Who owns England? How we lost our green and pleasant land and how to take it back. In compiling this book, Guy Shrubsole has completed a heroic mission.
On foot, on bicycle, trespassing, searching computer databases and submitting numerous Freedom of Information requests, he has almost answered the title question: who owns England? They are indeed shocking. Shrubsole estimates that those same interests still own about a third of the country today.
In addition to this feudal legacy the breakdown of ownership for land in England is as follows:. The public sector, including Ministry of Defence holdings, land for utilities, local authorities and Whitehall departments total 8. Shrubsole documents the history of each of these categories of land ownership in fascinating detail.
Their wealth was generated from the exploitation of the working class and there was a concomitant growth of a national state organised for the control of the proletariat and protection of industrial wealth. The powers of the modern state expanded beyond the military, police and law courts into a large public sector concerned with building infrastructures, schools and hospitals, roads and water boards, sewerage and all the utilities necessary to serve industry but also to sustain an urban proletariat, even those living in slum housing conditions.
The public sector bought up land in response to a variety of political pressures ranging from local to national interests.
Shrubsole details some of these and he is, quite rightly, equivocal about the virtue of state property. And maybe you may say that here's a revelation on the Downs, another familiar English vision. But the technique has an extra turn.
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The white page is there. It lies visibly beneath the image. It appears through the scene from behind. This landscape is thin, see-through and vulnerable. One expects mother-nature Sussex to be lovable and safe. The surprising thing is, it's not. There is a fierceness in his painting. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Start your Independent Premium subscription today.
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Old World (The Green and Pleasant Land, Volume 1)
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Log in using your social network account. Please enter a valid password. Jerusalem instantly became popular and, because of its wide appeal, Parry added an orchestral accompaniment to the one already available in print for organ or piano. In , Parry conducted it for the ladies of the Albert Hall choir as part of a call in favour of National Service for Women. At the same time, other bodies and institutions such as public schools helped to popularise the song, and in Edward Elgar who greatly admired Parry, made his own orchestration of the accompaniment.