Sunday, 20 November 2011

Give us this day our daily bread.

Why do we continue to farm?

Given the hostility of the landowner, the factors, the erratic and polluted water, the wet weather which is detrimental to crop ripening, the mud, social and geographical remoteness. The absence of a wind and watertight farmhouse.

Why do we plod on amid such adversity?

Sometimes it is easier to see what you do have, what you have achieved, what you intend to aim for in the future.
You fight so that your children are spared a fight.

Regardless of religious beliefs, the land belongs to Nature and we are merely the custodians. Our job is to ensure all life is given a chance to thrive, the land is worked properly and if we do our work well, the reward is tenfold in the abundance of Nature.

It is not in our ethos to bully and kill, to exclude other people in favour of elitist 'sport'. We want to welcome people here to share in the peace and stunning scenery. We want those who do not have lots of disposable income to enjoy the countryside. It is their right too.

We are a strong family who are not afraid of work or anything life throws at us. Our family work hard and live quietly.

We fervently believe that Land Reform will happen in Scotland - it has to! Scotland can no longer bury it's head in the sand and ignore what is happening to the land or the has done this for hundreds of years and the very fact that our family are still legally bound to an 'agreement' which is 120 years old is one testament to the land reform stasis which exists.
If ever a country was suffering from social constipation, it is ours. Time for the 'Ballachulish Bagpipe', Scotland. Roll over. Clear the system.

There are thousands of acres of land locked up. Much of this land is used for 'sport' for those who can afford it but to the exclusion of those who cannot.

How many people like ourselves who just want to provide for their family without being greedy? How many homeless people need a decent home? How many empty houses are there in the country, houses left to decay for Goodness knows what reason?

Our family are supposed to feel oppressed by the harassment, we are supposed to become so worn down by everything that we submit the farm and move elsewhere.

Are those responsible unaware that rather than become worn down, we are fuelled with energy to continue which is given breath and oxygen by those who lived before us? Just because we were forbidden Scottish history at school does not mean we did not learn a thing or two.
One day, I hope to see this country hit by a change so radical, the sting of a thousand 'fual' tubs will enable the most blinkered to see.

This is why we continue. It is not for the money, it is for the passion. It is not for self but for others.

"Give us our daily bread
And deliver us from Evil
But keep an eye on Article 1 of the Human Rights Act, Dude."

We will continue to do what our family have done for more than one hundred years, our children will continue and their children. D.V.

We are all Jock Tamson's bairns and equal.


  1. Yes, both British and German governments believed carpet bombing of towns would weaken the morale of the other country's citizens.

    Did the opposite, didn't it?

    We need to eradicate from positions of power those who think like this.

  2. Absolutely true, the fly. The morale of the people affected was never stronger as they helped each other amid all the adversity.

    The balance of power versus recognition of inequality has tipped and it is time to find equilibrium.

  3. When I was in college I did a fair bit of research on the history of scotland to prepare for writing play about the clearances. Quite why this seemed logical in a college in Somerset escapes me at the moment but I learned a lot and what you're saying rings true.

    From what I recall, a lot of this dates from the days when the English realised that there was land in Scotland and a market for Sport, and that as with many other places, the system of land ownership (or lack thereof) in Scotland made it easy for the English to push their way in and take over, with military force backing them up: the people were herded onto crofts and forced into the apalling agreements you're dealing with now.
    Have I understood/remembered that correctly?
    Your quote from the Lord's prayer has given me a possible idea: Are the local churches involved in this? Because they should be. If we christians are talking about a "loving and just God" we need to be showing it, and I've studied enough theology to be able to put the case in theological language.
    If you can point me at some local churches to you (You can contact me on the 'workbike' blog) I can at least start writing some letters.
    Come to that, ypour politicians may, possibly get a bit embarrased if they start getting letters from overseas about the situation: It's worth a try.

  4. Thank you, workbike.

    Andy Wightman details the origins of the landgrab in his book "The Poor Had No Lawyers" and how it still stands today. We were forbidden this area of history in school so my eyes are opened wide to the extent of the theft.
    His book covers some shocking facts and is very well researched. I think this book should be in the National Curriculum and taught to every child.

    There is an interesting fact about the church here.
    A past laird built a church on the condition that the local population follow his Kirk.
    The locals were Free Church and were indignant that their method of worship was to be changed so they removed the new Kirk stone by stone and sold it to another parish!

    I do have a strong Faith but not in the Kirk, due to some dubious ethics in how the church money is invested and other issues.

    The Scottish governments in the past appear to completely ignore these complexities over land reform but then, they are the biggest landowners in Scotland..... this government has the chance to ring in the changes but are proving a disappointment in that sphere.

    We cannot progress as a nation whilst the problem is ignored and our problem (which affects many others too) must come from a change in legislation.

  5. You're right, change does need to happen. It's a shocking state of affairs that's been going on far too long. Will the powerful state budge? Not if they can help it, but where is the incentive to change going to come from?

  6. I often wonder about the answer to 'where is the incentive', Sarah.

    The only way that the world will know what is happening here is to spread the word, prick the conscience of Scots or those sympathetic to these issues worldwide and shame this country into changing.

    It is rare to read the truth about land imbalance in the press/ media, indeed, many Scots are unaware of what is going on.

    Other countries have successfully addressed these issues to great benefit but I feel Scotland and Zimbabwe are about on par and that is nothing to feel proud about.

  7. I have seen for many years how hard life can be for small hill-farmers in Wales, Gentle Otter, but at least they aren't bound by the iniquitous Scottish land ownership system. Words fail me....