In the Scottish Highlands and Islands “Crofting” was a common method of land use and tenure that was modeled along feudal lines; and was still common well into the 19th century. Crofting continues, on a much smaller scale – the crofters these days usually need to earn cash incomes off farm to sustain them.
Crofters were/are small landholders (tenants) engaged in small-scale, but productive, agriculture (productive that is, given the often harsh winters and peaty soils they operate in).
The croft involves a house and a few acres of arable land (where barley, fodder and vegetables are grown). The crofter, ordinarily, also has access to common grazing ground on the hills around the “township” for cattle and sheep.
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries – in what were euphemistically called the “Highland Clearances” – landlords looking for better returns sought to displace their tenants (the crofters) with more profitable sheep and, even, turnips.
The crofters (predominantly Roman Catholics and Gaelic speakers) were forcibly removed to make way for their landlord’s sheep – choosing (or, rather, having no other option than) to migrate to Nova Scotia; Ontario; the Carolinas in the American colonies; New Zealand and Australia – and did so in their thousands.
The first wave of croft clearances began in the 1790s; and ramped up to increasingly violent evictions in a second wave that kicked off in the 1820s. By that stage, up to 2,000 crofters were being “cleared” every day; the crofters’ homes were razed – thousands, including women and children, perished from exposure.
If the crofters were able to take any possessions with them, they were limited to what they could carry. Even if their homes weren’t burnt to the ground, they lost all right to occupy them. State sanctioned violence was the order of the day.
A couple of centuries on and Scotland is witnessing a new form of State sanctioned tyranny as (often multinational) wind weasels seek to lob their giant fans all over the Highlands and Islands – all with the government’s imprimatur.
Not for the first time are true Scots being done-in by lowlanders from the South.
The wind power fraud enablers in the Scottish Nationalist Party are attempting to justify the consequences of Scotland’s wind-rush with the same high-handed disregard that the landlords treated the crofters they terrorised and evicted 200 years ago.
This time around, the Highlanders’ homes aren’t literally being torched, but they may as well be.
Wherever giant fans have gone up – or are threatened to go up – neighbouring homeowners are finding that the value of their properties is being slashed in half – if they can find a willing buyer at all.
Scottish real estate agents trying to sell homes situated anywhere near giant fans are finding the task almost impossible, one of them, Iain Robb stating that:
“Properties next to sites where a planning application for a windfarm has been lodged are virtually unsellable.”
Here’s the Daily Mail’s take on a third wave of croft clearances – this time driven by eco-fascist ideology, gullible politicians and greedy foreign companies.
Windfarms make homes unsellable
2 January 2014
Scots homeowners are seeing up to 50 per cent slashed from the value of their houses because of wind turbines, estate agents have warned.
Mounting evidence is emerging that the SNP’s green crusade has wiped thousands of pounds from home values across the country. It comes as the Scottish Government launches a study into the link between house prices and turbines, which experts say will show homes near wind farms are almost impossible to sell. One local authority has already lowered council tax for one household, in recognition that its value has dropped because of turbines nearby. Families across the country also claim they have been trapped in their homes for years because noisy wind farms put off potential buyers.
Richard Girdwood, an estate agent previously working in Scotland and now at Winkworth in London, cut his valuation of one property by £40,000 because of surrounding turbines. He said: ‘Wind turbines are beyond homeowners’ control and they do have an impact of potentially tens of thousands of pounds.’
Estate agent Iain Robb, previously with Strutt & Parker in Glasgow, wrote to a homeowner about the impact of proposed turbines near his property. Mr Robb, who did not respond to requests for further comment, said house prices could be cut in half or more by wind farms. He wrote: ‘In my personal view (as distinct from a Strutt & Parker corporate view) the capital values of residential properties near to existing or intended wind farms suffer a minimum of 50 per cent diminution of their residential capital value. ‘Properties next to sites where a planning application for a windfarm has been lodged are virtually unsellable.’
Tas Gibson, 66, who received the letter, was forced to knock £300,000 off his home and four holiday lodges in Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire. A retired financial controller in the oil and gas industry, he bought his 18-acre Waterside estate as an investment and has been trying to sell it for 18 months. He said: ‘The Scottish Government are just riding roughshod over ordinary people. Buyers are put off by the noise, the view and the effect on their health.’
Mr Gibson’s neighbouring wind farm, 96-turbine Kilgallioch, is just 2.5 miles west of his property, has planning consent and is expected to be started next year. Another house, close to the 16- turbine Drumderg wind farm in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, was found by an assessor to have had 20 per cent wiped from its value and its council tax band was lowered as a result.
Joss Blamire, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: ‘We have yet to see any conclusive evidence which links house and land prices with onshore wind farms. ‘The sector continues to be an important driver of investment at a time of slow or negative economic growth, employing more than 11,000 people and attracting £1.6 billion of investment to the country’s economy in 2012.’
A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘Current planning and consents processes are rigorous and ensure appropriate siting.’
We love the old chestnut tossed up by Scottish Renewable’s spin-master, Joss Blamire – that he hasn’t seen “any conclusive evidence which links house and land prices with onshore wind farms”.
If Joss was in charge of the Scottish Distillers Association – and being challenged about the potentially intoxicating effects of Single Malt, say – in faithful service to his masters – he’d be hard pressed to find “any conclusive evidence” that could possibly link his clients’ products with singing (badly), dancing (very badly) or fighting (not quite as well as Muhammad Ali – who the intoxicated pugilist invariably thinks himself to be).
We also love the guff Joss tosses up about the thousands of jobs and millions of pounds in “investment” just waiting for Scotland.
The lion’s share of the “investment” he spruiks about will end up in the pockets of German, Danish, Indian, Spanish or Chinese fan makers.
While those involved in the construction phase might number in the thousands, permanent jobs within the wind industry in Scotland will number in the hundreds, if that. And, of course, Joss says nothing about the hundreds of thousands that will be put out of work in the real Scottish economy as energy costs spiral and – faced with escalating cost of an essential input – industry and manufacturing shuts its doors and heads offshore. Why not ask the Germans about what happens next?
STT thinks that true Scots won’t take anymore of this rubbish lying down – time to grab your Claymores and give them a right-proper Highlands “welcome”.
13 thoughts on “Giant Fans: the new Scottish “Croft Clearers””
Excellent piece, STT. An increasing number of people in Scotland are getting mighty fed up with this wind scam and we really want to send them ‘homeward to think again’. One of our female wind warriors has said ‘When you whup a windarse make sure you whup ’em good so they don’t come back.’
One of the major problems is that the Scottish Government has no idea how many turbines there are in Scotland or how many are proposed and it has also effectively stuck two fingers up at the Scottish people (see today’s press release from Highland anti-windfarm campaigners on WEA’s facebook page).
I live in the Highlands and your piece is spot on! Scottish Renewables spin so hard THEY should be connected to the grid. The Highlanders are seriously p*ssed off and they have run out of patience, along with most of rural Scotland. The SNP would be well advised to take notice of the growing army of opposition. We will NOT continue to be collateral damage to their insane wind farm policy.
Your sentiments are shared worldwide, collateral damage and insane policy transcend all borders and oceans. It’s unbelievable how this insanity has spread like a plague and it’s still hard to get those who can stop it to do anything else but stand by and watch the damage continue.
‘Current planning and consents processes are rigorous and ensure appropriate siting.’
Well NO! There is no proper siting for things which do not survive an honest and complete cost/benefit analysis.
The whole sWINDle is guaranteed to cause economic hardship.
The similarity to the Clearances is not a stretch when you consider the Agenda 21 objectives of driving people into urban centres.
Reblogged this on windfarmaction and commented:
An interesting viewpoint from the antipodes and one which we concur with completely.
The question about jobs is – where do they source the people to do the installations? Not locally, because they need experienced qualified people. How many living in the highlands and islands have such experience? The investment is nothing to the community unless they are paid peanuts to buy new shirts for the school sports teams etc. – but even that is negated by the increase in energy prices.
Lies, deceit and spin is all they give locals. The sooner they are stopped, the better. Only then will people be able to resume their way of life that they have worked hard for, uninterrupted by greedy money hungry sleazes.
The Wind industry and its cohorts seem to think that people are going to put up with this crap for the next 25 years. I don’t think so. I have said before and I will say it again, History and Human nature will combine and when it does watch out. For at the end of the day this is a criminal activity, an act of bastardry committed on the people without any remorse.
Jim you are right on key, we don’t call them wind weasels and greentard goons for nothing.