Are you sick of waiting for land reform in Scotland?
Calls for land reform in Scotland have been with us for hundreds of years. They have been loud and they have gathered a lot of support. And yet somehow they never seem to come to anything.
At least in part that is because while many people recognise the unfairness at the heart of our current land distribution they have often been unsure what can be done about it and what it would look like if we did things differently. Opponents of land reform say there are no alternatives and that change is illegal. They have a powerful voice and sometimes it feels like the warm words of the politicians come to nothing as they pull back from real change at the last moment.
So one of the big barriers to real change has been to give people the confidence that change really can happen, that Scotland has the power to make that change happen. Another is to give people confidence in the vision of what Scotland could look like, what it could be, if things were different. It feels like these have been barriers, a land movement having persuaded people that the current situation is unfair without moving policy-makers beyond that to the point they are ready to take action.
Next week Common Weal hopes to change that. Working with others, we are about to publish three reports, including one in particular which we hope will be a tipping point. We will be working closely with a range of partners to run a major campaign around this new work. We have even run a project with one of Scotland’s art schools to create illustrations and images which will help to inspire people to believe in land reform. (The image at the top of this email is one of them, by Robyn Owen, the one below another by Charity May.)
We will tell you more later this week and of course next week we will share all of this with you. But for now, please remember that we will not reform Scotland’s land because we have greater resources or more power but because we have the better ideas and the support of the public. It means we need your help.
We’ll tell you more about what you can do next week but for now you can share this email with anyone you think will be interested and tell them they can sign up to our mailing list for more information here [LINK: https://commonweal.scot/subscribe].
Until then you can of course look back at the extensive work we’ve already done, especially Back to Life which analyses whether grouse moors really are the best use of Scotland’s land and the Common Home Plan which provides lots of detail on how Scotland’s land can fully contribute to Scotland’s duty to tackle climate change.