Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Thu Apr 18 11:21:31 BST 2019

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population
[but beware - is the G agenda just promoting a 
land tax which would tie us even more deeply into the corrupt money system]

Research by author reveals corporations and 
aristocrats are the biggest landowners
Evans - <https://twitter.com/robevansgdn> 
@robevansgdn Wed 17 Apr 2019 20.29 BSTLast 
modified on Thu 18 Apr 2019 00.50 BST
A red grouse in North Yorkshire

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of its 
population, according to new data shared with the 
Guardian that seeks to penetrate the secrecy that 
has traditionally surrounded land ownership.

The findings, described as “astonishingly 
unequal”, suggest that about 25,000 landowners – 
typically members of the aristocracy and 
corporations – have control of half of the country.

The figures show that if the land were 
distributed evenly across the entire population, 
each person would have almost an acre – an area 
roughly the size of Parliament Square in central London.

Major owners include the Duke of Buccleuch, the 
Queen, several large grouse moor estates, and the 
entrepreneur <https://www.theguardian.com/technology/james-dyson>James Dyson.

The Guardian view on the biggest privatisation: the land beneath our feet

While land has long been concentrated in the 
hands of a small number of owners, precise 
information about property ownership has been 
notoriously hard to access. But a combination of 
the development of digital maps and data as well 
as pressure from campaigners has made it possible 
to assemble the shocking statistics.

Trickett, Labour MP and shadow minister for the 
Cabinet Office, hailed the significance of the 
findings and called for a full debate on the 
issue, adding: “The dramatic concentration of 
land ownership is an inescapable reminder that 
ours is a country for the few and not the many.

“It’s simply not right that aristocrats, whose 
families have owned the same areas of land for 
centuries, and large corporations exercise more 
influence over local neighbourhoods – in both 
urban and rural areas – than the people who live there.

“Land is a source of wealth, it impacts on house 
prices, it is a source of food and it can provide 
enjoyment for millions of people.”

Shrubsole, author of the book in which the 
figures are revealed, Who Owns England?, argues 
that the findings show a picture that has not 
changed for centuries. “Most people remain 
unaware of quite how much land is owned by so 
few,” he writes, adding: “A few thousand dukes, 
baronets and country squires own far more land 
than all of middle England put together.”

“Land ownership in England is astonishingly 
unequal, heavily concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite.”

The book’s findings are drawn from a combination 
of public maps, data released through 
Act and other sources.

Shrubsole estimates that “the aristocracy and 
gentry still own around 30% of England”. This may 
even be an underestimate, as the owners of 17% of 
England and Wales remain undeclared at the Land 
Registry. The most likely owners of this 
undeclared land are aristocrats, as many of their 
estates have remained in their families for centuries.

As these estates have not been sold on the open 
market, their ownership does not need to be 
recorded at the Land Registry, the public body 
responsible for keeping a database of land and property in England and Wales.

Shrubsole estimates that 18% of England is owned 
by corporations, some of them based overseas or 
in offshore jurisdictions. He has based this 
calculation on a spreadsheet of land owned by all 
UK-registered companies that has been released by 
the Land Registry. From this spreadsheet, he has 
listed the top 100 landowning companies.

The list is headed by a large water company, 
Utilities, which said that much of its land 
consisted of areas immediately surrounding its reservoirs.

Prominent on the list are the 
estate in Northamptonshire, belonging to the Duke 
of Buccleuch, the 
estate, which is owned by the Duke of Bedford, 
and the Badminton estate in Gloucestershire, 
owned by the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort. 
Several large grouse moor estates and Beeswax 
Dyson Farming, a farm owned by pro-Brexit 
businessman James Dyson, are also high on the list.

Shrubsole, who works as a campaigner for the 
environmental charity Friends of the Earth, 
estimates that “a handful of newly moneyed 
industrialists, oligarchs and City bankers” own around 17% of England.

The public sector – central and local government, 
and universities – appears to be the most open 
about its landholdings, according to Shrubsole, 
partly in order to advertise land it has wanted 
to sell off in recent years. He concludes that 
the public sector owns 8% of England.

Shrubsole writes that the bulk of the population 
owns very little land or none at all. Those who 
own homes in England, in total, own only 5% of the country.

He calculates that the land under the ownership 
of the royal family amounts to 1.4% of England. 
This includes the Crown Estate, the Queen’s 
personal estate at Sandringham, Norfolk, and the 
Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster, which provide 
income to members of the family.

Conservation charities, such as the National 
Trust and the Woodland Trust, collectively own 2% 
of England, while the church accounts for 0.5%.

A small number of ultra-wealthy individuals have 
traditionally owned vast swaths of land in 
Scotland. Last month, a major review conducted by 
the Scottish Land Commission, a government 
quango, found that big landowners behaved like 
monopolies across large areas of rural Scotland 
and had too much power over land use, economic 
investment and local communities. The quango 
recommended radical reform of ownership rules.

Roberts, chief economist of the left-of-centre 
thinktank the Institute for Public Policy 
Research, said she was “shocked but not 
surprised” by Shrubsole’s findings on the 
concentration of land ownership. She said that 
the concentration of land in a few hands was a 
big reason why wealth as a whole was so unequal 
in the country, as those without land were 
prevented from generating more income.

She added:”We have this idea that the class 
structures have changed so that the aristocracy 
is not as important as it used to be. What this 
demonstrates is the continuing importance of the 
aristocracy in terms of wealth and power in our society.”

She said that one effect of the sale of public 
land was that the public lost democratic control 
of that land and it could not then be used, for 
example, for housing or environmental 
improvements. “You can’t make the best social use of it,” she added.

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'From South America, where payment must be made 
with subtlety, the Bormann organization has made 
a substantial contribution. It has drawn many of 
the brightest Jewish businessmen into a 
participatory role in the development of many of 
its corporations, and many of these Jews share 
their prosperity most generously with Israel. If 
their proposals are sound, they are even provided 
with a specially dispensed venture capital fund. 
I spoke with one Jewish businessmen in Hartford, 
Connecticut. He had arrived there quite unknown 
several years before our conversation, but with 
Bormann money as his leverage. Today he is more 
than a millionaire, a quiet leader in the 
community with a certain share of his profits 
earmarked as always for his venture capital 
benefactors. This has taken place in many other 
instances across America and demonstrates how 
Bormann’s people operate in the contemporary 
commercial world, in contrast to the fanciful 
nonsense with which Nazis are described in so much “literature.”

So much emphasis is placed on select Jewish 
participation in Bormann companies that when 
Adolf Eichmann was seized and taken to Tel Aviv 
to stand trial, it produced a shock wave in the 
Jewish and German communities of Buenos Aires. 
Jewish leaders informed the Israeli authorities 
in no uncertain terms that this must never happen 
again because a repetition would permanently 
rupture relations with the Germans of Latin 
America, as well as with the Bormann 
organization, and cut off the flow of Jewish 
money to Israel. It never happened again, and the 
pursuit of Bormann quieted down at the request of 
these Jewish leaders. He is residing in an 
Argentinian safe haven, protected by the most 
efficient German infrastructure in history as 
well as by all those whose prosperity depends on his well-being.'


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