"The UK Scotland voted to stay in doesn't exist any more"

Pictures of a Mass Exodus

Photographer Harry Chun traveled to Istanbul, where he joined a group of Syrian and Iraqi refugees on their quest to reach Germany, by raft. The images he captured are a rare glimpse into the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. It’s a motivation for us to do much more in the UK. We should be giving welcome and support for these people in crisis.

National Geographic interview Chun here.

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  • Ian Kirkwood 7 months ago

    The Blair-Bush targeting of apple-carts to turn over led us to this mess. But most also recognise that stability achieved after the subjugation of one group by another, such as by Saddam Hussein in Iraq, is hardly the perfect social structure.
    It happened in Britain in 1066. Suppression of the natives was only completed when the last scrap of land obtained a title deed in place of its being held 'by the sword'. The deeds' purpose was to redirect the rents to the monarch. The chiefs were added to the list of the monarch's representatives — its rent collectors — the nobility.
    The rents were (and are) the public purse and did fund the nation's activities by a decreasing percentage until the 1840s. You may imagine the nobles were lass than happy about the burden of social responsibility that went with the lands they held. So as early as 1215 – only 149 years after the invasion – they succeeded in bullying King John at Magna Carta into starting the process that would by the 1840s remove from them ALL such responsibility. It was a historic coup of the aristocracy over the monarchy and the people.
    By these means the chiefs acquired aristocratic status but immediately shed any social responsibility that should have gone with the job. Result: the Clearances of Scotland.
    The privatisation of the public purse by those in power is repeated everywhere and takes various forms. But monopoly ownership of the land is the common baseline. Economist Fred Harrison calls the desire of individuals to monopolise portions of the public purse 'rent-seeking'. It is latent in us all, so that today on the lowest rung of the ladder, if fortunate enough to be a home owner in the Scotland, we REVEL in the unearned capital gains we accrue on our site value over time.
    The way to sort this is for nations to go back to the collection of that rental value of land as their source of revenue to run their public services. Annual Ground Rent (AGR) is the revenue stream proposed by the Scottish Land Revenue Group www.slrg.scot. Collecting the rental value of land is the way to fairly redistribute the public value that is created by the efforts of society. Not bestowing it as a privilege on the owners of land and impoverishing public services.
    Thinkers have attempted to adopt AGR. Joshua Nkomo in the new Zimbabwe nearly achieved what would have looked like heaven compared to Mugabe's construct of today.
    Had Britain's aristocracy taken their social responsibilities seriously, they might have exported and supported something useful around the world with their missionary zeal: the idea that each nation's public purse (location rents) should be guarded at all costs from the grasping hands of rent-seekers, those bent on monopolising resources and dominating their communities by getting their hands on and privatising that public purse.
    Such a message is also the message of the way to avoid conflict (war) and its flow of refugees — by simply distributing resources fairly.
    Today's Scotland is run on near 0% rent-as-revenue. In 1707 it was above 50% with the Scottish Land Tax.
    100% AGR = a fair Scotland — in contrast with the the SNP's 'fairER'.
    The social distortions and contortions caused by the replacement damaging taxes we endure today must be described elsewhere. But we see the results all around, both at home and abroad. The refugee crisis being one.

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