Then someone, whether priest or king, decided that they were unhappy with their own land, because the water supply was unreliable or because their population grew so that the land could not sustain it, or just because they wanted to prove something. The neighbouring leader whether from the next valley or the next country, decided to invade and to steal your land and either drive you off it or make you into slaves or drudges.
That leader had taken your land from you, as a nation, by force. He had stolen it and that’s a crime.
In Britain we can identify specific land grabs and thefts:
- The Vikings from Scandinavia
- The Anglo-Saxons from what is now Holland or Denmark
- The Romans
- The French under William the Conqueror
- Henry VIII in the dissolution of the monasteries and the Reformation
- The Enclosure Acts, (Note 1)
The leaders of each of these took the underlying national land for their own purposes purely by theft, by having the largest army, and by being the strongest or the best equipped.
The leaders then gave so-called rights to use the land that they had stolen together with its property, as rewards in battle or in politics, for the new owners to use at their pleasure.
All land in Britain, even freehold land, is still owned by the “Crown” and the owner is allowed to use it. Note this only applies to the surface land, the subterranean ground is still wholly-owned by the Crown, and all mineral rights accrue to the Crown.
The people whose land they stole, whose lives they ruined, were seen as chattels, to be driven off their land or to be disposed of as the lords and kings felt (Except it was illegal for them to commit suicide.)
However the underlying fact is that their lands were taken from them by force, the land was stolen.
This was the case in Britain and it was the case in every country in the world. AND it still is the case. Everywhere there is a coterie of people who stole the land and who think they own the land.
Around the world the people have revolted whether the French, or the Russians or the Thais or even Mugabe recovering the land from the white settlers. Then you need to include the North American Indians, the Aborigines, the Canadian Indians.
As the lands are owned by the various nations, then each nation could say that an annual Land Usage Fee is payable set at 2%, a small figure roughly equivalent to the lowest bank interest.
It doesn’t matter how the current ‘landowners’ came by the land, its just a small fee for using it, everything else about their rights to dispose or use it as they see fit remain unchanged. At 2% the licence fee could solve a lot of problems for every nation and even encourage a more effective use of the land.
The Land Usage Fee should be very simple to calculate and collect.
The land was stolen and these people are continuing to benefit from the proceeds of a crime and that’s illegal and they could be prosecuted for dealing in stolen property and probably money-laundering. So the deal for them is to accept a simple Land Usage Licence Fee.
Note 1: The Enclosure Acts, when the price of wheat collapsed and the ‘powerful people’ wanted the land for herds, the peers of the realm changed the law so that they could ‘legally’ enclose the land which the community as a whole had previously used and enjoyed.