Are you going to be in Glasgow on 27 February? I will, in attendance at The Gathering at the SECC. What is The Gathering? I shall explain by drawing from The Gathering’s website.
The Gathering is a place for passionate people from the third sector to network, showcase your work and learn from each other; to discover that you face the same issues as others; and to find the solutions that are right for you.
Whether it’s funding, employability or health & wellbeing, there are opportunities to listen, learn and be heard on a range of issues. There’s a bustling exhibition and marketplace with over 120 exhibitors as well as a packed events programme of over 50 workshops and seminars.
What has this got to do with me? I will be speaking at something packed into the events programme alluded to above. I have been asked to speak at a session called “Land Reform and Human Rights: What are the connections?” Again, taking from the website, this session can be explained as follows.
Community rights, economic rights, right to buy, right to roam, property rights, access rights: discussions of land reform don’t get very far before somebody’s rights are put centre stage. This session will explore how these rights fit together, where they come from and whether they provide a useful framework for considering ways of extending aspects of land reform to new situations.
So, this is what I (and others) shall be speaking about. In part, I will be drawing on what I submitted to the Land Reform Review Group. Heckles welcome, so do read what I have written before and let me know what you think. Alternatively, comment below if you think there is something specific I should address within the remit above.
An important disclaimer follows. I do not regard myself as carrying any particular torches, rather I am a peculiar breed who is fascinated by property law and occasionally theory and human rights intersections. Whether or not a policy question is good, bad or indifferent is not for me. To channel something I mentioned on the radio, it is all a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Goldilocks? Seriously? Allow me to explain. You might think the current measures in Scots law that allow some redistribution of land are too hot, too cold or just right. Whether any of those views are inherently wrong is not something for this blog. People skilled in arts other than my own may undertake economic, social or environmental studies to argue for some change or none, and all of that is fine and to be encouraged. Where I might just come in is to point out that if you think the current measures are too cold, who is to bear (sorry, terrible pun) the cost of heating? Do such persons have any rights to avoid a burden being foisted onto them? And if you think the status quo is just fine, or even too hot, what about those people who disagree? Might they have rights too?
With those tantalising questions dangling, I shall conclude, saving my “answers” for 27 February. You can come along (for free) and witness what promises* to be the most exciting event in Glasgow since Celtic Connections. If you do come along, do say “hello” and feel free to enter the debate. (There is a fair chance a blog about it will follow afterwards, if you cannot make it along.)
*may not be true