Common man's fightback has begun.

Despite the fact that it occurred in Scotland, I came across some heartening news today that goes to the core of one of our causes. The Assynt Crofters Trust bought back some 21,000 acres of the most beautiful countryside in the world that they are farming again as their ancestors had done for centuries beforehand. The theft of common land by the rich and powerful has also been going on for centuries, but this land was, at last, restored to rightful ownership.They had to pay for it of course, but it was a start.

It actually happened in the early 90's when a notable family, the Vesteys, sold the land to a property developer; I don't know how the family "acquired" it in the first place and it wouldn't be right to speculate that its' original "acquisition" fell within our target zone, but the developers went belly-up. Sadly (ahem), the liquidators had to step in and at this point the locals got their dander up and bought it back at what appears to be a pretty competitive price of £300,000. It was a community buyout of huge importance by 100 brave hearts.

Again I don't know but I'd guess they had all sorts of obstacles put in their way, not least the cost, modest though it may be, of having to buy what was theirs in the first place, but there are other issues like mineral rights and access to and use of the foreshore which may have proved problematic. But can you imagine the hand-flapping, gaping indignity expressed by the powers-that-be when told that the common man wasn't going to be so common any more and that, to all intents and purposes, they were going to be lords of all they survey? This buyout was followed by several more. I'm sure the crofters wouldn't be so ungracious, but I'd give most of what I own to say "Hey you so-called aristocratic, chinless, historical robber - piss off from my land before I have you thrashed and manacled to the stocks." Oh, even though it's another Scottish success story, it's lifted my spirits no end.