Crofters for Yes

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Crofters for Yes was unveiled yesterday at the Black Isle Show, one of Scotland’s premier agricultural events.

Crofting is a form of land tenure and small-scale food production unique to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and it’ survival through the clearances make it a unique aspect of Scottish life. There are 17,725 crofts in Scotland, mainly in the Highlands and Islands, and around 33,000 people live in crofting households.

It’s a significant if small development because it’s one that begins to connect sovereignty with food sovereignty and democracy with land rights. 

Norman Kerr, a crofter from Barvas on the Isle of Lewis, said:

Scotland is best placed to fight its own corner in Europe when it comes to crofting – we can no longer afford to leave that task to an unaccountable Westminster Government. You only need to look at Finland, an independent country with around the same population as Scotland, where in the most recent Rural Development Budget, small farmers were awarded 138 Euros per Hectare in EU support compared to the 20 Euros per Hectare obtained by the UK for crofters and small farmers in Scotland.

Yes Scotland’s Toni Giugliano said: “Scotland’s agriculture sector is one that we can be rightly proud of. It is a proud tradition that not only plays an important role in economy of northern Scotland, but it also plays a part in shaping people’s identity in the Highlands and Islands.

“A Yes vote means a direct voice in Europe, a fair share of CAP funding and the strongest possibility of crofters views being heard and stood up for.”

The steering group of Crofting  for Yes is made up of: Calum MacDonald, Allan Matheson, Charles Beaton, Alasdair Hunter, Peter Nicolson and Ann Blackford, all Skye; David Smith, Shetland and Norman Kerr, Lewis. Andrew Graeme, Jo Hunt, Easter Ross.

Crofting Links:

The Scottish Crofting Federation the largest association of small scale food producers in the UK.

The Crofting Commission which aims to regulate crofting, to ‘promote occupancy of crofts, active land use, and shared management by crofters, as a means of sustaining and enhancing rural communities.’

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  1. Reblogged this on panwalescymru and commented:
    The new thatcher-ism?

  2. George Gunn says:

    Dear Bella, crofting did not “survive” the Highland Clearances but in fact were created by landlords like the Sutherland Estate during the removals and evictions in order to control emigration. The idea was that you remove people from the fertile inner straths and put them on rocks on the coast and give them 4 or so acres or less but enough to live on, or not starve, so that they then could be on hand in order to work the kelp for the estates coffers or join the British Army to fight the Americans, Napoleon, the Indians, Russians, Africans or whoever it was the Empire decided to zap. Crofting is poverty, is artificial and needs radical overhauling and less romanticising. Small holdings which can give young people a livelihood and a quality of life are indeed what the Highlands needs, but what we also need is a brand new politics for the Highlands and Islands which stops landowners and power utilities taking the people for a ride under the sham of renewable energy. We need to revolutionise the local in the North, where we create what energy we need in order to produce what we need to live. Everything we do needs to be focused on getting people to live and work in the Highlands in order to create an economy and a culture .

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      I stand corrected George, thanks. A wider debate about crofting would be good – this was just to publicise really the announcement of a new group supporting Yes,as one that’s based in the highlands and islands I think this is to be supported.

  3. George Gunn says:

    Not “corrected”, Bella, just supported

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