I am a writer, researcher, analyst, commentator and activist on issues of land, power, governance, democracy and money. Over the past 20 years I have undertaken a wide range of work on land tenure, landownership, land reform and, more recently community land rights, governance and the hegemonic dimensions of land relations.
I studied forestry at Aberdeen University and spent some time working as an environmental scientist before becoming self-employed in 1992. In 1996 I wrote Who Owns Scotland (Canongate) and in 1999 wrote a short rant called Scotland: Land & Power. The Agenda for Land Reform in Scotland (Luath.
Since 2000, I have developed interests in common land, community land rights and questions of governance, power and money. An example of this interest was a survey and analysis of the common good of Scotland’s burghs and the story of its ongoing maladministration.
I continue to attempt to answer the question of who owns Scotland via the whoownsscotland website and the easiest way of supporting my work is to take out a subscription to the site.
In 2010, I wrote The Poor had No Lawyers (Birlinn), an attempt to provide an historical analysis of the land question and to reinvigorate debate around land relations. I remain hopeful of success in countering hegemonic landed power in all its guises.
I welcome comments on blog posts. Please keep these courteous and relevant. As publisher I am legally responsible for the contents of this website including comments written by others. Defamatory, vulgar and otherwise offensive comments will not be published. Tedious nit-pickers and trolls can expect short shrift. This blog is also not a place to conduct private arguments. Anyone who repeatedly fails to observe these conditions will be blocked from making any further comments. My decision is final. If you don’t like it, you are welcome to publish your own blog.
DECLARATiON OF INTERESTS & INCOME
What with growing concerns about income inequality, bankers’ bonuses, and tax avoidance by the rich, I though I should join a couple of my self-employed writer/activists colleagues (George Monbiot andAlastair McIntosh) and make an annual declaration of interests and income.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS as at 1 January 2015
I own no land or property.
I have 483 shares in Standard Life.
I am on the Board of Directors of the Caledonia Centre for Social Development (Company No. 192099 & Scottish Charity No. SC 028485).
I am currently advising the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee.
I am a member of the Scottish Green Party and a number of charitable bodies.
I currently provide ad-hoc unpaid advice to four political parties – the Scottish Green Party, the Scottish Labour Party, the Scottish Conservative Party and the Scottish National Party.
I do not make use of any tax havens or artificial accounting structures to conceal my income