Who owns Britain? Most of us would instinctively reply: we do. The British people own the British Isles. This is a democracy, isn't it? But the facts tell a different story. When you look at a map of the British Isles, you are looking not at your home but at a land mass overwhelmingly owned by a tiny aristocratic elite. Extraordinary though it might seem, in the 21st century, 0.6 per cent of the British people own 69 per cent of the land on which we live - and they are mostly the same families who owned it in the 19th century.Full text here.
When it comes to land ownership, Britain today is a more unequal country than Brazil - where there are regular land riots. We are beaten in the European league tables only by Spain, a country which largely retains the land patterns imposed by General Franco's fascist regime. It's time we realised: this land is not your land, from Land's End to the Scottish Highlands. It is theirs.
Occasional political content
But I have to do it sometimes. Johann Hari, the Independent's excellent baby-faced columnist, writes on 2 Feb 2005: