Land Reform in Scotland: submission to LRRG

Abstract

Ekklesia welcomes the stated intent of the Scottish Government and the Land Reform Review Group to develop “innovative and radical proposals” on land reform to benefit the widest possible range of people and the environment in Scotland. This is our brief submission to the LRRG, setting out in summary (a) the need to address historic and present inequity in the distribution and use of land; (b) our understanding of what constitutes meaningful land reform; and (c) specific reforms that we support in this area.

As an independent, radical Christian thinktank looking at the intersection of beliefs and values with politics and reform, Ekklesia welcomes the stated intent of the Scottish Government and the Land Reform Review Group to develop “innovative and radical proposals” on land reform to benefit the widest possible range of people and the environment in Scotland.

This [see *.PDF link below] is our brief submission to the LRRG, setting out in summary (a) the need to address historic and present inequity in the distribution and use of land; (b) our understanding of what constitutes meaningful land reform; and (c) specific reforms that we support in this area.

In future we intend to look at the issue of land reform more broadly in a theological framework of the kind that shapes the commitments in our submission to LRRG. We particularly commend, as background reading, 'The Political Theology of Modern Scottish Land Reform', by Rutger Henneman and Alastair McIntosh, published in the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Volume 3, No. 3 (Equinox, 2009).

'Spirituality and Theology in Scotland's Modern Land Reform', by Rutger Henneman (Berghahn, 2008), is a complementary book (http://www.deepdyve.com/lp/berghahn-books/spirituality-and-theology-in-s...) arising from a research project involving the Centre for Human Ecology at Strathclyde University and the International Development Studies department at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, supported by WWF International in Geneva.

See also 'Liberation Theology and Land Reform' (www.landreform.org/), an online course examining the struggle for economic justice in a theological context, with particular attention to the question of land ownership. This has been made available by the Henry George Institute (http://www.henrygeorge.org/hgi.htm) in New York, NY, USA.

In relation to the remit and process of the Land Reform Review Group in Scotland, see http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/Review/land-reform

Since responses to LRRG's first call for evidence will not be published until May 2013, Andy Wightman has created a page where they can be made available here: http://www.andywightman.com/?page_id=2024

Ekklesia's full submission can be read here (*PDF Adobe Acrobat document, 92.1kb): http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/files/ekklesialrrgsubmission.pdf