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Who Owns Britain and Ireland [Paperback]

Kevin Cahill
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 2002
This is a critique of both the landowning artistocracy and the Land Registry. Cahill argues that our present system of landownership is of material detriment to the vast majority of homeowners in the UK, while many of the wealthiest landowners in the country pay no rates and actually receive money in the form of grants and subsidies.

Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; New edition edition (1 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841953105
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841953106
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 25.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 294,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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A book of prime-even sublime- importance -- The Irish Times 26th January 2002

According to Cahill the failure to redistribute land in Britain is driving up prices for everyone -- The Sunday Times 25th November 2001

An exceptional piece of information gathering, prefaced with an impssioned essay on the issue of landownership in the UK today -- The Scotsman 8th December 2001

In this brave work, Cahill makes a plea for the last great social reform,land reform -- The Times 12th January 2002

This lengthy book is packed with the facts and figures of landownership in Britain, county by county, title by title and family by family -- The Independent 11th January 2002

From the Publisher

The book has received a total of over 80 reviews or significant mentions to date. It has featured in a series of BBC programmes and has attracted widespread interest, in Parliament, in Government and around the world

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
This is a remarkable and original survey of landownership in Britain and Ireland, detailed county by county.
For Britain, Cahill analyses this landownership, showing how a tiny minority exploits British society. 160,000 families, 0.3% of the population, own 37 million acres, two thirds of Britain, 230 acres each. Just 1,252 of them own 57% of Scotland. They pay no land tax. Instead every government gives them 2.3 billion a year and the EU gives them a further 2 billion. Each family gets 26,875.
By contrast, 57.5 million of us pay 10 billion a year in council tax, a land tax, 550 per household. We live in 24 million homes on about four million acres. 65% of homes are privately owned, so 16 million of us own just 2.8 million acres, an average 0.18 acres each.
The top landowners are the Forestry Commission, 2.6 million acres, the Ministry of Defence 750,000, the royal family 670,000 (including the Crown Estate 400,000 and the Duchy of Cornwall 141,000), the National Trust 550,000, insurance companies 500,000, the utility companies 500,000, the Duke of Buccleuch 270,700, the National Trust for Scotland 176,287, the Dukedom of Atholl 148,000, the Duke of Westminster 140,000 and the Church of England 135,000.
The Forestry Commission, Britain's biggest single landowner, runs its holdings conservatively and secretively. We could expand the forest estate by a million acres a year, producing rural jobs, getting profits from the sale of wood and pulp (cutting our balance of payments deficit) and reducing the output of greenhouse gases. This would cost between 588 million and 750 million.
Through the 18th century enclosures, the landowning class stole eight million acres from the people. They still hide their crimes and their takings.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who owns Britain? - it certainly ain't you!!! 6 Sep 2003
This is an amazing book, that details ownership of the land in the British Isles throughout history to the present day. Unusually for academic books this one is hard to put down once you've started it. You will be amazed, but appalled, at how few people own so much of the land. This book really will open your eyes to the inequalities of ownership and how that translates into your everyday life. However Cahill shows how different it can be with land reform. You will also be surprised at how millions of us live on just a fraction of the land available in this country. Read this book - it will make you want to press for change!!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the ruling class exposed 12 Sep 2005
By aunti
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ar last, the hidden influences behind what we experience as secretive and distant government.
Cahil systematically puts into the public realm whatever can be known about the power of our very few landlords who not only eat up huge amounts of subsidies but place enormous tax burdens upon the 'plebs' they have been deceiving for centuries. His revelation that the Plantagenets survived their extinction is staggering..not least because it is a warning today of how hidden elites manipulate decision making power in their favour-regardless of government or policy- by ganging up to prey upon elected or instituted rulers.
If government 'by the people and for the people' is ever going to take place in this nation, it will be by forcing an openness upon every person or institution using hard earned public money, this book details what must happen..and soon.
Will UK plc enter the modern world or descend into feudal darkness out of the reach of any computer data base?..this book is a wake up call to all who care about the nation, its myths, its realities and its future...
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All UK citizens should read 16 April 2002
By A Customer
WHO OWNS BRITAIN together with WHO RUNS BRITAIN by Jeremy Paxman, should be mandatory reading for all UK citizen. Together they highlight that the UK is run for the benefit of a ruling incompetent bafoon strata of people and the mass of the people suffer in many ways as a result.
Who Owns Britain lays to rest the myths that the UK is short of land, revealing that there is actually a land surplus with 60 million of us are crammed into only 7.5% of the land mass. It reveals the propaganda machine that insists there is “concreting over the countryside” and “urban sprawl” – nothing could be further from the truth. This cramming of the population into 7.5% of the land mass created an artificial land shortage ramping up land prices to the point that 2/3 of the value of UK homes is the value of the land. As a result UK homes are in comparison to other similar countries very small and vastly overpriced. The benefactors are the enterpriseless rent taking large landowners - 1% of the population own 70% of the land, a situation not seen in any comparable nation. A landowner, the Duke of Westminster, with a weighted system to suit them, naturally being the UK’s richest man. It highlights how the British people are being ripped off good style, a situation that should not exist.
Kevin Cahill does emphasise the benefits of land re-distribution and gives examples of how it has benefited many countries. He also exposes how the landowners fund and have as front’s ecological groups spouting “keep Britain green”, to maintain their vast highly lucrative acres. Jonathan Poritt of Friends of The Earth comes in for severe criticism as he spouts that the UK is short of agricultural land.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Owns Britain and Ireland
Its a very eye opening book and worth the amount i paid although some places are asking silly money for it. It needs to be put on line as a free e book for everyone to read
Published 1 month ago by Jeff
5.0 out of 5 stars Please make a PDF and upload to internet
If you gave a copy of this book (Who owns Britain by Kevin Cahill)- could please scan it in and upload it as a PDF to INTERNET ARCHIVE [...] or to a torrent site. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Balraj Bhachoo
5.0 out of 5 stars Present for Mum
My Mum was looking for this book, but turned her nose up at the prices that she saw for it online. I found it for her for a Christmas present, and she loves it! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Andrew Whittaker
5.0 out of 5 stars Item as described, This is a very interesting book for anyone...
The reason for choosing 5 star rating is that the item advertised was everything that I expected it to be, excellent delivery service, I would have no problem recommending this... Read more
Published 14 months ago by DJ
5.0 out of 5 stars The people of england that never have spoken yet
This is a monumentally important book and a must for anyone that wants to understand a core root of the inequality in British society, and an on going problem - even at times when... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lacancan
5.0 out of 5 stars Staggering truths about the real power base in Britain
An absolutely first class account of how the real wealth of Britain, namely its land, still resides in the hands of the elite few families and old Eton public schoolboys and why it... Read more
Published on 27 Jan 2002
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