As ever we have much to learn and be inspired by from our neighbours to the north.
Last week marked the 15th anniversary of the 2003 Scottish land reform act and an event to mark this was held at the Scottish Parliament.
BBC Scotland has made a lovely 70min radio documentary about this, which interviews many of the people key to the reform bill happening – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02nrtq1/episodes/downloads
It is primarily focused on the right to roam aspect of the act and it gives the best insight into how key battles were won of anything i’ve seen, heard or read.
This website is an amazing resource – http://farmsubsidy.openspending.org/
CAP payments are being abused by large companies to force small farmers out of business. This needs urgent reforming.
Fields of Gold: Lifting the Veil on Europe’s Farm Subsidies from farmsubsidy.org on Vimeo.
The Making of the English Working Class
by E.P. Thompson
Considered a definitive text for many years this book is dense, academically rigorous and utterly superb.
I needed a dictionary, wikipedia and a notebook to get myself through the first quarter but once up to speed with the authors style and concepts, it was as compelling a read as I have ever had.
This book has the advantage of being widely respected across all academic and historical fields in a manner which some of the other books I have read are not.
The Painful Plough
by Roy Palmer
The full title is ‘The Painful Plough: A Portrait of the Agricultural Labourer in the Nineteenth Century from Folksongs and Ballads and Contemporary Accounts’ which pretty much does the job.
It tells the story of Joseph Arch, a farm labourer who went on to start one of the first agricultural labourers unions and eventually to become an MP.
A superb piece of work and a huge source of inspiration for the concept of the show ‘Three Acres And A Cow’.