Lie of the Land: A Study in the Culture of Deception, by Duncan Pickard

tliouk office at
Thu Jun 10 11:41:14 BST 2004

"Lie of the Land: A Study in the Culture of Deception", by Duncan 
Pickard - co-published by the Land Research Trust and Shepheard-
Walwyn - - 2004, 68pp, £6.95, ISBN 0 85683 
227 8, paperback. Hard-hitting, readable, short. 

"The root cause of our problems [in society in general and 
agriculture in particular] ... is the antiquated, complicated and 
disincentive system of taxation under which we labour. It would be 
difficult to devise a worse way to pay for the necessary functions of 
the state." 

Rural land makes up about 87% of Britain's total land area, but 
represents only about 5% of the total land value. So 95% of the 
burden of land value taxation would fall, not on farmers as is 
falsely alleged, but on wealthy urban dwellers like people who trade 
in land, bankers who want high-value collateral, and land agents who 
sell land on commission. "It is widely known that the House of Lords 
lost its right to veto Finance Bills from the Commons in 1911, but 
very few are aware that the issue over which that right was lost was 
the immensely popular demand to switch taxation from people's wages 
and savings on to land values".

The powerful last chapter in this tale of deception is contributed by 
Ronald Banks, on "The Geopolitics of Land and Rent".

James Roberston has been 30 years in the forefront of economic 
justice. His single minded and disciplined research and reporting is 
a fine model; in particular now the renewal of an emphasis on the 
integral nature of land and money.

Please note this new contribution:
James Robertson has now circulated the second Newsletter (June 2004) 
from his website.  If you are not yet on the growing circulation 
list, you can see and download a copy from

If you want to subscribe (free) for future issues, go to   A pop-up form will appear and you can 
register on it.

James summarises his website  <>,  "Working for 
a Sane Alternative" as follows:
 'It builds on 30 or so years of work. It's about what  a  sane 
alternative to today's conventional ideas of progress could mean for 
various aspects of life - for work, for health, for economy, for 
information and knowledge and education, for how we provide ourselves 
with food, for the ways we use energy and technology, how we share 
things among people and nations, how we understand and organise the 
system of money and taxes and incomes and spending that underpins 
that, and so on - and how we can make the change of direction to a 
saner alternative path into the future.  My current concerns are 
particularly about the need for radical changes in the way the money 
system works.

That's what the website is about. I hope it will provide helpful 
ideas and information to others who share these concerns, and I hope 
you will find it interesting to take a look at it.'


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