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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 7th, 2014 09:44 am (UTC)
That first link...
So, the fell could be sold to someone who does something horrible. A Bad Thing.
But it could as easily have been inherited by someone who did something horrible with it. Would that have been a bad thing? Do only foreigners do bad things? Are some things only bad when done by foreigners?
May. 7th, 2014 10:13 am (UTC)
Re: That first link...
Indeed it arguably has been inherited by someone who would do a Bad Thing with it! If it is sold to an Evil Russian Diamond Miner, then the owner has made a choice to do this. It isn't me who is abandoning the nation's treasures in that case if I don't care to stuff more money in the Earl of Lonsdale's pockets so he can pay the tax he owes like the rest of us, but him.

May. 7th, 2014 10:43 am (UTC)
There's very little that any owner can do with Blencathra: it's on access land in a national park. He can't keep walkers out, he can't evict the sheep-farmers, he certainly can't build anything. See http://www.walklakes.co.uk/talk/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=251

Which I suspect means that the Earl of Lonsdale won't find anyone prepared to pay more than a token sum for his fell, and will have to sell some other part of the estate instead to cover the tax bill.

Edited at 2014-05-07 10:43 am (UTC)
May. 7th, 2014 12:29 pm (UTC)
I'm Andy Carling, the author of the article in the first link.

I took a small story about the Lake District and found it opened up into an interesting way of looking at deeper issues in society. In one sense the mountain is worthless, in another it is far beyond price.

If you wish to reduce it to a debate on tax, please go ahead, you're making one of my points for me and I thank you.

May. 8th, 2014 08:00 am (UTC)
Re: Blencathra
reduce it to a debate on tax?
I can see an implication in your article that taxes are the cause of this situation - calling them 'death duties' rather than 'estate tax' is a loaded choice after all, but the paragraph that really interested me was this

"What says more about the state of Britain than its finest acres going under the hammer to the highest bidder, and that bidder being a Russian oligarch, Ukrainian ‘businessman’ or some new money from China?"

It isn't a problem that the finest acres in Britain are owned by one man.
It isn't a problem that the finest acres in Britain may be bought by the highest bidder, if that bidder is British.
But the finest acres in Britain being owned by a foreigner?!? That could lead to them being used as a tax dodge, or debased by marketing.

Clearly, national treasures such as these acres should remain in the hands of British aristocracy, the only people who can be trusted to do the right thing.
May. 7th, 2014 04:10 pm (UTC)
I do like the College of Arms link....
May. 7th, 2014 04:10 pm (UTC)
Thus we have the official answer in blazon to the "who's the man" question. (The party of the first part in the first person, in all cases.)

On the face of it, this also appears to create the situation that in Northern Ireland, there's no same-sex marriage, but if there were, one would know exactly what to do with one's armorial bearings. Whereas in Scotland it's been legalised (albeit is not yet operative) but one's escutcheon would lack proper definition. (Granted Norroy & Ulster presumably appears in the first instance in the former rather than the latter capacity.)
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