Eviction of the Paterson brothers proves law of land gives too much power to the rich

The people are mightier than a Lord.

That was the ringing slogan of the Highland Land League, formed in the 19th century to put right the injustices of the clearances.

But hundreds of years later, the people can still be crushed by a Lord.

The very sad story of the Paterson brothers, two young tenant farmers evicted on Arran, is a case in point.

They are being forced out by Charles Fforde, a descendent of the Dukes of Hamilton.

Fforde was one of the most vocal opponents ofthe Scottish Parliament’sabolition of feudalism in 2000.

Fforde made full use of his medieval feudal superiority, once charging the Brodick Church £800 when they extended their hall.

He even wanted to charge geology students for studying the rocks on the beach.

Fforde is no fan of the Scottish Government’s Land Reform Act and attempts to give tenant farmers more security.

He wrote to the parliament: “The Leninist notion of a proletarian utopia has not worked in Russia, Zimbabwe, North Korea, China or anywhere else. It is insane to thinkit will work in Scotland.”

Given such utterances, it is maybe no surprise to find Fforde is evicting the Paterson brothers.

But his name is seldom mentioned in coverage of their troubles. Instead, reports blame the Government for the evictions, with the Laird of Sannox treated as some kind of innocent bystander.

Read the rest of my column here.


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