LAND & PEOPLE

Tristan Jones, the intrepid mariner, never claimed to be a great linguist. Yet is the course of setting the world vertical sailing record [The Dead Sea to Lake Titicaca] he had little difficulty communicating with Israeli Commandos, East Coast Africans, Panama Canal Officials, Native South Americans. Untill he was on the plane to Heathrow: ‘Everyone spoke in catch-phrases.’ There was no sense to what they said.

Economics is - before anything else - food, clothing and shelter. Politicians and businessmen talk of growth, recession, GAT, competition, world markets, inward investment. All the while more folk become homeless and destitute. This is a worsening global economy.

Here many people - in some districts the majority of the working population - are living in caravans ill-suited to the rigours of the climate. Schools, businesses operate out of portacabins. Builders, architects, engineers could be putting their heads together to design and build prototypes of transportable accommodation more comfortable to live in [i.e. not suffering from condensation though expensive to heat] and externally easier on the eye.

There would be far less unemployment - plenty of work for tradesmen, apprentices, labourers, builders’ merchants - if those ready to build their own house could start immediately. It must be folly to build on good agricultural land, to spoil mountain and coastal landscapes, to overcrowd towns by cramming buildings into every open space. Just the present state of affairs which favours land speculators and monopolists.
As vast areas of the country lie derelict.

Democratic ownership of the land isn't a luxury.

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