Friday, 5 October 2012

The soloist and the choir.

I am delighted to see the emergence of landaction who are asking if they may lend a democratic voice to the people of Bute and Applecross. These vast estates are rather confusingly owned/ run by either trusts or companies. Sorry about the confusion but hereby lies the crux of the problem.

Who actually owns these large estates? Such obfuscation as to who has a say in matters which affect so many tenants yet unlike other important decision making meetings, minutes and members of boards are never mentioned. Those affected, namely the tenants, are never included in any aspect of these meetings.
Who owns us? Is it a trust, a grandchild or someone else? It is rather disconcerting to be in the dark as to who our owner is. Owner!

Say, for example, a board member of an estate had outside interests which were in direct conflict with the decisions made at a closed estate meeting yet there was no way of knowing their input and the decisions, possibly through ignorance, broke the law.

I am stating this hypothetically as, of course, this would never happen! Perish the thought! That said, there is no way of knowing.

Why the secrecy? Why are tenants excluded from either having a say on the way their very lives and livelihoods are directed or how they may add a valued input?
An area can be bought and sold without people knowing which could affect the tenant's right to buy.

Could fear have anything to do with it, fear and control?

Certainly, on several estates in this area, there exists a mindset whereby you do not vex the laird. Heaven forbid! I have seen with my own eyes, the fear of speaking out. The fear of eviction, loss of livelihood, homelessness. For airing a valid grievance!
In private, conversations are bitter, grievances often fiery, injustice recognised and voiced, yet the public voice is hushed.

Why this oppression? Surely in the 21st century, speech is free and uncensored?

Why would a tenant farmer be silenced by Media House of all places?

If that tenant had simply asked for a roof, clean water and recognition of an illegally resumed area of land, why the heavy handedness?

Why use fear and bullying tactics?

I recognise fear and bullying and have learned through experience not to feel fear. There are far more positive and productive methods of  achieving an aim using non oppressive techniques.

An open voice is one method. A collective open and supportive voice is better. The soloist may sing sweetly yet the power of the choir reaches the soul.

There is nothing to hide, is there? We all ask for transparency and what is best for a community to thrive, schools to repopulate, businesses to grow, employment to be solid and prosperous. A community input brings the produce to the table.

Let's look at these hidden minutes of past meetings and see where it all went wrong? There are many in the community who could offer so much to the benefit yet as it stands, a nameless handful call the shots.

Let's try singing from the same hymnsheet.