Sunday, 4 November 2007

The National Trust

One of the ways in which a ruling élite preserves its power is by lying to the public and whipping up an atmosphere of terror and mistrust between fellow citizens.

The NT was at it again yesterday, obtaining good coverage in The Times and on the BBC website. "Chairman Sir William Proby claimed some 10,000 acres of the green belt is at risk, which he said was 'terrifying'."

OK, about 10% of England & Wales is greenbelt, or over 3 million acres.

Further, only 13.5% of England & Wales is developed at all (inlcuding urban, rural and transport), see table 8.1 of this. OK, those are figures for 1998, but not much has happened since then. In any event, 13.5% includes gardens and parks and so on.

So by deduction, 86.5% of E&W is agricultural land, some of which has hallowed "greenbelt" status but most of which does not.

"Terrifying"? 10,000 acres out of 3 million, that's about one-third of a percent. Things look pretty rosy to me. Unless you're a first time buyer of course.

OK, say the National Trust, if we are to build more houses, let's build them on brownfield sites.

Oh no, say 'Garden Organic', we can't have more new houses in urban areas, because they are eating up gardens. "It says an area the equivalent of 2,755 Wembley pitches will be lost to new housing in Britain over the next decade".

"Lost"? Dude, WTF? Does anybody think that the plot of land on which their house is built has been lost?


Simon Clark - Formerly The Cynical Libertarian said...

"Does anybody think that the plot of land on which their house is built has been lost?"

Precisely. Miami was a fickin' swamp before we had our way with it. London was a stinking bog that was no use to anyone, now it's home to 7 million people, all deriving infinitely more satisfaction from the city than they would have from what it was previously. And can these people understand how I can say that as a certainty? Because people are willing to pay a lot of money for an office building or a factory or a house. They don't pay so much for nothing, at least not unless they are going to build on it.

Mark Wadsworth said...

SC, I think it, you say it!