Alex Salmond, speaking at the Community Land Scotland meeting (your report, 8 June), predicted that, by 2020, one million acres of Scotland’s land will be under community ownership.
There was no specific mention, apparently, of what was going to happen to the other 18 million acres or so, but presumably much of the Highlands will remain a mixture of a wind-farm colony and a Victorian-Edwardian nightmare world owned by a handful of private owners, indulging in the pleasures of the chase and subsidy collection.
We can see the metaphorical and indeed perhaps literal lie of the land, as well as the lie of land reform, not only in the First Minister’s apparently already made up and closed mind, but also in internal bureaucratic name changes such as that of the Land Reform Policy Group to Community Ownership Review Group.
The issue of land tenure reform is already settled within the civil service mindset of Holyrood, the private land monopoly cabal and the SNP government it treats as a glove puppet. The imploding farce of the Land Reform Review Group is just a sideshow at public expense.
So one of the most pertinent and vital issues facing the social and economic success of Scotland has been dumped into the long grass once more. All that is on offer from the SNP and indeed Labour is a Hobson’s Choice of a combination of a feudal satrap and a neo-tribal kibbutz.
The challenge or, more correctly, the opportunity, for the creation of an extensive private land tenure system of “private landowners per square mile” rather than “square miles per private landowner” remains unmet.