The thoughts behind the Renegade Ecologist

From my 20 years as a nature conservationist I have learned the utter futility of trying to protect nature under our current economic system. But by making some small changes to our taxation system we could make a world fit for our children to inherit full of wildlife & prosperity for all.

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root....
Henry David Thoreau
"In many ways, nature conservation has become just another method of rent extraction by landowners who are trying to hide the fact that modern farmers’ fields are essentially deserts, devoid of wildlife, and the taxpayer must pay ‘rent’ if we want wild animals to occupy ‘their land’."
Peter Smith

Land Value Tax, which is in my opinion the Holy Grail of legislative changes to protect wildlife, is the simplest expression of the Economic theories of Henry George. This theory goes that if we abolish all harmful taxes on our hard work and trade and instead charge a rent for the use of natural resources such as Land we will not waste them or allow private interests to exploit the rest of humanities access to them.

Such a tax would not only stimulate jobs and enterprise but put a value on all of our natural resources and force us to look after them. If it was implemented for agricultural land, where the lower value of perpetually designated wilderness or natural grazing land is reflected in its land value taxation, it would be the surest way to save the wildlife of the UK and for the least cost to the taxpayer”

This would mean hard to farm areas, steep banks, riverbanks, rocky outcrops and areas landowners want to designate a nature reserves, which must be legally binding, could be set aside for wildlife and as such attract no taxation. The result of this would be that unproductive and marginal land would become wildlife havens and receive long term protection for future generation to enjoy. But it would also take away land and monopolies from our plutocrats who own wealth with no obligation to the rest of society, these plutocrats fund both the red and blue (and Yellow) faction of the vested interest or ‘line my friends pocket’ parties that control the legislature in Britain.

This blog is dedicated to teaching those who love nature that there is a simple ‘magic bullet’ that can save the rare wildlife of this country at no cost to the taxpayer. This magic bullet will actually grow our economy and create jobs and help create a better society based on rewarding those who work hard while penalising idol people who make monopolies such as bankers and landowners.

The solution if adopted worldwide would alleviate poverty and starvation and make a significant contribution to preventing war and terrorism.

Follow me on twitter: @peetasmith

Views are my own and don’t reflect the views of Wildwood Trust

Sunday, 16 October 2016

St Ambrose of Milan & the Causes of Poverty & Environmental Damage Today

A friend sent me some choice quotes from St. Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397), who could have wrote these yesterday and not in the 4th century.  A man who understood the natural world and that the fundamental causes of poverty and evil all stem from the private ownership and exploitation of the gifts of nature.



This got me thinking, while I was just reviewing my pension today, the main reason I will live in penury in my old age is rent, not just rent of a house or the high cost of a mortgage but all the rents on all the things we have in life in a million complex ways that pervade our society. To get around this many old people cling on to property they do not need, and vehemently oppose the one fundamental solution to poverty and environment damage..... taxes on land. Thus we make the situation worse for all and the future, from our greed and fear today.

Poverty and environmental destruction today both stem from the private wealth to be generated from forcing rent onto to the poor and the money to be made from exploiting nature for private gain. A tax on land and environmental destruction, offsetting other taxes, is the fundamental solution to all the worlds problems, recognised by the leading thinkers throughout history including St Ambrose.....  From Aristotle to Einstein, from Henry Ford to Benjamin Franklin. from Winston Churchill to Confucius history's greatest thinkers have all saw the wisdom of using economic rent as public revenue and its vital place in lifting humanity to greater heights. Yet still our political systems serves the rich, lazy and powerful who milk the rest of humanity through such a monopoly, a monopoly that devastated economies, creates poverty, drives us to war and to destroy our beautiful planet and its wildlife....

The Quotes of St Ambrose:

"In the beginning people practiced the natural policy, after the example of the birds, so that both work and honors were common, and people knew how to divide among themselves the obligations as well as the rewards and power, so that no one was left without reward, not free from labor. This was a most beautiful state of things. . .Then the lust after power came in, and people began claiming undue powers, and not relinquishing those they had."

"Why do you {the rich} drive out of their inheritance people whose nature is the same as yours, claiming for yourselves alone the possession of all the land? The land was made to be common to all, the poor and the rich. Why do you, oh rich, claim for yourselves alone the right to the land?"

"The world has been made for all, and a few of you rich try to keep it for yourselves. For not only the ownership of the land, but even the sky, the air, and the sea, a few rich people claim for themselves. . .Do the angels divide the space in heaven, as you do when you set up property marks on earth?"

"When you give to the poor, you give not of your own, but simply return what is his, for you have usurped that which is common and has been given for the common use of all. The land belongs to all, not to the rich; and yet those who are deprived of its use are many more than those who enjoy it."

"God our Lord willed that this land be the common possession of all and give its fruit to all. But greed distributed the right of possessions. Therefore, if you claim as your private property part of what was granted in common to all human beings and to all animals, it is only fair that you share some of this wealth with the poor, so that you will not deny nourishment to those who are also partakers of your right {by which you hold this land}."

"Greed is the cause of our want. The birds have abundant natural food because they have received in common that which is necessary for their nourishment, and they do not know how to claim private ownership. By claiming the private, we lose the common."
"Why do you consider things in the world as possessions {proprium}, when the world is common? Why do you consider the fruits of the land private when the land is common? Birds, who own nothing, lack nothing."

"Nothing graces the Christian soul so much as mercy: mercy as shown chiefly towards the poor, that you may treat them as sharers in common with you in the produce of nature, which brings forth the fruit of the earth for use to all."

"But this is not even in accord with nature, for nature has poured forth all things for all men for common use. God has ordered all things to be produced, so that there should be food in common to all, and that the earth should be the common possession of all. Nature, therefore, has produced a common right for all, but greed has made it a right for a few."

Another great quote shared bu my friend is this one, penned by the great 6th-century Greek hymnographer St. Romanos the Melodist, also resonated with me:

"The rich man is exalted above the poor, he devours all his substance:
The peasant toils, the landlord harvests; the one labours, the other is at ease."


Thanks to Jared Baker from Summerville, South Carolina‎ for his research that unearthed this work

Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Sheehy Effect - Why Pine Marten 'Rewilding' will allow Red Squirrels to Return to England

It is one of my big ambitions to return red squirrels to all of the UK; non-native North American grey squirrels, introduced at the whim of some aristocratic thinking they look cute to his grounds,  have edged out our native red squirrels to near extinction in England. But it has been noted by many naturalists that red squirrels are present in the same place pine martens exist. Pine martens were wiped out in England by gamekeepers to keep them from their shooting estates, allowing our landowning elite to shoot that other alien invader, the pheasant, bred in their millions still today.

It is rare for reds, pine martens and grey squirrels to co-exist, in fact the return of Pine Martens to central Ireland has spelt doom for the invasive greys and a leap in red squirrel numbers this has been coined the 'Sheehy Effect' after Wildwood's good friend Dr Emma Sheehy who has done so much of the Pine Marten Surveys that have confirmed this hypothesis.  In fact Dr Emma Sheehy is working with Wildwood on more projects to assist her research into this effect.

This example highlights the need to get our ecology back in balance to stop invasive species, but also stop killing off our own species in the wonderfully termed ‘trophic cascade’ as is used by rewinders such as myself or George Monbiot. The scientific research and the conservation community have now been amassing evidence and the Vincent Wildlife Trust have already released pine martens to Wales.

I have been working up plans to restore pine martens and Red Squirrels throughout Southern England at appropriate sites and our plans were documented by the BBC on thier Inside Out programme this week.


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

What’s killing our wildlife?

What’s killing our wildlife, is a question that occupies my mind a lot & getting to the bottom of the issue and addressing it is my lifes work. So it is my mission to understand why many people do not critically assess this and put the policies in place that address wildlife loss as efficiently as possible. In my career I have two issues with fellow conservationists and ‘greens’who have been getting it wrong for so long:
  1. Following the herd and not addressing the real needs, chiefly not addressing the issues of inefficient land use as the primary driver of biodiversity loss
  2. Focusing on ineffective solutions that are counterproductive to biodiversity conservation, chief of which is subsides to landowners and not on fundamental solutions such as a Land Value Tax and taxes on environmental degradation.


One approach, to put some real numbers on the relative importance on the things that are killing our wildlife, is to look at all the threatened (and near threatened) wildlife and look at the most prevalent threats to their survival. A new study reported in Nature has just done that by Sean Maxwell & collaborators at the University of Queensland. http://www.nature.com/news/biodiversity-the-ravages-of-guns-nets-and-bulldozers-1.20381




Obviously such research has many limitations and is just one way of looking at biodiversity loss. Firstly, biodiversity is not just some species numbers, it is a complex mix of biological life. Issues such as abundance, interdependence, complexity, endemism, ecological processes and inorganic biodiversity all have to be taken into account when assessing 'biodiversity'. The second is that we have little knowledge of many species and the data collected by the IUCN is far from comprehensive. The list of such limitations is long but we can use this as a rough guide to threats to wildlife across the globe.

If we look at the UK, the list here will change significantly as extractive industries are much smaller and most of the biodiversity being destroyed by the UK through such extractive industries is perpetrated abroad by the things we import.

In the UK agriculture especially livestock farming will be the greatest threat to UK biodiversity which is why the conservation movement is waking up to this and starting to challenge cultural norms, powerful vested interests and reassessing the impact of sheep farming against its economic value as the biggest win for wildlife at the least cost to the country. 

Housing is another area where the UK will differ significantly from global trends as we have some of the smallest, densest, houses in the developed world. What we have is grossly inefficiently allocated making the Uk have probably the worst housing in developed world. I have blogged before about why the economic rules the Uk is using both harms wildlife and harms peoples chances of having a decent home: http://renegadeecologist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/where-is-brexit-nhs-money-is-going-to.html

This is a legacy of our almost unique history of enclosure acts, stealing common land and forcing people off the land and into industrial working. Since the 'thatcher revolution' we have increase lending to land values while at the same time reducing house building further exacerbating the land monopoly. Land Value Tax would solve this issue very quickly and efficiently making us develop what land is already developed far more efficiently, increasing the living quality of all, and even return some land to agriculture and nature. Good quality planning can create housing that allows us to reduce environmental input and create spaces for nature and wildlife corridors getting a win-win for people and wildlife & LVT will help this process. http://renegadeecologist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/will-land-value-tax-destroy-that-birdy.html 

"Land Value Tax is a rocket to put up the backsides of landowners & developers to make the most of what we have, in doing so we put all our human effort into building better housing on the land already developed, we will make farming and recreation ‘land efficient’ and thus create the space to rewild Britain and at the same have great housing & jobs aplenty."   Peter Smith

When formulating conservation policy, we must look at the activities we carry out against their economic and cultural benefit. In doing so we would find the big anomalies that are destroying British biodiversity are sheep farming, grouse shooting and golf courses.

The Woolly Maggots



Sheep farming in the UK, my personal bête noire, an activity that strips our land bare causing global warming, floods to towns and catastrophic loss of wildlife. Yet in total the area of land affected is greater than all our arable land put together, yet sheep farming only makes up one half of one percent, 0.5%, of all farming revenue. A colossal waste of land and one that is only possible by taxpayers giving huge subsidies to this otherwise uneconomic activity.

"Agricultural subsidies: the mad idea that we have to pay taxes to give to landowners and then legally enforce those subsidies are used to destroy wildlife." Peter Smith
George Monbiot talks about our sheepwrecked uplands:

Inglorious Basterds 

In the UK well over 1.3 million Hectares of land is devoted to grouse shooting (source British Association of Shooting and 'Conservation') a essentially worthless activity that burns and over grazes land, destroying biodiversity, causes flooding and a colossal release of carbon from its soils equivalent to 140,000 cars a year; Source: John Muir Trust 'A Burning Issue'  
Not only is this activity very bad for wildlife to ensure enough grouse are living at high densities the 'managers' of these places have to kill all the predators and competing wildlife on these moors leading to the catastrophic loss of birds of prey, especially the recently reported Hen Harrier debacle or the death of 8 golden eagles reported in Scotland. Again this land use recieves huge subsidies and tax breaks a terrible waste of public effort. http://www.raptorsalive.co.uk/







A Good Walk Spoilt

Mark Twain put it best with his quote: "Golf is a good walk spoiled." But in England Golf Courses take up more than twice the area of land than all our houses put together (Source: Golf Cub Management) yet thier carefully manicured greens are often very poor for wildlife. It is a testament to our times that some golf courses, especially 'links' courses do harbour rare wildlife but that is just relative because there's so little land for wildlife left in this country and only for a few grassland plants.

So to save wildlife we must start charging a Land Value Tax on all land to suppress such wasteful activities as Sheep farming, grouse shooting and playing golf. We do not need to ban them(apart from prosecuting those killing Hen Harriers and Golden Eagles and the like), but a land value tax, removal of subsidies and tax breaks will make those wishing to use land have to do so efficiently when compared to other activities that Britain needs, especially rewilding. Additionally taxes should be levied to cover damage to ecosystem services such as carbon release, drainage causing flooding and we should of course remove all subsidies and tax breaks associated with these activities. 

Excuse the extreme profanity but I think George Carlin summed it up best for me:




Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Why Conservation NGOs Must Target the Financial Drivers of Ecological Destruction

"Something vital was missing from the campaigns to alert the world to the way our natural habitats were being wrecked." Conservationists must relaunch their vision to target the financial drivers of ecological destruction:



So says Fred Harrison, the economist who predicted the financial collapse of 2008 in his blog commenting on the chapter I wrote in the new book 'Rent Unmasked'

Read his blog about it here:

Saving Nature: the Missing Link

 http://www.sharetherents.org/saving-nature-missing-link/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Where is the BREXIT NHS money going? To landowners of course!

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, yesterday committed the UK government to providing subsidies for farmers worth £2.3 billion a year until 2020 and most of the press has hailed it as vital to the UK economy but is it?

Phillip Hammond, the enemy of real British farmers - the friend of landowners 

The first thing to understand is where does all these subsidies go, whether its direct payments to farmers or in manipulating global food prices. The net effect of these subsidies is that they are capitalised into higher agricultural land prices and higher rents.

"In many ways, nature conservation has become just another method of rent extraction by landowners who are trying to hide the fact that modern farmers’ fields are essentially deserts, devoid of wildlife, and the taxpayer must pay ‘rent’ if we want wild animals to occupy ‘their land’."  Peter Smith

Rent & high land values are unique in that it stifles our farming efficiency and robs the productive capacity of our farming industry, so for every pound in subsidy nearly all of it does not produce efficient farmers but gets siphoned of in higher rents for tenants and higher land values, virtually non of that helps farming.

Furthermore the high land values and high rents not only sap our ability to compete in the world marketplace but also represent the theft from the poor to the rich, from the young to the old. It distorts farming, robbing those that wish to make a living from the land and leaves land in the hands of a growing landlord class. This mirrors what has happened in our housing market creating an army of private renters destined to be poor the rest of their lives no matter how successful they are in their careers, just as it creates an army of tenant farmers destined to be poor no matter how much subsidy we throw at farmers.

This is easily demonstrated when looking to rent land. Agricultural land is offered for rent at two prices. One price where the subsidy is claimed by the landowner and another collected by the tenant. The difference is exactly what that subsidy is minus a tiny amount to cover the hassle  of doing the paperwork etc. and some smoothing issues.

“Agricultural subsidies tend to be capitalised into the purchase and the rental price of agricultural land. Because of higher incomes farmers are prepared to bid more to rent in or purchase extra land. But given that the overall supply of land is fixed, farmers will bid against each other up to the point where the entire increase in profitability is dissipated by the higher cost of land. Thus, it is landowners who are the main beneficiaries of farm support policies."
 Alan Matthews, CapReform.EU, More on who benefits from farm subsidies, October 14 2007: http://capreform.eu/more-on-who-benefits-from-farm-subsidies/

So overall subsidies does not help real farming - just landowning and those involved in lending money to purchase land (banking).


So what does subsidy do to our land? Subsidies lower the margin at which it is profitable to farm land, therefore more poor quality land is now in agriculture, that means a lot less wildlife, and economically the land now farmed does not produce that much food. An example of this is our bête noire the humble sheep, these woolly maggots that strip our land bare causing global warming, floods to towns and catastrophic loss of wildlife are actually destroying more land than all our arable land put together, yet they only make up one half of one percent of all farming revenue.

Subsidies also have the effect of pushing up the value of land in marginal cases which means it is much more expensive to buy. This is a big problem for nature conservation charities like Wildwood Trust because it makes it more expensive to acquire land for nature and to promote the rewilding of land across Britain. In fact any subsidy, not just farming subsidies, such as tax breaks to landowners of which there are many kinds, acts as a barrier, preventing the establishment of nature reserves or the rewilding of natural area. In my 20 years as a conservationists the cost of land for nature reserves has risen about 23 times or an inflation rate of 2300%  over that time.


"Landlords grow rich in their sleep without working, risking or economizing. The increase in the value of land, arising as it does from the efforts of an entire community, should belong to the community and not to the individual who might hold title."

John Stuart Mill 

"The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner;'a perfumed Seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf hath an alchemy whereby he will extract from her every third nettle—and call it rent. "
 Carlyle.

 "Now what had the landowner done for the community; what enterprise had he shown; what service had he rendered; what capital had he risked in order that he should gain this enormous multiplication of the value of his property! I will tell you in one word what he had done. Can you guess it! Nothing."
 Winston Churchill


This inflation rate would shame any banana republic, but it is a direct result of the hard work of charities, generosity of donors and government grants yet it is utterly wasted by rewarding landowners for doing nothing but own land.

"A Rewilded Britain is a lost dream, just as an affordable home is a lost dream for so many young couples today." Peter Smith

Because land is so expensive we cannot buy it, just as young people cannot afford to buy a home today. This means nature conservation has had to become renters just like most of the country's would be home buyers. In many ways nature conservation has become just another method of rent extraction by landowners who are trying to hide the fact that modern farmers’ fields are essentially deserts, devoid of wildlife, and the taxpayer must pay ‘rent’ if we want wild animals to occupy ‘their land’. So just as we have silly schemes like funding for lending to banks and 'help to buy' or a outrageous housing benefit system, so taxpayers and charities are now paying off landowners to protect the bit of nature on thier land. That is a yearly payment that is cruelly counterproductive, making the vision of a Rewilded Britain an unobtainable dream, just as an affordable home is a lost dream for so many young couples today.


Subsidies and associated tax breaks are the biggest obstacle to recreating wild habitats in Britain and it is very sad that the government has promised the lion’s share of yesterday's post BREXIT cash to ensure landowners don’t lose out in the future and that nature will suffer and remember that every subsidy, every hand-out, every tax break received by land represents not just a nail in the coffin of British wildlife, but also theft from those that have paid the money through taxation and also what that money could have been spent on such as the promise to fund the NHS. Many credit the NHS promise by the leave campaign as the key issue that swayed  voters into pulling us out of the European Union.

Subsidies are just one part of the equation and if we are to create an agricultural system that rewards the hard work of 'real' farmers, uses the land efficiently and leaves a space for nature for future generations then the only policy we can follow is to institute a land value tax for all land in the UK. On top of this we need a taxation system based on the environmental damage that fertilisers pesticides and other land uses create.

If we are to have a subsidy system then that subsidy system must be based on rewarding those that truly work the land, those with the knowledge and skill that can direct what we do and to create an economic topology which favours the most efficient of land management practices. Only then can Britain farm to a world-class standard, create the jobs our countryside so desperately needs and leave a living wildlife legacy to future generations.

If we do not ween ourselves off subsidies then our landowners and bankers can only get ever richer, while real jobs are lost, wages are driven down and our environment is destroyed.




Much of the economic concepts above where first described by the great economist David Ricardo - in his Ricardo's law of rent. This basic and irrefutable law must be at the heart of all government policy making and later this month I will be submitting my suggestions based on this to the Governments consultation on Future Environmental Policy after BREXIT.

To Understand Ricardo's Law then I suggest you read  Ricardo's Law: House Prices and the Great Tax Clawback Scam by Fred Harrison: Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ricardos-Law-House-Prices-Clawback/dp/0856832413

And watch this video: 




Thursday, 4 August 2016

Rent - Umansked: A new book that could save the planet....

I have had my first contribution to a book published, co-authored with 12 leading Professors from around the world, the book focuses on economic solutions to social and environmental problems.




 The book comprises of essays in honour of Professor Mason Gaffney, who has for years researched and published the most insightful work in to the economic concepts that can solve our social and environmental problems. Professor Gaffney is a personal hero of mine I am am deeply honored to be chosen by the Schalkenbach Foundation to honor Mason in this way.

 “An inveterate optimist [who] makes an excellent case that, by applying the Henry George principle, we can reduce inequality, and raise ample public revenues to be directed at any one of a multitude of society’s ills”. Joseph Stiglitz (University Professor at Columbia University, recipient of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in economics) 

 Mason Gaffney Describing how to solve the water crisis in California:

Rent Unmasked explores the new economic paradigm that policy-makers need to solve global problems in the post-2008 era. With conventional economic theories discredited, the new model must equip governments with tools to re-stabilise societies in a dangerous world. Rent Unmasked explains why one paradigm only qualifies to serve this purpose: the dynamic model that reinstates time and space in economic theorising.


The Flat Earth economics of the neo-classical school is analysed by the 13 contributors to this volume, which honours the seminal role played by Mason Gaffney, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of California (Riverside), in exposing the way in which classical economics was debased to serve rent-seeking interests.



The authors are drawn from the legal and property professions and from universities around the world. They evaluate the key contributions from Mason Gaffney, the Ultimate Heterodox economist, and they apply the new insights to current challenges. The issues confronted in Rent Unmasked range from corporate tax evasion to the rise of irrational forces within democratic societies; the housing crisis to the fractured politics of the Eurozone; the misdemeanours in the banking sector to the way in which financial policies must be framed if economics is to be harmonised with ethics. The social science branded as “dismal” because of the ideological prejudices of past exponents is shown to be empowering for problem-solvers in the 21st century.

Buy your copy Here:

  http://www.shepheard-walwyn.co.uk/product/rent-unmasked/

Or on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rent-Unmasked-Global-Economy-Sustainable/dp/0856835110




Saturday, 30 July 2016

Why are Hedgehogs disappearing from the British Countryside

A short radio interview where I talk about the plight of the hedgehog and why they are disappearing from the British countryside, broadcast on BBC radio.

The real issue why our hedgehog population is crashing is a simple food pyramid whereby intensive agriculture and pesticide use has killed of the slugs, worms and snails hedgehogs eat.

The efficient solution as ever is to levy a land value tax and tax pesticide use relative to its effects(externalities). This will steer farming to producing food in a way that will allow wildlife to thrive.

Why are Hedgehogs disappearing from the British Countryside:

The Wild Horses that are Rewilding Britain

This short BBC documentary follow the Wild Konik Ponies that are spreading across the UK helping to Rewild Britain.

It has been great fun learning the art of the cowboy and having our work documented for all to see.

This is small but vital programme cutting costs of nature reserve management. But it also highlights a fundamental problem in nature conservation.  Because so little land is left to wildlife we have to intensively manage small nature reserves for specific species. The wild horses would do a much better job if the nature reserves where bigger and where connected.

Once again we see that the real solution to rewilding is land availability and to make land available we must stop subsidising land use and remove associated tax breaks. But the best solution is to Levy a Land Value Tax on land.


Thursday, 7 July 2016

Tony Blair – His two great crimes against Humanity

Watching the sickening well-manicured war criminal & sociopath Tony Blair defend his terrible crime of waging aggressive war has made me both sick and full of hate for him today.

Looking into his eyes you saw the terror that his careful ego construct was cracking while he defended the indefensible. But the story missed by most commentators is what are the underlining forces that pushes groups of politicians, who profess they are doing good, to want to perpetrate such terrible crimes. It is my belief that politicians are not policy makers but policy takers, they are people who instinctively know how to adopt the positions that will satisfy their most powerful supporters to ensure their careers progress and they can retire to wealth and comfort.

This is the main reasons why elites will do anything to unseat moderate conviction politicians whether that is Jeremy Corbyn, Mohammad Mosaddegh or Salvador Allende.

Find out more about Mohammad Mosaddegh who threatened the UK and USA’s control of Iran’s oil by nationalising it: https://youtu.be/Os9ggGN-R-E

Salvador Allende threatening the USA’s control of its strategically important copper mines https://youtu.be/X6kkaIfy9wU



Tony Blair is guilty of two big ‘crimes’; one great crime against the people of this world & one great economic crime against the people of Britain…

The Great War Crime: 

Firstly, the war crime of aggressive war making, which he still is in utter denial. The Chilcot report has documented how he lied to us all along, we knew this but had no proof.  We had to suffer watching the disaster unfold, with bush and Blair making it worse and worse by incompetence and cover-up as the real objective on capturing the oil wealth of Iraq enforced the terrible decisions that saw Iraq descend into anarchy and conflict.

But most commentators have ignored how a natural resource at the root of this disaster. The profits to be made by the elites of Europe and America from mostly oil but many other natural resources mean that there is always a ‘war party’ ready to give their support to politicians looking to invade. Cold heartless minds of diplomats look to solve economic problems and establish power by stealing the wealth of others.

The many businesses who donate and fund (even just provide friendship) to politicians can benefit hugely by the calamity of war and getting their hands on oil. We have seen this recently in Iraq and in Libya but this has gone on for centuries. The more chaos and human misery created, the more internal factions fight and terrorise each other means there is no coherent internal state to defend their resources from our rapacious oil companies and dominion of powerful nations.

Many people in those countries see the duplicity of the installed puppet politicians and fight either for national sovereignty or get their own hands on the huge wealth of the natural resources being fought over.

But what is the solution to natural resource disasters and war? How can we keep the greedy hands of interfering states, bankers, corporations and politicians from accessing the riches of our natural world & sowing the seeds of unimaginable barbarity and anarchy?

This web of murderous self-interest is at the root of many such conflicts and it is easy to get side tracked by the dishonesty and duplicity of all the states and groups indulging in this.

My heart is broken by what has befallen the Iraqi people and I have wept for the victims. But my anger must really be reserved for the stupidity of all of us at preventing war. The anti-war movement needs a concrete objective, a remedy, that will remove the causes of warfare such as environmental destruction, loss of lively hood and remove the incentive of those that seek to profit from war. Only a Land Value Tax as a policy objective can fulfil these objectives so why do anti-war, anti-poverty & environmental campaigners not band together to promote this as a policy?

Land Value Tax is the solution to both the macro and micro issues in preventing war. This goes for land (a land Value tax), water use (abstraction tax), carbon tax etc and other natural resources & 'green' taxes. This solves scarcity but also suppresses the use of the fossil fuels removing the incentive for war and controlling our insatiable thirst to exploit those natural resources.

This solution will suppress those seeking to push our foreign policy to war by removing the perverse incentive to fight over natural resources rents as they will be impossible to monopolise by one group, country or corporation under such as system.

So what the Iraqi people really need is a Land Value Tax & Nationalisation of oil to stop people internally or externally killing each other to acquire the riches that ownership brings.

My thoughts on war:


Fred Harrison's thoughts on war:



The great economic crime against the people of Britain…

The other great Crime Tony Blair was architect to was the impoverishment of the people of Britain. This destroyed our productive industries, brought huge social divides and even created the climate of fear of immigration that saw us vote for BREXIT.

What was this crime, it was to continue the policies that saw the house price bubble grow ever bigger. Taxing wages and trade can never provide the income of government to tackle poverty. As rents and mortgages capture the income of the poor and funnel it up to landowners and banks, destroying jobs, reducing wages and robbing our country of the ability to trade economically with the rest of the world. Only our financial sector prospered because we financed other rent seekers around the world to rape our planet and exploit the labour of other countries.

This crime is best expressed by my friend, the author and investigative reporter, Fred Harrison.

Tony Blair’s Dereliction of Duty to the People of Britain 

1. In 1997, Tony Blair was elected Britain’s Prime Minister. He claimed to be heading a government that would define a Third Way in politics, after abandoning the socialist economic agenda of nationalising the means of production. This meant his government needed new tools to control the boom/bust business cycle that periodically ruptures the capitalist economy.

2. When they moved into Downing Street and HM Treasury, I wrote to Mr Blair and his four key colleagues to explain that a house price bubble, driven by speculation in the land market, would peak in 2007. They had 10 years in which to adopt the policies that could prevent the housing market from getting out of control. I provided the detailed analysis in The Chaos Makers (1997), explaining how to realign tax policy to secure and sustain full employment. At the time, 20% of UK households had nobody in employment. I submitted further alerts to the British government, and reaffirmed the risks to the UK and the global economy in Boom Bust: house prices, banking and the depression of 2010 (2005).  

3. No preventative action was taken. Blair resigned in June 2007. UK house prices peaked five months later, precipitating the worst depression since the 1930s.

4. Following his departure from Downing Street, Blair amassed a portfolio of London residential properties worth many millions of pounds. Many other families had their homes repossessed. Many others could not afford to buy homes for their families.

5. Tony Blair, in his memoir A Journey (2010), insists that he was responsible for his government's economic policies. Therefore, he must accept personal responsibility for the land speculation that triggered the financial crisis of 2008 (when banks lost faith in the value of the sub-prime mortgages which they had created). The documentation on Blair’s failure is provided in my book 2010: The Inquest (2010).

6. Britain is now being steered towards the next land-led property boom/bust.

7. On stepping down as Prime Minister, Blair was appointed by the United Nations as its envoy to help secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This role required insight into the significance of land in the life of a population. Blair had demonstrated a wilful disregard of this aspect of British life. He is not qualified to resolve the land question that divides Israeli from the people of Palestine.

8. I herewith pronounce that Tony Blair, in view of his dereliction of duty towards the people of Britain, does not deserve the respect of a statesman, and that he is not qualified to act on behalf of the UN and the community of nations.
 
Fred Harrison
September 1, 2013

Learn more about Fred’s work at www.sharetherents.org or his you tube channel Geophilos https://www.youtube.com/user/geophilos

Treason Part 1:









Saturday, 25 June 2016

BREXIT: Why Land Value Tax can kill Fascists & Save the Planet….

Or….. J'accuse....! Why the Guardian columnists have created BREXIT and the rise of the new fascists of the west & the calamity of environmental destruction…..

Brexit has caused outrage among the established commentators of the Gruaniad today and they are all missing the point and only have themselves to blame. A bold and unfair accusation, but hear me out & I shall explain why I accuse some of the best educated and most thoughtful social commentators on politics and the environment. I voted Remain but I also have serious reservations about Europe and now want the Left, Liberal and caring Conservatives to own up to their mistakes and fix them fast. If we do not the ugly rise of fascism and environmental collapse is a real possibility.



















In this blog I liken my message to the Guardian columnists like the pleas of Tolstoy to Tsarist Russia, Michael Flürscheim to the German Imperium or Churchill and Lloyd-George to the British Empire. Only a Land Value Tax can save us from the populous turning to extremism or the elites turning to conflict and war.

After reading the Guardian Columns by Damian Carrington & Poly Toynbee today I am writing this blog to say I accuse! I accuse you both of being at the centre of why this country voted for Brexit and that your ill-informed opinions are creating the very thing you campaign against, the rise of the far right, growing social inequality, environmental destruction & the propensity to wage war on the world for resources and power.

UK's out vote is a 'red alert' for the environment, Damian Carrington:

Dismal, lifeless, spineless – Jeremy Corbyn let us down again, Polly Toynbee:

The problem with leaders, whether it is a politician our guardian columnist is they want be seen to be a ‘leader’ and be responsible for solutions, enacted by rule & law, when what we really need to do is implant policies that create the incentives, the very legal and economic topology, for everyone to be rewarded for being a caring neighbour, hardworking risk taker and steward of our natural heritage. Actions that destroy the environment, rob people of jobs and stop us looking after others should be not rewarded economically but penalised.

But our legal system and culture cannot change the fact that we, under our current economic rules, are disadvantaged when we do charitable work, our wages are cut when we welcome asylum seekers and immigrants, and can become instant millionaire if we get a right to exploit natural resources or planning permission to build a house on land we own.  The incentives are all wrong and none of the political establishment are ready to tackle the vested interests that are benefiting from this system or acknowledge the poor who are suffering because of it.

If I discuss this with my working class family members they are outraged because they too see me as a Guardian reading middle class lefty. To them the Guardian readers are the very manifestation of hypocrisy and privilege, wanting lower wages for their plumbers and nannies, while at the same time wanting their houses to rise in value or the speculative gains from in Buy to let property?

There silly solutions of taxing workers to provide social services to counteract the effects of immigration are treated with scepticism by the working classes and rightly so.

As best explained by Leo Tolstoy, perhaps even a more fervent exponent of Land Value Tax than myself:
“I sit on a man's back, choking him, and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by any means possible, except getting off his back.”
Writings on Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence (1886)
Tolstoy understood that land value tax had the solution to the rising tensions in pre-revolutionary Russian and pleaded with the nobility and the Tsar’s chief advisors to implement this policy in a letter to Prince L. D. Urusov he pleaded:

“If the new Tsar [Nicholas II] would ask me what I would advise him to do, I would say to him: use your autocratic power to abolish the land property in Russia and to introduce the Land Value Tax system; and then give up your power and [grant] the people a liberal constitution.”

Tolstoy said in another letter which foretold the calamity of revolution and the rise of extremists:
“People do not argue with the teachings of Henry George, they simply do not know it. ... He who becomes acquainted with it cannot but agree.”
“Of all indispensable alterations of the forms of social life there is in the life of the world one which is most ripe. ... The method of solving the land problem has been elaborated by Henry George to a degree of perfection that under the existing state organisation and compulsory taxation, it is impossible to invent any better, more just, practical and peaceful solution.”
“Quite difficult matters can be explained even to a slow-witted man, if only he has not already adopted a wrong opinion about them; but the simplest things cannot be made clear even to a very intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he already knows, and knows indubitably, the truth of the matter under consideration.”
“The only thing now that would pacify the people now is the introduction of the Land Value Taxation system of Henry George. The land is common to all; all have the same right to it. Solving the land question means the solving of all social questions.... Possession of land by people who do not use it is immoral — just like the possession of slaves.”

Yes the working classes do not want handouts, they do not want welfare, what they want is that their labour is valued and the cost of living is affordable. This is the fundamental message we are getting from Brexit campaigners across Europe and the rise of Donald Trump in the states.  But because our political & social leadership has failed us so badly, the frightened working classes are running into the arms of demagogues like Trump, Farage, Le Pen and Geert Wilders, just as they ran into the clutches of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini when social tensions rose to fever pitch when wages stagnated and a financial system based on banking/high land prices collapsed.

So to, our environment and wildlife do not want endless government grants funding cushy jobs or grants to pay for ‘signs or wildlife art installations. What our wildlife and environment need more than any European Habitats Directive, Water Frameworks Directive, Carbon Trading scheme or a host of other bureaucratic nonsense is to be not abused. What our wildlife and environment needs is to have their habitats left alone, to stop polluting the land and air? What our environment needs is a way for us to all stop benefiting from its abuse. 

The only logical way to do this is to make charges and put taxes on the use and abuse of land and the natural environment, this will do more than any complicated directive or law as we will not incentivise people to circumvent these policies and laws, it will push everyone into finding new ways to increase the efficiency of land use, leave land for nature, it will incentivise business and people to pollute less and find new ways to protect the environment as they will financially benefit  from doing so.

Our political establishment – both left and right tell us of the benefits of immigration, rejoice in economic growth and welcome the ever increasing costs of housing. Yet they all rob the poor and funnel money into the pockets of the wealthy and privileged irrespective of their political affiliations.
Thankfully the solution to what caused people to vote for leaving Europe and rejecting immigration is the same solution to the problems of social inclusion, jobs, economic success & environmental protection is all the same: LAND VALUE TAX!

The tax shift to reclaim economic rents as our tax base, taking taxes off of those who work and aspire to work will fulfil both the stated objectives of all our main political parties, but they are too afraid of the vested interests who are farming our economy of the economic rent of monopoly and the killings to be made destroying our environment and misusing land.

To enhance social inclusion Land Value Taxes will drastically reduce housing and welfare costs. This will allow us to take taxes off productive businesses and jobs causing an explosion in the value of labour, increasing both jobs & wages. This positive cycle will decrease the costs of housing, welfare, crime and the distress shown when we welcome asylum seekers and immigrants to our island home.

The swivel eyed loons lead by George Galloway, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson have captured the fundamental truth that no one wishes to mention, immigration really does push down wages for the poorest, but what is more it forces up living costs mostly through housing. Letting these demagogues capture public support is an extreme betrayal of our established politics. The stupidity and lazy intellectual opinions of our elites could lead us to the calamity of a rise of fascism and an acceleration of environmental collapse.

The centre ground are quick to tell us immigration does improve our economy & I agree it does, but who receives the benefits of that economic growth. The recipients of this free handout are landowners, landlords and those that employ people for less wages.

So if you are a progressive socially minded person who welcomes helping others and protecting our environment you better start advocating Land Value Taxes & the elites need to own up to their selfish motivation protecting their privilege….


Saturday, 4 June 2016

#voterbeaver – a plague on both Britain & Europe

#voterbeaver – a plague on both Britain & Europe

An amusing internet meme is trending on Twitter after a vandalised sign was  rewritten to spell ‘Vote Beaver’ instead of ‘Vote Leave’. This caused those of us in the rewilding movement a great deal of fun and I myself have been guilty of spreading this meme.



But the European argument is much more serious and the vote later this month could spell doom for the humble British beaver. The powers that be across the land in nature conservation are readying documents to give the free beavers of Britain full legal protection, this is vital if their number is to multiply and spread, breathing life back into our rivers, protecting us from flooding and delivering us from the blight of poisoned rivers, poisoned by agricultural pollution. Legally protected beavers will restore desiccated and destroyed wetlands, drained and scalped into a wildlife deserts by our stupid laws, taxation systems and subsidies to landowners.

Europe has given us some very good legislation, especially the habitats directive which has done more to protect wildlife in Britain than any legislation devised by our timid Houses of Parliament. The benefits of Europe to people can be easily seen in legislation to protect workers’ rights and our environment.

But at the heart of Europe lies the deep evil and that evil is based around five issues:


  1. A taxation system based on taxing the productive economy through higher taxes on incomes and high taxes on trade through a value-added tax. This tax system, with its complications, is how the poor are made poorer. This tax system allows those with land and ownership of natural resources to exploit them inefficiently. Landowners and rentiers of all kinds can sit and milk the productive hard-working people of Europe and the profits to be gained from destroying our natural environment.
  2. A monetary system that allows private banks to create money as debt which in turn leads to the creation of money to fund property speculation and inefficient use of natural resources
  3. Land subsidies, mostly in the form of agricultural subsidies which are directly responsible for the destruction of vast swathes of our wild land.  Making landowners push into production the most marginal of land. This policy has seen the destruction of wildlife across Europe as we have driven our wild areas to extinction. Britain has been uniquely bad in this respect compared to our continental cousins and Brexit does not promise a reprieve.
  4. Stupid laws, these are often not the laws that are ridiculed in our tabloid press, not the bendy bananas!  but the laws that really do subvert society and make all of our lives worse. Examples of these silly laws that introduce things like palm oil as a biofuel where we destroy the last equatorial forests and the homes of orang-utans in a perverted environmental law aimed at reducing fossil fuel use, when it does nothing of the sort. Legislation on carbon trading is again a grotesque perversion in using a so-called environmental law to create a system that will allow the European corporate elites to suck the wealth out of the poor when achieving nothing to combat global warming and reducing harmful polluting emissions.
  5. Immigration: immigration and the free movement of people is a noble gesture but in the UK without adequate housing the perversity of immigration forces the wages of the poorest people down and their living costs up through high rents and house prices. The rich benefit and the poor suffer but none in our timid labour party will admit that and put in place the changes needed that will allow us to receive the benefits of immigration. I believe it is a noble goal to integrate the people of this world, but if we are to achieve it we need an economic system that allows the increased economic activity of our multicultural world not to rob the poorest and the hardest working and that can only be achieved by taking away the benefits to the elites through higher rents for land and other forms of monopoly and having a taxation system that does not penalised workers but gives them back the benefits of sharing our land with people from the rest of Europe and the world. This can only be achieved through a tax shift to land value taxes, providing council housing to all in need and taxing away other monopolies and redistribute such taxes equally to all, so everyone can share and enjoy the benefits of welcoming new people to our country.


So my real problem is I feel like Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, I am forced to say a “plague on both your houses”. Our choice in the forthcoming referendum on the membership of the European Union is a Hobson’s choice.

What do we have to vote for, a Europe whose rules and regulations enforce an economic system that will systematically rob the poor and our environment? But has thrown us some scraps of legislation that protect the poorest and environment better than what our so-called parliament has ever been able to give us.

Independence could give us the chance to reclaim our government and deliver economic and environmental justice to bring in land value taxes and pollution taxes and to get rid of the harmful taxes that are levied upon us and thus stimulate a revolution for the poor and our environment. Such a change would see Britain wild again, the increased wealth of our poor letting them enjoy the growing natural resources that will reclaim our land and banish the dead hand of the rent seekers and landowners whose heinous grip blights our lives.

But independence will be unlikely to give us that and a dangerous group of brexit campaigners are more likely to enact legislation that will damage our economy and our ecology and lead us on a path to poverty and environmental destruction.

When we look at the benefits of European membership in legislation and political system, it has attempted to give us laws that have protected the poor and have kept us on the road to peace and prosperity, but ultimately it has been subverted so that it has given the benefits to a corporate, banking and landowning European elite.

I want to have a referendum that lets me vote to protect the weakest, to give assistance to the most vulnerable, to educate, to protect people in need and to create a vibrant economy that will provide the resources to achieve this. I want to vote to rewild Europe and to rewild Britain with 40% of our land surface given to wildlife and not to be destroyed by inefficient farming or landowners shaving the land bare so they can shoot game birds or indulge other passions of dominion. But those in both the Leave and Remain camps will not give me that opportunity.

So I am torn on which way to vote this month, to risk the possible loss of legal protection for the wonderful beavers of Britain, and enable a mad bunch of misguided racists, proto-fascists and right-wingers to gain control of our Government. Or to continue to tie our hands to an economic system that enshrines poverty and environmental loss whatever laws are passed to protect it.

So what advice do I have to give to the voters of the UK? To spoil my ballot by having VOTE BEAVER scrawled across it or to choose between the lesser of the two evils?

Friday, 20 May 2016

Ghosts of the Forest... Rewilding Britian

Wildwood's animals take centre stage in this amazing film about the rewilding of Britain, featuring TV's Ben Fogle, Simon King and yours truly... A beautifully filmed short Documentary film shot at Wildwood Trust among other places Enjoy.



 Producer: Luke Sutton, D.O.P Vatalii Ciobanu, Camera Op. Jack Cuckson, Edited by Jessica Harms.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

What is the Vision that inspires Ellie Harrison? Rewilding!

Well I was truly humbled by the great endorsement I got from BBC Countryfile's presenter Ellie Harrison.

"I have got to travel all over the country to see close up many conservation projects…. One that stands out for me was spending time with Peter Smith who runs Wildwood in Kent, a man of extraordinary knowledge and passion and someone who has a vision and a dream of how wildlife can be in this country….." Ellie Harrison BBC Countryfile 2016


But what is the vision that inspired Ellie - it's a Vision of rewilding, the ecological processes and the economic processes of how it can be achieved. In a world that can enjoy prosperity and jobs with wealth for all and the protection of wildlife and natural resources through  rent sharing and earth sharing - shifting our taxes from wages and onto natural resources and land misuse.

Watch a recent lecture on the subject here:


and here:


and here:

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Sheer Economic Ignorance is killing our Countryside

At the recent Oxford Real Farming Conference a spat broke out between farmers and rewilding advocate George Monbiot as reported in the Farmers Guardian.
"Tenant farmer Rebecca Hosking, who runs the organic Village Farm in south Devon, said while she would be ‘proud’ to farm without subsidy, she needed it to cover her farm rent cheque.

 Ms Hosting reported comments, while I am sure not supported by herself, shows how the Farmers Guardian seems blissfully unaware, or is it convenient for them to obfuscate the truth, that most of a farmers rent is the farming subsidies they received as well as the indirect subsidies they do not.  So farming subsidies makes tenant farmers no better off at all.

This is shown easily when looking to rent land (or buy land as it is capitalised into vastly inflated land prices). Agricultural land is offered for rent at two prices. One price where the subsidy is claimed by the landowner and another collected by the tenant. The difference is exactly what the subsidy is minus a tiny amount to cover the hassle  of doing the paperwork etc. and some smoothing issues.

“Agricultural subsidies tend to be capitalised into the purchase and the rental price of agricultural land. Because of higher incomes farmers are prepared to bid more to rent in or purchase extra land. But given that the overall supply of land is fixed, farmers will bid against each other up to the point where the entire increase in profitability is dissipated by the higher cost of land. Thus, it is landowners who are the main beneficiaries of farm support policies."
 Alan Matthews, CapReform.EU, More on who benefits from farm subsidies, October 14 2007: http://capreform.eu/more-on-who-benefits-from-farm-subsidies/

The last time I looked to rent land it was £130 per acre per year with the single farm payment and about £65 without.  When you take into account the other farm subsidies and price support we can see the real rent would be about £30 per acre and every penny of subsidy (minus the hassle of claiming it) is just added onto the rent.  This was for good quality farmland.

A wider analysis (Source Savills) shows us that:

Single Farm Payment is typically worth approximately £210 per hectare (£85 per acre), per annum. Environmental subsidies, where eligible, can add £30 per hectare (£12 per acre) for the Entry Level Scheme and up to £300 per hectare (£121 per acre) typically for the Higher Level Scheme.

As land gets close or below the margin  so the real rent approaches zero and subsidies account for all the rent.

You must of course take out the rent covering farm buildings and other improvements.

So a marginal hill farmer's rent is made up nearly entirely of subsidy, especially if they receive the enhanced Higher level stewardship(minus any work needed for compliance).

If no subsidies existed then sub marginal farms would not be economic and thus the land could be rewilded at no cost, saving taxpayers a fortune and we could put the land to good use protecting biodiversity and performing 'ecosystem services'  such as acting as a carbon sink and holding onto water to stop other farms, towns and cities flooding further down stream.

The economic picture is further complicated by other tax breaks to the landowner and cultural factors which keep uneconomic land in functionally  useless production.

The real picture is of course much more complicated in that there would be a rich mosaic of areas uneconomic to farm (poor farming areas) rewilding and the better fields still farmed and those tenant farmers would be no worse off.

All of the various subsidies are in fact non-means tested state benefits to landowners who receive this without work. So we are subsidising the mere ownership of land and not farming and to a large part those people who endeavour to create good quality food and protect wildlife on the land they rent.

There are of course a small minority of landowners who endeavour to protect wildlife on their land out of moral duty but our system does not support them to the extent it should and the cost to the taxpayer of ELS and HLS agri-environment scheme are so high as they must first essentially pay the landowner for compensation for the other subsidies on offer as well as profits forgone.

If we had a Land Value tax, on the rental value of the land, replacing income tax and vat then this would solve this problem much more effectively and just about all the other problems we face(see my many other posts or read this comprehensive site on the issue http://www.sharetherents.org/ ). The monopoly of land and any subside to landowners would be removed and farmers could get on with the business of farming unencumbered by this economic minefield & and any agri-environment subsidy would end up helping the environment and not some idle landlord.

A further problem with Agri-Environment schemes ELS & HLS is that they are a double edge sword and can create as many problems as they solve. To understand this you have to see how the economics of land use work out. Agri- environment schemes actually are capitalised into land values and rents and as such make land acquisition much more expensive (probably about 20 times more for marginal land being acquired as nature reserves, so wildlife charities cannot afford to buy much land) . Also Agri-environment schemes shift the margin of production and actually cause land that would be uneconomic to be farmed to remain in production at a higher intensity, destroying wildlife.

Of course it is a very complex picture but it would be far better to use legal instruments and financial penalties to control land use than subsidies. That is why I think the solution to wildlife protection and flooding is to remove subsidies, give greater powers of instructing land use obligations on landowners by Government agencies. As we peel this land economic onion once again the best policy is to shift taxes onto land value taxes and externalities taxation with the objective of getting land of poor economic use and in the case of flood prevention for buffering water flow peaks to go into less intensive use or be rewilded. All of this achieved through fluvial geomorphological modelling and economic pressure.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

The Landowner squeals to keep his snout in the trough of privilege

A landowner took great umbrage at my last post and asked a number of clarifications, mostly saying farming would be uneconomic and not understanding the economics at play. Under LVT most taxes would of course fall on towns and cities probably about 97%. Most farmers, especially tenant farmers would be much better off when you take into account increased demand and a reduction on taxes on farm labour, profits and selling their produce. But it is a very complex economic picture as some farming below the margin would be forced out and the land rewilded and income just because you own land, the monopoly of land ownership, would be greatly reduced.

This was my response to him:

I have answered your questions (the logical ones) you just have not understood the answer which takes an open mind and a lot of understanding of the processes of land economics. Something I cannot teach you in a comments exchange such as this
If any of the farms around you are tenant farms and are still economic then they will be fine. Any tenant farm pays rent (which will be more than this tax) any land value tax will come out of rent and cannot be passed on to the tenant (Ricardo's Law)

The only people who suffer are idol landlords. You can of course be both an idol landlord and a hard working farmer at the same time, this is no logic contradiction think about it. A Land Value tax rewards the hardworking farmer portion of you by untaxing your labour and the sale of your produce but taxes the idol landlord portion of you that receives profit for the mere title of land.

Land Value tax is on the rental value of the land, land is artificially inflated due to tax breaks, subsidies and speculation, if a LVT was introduced land prices would be reduced considerably probably about 20% of what they are now. This will help land flow into new and productive hands, stimulating productive, more efficient and less damaging farming and making it available to young want to be farmers.

LVT rewards hard work and penalises monopoly. Also shifting taxes onto 'externalities' as well as LVT; such as carbon taxes and pollution taxes & taxes based on poor land management will allow economically efficient forms of farming, that require more labour input, to naturally be promoted while minimising the damage farming does to our environment.

Overall greater economic efficiency of such a tax system which promotes greater wages, more jobs and enhanced economic activity will allow many people to come out of welfare and what tax take is to be better spent supporting the needy who can then afford more expensive, but less environmentally damaging food that farming produces.

I have studied land economics for 20 years and it is at the heart of all our social and environmental problems and our obsession with the protection of the privilege of land ownership in our legal and taxation system is the cause. Land monopoly, in all its many forms, keeps billions on this planet in absolute poverty, it destroy hopes dreams and work, it causes wars by giving an incentive for the powerful to prey upon the week such as securing mining and oil rights. So as a landowner your culture and belief system seems proud of the fact you own land when I believe it is an abomination that causes the poor children of the world to starve to death, causes crime and misery, and creates and incentive to overuse land and natural resources wiping out biodiversity and polluting our planet.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Why only Land Value Tax (& Beavers) can save us from Tory Landowner collusion

Monbiot's best article yet on public policy failure, flooding, rewilding and beavers was published in his Guardian Blog, today please read:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2016/jan/07/liz-truss-is-choosing-to-protect-farmers-over-flood-victims#comment-66312607

This government is a shambles and Monbiot is right on the money but Monbiot needs to further explore  their relationship with landowners and why its is at the heart of all the wildlife, housing, infrastructure, social & poverty problems we face today!

The best method to remedy this is not by land redistribution but by a land value tax. equal to the lands unimproved rent. Just like Henry George proposed. This will achieve all that our country needs in housing, poverty reduction, jobs, economic growth and wildlife protection in an efficient manner. Also it will economically push marginal land out of production and become the rewilded uplands & floodplains to protect us from flooding..

Enjoy my lecture on the subject: