Who Owns Britain (why we pay a fortune for land)

burns_curtis john.burns-curtis at bigfoot.com
Wed Jan 23 18:12:40 GMT 2002

"Who Owns Britain".  Published 29th November 2001. by Kevin Cahill

Who Owns Britain, ISBN 086241 912 3, published Nov 2001

Kevin Cahill has taken 13 years of brilliant investigative research 
to complete this book, "Who Own Britain", with encouragement from the 
ST, Daily Express, The Mail, The Guardian, etc, and uncovers an 
aristocratic/Tory party conspiracy to keep the land in the hands of 
the chosen few. It exposes a conspiracy of gigantic proportions. 
Kevin started his research after being tasked with the aristocracy in 
the first ST Rich List. He came across brick walls of misinformation, 
lies, and no information at all. The Land Registry only notes half of 
England's land after being in existence for 76 years. Kevin has 
working in both the Commons and the Lords and is fully familiar with 
the working of these chambers.

He uncovers the successful conspiracy to take out of circulation the 
second Doomsday Book, the 1872 Return of Land Owners, that documented 
who owns what. The aristocratic landowners, through their House of 
Lords influence and Tory party connections, successfully took the 
second Doomsday book out of circulation, and attempted to prevent a 
similar one being done just before WW1, causing the then Liberal 
government to restrict their powers in 1910. WW1 prevented the census 
from being completed.  They did not want the people to know how much 
of the land the privileged few owned. Out of sight, out of mind.

It outlines the connections of: landowning, House of Lords, Tory 
party, Eton college, Oxbridge, City of London and the Green 
movement.  The Green movement, with organisations such as: Friends of 
The Earth and The Countryside Alliance, are a front end propaganda 
organs of the landowners. Jonathan Porritt, of Friends of the earth, 
is outlined as spreading propaganda. He constantly states that the 
country is short of land and decry's urbanising of any sort, wanting 
the 60 million of us to stay in existing urban footprint and build 
upwards. The reality is the reverse. There is no shortage of land 
with only 7.7% of land under masonry. Porritt is from an aristocratic 
background having a highly titled father with landowning and Royal 

The 1872 Second Doomsday book covered the current UK and the Irish 
Republic, which were all one nation at the time. What Kevin Cahill 
does is compare Ireland right now to the UK. Ireland re-distributed 
land and the results are all too clear to see. The Irish economy is 
booming and most of the wealth, contrary to what people think in the 
UK, is internally generated, not via handouts from the EU.  There is 
no estate over 5,000 acres in Ireland.

The UK currently is uncompetitive in many areas, not because of the 
high valued pound, it is the high rents that prevent foreign 
companies setting up here.  Also UK companies will think twice before 
opening a branch or depot simply because of the high rents due to the 
high land values, brought about by the artificial shortage, created 
by the appalling situation of land being in the hands of too few and 
backed by a highly restrictive planning system.

By not re-distributing land, as the Irish Republic have done to great 
success in economic terms - the republic has a higher GDP per capita 
than the UK, and rising giving higher old age benefits than the UK  - 
we are clearly shooting ourselves in the foot.  There is no council 
tax or water rates in Ireland, emanating from the land redistribution.

The economic boom in the Republic is fuelled by land re-distribution. 
People build larger and better homes than in the UK, as land is 
cheaper so more money is 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.

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 by a few large landowners. 
Since having self rule, the Irish now have more home ownership in 
percentage terms than 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 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.

Rents for industry, commerce and domestic are cheaper as a result, 
attracting external investment. Their economy is growing at a faster 
rate than the UK and clearly looks a permanent trend, not a boom 
phenomena, which usually bust eventually.

All down to land ownership. Giving the people a stake in their own 
country, and not under the tyranny of landlords.  A country, which 
they are expected to die for in times of extreme crisis.

Land reform was promised to the UK people after WW1 by the Liberals, 
and after WW2 by Labour. "A land fit for heroes". All failed to 
deliver. We are suffering today as a consequence of not tackling the 
underlying fundamental problems. Land and its ownership.

It is a startling expose of Britain's most valuable asset - its land. 
Kevin Cahill's investigations reveal how the 6,000 or so landowners - 
mostly aristocrats, but also large institutions and the Crown - own 
about 40 million acres [the UK has 60 million in total], two thirds 
of the country, and have maintained their grip on the land right 
throughout the 20th century. The book argues that our present system 
of landownership is of material detriment to the vast majority of 
homeowners in the UK, imposing a land tax on homeowners while many of 
the wealthiest landowners in the country pay no rates and actually 
receive money in the form of grants and subsidies for owning land. 
Cahill's arguments are supported with 80 pages of tables, maps and 

- The first detailed look at land ownership in modern times.

- Tells the story of the "Lost Doomsday", the Returns of Owners of 
Land of 1872, until now the only comprehensive record of 
landownership ever compiled.

- Updates and examines who owns what in all 118 counties of Britain & 

- Compares landownership in Britain and Ireland then and now, 
highlighting how Britain 70% of land is still owned by less than 1% 
of the population.

- Reveals the immovable vested interests of Britain's landed 

- The myth behind the alleged scarcity of land - less than 8% of the 
country is under concrete.

- The ongoing failure of the land registry - 76 years on, up to 50% 
of the land in England is not registered.

- The scandalous under valuation of the Crown Estate and its role as 
the next Government sell-off.

- 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.

* Only 7.7% of the land in the UK is under bricks and mortar, and 
that includes gardens, urban and rural homes.

* 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 counties of Kent, Essex and 
Bedfordshire, with room 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".

* 24 million dwellings sit on approx 4.4 million acres (7.7% of the 

* 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 

* Average dwelling has 2.4 people in it.

* 77% of the 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).

* Agriculture only accounts for 3% of the economy.

* Average density of people on one residential acre is 12 to 13.

* For the landowning few the population density is acres per person.

* 10.9 million homes carries 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 place 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 on the land 
registry.  This land is coming out of subsidised rural estates, land 
held in off-shore trusts and companies and effectively untaxed.  The 
land is priced as such as it is perceived as scarce. It is not scares 
and kept from dereliction by huge public subsidy.

All figures are referenced and verifiable.

The failure to re-distribute land in the UK is one of the prime 
factors what the UK has under-performed most of the 20th century. 
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.  The artificial land shortage ramps up land prices 
seriously affecting: homes, commercial rents

The book has compiled information that is not even available to 
government departments, curtailing their decision-making. It 
literally is a brilliant piece of work.

Tony Blair has kicked the parasite hereditary, largely landowning, 
peers from the Lord's, now to redistribute the land. If we can spend 
money on redistribution in Zimbabwe, and start the ball rolling in 
Ireland in the late 1800s then we can do the same in our own 
backyard, improve the economy, and give social justice to the people 
at the same time.

I advise all to read it, and absorb the raw facts that we as a nation 
are being ripped-off good style. That is you, me and everyone else, 
except the chosen aristocratic few. Something has to happen ASAP to 
rectify this gigantic injustice. The kicking out of the Lords of 
parasites by Tony Blair is the first step, now to do the business....

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