Academic Says Saving the Planet May Require the End of Property Rights

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AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Only the abolition of property rights can save us now from the horrors of ‘climate change’, argues an Australian academic.

Dr. Louise Crabtree, a researcher at the University of Western Sydney, makes her claim in a piece for the leftist academics’ favorite online watering hole, the Conversationtitled“Can Property Survive the Great Climate Transition?”

Her question is, of course, purely rhetorical. No, apparently, it can’t:

If our cities are to become more resilient and sustainable, our systems of property need to come along for the ride.

and

We might also need to start thinking about our claims not being static but dependent on the web of relationships we are entwined in, including with non-humans. Some say that First Peoples might have a grasp of property dynamics that is more suited to the times we are entering.

So, making cities green might be the easy part. It remains to be seen whether property law and property systems are up to the task of transition.

This might sound like obscure, pseudo-academic, sub-Marxist gobbledegook. As indeed it is.

It would be nice to console ourselves that this dangerous thesis was written by a left-wing research student of no account.

Unfortunately, as Eric Worrall points out at Watts Up With That? there are people who take this woman’s lunatic redistributionary jottings seriously.

Her bio may raise the question—are we actually paying for this?:

Louise was awarded her PhD in Human Geography from Macquarie University in 2007 and has been with Western Sydney University since 2007. Her research focuses on the social, ecological and economic sustainability of community-driven housing developments in Australia; on the uptake of housing innovation in practice and policy; on complex adaptive systems theory in urban contexts; and, on the interfaces between sustainability, property rights, institutional design and democracy. Her recent and ongoing projects focus on two practical areas funded by a series of competitive research grants—community land trusts and participatory mapping methodologies. Both are being used to simultaneously foster social innovation and equity outcomes on the ground, and explore and build theory on multi-stakeholder governance, decolonisation, property law, resilience and citizenship.

But the scary part is the last bit:

Read the rest at Breitbart.

On Those Lovable, Colourful Traveller Folk…

April 10, 2015


This week we heard the tragic story of a retired businessman who killed himself and his wife having told friends he was deeply worried about the fact that his rural neighbourhood had been surrounded, at the local council’s behest, by officially designated ‘traveller’ camp sites.
Which do you think is the most likely explanation for poor John Knott’s radical and desperate measure?

Was it

a) he had a pathological aversion to lovely, colourful people in their brightly painted, horse-drawn caravans with their rich cultural heritage, deep understanding of rural lore and their fine traditions of coloured-headscarf-and-hoop-earring-wearing, crystal-ball-gazing, heather-sprig-selling, fiddle-playing, horse-bartering jollity

b) he was a racist, that’s what he was, a racist who’d been taken in by all those appalling myths about the well-loved Roma people and Irish Traveller folk and is probably the kind of person who votes UKIP

c) he’d retired to what he thought was a rural idyll only to realise that by government fiat about £125,000 was going to be knocked off the value of his property, he’d never be able to leave his doors unlocked, his neighbouring fields would be filled with stagnant rubbish, there’d never be any peace by day or night, and he’d constantly have to worry about semi-literate urchins pilfering his toolshed and defecating in his hedgerows, while their feckless parents badgered him every other day explaining they’d got a bit of gravel left over from another job and did he want his drive tarmacked?

Well, obviously it couldn’t have been c) because under Tony Blair’s hate crime laws that would have constituted an offence which might have landed Knott in prison. So it must have been one of the others, clearly.

But it is slightly odd, don’t you think, that whenever – literally 100 per cent of the time on all occasions, ever – a gipsy/traveller/Roma encampment descends on a particular area, the response of all those living there tends to be less than enthusiastic; and that the longer that encampment manages to stay in place the more frantically desperate the local community grows to get rid of them?

Pure racism, I suppose.

Except here’s a thing. If you go to Ireland, whence many of these ‘traveller’ communities emanate, I think you’ll find that they are not – do correct me if I’m wrong – granted special ethnic status or peculiar legal privileges.

That’s why so many of them have left Ireland (where they own houses: the kind of things they’re theoretically supposed to hate living in because it’s their ‘tradition’) to take advantage of Britain’s more enlightened approach to the “traveller community” – as framed in official documents like this called Planning Policy For Traveller Sites.

Under these planning regulations, local councils are legally obliged to provide sites for traveller encampments.

It explains at the beginning:

“The Government’s overarching aim is to ensure fair and equal treatment for travellers.”

But clearly – you can tell this document was drafted by a Liberal Democrat – “fair and equal treatment” is precisely what these travellers are NOT being given.

On the contrary, they are being granted privileges over and above those accorded so-called “settled” communities. Some of these privileges are official (eg this allocation of “free” land for them to park their vehicles on, regardless of how their new neighbours might feel about this incursion). Some of them are unofficial. (Apparently, for example, you’ll never get the RSPCA intervening where it turns out that stray horses grazing willy-nilly belong to travellers).

This injustice was the subject in 2013 of a private members bill by Conservative MP Philip Hollobone, who in his speech to the House refused to mince his words:

Members may not realise that local residents have told me, on the basis of police evidence, that many distraction burglaries are undertaken by members of the Gypsy and Traveller community. It is a speciality of theirs. Likewise, farmers and rural dwellers are, frankly, terrorised at the theft of, and damage to, farm equipment and rural properties. The idea that these sites could be set up near to long-established communities both within towns and villages is bringing a huge amount of distress to my local residents.

Hollobone can say stuff like that under parliamentary privilege. The rest of us, unfortunately, have to be more careful – not least because there’s a particularly tenacious gipsy grievance lobby ready to pounce on any perceived injustice against their wholly delightful, thoroughly law-abiding and not remotely antisocial, whiny, vulgar, rapacious community of exquisitely dressed and superbly well-educated model citizens.

But it is a bizarre situation we’ve got, isn’t it?

One of the most basic obligations of any government is the protection of its citizens’ property rights. And one of the most basic principles of English common law is that everyone is equal before it.

Yet as regards travellers we have planning laws which flagrantly breach both of the above.

An alien landing from space would marvel at such an arrangement. “These traveller people must be very special to have been granted such privileges,” he might well wonder. “They must bring especial richness and joy and abundance to the communities they visit! They must pay vast sums in taxes to compensate for all the money councils seem to spend on policing and rehousing operations! They must be particularly law-abiding and morally upstanding! Their travelling traditions must be especially reverend and noteworthy for them to be protected in this way!”

“No, no,” you’d have to explain to the alien. “None of your assumptions are quite accurate. It’s more that, well, someone somewhere decided that they ought to be a protected minority whose special way of life needs preserving, even at the expense of everyone else, and no one in authority, not even Conservatives who are supposed to care about the country, has quite had the gumption to change it.”

“But aren’t burglars are also minority with a special way of life lived at the expense of everyone else? Aren’t locusts?” the alien might reply.

“Now you’re getting there…” you could say.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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David Cameron, Renewable Energy and the Death of British Property Rights

Big Wind blows nobody any good

Small Hydro: damn near as bad as Big Wind

As David Cameron may have learned when he read PPE at Oxford, property rights are a cornerstone of our liberty, our security, our civilisation. Wiser political thinkers than Dave have long understood this.

Here’s the Virginia Bill of Rights, precursor to the US Declaration of Independence:

That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Here’s Samuel Adams:

The Natural Rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; second, to liberty; third to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.

And here, most trenchantly, is the philosopher who inspired them, John Locke:

Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience,…

Time for a revolution, then, for the theft of our property rights is exactly what is happening to us now under our notionally “Conservative” prime minister and his increasingly desperate and damaging attempts to position his collapsing administration as the “greenest ever.” I’m thinking especially of the ongoing renewables scam.

The wind farm industry is surely the worst offender. Some vexatious twerp complained the other day about my claim that wind farms reduce property values by between 25 per cent and 50 per cent. Actually, if anything, I’m understating the problem here. I know of cases where properties have been rendered unsaleable by wind farms. But whatever the exact figures, I think those of us not in the pay of Big Wind or trotting out propaganda for the preposterous and devious Renewable UK would all agree that the very last thing we’d want on our doorstep would be a wind farm and that we certainly would never dream of buying a property near one. QED.

Since not a single one of the wind farms blighting Britain would have been built without state incentives (in the form of Renewable Obligations Certificates, Feed In Tariffs, and legislation which makes it very hard for communities to prevent wind farms being built in the area) we can reasonably say therefore that wind farms represent a wanton assault by the state on property rights. We expect such confiscatory measures “for the common good” from socialist regimes. But from a Conservative-dominated Coalition it’s a disgrace.

But it’s not just the wind farm industry which is complicitous in this scam. There’s a fascinating cover story in this week’s Spectator about the UK hydro power industry which turns out to be very nearly as damaging, unpleasant, slimy and untrustworthy as its nasty elder brother Big Wind.

This came as a surprise to me. Like many of you, probably, I’d thought till I read it that hydro-electric power represented the acceptable face of “renewable” energy. Not according to Pippa Cuckson, though, who reveals it to be yet another taxpayer-subsidised boondoggle for rent-seeking scuzzballs, which produces next to no electricity and which – just like wind farms – causes immense damage to wildlife (in this case fish rather than birds or bats).

But the bit of Cuckson’s expose that particularly interested me was her anecdote about Nottingham Angling Club – which in 1982 forked out £150,000 for the fishing rights to a one and half mile stretch of the river Trent above a weir which is now about to be converted to hydropower. The quality of their fishing will almost certainly diminish. And there are stories like this from all over the country. Whether its wealthy fly fishing enthusiasts who’ve paid a fortune for a prime stretch of river in Hampshire or Dorset, or an ordinary working man’s club like the one in Nottingham, people are going to suffer as a result of this state-sponsored drive for renewables. Again, as with wind power, the only reason these hydropower schemes are going ahead is because of the government subsidies and incentives for those canny or cynical enough to get in on the scam. So again, what we have here is a clear case of the state arbitrarily confiscating people’s property rights because of its desire to be seen paying lip service to the green religion.

Related posts:

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One thought on “David Cameron, renewable energy and the death of British property rights.”

  1. Peter Messenger says:6th September 2012 at 7:07 pmIn case you don’t get to read the thread, I thought this might be of interest in the campaign. Good luck btw.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100179427/owen-paterson-minister-of-sound/#comment-642240966

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