A tiny fraction of people own half of England a book has revealed – but we suspected that already, didn’t we?
In good news for fans of the aristocracy and big corporations, author Guy Shrubsole’s book ‘Who Owns England?’ shows that a mere 25,000 people currently hold 50% of the country’s land area.
According to this Guardian story, some of the bigger players include the Queen, the Duke of Buccleuch and the Brexit-loving vacuum cleaner salesman James Dyson, who recently moved his air sucking operation to Singapore.
Shrubsole is scathing: ‘Most people remain unaware of quite how much land is owned by so few. A few thousand dukes, baronets and country squires own far more land than all of middle England put together.
‘Land ownership in England is astonishingly unequal, heavily concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite.’
The author drew on public maps and FOI requests when creating his book which shows: 30% of England’s land is in the hands of ‘aristocracy and gentry’; 18% corporations; 17% oligarchs and city bankers – all groups most of us respect and look up to no doubt.
Meanwhile, 5% belongs to ‘homeowners’ and the public sector has a 8.5% share.
MP Jon Trickett isn’t very pleased, as you’d hope given that he’s in the Labour party. He said: ‘The dramatic concentration of land ownership is an inescapable reminder that ours is a country for the few and not the many.
‘It’s simply not right that aristocrats, whose families have owned the same areas of land for centuries, and large corporations exercise more influence over local neighbourhoods – in both urban and rural areas – than the people who live there.
‘Land is a source of wealth, it impacts on house prices, it is a source of food and it can provide enjoyment for millions of people.’
Anyway, happy Easter.