Saturday, 11 January 2014

"Is your wife prettier than mine?"

A belated but Happy New Year to you all.

I'm just about back to good, rude health again and raring to see an incredible year for Scotland, land reform, tenant farming amid others.

Like thousands of others, our family watched David Miller's "The Men Who Own Scotland", topics covered were investment (or apparent lack of), land which has been kept by one family for many years, concentration of land ownership (predominately male thanks to primogeniture or a male heir) plus other issues.
The opening gambit made by one landowner (53,000 acres) was astonishing. In response to the question whether such concentrated land ownership in Scotland was 'fair', the landowner's reply included "It may not be fair but is it fair that your wife may be prettier than mine?"
The arrogance and sheer vapidness of this man's reply is overwhelming yet the same 'brain' lairds it over some 53,000 acres and all within.

Sadly for us, very few lairds were willing to make similar statements yet some who live on these vast estates are all too aware of an uncaring, callous and somewhat sexist view held by the men who make decisions over the lives of those who live on these estates. The ordinary tenant, whether they are farmers or rent a house often find that it is a complete waste of time trying to get anywhere with such narrow minded men - I include factors (or the pseudo factors who never quite made the grade yet who have influence in estate matters. Power rich, I.Q. poor).

In this year, 2014 for those still stuck in medieval times, the ability to manage land is shared by very capable and competent women and men.  The country is run by very capable women and men yet our country is owned by men who appear to gauge whether a wife is pretty or not so pretty as a reply to whether the most concentrated landownership *in the world* was fair or not. Vapid and out of touch does not even begin to describe it.

Well, Sunshine, let me give it to you straight, you may not be aware of real life up there on your ivory tower but whilst you measure a person's ability in Helens without the 1000 ship launch, how do you feel about the fact that people think you are an utter fool? We could use this as a new measurement for being out of touch "Is your husband lairdier than mine?"
To the man on the same programme who wondered if he would have his estate for another 500 years, I would be surprised if you will continue to own it for another 500 days.
To the man who was alledgedly worth 1/4 of a billion sitting on a run down estate yet blathering on about how much he had 'invested', we can see through the bluster. You just want a windfarm for the subsidies, dude. If the estate is costing so much, sell it to the community for the price you paid for it. I bet those derelict houses soon become home to families, the schools repopulated, communities thrive.

Whilst these men disassociated themselves from reality and used our land as personal playgrounds  or tax avoidances to the exclusion of others, women stopped giving a toss what men thought about their looks and got on with things using their intelligence, capability and the belief in equality. We women live in the now, realistic and comfortable about ourselves and our abilities.
Those of us who have less (in this instance, do not own vast estates) have less to lose and more to gain, the difference being that your ordinary Scot recognises equality and recognises the land itself needs urgent care.
Farming needs a good kick in the 20's but landownership needs a revolution. A feudal castration.

Why are we sitting back permitting these medieval, feudal fools to own, hog and decimate the views you see as you pass on a journey? They are using good Scottish land for their own financial gain and we, the Scottish people are paying them to do it.

Regardless of looks, sex, money and status, the common person is more than capable of better managing and maintaining the vast and sterile looking land than the vapid and sterile looking men who currently own it.

My favourite response to the issue of the division of land in Scotland not being fair and the thoughts of the landowners being "Tough, deal with it" was the excellent reply from Andy Wightman who simply stated...

"Don't worry, we will".


  1. Very nicely put! The sooner reform comes the better. No more ridiculously outdated privilege, no more primogeniture, no more lairds or lords or other forms of titles. I wish you every success in "dealing with it", to quote them. And as for the "pretty wife" comment - I don't think I need to dignify it with anything further than you have said already.

  2. Thank you, alexpolistigers!
    David Miller's programme certainly provided a stage whereby the lairds interviewed showed themselves as being smug and complacent. New century and new beginning for Scotland.

  3. Wow they didn't do themselves any favours did they! Excellent interviewer, just ask the question and let them jump right in. Do so very much hope this report gives you what you so desperately need.

  4. Rosie,I hope David Miller makes a few more of these programmes and I would love to see one which concentrates on the tenant farmer's view. I think it would tell a very different story plus the camera would capture when words alone are insufficient.
    Where are these 'huge investments' that were mentioned? What about the huge amount of public money that these big estates receive?

  5. Poor deluded fools probably thought they were so powerful and rich that they'd come across as credible and worthy of the responsibilities they've inherited. Haha. I think that's what's called these days as a FAIL.

  6. Brilliant !
    Ms Otter for First Minister.
    That'll sort out the whole shebang.