, I know lots about agriculture, having myself been reared on a farm. But since you won’t take my word for it watch the video yourself http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/41356.aspx to see how Fergus Ewing appears to be content to serve the interests of land-owners and lawyers.
I fully understand that establishing the Land Register, despite its simple premise, is not straightforward. But for the legislation and the Register itself to have much value at all, some important provisions were vital, in my view. Such as a target date for its completion. Even one that could be revised, long-term (eg ten years was mentioned). But that was rejected by Fergus. So we are legislating to create Land Register that we acknowledge may be, in perpetuity, incomplete. That doesn’t even start to make sense in my opinion.
- Gentle Otter’s fantastic and vivid blog, http://gentleotterblog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/awful-news.html, tells you a lot about the miseries experienced by tenant farmers right now. Bob is right to highlight this.
Sorting this is firmly in the gift of Lochhead and the Scottish government. All that is lacking is POLITICAL WILL. I despair about the reluctance of the SNP to challenge the wealthy landowners.
Recent comments by Mairi
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Isn’t it just? I love Jan’s work – she has a fabulous talent.
If the Nimmo family in Oban is related, it’s a far-back, circuitous relationship … if at all: Jan’s father was a miner, and they can trace their Nimmo line back to other mining communities in central Scotland … from memory.
So if there is a connection, it’s not direct – from what I know.
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The other excellent way to get involved is to volunteer as a marshal. I’ve done so in seven out of the eight years of the existence of the Run. It’s thoroughly enjoyable, and well organised with clear instructions and excellent support from the organising committee.
Community run events like this one survive on the voluntary contributions of local people. Since the start Kintyre people – both individually and as businesses – get involved in the MoK Run. Having people to marshal the race is vital – it couldn’t operate without the 100+ people who give up a few hours on a Sunday morning each year to help make this event happen.
Marshalling can take as short or as long as you can spare. I typically put in a full shift (around five hours), but if you’ve just got an hour to spare that can be put to good use too.
Contact the organisers here http://www.mokrun.com/contact-us to offer your services!
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Very accurate for a non-native, Robert!
Another picture here with some further details on the anti-aircraft battery. http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3587704
The place would be identified locally as Ballymenach or Kilchousland, rather than Smerby.
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“Vote YES then campaign for exiting the EU.”
Really? Some would say that a No vote in the Scottish referendum is a better bet if exiting the EU is your aim
Seriously though, qualified majority voting is the main modus operandi for the EU. Scotland has a population of less than 1% of the EU as a whole, so we’d have next to no impact if Scotland was independent, and if it was in the EU. We’d stand a good chance of being ignored on most topics, most of the time.
But as part of the UK, the third most populous EU state, our voice is heard.
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You make it sound like your preferred solution is a one-party state.
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