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Jan 6th, 2016

Should 38 Degrees members campaign to turn the tables on land inequality?

By Carlton Rose

Scotland belongs to the people of Scotland. But too much land is owned by distant aristocrats, foreign tycoons or shadowy corporations in tax havens. Too many people who work Scottish land don’t have proper protection from being kicked off it.  And too much land that could be used for affordable homes is left derelict or vacant.land reform image

So today 38 Degrees members are voting on whether or not we should campaign to turn the tables on land inequality.

Unfair land laws have kept Scotland unequal for centuries. But this year, those laws are under review. And this could be our chance to change them for good.

Now, this isn’t going to be easy. And it won’t happen overnight. We’re up against very rich, very powerful people – and they are very good at using their money to get their voices heard.

But that’s never stopped us before – and it’s not going to stop us now. 38 Degrees members decide on what we campaign on together.

This isn’t about hills, history or complex legal arguments. It’s about tax-dodging, homelessness and real hardship faced by real people here and now.

We know that when we all speak out together, our politicians listen. Our emails to MSPs made a powerful impression during the last Scottish Parliament debate on land.

And we’ve got a good shot at victory – the SNP government is already wavering on this issue. Their own party conference told them to do better.  A Scottish Parliament report told them to strengthen their proposals. A huge people-powered campaign could tip them over the edge and get them to do the right thing.

In the New Year’s survey on 38 Degrees members’ priorities, land reform issues dominated the most popular answers. The results of today’s survey will be published tomorrow.

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