Read this report in today's Daily Telegraph to understand why I think leaving the UK for Costa Rica was the best thing I ever did. I think Mohammed Al Fayed is a reprehensible individual in many ways, but he has my every sympathy in this particular case.
In a nutshell, the unreformed Trotskyists of the soi disant 'Scottish Executive' are proposing legislation to allow 'crofting communities' to buy the land where they live, whether or not the landowner wishes to sell. This has to be in direct contravemtion of Article I of the Treaty of Rome:
Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.
The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.
It could be argued, I suppose, that para. 2 in the above gives the SE the leeway to pass this law. However, the Scottish Executive does not represent 'The State' - it is a devolved institution within the United Kingdom and as such is not a signatory to the Treaty of Rome. Secondly, it is arguable that such an act would be counter-productive, in that it would cause loss of inward investment and employment, and hence would run counter to the 'general interest'.
Whether or not this legislation comes to pass, it is still an utterly shameful piece of retro-Communist dogma. It extends the notion of 'eminent domain' (in itself a troublesome concept for a free-market libertarian like me) from government to a subset of the populace. Free property is the linch-pin of a free society. Thank God I had the guts to live up to my pledge in 1997 (unlike Robert Altman, Alec Baldwin et al.) and emigrate when that demagogic little popinjay Blair came to power.
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