Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Royal theft

The Silk commission was never going to recommend devolving everything that I would like to see devolved; or to put it another way, it was never going to recommend independence.  That doesn’t stop me being disappointed about some of the omissions, or what might be called “incomplete” recommendations.  One of those surrounds the future of the Crown Estate in Wales.
The recommendation to create a Welsh Crown Commissioner mirrors the situation in Scotland, which is probably why they thought it as far as they could go.  But it’s pretty tame compared to the more radical option of passing the management of the estate to the Welsh government.
Even that however (which is the most radical option suggested by any of the Welsh parties, apparently) looks tame compared to the really radical option which would be to vest the ownership of the assets of the estate in the people of Wales, to be exercised through the Assembly with an absolute right of ownership. 
We should end the fiction that this estate is in any way the property of the monarch managed by the state in exchange for making payments to the monarch.  It would be easy enough to do that; after all the estate only became the property of the monarchy by decree in the first place.  It was Proudhon who said that “property is theft”; in the case of the Crown estate that is literally true.  Theft by Royal dictate is still theft, no matter how many centuries ago it happened.

1 comment:

G Horton-Jones said...

Surely requisition and compulsory purchase are theft by the State in the name of the Crown
Why does the Mod for example still hold land on the Pembrokeshire coastline on the basis that they were requisitioned to build mock trenches for the First World War or that the Secretary of State for Wales requisitioned land for highway realignment only to discover nine years after the event that a local property speculator had gained Planning consent and built nine holiday lets on the land and that Land Registry Wales had registered the freeholds on the basis of that planning consent