[Diggers350] Land reclamation militia of highly educated and politicised under 25s

david bangs dave.bangs at virgin.net
Tue Jun 26 22:48:47 BST 2012

Just in a historical vein, Tony, I'm not sure "enclosure is the fundamental injustice". 

Farmed landscapes outside lowland England (and some within lowland England, like my own Wealden landscape) were always largely enclosed in medieval times, as they have been since. 

Of course, the footprint of common 'wastes' was vastly greater, but the tilled land and improved pasturage
 was always mostly enclosed outside lowland England, in those times.

I think landlordism, in both its feudal and capitalist forms, was always the fundamental injustice...the theft of the value of the landworkers' labour...

Gerard Winstanley chose the right target, politically (commercial landlords enclosing common wastes and open fields) but he got the history a bit cock-eyed. (Sorry, Gerard, no offence !)

Dave Bangs

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Tony Gosling 
  To: TheLandIsOurs at yahoogroups.com ; Massimo 
  Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2012 9:06 PM
  Subject: [Diggers350] Land reclamation militia of highly educated and politicised under 25s


  Enclosure is the fundamental injustice that needs addressing however it's done.
  Post enclosure and post war the benefits system is state compensation for stolen land. 
  As you may have noticed all the least fit, healthy and unskilled landless are having this compensation withdrawn. 
  Like with pensions a robbery is going on championed by, hooked on money like cocaine, fascist PM Cameron and his city backers, the merchants of greed.

  TLIO could kick up a gear by entering this debate all guns blazing.
  Organising a land reclamation militia of highly educated and politicised under 25s for action.


  At 15:03 24/06/2012, Malcolm Ramsay wrote:

    Hi Brendan,

    I agree with Dave and Beck; the Enclosures aren't a good target. The only reason they have any relevance today is because inheritance law operates for private benefit rather than the public good, in violation of a fundamental principle of law. I've pointed this out in previous posts (which I don't think you've ever responded to) on this list and the Diggers350 list, and it's something which most people recognise is wrong .... but currently don't seem inclined to challenge.

    This is something which can be changed through the courts as well as through Parliament, and it would lead to rapid change. Why don't you try and get people stirred up about that?


      From: Brendan Boal <b_m_boal at yahoo.com>

      To: "TheLandIsOurs at yahoogroups.com" <TheLandIsOurs at yahoogroups.com> 

      Sent: Sunday, 24 June 2012, 13:15

      Subject: Re: [TheLandIsOurs] ACTS OF ENCLOSURE: Proposed TLIO C.A.P./Land Ownership leaflet


      Hi Beck,

      Thanks for your contribution.

      If anyone can come up with a succinct way of pointing out that most of the land in the country has been stolen, we'd like it back and "this is how" we'd like to get it back, I'd be more than happy to take the input. 

      If you want to have a go, please bear in mind that this is a leaflet not an article and, therefore, we cannot go into detailed political arguments or use obscure polysyables. In fact, if anyone can do this in a way which is brief, to the point and perhaps even a little elegant, I'll be very chuffed.   

      Also remember that whereas TLIO is radical, we are not to be party-political, having as we do, a variety of political stances within our ranks, so solutions need to be credible but not to prescriptive.


      From: Beck Woodrow <beck.woodrow at pc-q.net>

      To: TheLandIsOurs at yahoogroups.com 

      Cc: david bangs <dave.bangs at virgin.net> 

      Sent: Sunday, 24 June 2012, 11:45

      Subject: Re: [TheLandIsOurs] ACTS OF ENCLOSURE: Proposed TLIO C.A.P./Land Ownership leaflet

      Cautiously joining in for the first time here, but I agree that (although it could be good fun!) no good and no chance to rewrite old history - so maybe mention some new ideas like community land trusts?

      all the best


      On 24/06/2012 00:28, david bangs wrote: 


        If TLIO core group put forward one version of a draft leaflet for approval/critique to the wider TLIO supporters then they ought also to put forward at least the other main texts critical of it, so's folk can see how the debate has gone. That is a democratic norm, I would argue.

        Apart from the other comments I have made to the core group on this draft leaflet there's one further anachronism that strikes me as especially bizarre...that is, the leaflet's statement that "An ideal place to start would be by overturning the many, blatantly corrupt, 'Acts of Enclosure' that are the legal basis for much of this continuing (land) theft".

        The acts of enclosure referred to constitute more than 200 years pre-1900 of private and public legislation on an extremely detailed basis...parish by parish, manor by manor, common and open field by common and open field... 

        The landscapes that the enclosure acts refer to have changed, then changed and changed again since the political conflicts which engendered these acts. 

        The issues which were fought over during the centuries of enclosure are long redundant...rights and systems of pasturage, wood, turf and furze collecting, mineral rights and timber and fishing rights, and ancient systems of open field cultivation. These issues - in those forms - are as dead as the dodo. 

        There is no other collective demand being made for this anywhere else in the labour movement, the land justice movement, or the environmental movement. 

        I think we must do better than re-hashing the dead politics of two centuries ago.

        ...And I write as someone who has attempted to register a major lost common, opposed encroachments upon common land, and is actively defending commons...

        Dave Bangs

          ----- Original Message ----- 

          From: Brendan Boal 

          To: TheLandIsOurs at yahoogroups.com 

          Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2012 12:22 AM

          Subject: Re: [TheLandIsOurs] Re: Proposed TLIO C.A.P./Land Ownership leaflet


          Thanks for the feedback, especially about small farms.Maybe I'll expunge an adjective or two. The target audience is people attending the Tolpuddle festival, so not exactly the general public but not TLIO crew either. Some people think it's a little wordy and whereas I think it could be trimmed a little, the complete message just won't go in 5/600 words.


          From: "bewcastleminster at ymail.com" <bewcastleminster at ymail.com>

          To: TheLandIsOurs at yahoogroups.com 

          Sent: Friday, 22 June 2012, 17:35

          Subject: [TheLandIsOurs] Re: Proposed TLIO C.A.P./Land Ownership leaflet

          Who is the target audience for this leaflet? If it is the general public the overuse of heavily emotive language (unconscionable, monstrous, dreadful etc) will not win sympathy, and will end up detracting from the otherwise extremely powerful message. If just TLIO folk, then its playing to the gallery.

          Also, statements like "Yet in productivity per acre, small, mixed farms beat big-scale mono-cultures hands-down" are highly contentious without evidence or support in a document about European (British) agriculture. And to say 75% of the world is fed by indigenous farmers begs the question "but is it?" given there are such high numbers who remain malnourished. But I'm not sure dropping in statistics about indigenous agriculture in the 3rd world (sorry about lack of PC) helps in any case. I thoroughly agree with the point about small farms, I just don't think it's well made in this paragraph.

          The actual business of returning land to smallholders and commons should reference the work pioneered in Scotland by McIntosh et al. showing that, astonishingly, it actually can be achieved in an even more entrenched country than England.

          Otherwise, some really powerful points in there. Thank you.


          --- In TheLandIsOurs at yahoogroups.com, Brendan Boal <b_m_boal at ...> wrote:


          > Hi Folks,


          > I've been working on a proposed TLIO leaflet dealing with how Common Agricultural Policy payments support land monopoly in the UK. Comments please!


          > Brendan.



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