Friday, 2 September 2011

A precarious life

Whilst I might at times live on a financial knife edge, making your living as a bookdealer not being the most financially rewarding of occupations, I am blessed. I am not a tenant farmer in Scotland.  I do not have a landlord. I am not subject to land laws which are not on my side.

Just 500 people own half of Scotland. One of those who do not own anything of Scotland whatsoever is tenant farmer Gentle Otter.  She lives in 21st century Scotland, but does not have a water supply that is fit to drink.  When a sample of her water supply was sent to the Netherlands for testing, she was asked if it came from a sewage farm.  Although Gentle Otter has a farmhouse, it is not fit to live in, so she, her husband (recovering from a heart attack) and her three small children, live in a caravan.  The landlord has ignored all pleas to replace the roof, which it is his legal duty to do.  So bad has the house's condition now become that the local council will serve a demolition notice on it. Once the notice has been served, the family have 28 days to get out.

Read about Gentle Otter's situation here; about Scottish land laws here; and about the plight of tenant farmers here - scroll down to read the Farming Comment from Rog Wood.

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