Thursday 9 August 2012

RESTORATION OF OUR STOLEN LAND Wales - Depopulation, Emigration and Immigration. A contribution to the Wales Land Act Campaign by Rhodri Jones of the Great Unrest 2012 Group

The Scottish Land Reform Act of 2003

The Scottish Land Reform Act of 2003 was a milestone Act in allowing crofting communities to force a sale on reluctant owners and allowing other local Scottish Communities of under 10,000 people to exercise a right to buy when land or buildings come on the market.

The process whereby the Scottish Land Act came into existence goes back a decade when Highland Communities like those of Assynt and Isle of Eigg succeeded in raising money to buy back their own land back from feudal owners on the open market.

Cymrwch y Tir yn ol demands a Wales Land Act with a provision for a right to buy by communities in urban and rural areas.

Cymrwch y Tir yn ol also calls for a Wales Land Act for the return of asentee crown and aristocratic estates in Wales to be returned to the people of Wales.

In Support of the the Campaign of Cymrwch y Tir yn ol for a 
Welsh Land Act Now !

Wales - Depopulation, Emigration and Immigration
Statement from Great Unrest Group 2012

The right wing has a obsession with inward migration to Wales which it sees as the source of all problems, while always missing the main problem in Wales that of the neo liberal capitalist economy which drives many of the most able and resourceful young people into outward migration from Wales.

Wales is the second poorest country in Western Europe after Portugal with a GNP per capita that is unfavorable to that of Greece.

The focus on the immigration into Wales takes the focus away from the more fundamental question of Welsh Depopulation. It is comparable to focusing on symptoms rather than of the main cause of illness of the patient.

In Wales the problem is the terminally ill neo liberal capitalist economy and immigration is just one of its many symptoms.

The Welsh population is ageing and the productive working population is shrinking, therefore there is an urgency to fighting depopulation in Wales which none of those parties that participate in representative democracy in Wales have so far seriously addressed.

The representative parties in Wales represent themselves. This shoud be no surpise and was clearly seen by the early Greek Democrats thousands of years ago, which was why they favored direct democracy over representative democracy.

It is time for a new real democracy in Wales - Direct Democracy.

The question of an ageing population and a shrinking productive population has been tackled by some capitalist economies like the Japanese by promoting inward migration and that can only contribute to a solution to the problem on a temporary basis.

We at the Great Unrest Group 2012 propose to tackle this problem by a series of economic measures to stop Welsh depopulation - a more permanent solution to the problem.

Welsh Depopulation and measures to overcome it, are at the centre of the politics of the Great Unrest Group 2012 for a Welsh Socialist Republican Party.

Amongst the measures we recommend in the fight against depopulation is the passing of Welsh Land Act which will transform Wales from being a country with very low percentage of Welsh people owning their own land into a country like the Irish Republic where a much higher percentage of Welsh people owning their own land.

Land ownership in Wales was identified by Kevin Cahill as early as 2003 in Who Owns Britain as being one of the underlying causes of rural and urban poverty in Wales.

The Welsh Land Commission established by a Welsh Land Act would give priority to provide land for Township and Village Enterprises along the successful model of Chinese economic development.

Apart from the development of a Welsh Land Act - Welsh Economic development would require the development of a Welsh Banking system with a Welsh Central Bank at the core of the system. It would be supported by Welsh Banks for Rural and Urban Development.

Therefore we at the Great Unrest 2012 also call for Wales Bank Act to implement this development. These banks would have public service mandates and be owned by the people of Wales and would not be allowed to speculate - we can learn the lessons from the Icelandic Banking collapse here to ensure a Welsh Banking system would be both transparent and accountable.

For those who think that Wales could not support its own Banking system - Iceland has its own banking system and currency with a population lower than Cardiff.

With Land and Capital in the hands of the Welsh people we have the real possiblity of regeneration of the Welsh Economy in the 21st Century.

Land and Capital should be made available to resource processing industries in rural areas rather than just seasonal tourism as a way of combating depopulation. Norway or example has high energy processing projects in the countryside which we could study.

There have been various successful schemes against depopulation in Europe but they have relied heavily on tax concessions and seasonal promotion of tourism, we want to put the emphasis on processing raw materials from Wales to lessen the historic colonial relationship with England which has seen Wales a source of raw materials to be processed in England.

We want to establish relations of equality with the English Nation and this calls for a restructuring of the economic relationship between Wales and England. We want a relationship based on mutual benefit with the working people of England not one based on an unequal colonial or imperial relationship.

With the tools of a Wales Land Act and a Wales Bank Act - Land and Capital combined with the Labour of the Welsh people would arrest Welsh national decline and start the Renaissance of a new democratic Wales - A Welsh Socialist Republic.

Rhodri Jones.