Community land ownership and Scotland’s “difficult” places


In January 2014 Charles Moore shared his insights on Scottish land reform via a mercifully short Spectator blog. Its hackneyed title – How is Alex Salmond like Robert Mugabe? – suggested that Mr Moore was less than enamoured with the prospect of communities owning the land on which they live. Quite the opposite in fact because according to him:

Without philanthropists, megalomaniacs and serious sportsmen pouring cash in to maintain these difficult places, their communities, and so the environment, would suffer. You can see this happening already in the islands where crofters’ rights have been exercised”. Continue reading


Beatlemania, Cuban Missiles and Hydraulic Lift Ramps: In Praise of MV Hebrides

MV Hebrides sailing from Tarbert, Harris.

MV Hebrides sailing from Tarbert, Harris.

It’s April 15th 1964.  Beatlemania’s at fever pitch, the Cuban Missile Crisis feels like a nuclear nightmare only recently averted and Scotland football fans are still weeping into their scarves a full three years after England put 9 goals past the hapless Frank Haffey at Wembley. None of this is uppermost in the minds of the crowd gathering on Tarbert pier today however.  Change is coming across the Minch to Harris at a top speed of 14 knots in the shape of the MV Hebrides on her maiden voyage and they want to be there when it arrives. Continue reading