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King Charles awards himself huge £40m, 50% pay rise, net worth £1.8 billion inheritance tax free

 

 

Wed 3 May 2023 by Felicity Lawrence, Rob Evans, Severin Carrell and David Pegg

Along with the crown, Charles III has inherited an unrivalled collection of homes to add to several he accumulated as heir-in-waiting. The king and the queen consort now have more than a dozen residences to choose from, boasting a total of at least 2,000 rooms. The cost of the staff required to keep these properties available year-round for often brief visits – and precisely who pays for them – is unclear. Here we list the main properties used by the king and close family members.

Buckingham Palace

An aerial view of London looking east with Buckingham Palace, Green Park and St James’s Park visible.
An aerial view of London looking east with Buckingham Palace, Green Park and St James’s Park visible.

Location: central London
Ownership: king, in right of the crown
Size: 775 rooms, including 52 bedrooms and 78 bathrooms
Use: official headquarters of the monarch
Open to the public? Yes, public rooms open in summer, £30; limited tours on other days, £90.

Reputed to be disliked by many of the royal family, Buckingham Palace nonetheless remains central to the British monarchy. With its vast array of rooms and acres of gardens, the palace is the official headquarters of the king, although it has not yet been announced whether it will also become his main London residence, as it was for Queen Elizabeth II. The cost of its upkeep has been a perennial sore. In 2017, it was agreed that action was needed to fix the leaking roof and crumbling masonry, with the then prime minister, Theresa May, increasing the government-funded sovereign grant to cover £369m of refurbishment costs over 10 years.

St James’s Palace

King Charles III is proclaimed king at St James’s Palace on 10 September 2022.
King Charles III is proclaimed king at St James’s Palace on 10 September 2022

Location: central London
Ownership: king, in right of the crown
Size: state rooms around a series of courtyards and a Tudor gatehouse
Use: an administrative centre for the sovereign and the royal court; houses apartments used by Princess Anne and Princess Alexandra, the late queen’s cousin.
Open to the public? No

Close to Buckingham Palace is the sprawling complex of St James’s Palace, where the royal court is formally based. Charles lived in a wing of the palace with his sons William and Harry after his separation from Diana, but moved to the more private Clarence House after the queen mother died. St James’s is still the site for major royal ceremonial events. Charles was declared king in the Proclamation Gallery, and royal christenings take place in its Chapel Royal.

Clarence House

Members of the public in the gardens of Clarence House and St James’s Palace.
Members of the public in the gardens of Clarence House and St James’s Palace

Location: central London
Ownership: king, in right of the crown
Size: five bedrooms, a morning room, drawing room and garden room
Use: London residence of the king and queen consort
Open to the public? Currently closed

Clarence House’s first occupant was its patron William, Duke of Clarence (later King William IV). Other residents have included Princess Elizabeth, who lived in the property before her accession in 1952, and her mother, Queen Elizabeth, who lived there until her death in 2002. More recently it has been the London home of Charles and Camilla.

Windsor Castle

Camilla, Catherine, William and Charles leave St George’s Chapel by horse-drawn carriage after attending the Most Noble Order of the Garter ceremony at Windsor Castle in June last year.
Camilla, Catherine, William and Charles leave St George’s Chapel by horse-drawn carriage after attending the Most Noble Order of the Garter ceremony at Windsor Castle in June last year

Location: Berkshire, England
Ownership: king, in right of the crown
Size: More than 1,000 rooms in 2,000 hectares of parkland
Use: the monarch’s weekend residence
Open to the public? Yes, public areas, £28

With more than 1,000 rooms, this is the largest occupied castle in the world. It was Queen Elizabeth II’s preferred home near London. Several royal weddings and funerals have been held in the castle’s chapel. In 1992, a fire destroyed large parts of the building. A row ensued over who should pay for the repairs, with many arguing that the queen should fund them from her private wealth. In the end, the £37m restoration was paid for from existing grants and from money raised by opening Buckingham Palace to paying visitors for the first time.

Adelaide Cottage

Adelaide Cottage viewed from across the River Thames.
Adelaide Cottage viewed from across the River Thames.

Location: Windsor Home Park, Berkshire
Ownership: crown estate, given over to the king
Size: reportedly four bedrooms
Use: official residence of William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales
Open to the public? No

William and Catherine moved in with their family in 2022 as paying tenants. Their children go to a private school nearby. Described as modest and quaint, the Grade II-listed cottage was built in the 18th century using materials recycled from the Royal Lodge and a former royal yacht. Queen Victoria is said to have taken breakfast and tea there regularly. Its ownership is convoluted: originally part of the crown estate, it was given over to Windsor Castle for the use of the sovereign in perpetuity.

Royal Lodge

Princesses Elizabeth (R) and Margaret pulling a lawn chair on wheels at the Royal Lodge in April 1940.
Princesses Elizabeth (R) and Margaret pulling a lawn chair on wheels at the Royal Lodge in April 1940.

Location: Windsor Great Park, Berkshire
Ownership: crown estate, with a 75-year lease bought by Prince Andrew in 2003
Size: reportedly 30 rooms in 40 hectares
Use: Andrew and his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson
Open to the public? No

Since he was removed from royal duties in 2019 over sexual abuse claims, Prince Andrew, 63, is said to have been spending his days rattling around his 30-room mansion where he has lived since 2003. His former wife, Sarah Ferguson, reportedly lives in a separate wing. It has been reported that Charles wants to cut the financial support Andrew gets from his family, which could leave him struggling to afford the lodge’s running costs. The king has offered his younger brother the smaller Frogmore Cottage, according to reports.

Frogmore Cottage

Harry and Meghan left Frogmore Cottage in 2020.
Harry and Meghan left Frogmore Cottage in 2020.

Location: Windsor Home Park, Berkshire
Ownership: crown estate, given over to the king
Size: reportedly four bedrooms and four bathrooms
Use: Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, until 2020; currently empty
Open to the public? No

The Grade II-listed house was made available to Harry and Meghan by the late queen shortly before the birth of their first child, Archie. Before then it had housed estate workers.Its ownership is – like that of Adelaide Cottage – difficult to untangle: originally owned by the crown estate, a change in the 19th century means it can be used in perpetuity by the sovereign. Harry and Meghan renovated it using £2.4m from the taxpayer-funded sovereign grant. This work reportedly created a four-bedroom, four-bathroom home with orangeries, a nursery and a yoga studio. Meghan and Harry remained paying tenants after they moved to California. They repaid the £2.4m in 2020 in lieu of further rent.

Kensington Palace

People view tributes to the late Diana left outside Kensington Palace in August last year to mark the 25th anniversary of her death.
People view tributes to the late Diana left outside Kensington Palace in August last year to mark the 25th anniversary of her death. Images

Location: central London
Ownership: king, in right of the crown
Size: vast palace divided into several apartments, plus cottages in grounds
Use: London residence of William and Catherine, and other royals
Open to the public? Yes, £25.40

Once known as “the aunt heap” on account of the number of ageing minor royals living there, Kensington Palace today is the London residence of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. The elegant three-storey, redbrick mansion, largely designed by the architect Christopher Wren, was the favoured residence of earlier monarchs, who entertained lavishly in its grand state rooms and galleries.

Highgrove House

Prince Charles attends a tree planting ceremony at Highgrove House in 2008.
Prince Charles attends a tree planting ceremony at Highgrove House in 2008

Location: Gloucestershire
Ownership: Duchy of Cornwall
Size: nine bedrooms with a 140-hectare farm estate
Use: Charles and Camilla use it as their country home
Open to the public? Yes, Highgrove gardens, £30

The Duchy of Cornwall bought Highgrove House as a country home for Charles in 1980. It was just a few miles from Camilla’s family home at the time and it cost £865,000. The king renovated it and created formal and kitchen gardens. He has also installed solar panels and a reed-bed sewage filtering system. It is currently valued by an estates expert at about £15m. The king initially lived in the property for free; these days he pays £659,285 in annual rent for the house and other properties used by his staff. On Charles’s accession to the throne, Prince William inherited the Duchy of Cornwall and so became his father’s Highgrove landlord.

Sandringham estate

Queen Elizabeth attends a garden party to mark her diamond jubilee at the Sandringham estate in 2012.
Queen Elizabeth attends a garden party to mark her diamond jubilee at the Sandringham estate in 2012.

Location: Norfolk
Ownership: privately owned by the king
Size: more than 8,000 hectares and 300 commercially rented properties
Use: members of the royal family for Christmas holidays and private breaks
Open to the public? Yes, during the summer, £23

A large house and larger estate that includes farms and more than 300 houses across 13 villages that are rented out by the king. As a whole it is estimated to be worth between £250m and £390m. The estate includes Anmer Hall, a 10-bedroom manor given to William and Catherine by the late queen.

Balmoral Castle and estate

Queen Elizabeth with Prince Philip and their sons (L-R) Edward, Charles and Andrew at Balmoral Castle in 1979.
Queen Elizabeth with Prince Philip and their sons (L-R) Edward, Charles and Andrew at Balmoral Castle in 1979.

Location: Aberdeenshire
Ownership: privately owned by the king through a trust
Size: the castle has 167 rooms; the estate is 22,000 hectares
Use: the monarch’s summer base
Open to the public? Yes, public areas, £17.74

Conservatively worth £78m, Balmoral is the quintessential Highland estate, where the royal family indulge their love of deer stalking, grouse shooting and salmon fishing. The late queen, who died there last September, is said to have regarded Balmoral as her favourite place.

The estate includes the king’s personal retreat at Birkhall, a country house dating to 1715 and enlarged by the queen mother in the 1960s; and Craigowan Lodge, a seven-bedroom house. There are another 81 cottages and lodges on the estate, mostly for staff.

Castle of Mey

Charles visits the Castle of Mey in 2019.
Charles visits the Castle of Mey in 2019.

Location: Caithness
Ownership: Prince’s Foundation charitable trust
Size: tower house in 12 hectares of parkland
Use: Charles and Camilla as a holiday home
Open to the public? Yes, £14.50

The castle was owned by the queen mother, who bought it as a semi-derelict ruin in 1952. After an extensive reconstruction, she stayed there every August through to October, until her death in 2002. In 1996 its ownership passed to a charitable trust under the direction of Charles. He opened up its gardens and public rooms to visitors, and in 2019 he gave it to the Prince’s Foundation.

Dumfries House

Dumfries House.
Money was raised from private foreign donors to pay off a £20m loan used to buy Dumfries House.

Location: East Ayrshire
Ownership: Prince’s Foundation
Size: mansion in 800 hectares
Use: king, during visits to the area
Open to the public? Yes, £13.50

Dumfries House and its Chippendale furniture was bought for £45m by a consortium headed by Prince Charles in 2007 from the Marquis of Bute. The purchase was funded through government, lottery and charitable funds, and a £20m loan from Charles’s Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation. Charles hoped to repay that loan by building a model village nearby, a project that floundered after the banking crisis in 2008. His aides then controversially raised money from foreign private donors to fund the debt.

Bagshot Park

Mansion House in Bagshot Park is the home of Prince Edward and Sophie.
Mansion House in Bagshot Park is the home of Prince Edward and Sophie

Ownership: crown estate lease bought privately
Size: reportedly 120 rooms within 21 hectares
Use: Edward and Sophie, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh
Open to public? No

The king’s youngest sibling, Edward, has lived in Bagshot Park’s Mansion House with his wife since 1998. Before they moved in, the dilapidated mansion was refurbished at a cost of nearly £3m. The Ministry of Defence, which previously used the building, paid £1.8m towards the renovation, with the rest coming from Edward. Under the terms of the initial lease, Edward was required to pay £90,000 in annual rent. He sublet the stables to a commercial firm, which helped to cover this cost, and later reportedly bought a longer lease.

Gatcombe Park

Moon Man, ridden by William Fox-Pitt, competing in the British Open horse trials championship at Gatcombe Park in 2000. The pair won the event.
Moon Man, ridden by William Fox-Pitt, competing in the British Open horse trials championship at Gatcombe Park in 2000. The pair won the event.

Location: Gloucestershire
Ownership: privately owned by Princess Anne since 1976
Size: 18 rooms, 283-hectare estate
Use: home of Anne and her second husband, Sir Timothy Laurence
Open to public? No

Princess Anne has lived in this Cotswolds country house since 1976 when the queen bought it for her and her then husband, Capt Mark Phillips. The estate has a lake, extensive parkland, and stables. Since 2013, Anne’s daughter, Zara, has lived in a cottage on the estate with her husband, the former rugby player Mike Tindall, and their children. Anne’s son, Peter Phillips, reportedly has a separate house on the estate.

Llwynywermod

Charles and Camilla outside Llwynywermod in 2009.
Charles and Camilla outside Llwynywermod in 2009.

Location: Carmarthenshire
Ownership: Duchy of Cornwall
Size: three bedrooms, in 78 hectares
Use: Welsh home for the Prince of Wales
Open to the public? No

Bought by the Duchy of Cornwall for £1.3m in 2007 as the Welsh home of Charles and Camilla, it is unclear how often they stayed there. The cottages on the estate are rented out as holiday lets when the Prince of Wales is not there. Now owned by William, it is unclear whether he and Charles, who continues to pay rent, will both use it.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

The queen hosts the annual garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in 2018.
The queen hosts the annual garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in 2018.

Location: Edinburgh
Ownership: king, in right of the crown
Size: 289 rooms in 6 hectares of land
Use: king’s official residence in Scotland
Open to the public? Yes, £19.50

Holyroodhouse was once home to Mary, Queen of Scots, but is now the official royal residence in Scotland. In April 2019, the queen registered the crown’s ownership of the palace, its grounds and ruined abbey. Since the site had been owned by successive monarchs for centuries, that was a formality.

Hillsborough Castle

L-R: Former Irish taoiseach Bertie Ahern, British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, former US president Bill Clinton and former British PM Sir Tony Blair outside Hillsborough Castle during the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement in April.
L-R: Former Irish taoiseach Bertie Ahern, British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, former US president Bill Clinton and former British PM Sir Tony Blair outside Hillsborough Castle during the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement in April.

Location: Hillsborough, County Down
Ownership: UK government
Size: Two-storey mansion set in 40 hectares
Use: residence for visiting royals and the secretary of state for Northern Ireland
Open to public? Yes, £10

The British government bought Hillsborough Castle, 15 miles south-west of Belfast, in 1920 and it is the official residence of the secretary of state for Northern Ireland and members of the royal family when they visit the region. An Irish “big house” rather than a castle proper, it was built by the Hill family, Anglo-Irish landowners whose fortune was first made during the Tudor conquests of Ireland at the beginning of the 17th century. Hillsborough takes its name from the family but is seen as a politically neutral venue and has featured prominently in peace talks.

Were the Biblical Prophets Anti-Semitic? by Michael Hudson

Were the Biblical Prophets Anti-Semitic?

Were the prophets self-loathing Jews? Are those who criticize today’s right-wing politicians abolishing the land’s courts of justice, urging the mass murder of civilians and destroying an entire society’s infrastructure anti-Semites?

If the prophets of ancient Israel such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Malachi and Amos were alive today, Benjamin Netanyahu would accuse them of anti-Semitism for daring to describe his government as a travesty of what the Mosaic covenant was all about. A common thread running throughout the Jewish Bible – Christianity’s Old Testament – was to criticize kings, the wealthy and corrupt courts for violating the Mosaic commandments to create a fair and equitable society protecting the poor from the economic oppression of debt bondage, and loss of their land. If the prophets were summoned to give judgment today, it is Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud Party and the steeply unequal economy of Israel that would be condemned as violating the most basic laws of Biblical Judaism.

Prophet after prophet described the Lord as being so displeased with Israel on so many occasions for deviating from his commandments that he withdrew his protection and condemned the land to which Moses had led his followers to be conquered as punishment. The Biblical prophets attributed Israel’s defeat by Sargon in 722 BC to the Lord’s punishment for its falling away from the covenant the Lord had offered. Israel’s punishment fit the crime: Just as its wealthy creditor elite had dispossessed their brethren from the land, so the ten tribes of Israel were deported to Mesopotamia and Media, and Judah’s size was reduced to only the region surrounding Jerusalem.

Ezekiel, the great prophet of the Exile, was taken to Babylonia in 597 BC as a military hostage. He became the leading influence on Ezra and the priestly school that edited the Torah’s early sources into a version that was finalized when the Jews returned from Babylon and wrote the Babylonian concepts of economic justice into the Mosaic Holiness Code. In an apocalyptic tone Ezekiel 7 announces: “The word of the Lord came to me: … ‘The end is now upon you and I will unleash my anger against you. I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices,’” citing the polarization of wealth by the wealthiest Jews, corrupting the law courts and violating the original covenant with the Lord.

Were the prophets self-loathing Jews? Are those who criticize today’s right-wing politicians abolishing the land’s courts of justice, urging the mass murder of civilians and destroying an entire society’s infrastructure anti-Semites? Does commenting that October 7th did not occur “in a vacuum,” as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres did – even indeed after characterizing it as an atrocity – make one an anti-Semite?

What I find most amazing is that no religious scholars are pointing out that Netanyahu’s claim to be following a Biblical covenant as his excuse for committing genocide to seize Palestinian land and destroy its existing population is a travesty of what actually is written in the Bible.

By a sleight-of-hand like that of a stage magician trying to distract the audience’s attention from what really is happening, Netanyahu has evoked what he claims to be a Biblical excuse for Israeli genocide. But what he pretends to be a covenant in the tradition of Moses is a vicious demand by the judge and grey eminence Samuel telling Saul, the general whom he hopes to make king: “Now go and smite Amalek [an enemy of Israel], and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys” (1 Samuel 15:3).

These were not the Lord’s own words, and Samuel was no Moses. And there was no blanket promise to back the Jews regardless of their behavior. And indeed, in following Samuel’s demand for conquest – as a means of making Saul popular enough to be made king – Saul broke the Lord’s commandments about proper religious ceremonial and dietary behavior. One would have no idea from Netanyahu’s celebration of the compact between Samuel and Saul to become popular by military conquest. Saul’s misbehavior led Samuel himself to rebuke him, telling him that the Lord had decided that another man must be found to be king of Israel.

It was not the Lord offering that command to destroy Amalek, but a prophet anxious to place a king on the throne. Invocation of such a command is prima facie evidence of an intention to commit genocide. But that seemed less important to Netanyahu than pandering to the desire for revenge amongst Israelis. Netanyahu makes no mention of the fact that Saul disobeyed the Lord’s commandments and the Lord rejected him as king. Nor does Likud acknowledge the context, a few chapters earlier in I Samuel 12:15, describing the corrupt rule of judges and Samuel’s warning that “if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you.” The Lord’s warning that “if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away” should have rung loudly for Netanyahu.

The Jewish Bible is remarkable in criticizing the kings who ruled Judah and Israel. It is in fact a long narrative of social revolution, in which religious leaders sought – often successfully – to check the power of a selfish and aggressive oligarchy that was denounced again and again for its greed in impoverishing the poor, taking their land and reducing them to debt bondage. (My book “… and forgive them their debts” [Dresden 2018] describes this history.) The Jewish kings, wealthy families and corrupt courts led the Lord repeatedly to abandon them in the face of Assyria, Babylon and lesser opponents when they lapsed into selfish and oppressive behavior.

What was the covenant at Horeb near Mount Sinai? Simply put, the Lord gave Moses the Ten Commandments, which had a moral focus on economic justice, and made a bargain binding all future Jews to obey these commandments (Exodus 19-23 and Deuteronomy 5:2 and 28:43). From the very beginning the Lord threatened to punish the Jews if they broke this covenant. The prophets are quoted as citing the many ways in which succeeding generations broke it.

Reference to that context of fair rule was the role of a prophet (both ancient and modern): to awaken the people – and to be despised by those in power, especially by oppressive oligarchies. Judea, in accordance with the commandments, was supposed to provide mutual aid and protect the poor, not let creditors take the land for themselves.

So Judea lost battles to foreigners, whom the prophets described as used by the Lord as his instrument to punish the Jews for their transgression against the economic and other moral laws that the Lord had laid down. Does one doubt that today’s greater Israel [the land over which it exerts total control, including Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem] is economically polarized and unequal both financially and in terms of human rights?

Deuteronomy 28:21-25 warns that if the Jews fail to obey the Lord’s commandments, “The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess,” and “will cause you to be defeated before your enemies.” Deuteronomy then (29:24-25) reminds the Jews that if the Lord does to them as he had done to Sodom and Gomorrah, Admath and Zeboiim, “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt.”

The prophets described what obeying the covenant meant. Isaiah 5:3 and 8 cited economic inequality as the greatest woe, blaming the elders and leaders for taking “plunder from the poor into your houses.” He declaimed: “Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field, till no space is left alone in the land.” That is exactly the fate that is befalling the Palestinians driven off their land by today’s Israel as a settler state.

Isaiah 10:1-3 declaims: “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and rob my oppressed people of justice, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar?” And in 29:13-15: “The Lord says: ‘These people come to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. … Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord.”

Sound familiar? Isaiah 48:1 and 8 says, “Listen, O house of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel … and invoke the God of Israel – but not in truth or righteousness. … Well I know how treacherous you are; you were called a rebel from birth.”

The next prophet, Jeremiah 2, accuses Israel of abandoning the Lord and thus breaking the covenant, bringing disaster upon itself with its “wickedness and backsliding” and becoming “a corrupt, wild vine.” Calling Israel unfaithful (3:8 and 20-21) the Lord “gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away,” and Judah was just as bad. The Lord again threatened (17:3-4): “Through your own fault you will lose the inheritance I gave you … for you have kindled my anger and it will burn forever.”

In a move that has failed to shock or dismay conservative Christians, the United States has become modern Israel’s protector and lord, while Israel’s economy (like that of the United States) is polarizing along the same lines that the Biblical prophets denounced, such as when Ezekiel 7 and 16 repeated the Lord’s anger at unfaithful Jerusalem, saying metaphorically (16:13) that “you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute,” not heeding the poor and needy. And in 34:2: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves” but plunder their flock.

Amos 2 accuses Israel of numerous sins: “They sell the righteous for silver, and … trample on the heads of the poor … and deny justice to the oppressed.” And Micah 7:3 declaims: “Woe to those who plan inequity, to those who plot evil on their beds … because it is in their power to do it. … Therefore, the Lord said, ‘I am planning disaster against this people, from which you cannot save yourselves’” when the wealthy join up as “the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire – they all conspire together.”

Today’s modern Zionism is at odds with the Jewish Bible. That is understandable given that its ideology comes from a very secular group despite its recent takeover by self-identified orthodox Jews. The rhetoric used by Netanyahu is a travesty when one notes how the Jewish Bible proclaimed that wealth and property were to be distributed equitably, not concentrated in the hands of an oligarchy. Exodus 23:1 and 9 give the following insight into how aliens – the Palestinians of their day – were to be treated: “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong,” but “lay down the law of justice and mercy: Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.”

Is it justice and mercy to shut off water, food, medicine and fuel to an entire population and level or damage half of its buildings and most of its critical infrastructure including entire swarths of homes? Is it justice and mercy to force hospitals to shut down, bomb ambulances, and drop six 2,000 pound bombs on a refugee camp?

While billions around the world witness the super-Kristalnacht carnage in Gaza and blatant pogroms on the West Bank, “serious” Western journalists warn that an existential threat is posed by refugees with hang gliders but no planes, tanks or artillery pieces. The same journalists ignore the time-proven truism that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the faith” and that killing thousands of innocents immediately and many thousands in the chaos that follows will not weaken but strengthen a resistance movement. It was that same reaction in the wake of Nazism that turned today’s Zionist leaders into haters.

In the final lines of the Jewish Bible, Malachi 4 speaks of the Lord’s emphasis that Israel’s covenant with God had a strong contractual quid pro quo as a condition for his support: “‘All the arrogant and every evil-doer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,’ says the Lord Almighty. … ‘Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.’” If these laws continued to be disobeyed, the Lord threatened, “I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

It seems that this curse has now come, in the form of most of the world’s population so appalled at the self-righteous genocide being committed by two secular governments claiming (to the discredit of Western religions) divine sanctification, Israel and the United States, just as the Western non-Soviet economy created in 1945 in the wake of World War II is breaking into two parts.

We are living in secular times. The United States has become modern Israel’s protector and lord, and it itself has become corrupt along the same lines that the great prophets denounced. American evangelists, like the Israeli government, have excluded the message of the Biblical prophets and Jesus’s social message, selecting only the Covenant as a deed of conquest and promise of a ticket to heaven without any behavioral quid pro quo involved.

The broad spectrum of Judeo-Christian religion has been secularized as today’s world differs so fundamentally from that of classical antiquity. American TV evangelicals make a travesty of Jesus’s attempt to restore the Mosaic Jubilee Year cancelling the debts that threatened ancient populations with bondage and led to the loss of their means of self-support on the land. The “Prosperity Gospel” has replaced Jesus with Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and Frederick Hayek.

Already in the 4th and 5th centuries, almost as soon as Constantine made Christianity the Roman State religion, Augustine changed the translation of the Lord’s Prayer and Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount by replacing debt cancellation with the non-economic idea of original sin inborn from Adam. To cap matters, the new interpretation replaced Jesus’s call for debt cancellation with Church demands for monetary contributions to obtain indulgences and forgiveness. Subsequent Christianity became so pro-creditor that it defended the sanctity of debt, not its cancellation. To finance the Crusades in the 13th century, the popes excommunicated Christian clergy and secular reformers who opposed paying usury – which was re-defined as “interest” and permitted as long as it was Christian bankers who were making the loans.

Israel may have a convoluted legal right to shoot Palestinians coming over its wall in an attempt to defend land that settlers have seized illegally from them. But as an occupying power it does not have the sanctimonious right to disregard virtually every international law regarding war and collective punishment simply for revenge and to demonstrate to Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Iran what it will do to them with American support if they join in the fray. Netanyahu’s actions and claims for religious sanctification for them are the antithesis of the original Judaism. His Likud government rejects the ethic of the Jewish Bible as much as America’s Christian evangelists reject the message of Jesus.

Portumna Workhouse Famine Exhibition – Small sample from our Southern Ireland Road Trip

Hi and good morning, I am aware (albeit sketchy) of Irish history and its struggles, including the great famine.

I’m 73 and born and raised in England and Earlier this year my wife and I did a 45 day motor home tour of southern Ireland.

Our lasting impression was a beautiful welcoming country. Such breathtaking countryside and warm and friendly people.

One of our stops on that trip was at Portumna, whilst there we visited the Irish workhouse centre.

To see the Dark shadows exhibition, very thought provoking and I guess it prompted me to want to know more. I have put together a short YouTube video based on what we saw. Here is the link… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoPRnPaBgLI

I really would like to know more and fell across ‘This Land Is Ours’ which mentions Black 47, I will see if I can find a copy to watch.
What I am really keen to learn is what was Southern Irelands journey, from those dark days to the beautiful country and people we experienced last summer. Our impression was of warm and welcoming experience, coupled with a much higher standard of living than we have in England

Can you please suggest any documentaries/films or other media that could outline the journey from the great famine till now. For me it is equally important to understand how Southern Ireland got to this point in time, from the terrible famine to a prosperous nation

Many thanks’ in advance Tony & Margaret Glass St Osyth England.

 

One family told to leave their home every 8 minutes in England as no-fault evictions soar – ITV News

‘We’ve been treated like criminals’: Families left desperate and homeless as no-fault evictions soar

VIDEO REPORT: Friday 10 November 2023 – Daniel Hewitt – Investigations Correspondent

A record number of families are being evicted from their homes through no fault of their own.

Victims of Section 21 eviction claims, ITV News Investigations Correspondent Daniel Hewitt spoke to some of vulnerable families being left with nowhere else to go

The number of no-fault evictions taking place in England has risen to its highest level in seven years, as an ITV News investigation finds families being made homeless with nowhere else to go.

Ministry of Justice data shows the number of Section 21 eviction claims – otherwise known as ‘no-fault’ evictions as the landlord does not have to state a reason – have jumped by 38%.

Between July and September 2023, 8,399 Section 21 eviction claims were taken to court by landlords, compared to 6,092 in the same period last year.

The number of bailiff repossessions also jumped by 29% to 2,307, the highest since before the pandemic.

The government has promised to scrap Section 21 evictions since 2019, but Housing Secretary Michael Gove has cast doubt on whether it will happen before the next general election – after promising to reform the court system in England before bringing in a ban.

Increased mortgage rates have seen landlords increase rental prices, or in other cases decide to sell their properties. Landlords also point to changes to the tax system which have made renting out properties less lucrative.

Under reforms to the private rental sector currently going through Parliament, landlords will still be able to evict their tenants if they can prove they wish to sell their property.

The issue for many families is the lack of affordable housing to move to.

An ITV News investigation has seen first-hand the impact on families evicted through Section 21.

In Northampton, Carol, her daughter and two grandchildren have privately rented their home for almost a decade. They have never missed a rent payment and have been good tenants.

They were notified earlier this year that the landlord wanted to sell the property and were given eight weeks to leave. Despite both working, Carol and her daughter couldn’t find anywhere affordable to rent, and were told that the local council had no properties for them.

They went to court, but they lost their case. Right now, the law is on the landlords’ side.

On the day of their eviction, with the bailiffs waiting outside, Carol told me the family had nowhere to go once they handed back the keys.

‘I wake up some mornings and wish I had died in my sleep,’ Carol told ITV News Investigations Correspondent Daniel Hewitt that her life cover would help her loved ones escape homelessness

At 10am, the bailiffs walked through the door. They didn’t even knock – the property was theirs to take.

The moment Carol and her daughter walked out – the home they’ve lived in for nearly a decade with two little boys aged three and five – the locksmiths moved in. It is a swift and brutal process.

An increasing number of Section 21 evictions are ending up in court, driven in part by a chronic shortage of affordable housing – both in the private sector and in social housing.

ITV News has seen evidence of councils advising tenants who receive a Section 21 to not leave after eight weeks – as stated in the eviction notice – and instead go through the court process all the way through to a court-ordered bailiff repossession.

In Luton, Charlotte, her husband and three sons have privately rented the same home for 10 years, but received a Section 21 notice stating the landlord wanted to sell the house.

Like Carol, they can’t find anywhere they can afford on the private rental market, and the council have told them they will only consider them for housing once they have been evicted.

Charlotte’s husband works full-time, so they don’t qualify for legal aid, but they also can’t afford a solicitor. It means Charlotte has no choice but to represent herself in court.

‘I have nowhere to go, I don’t know what I’m going to do’: Charlotte has been told she has just six weeks to find a new home with her husband and two children, or bailiffs will be sent to evict them

We met her after her case was heard. Like Carol in Northampton, she lost.

The law does not protect tenants against no-fault evictions.

Housing charities insist the government must ban Section 21 before the next election, and say renters are living in fear of eviction.

“It beggars belief that this government is prepared to use cynical tactics to delay the banning of no-fault evictions, while record numbers of renters are being removed from their homes without cause,” said Polly Neate of Shelter.

“Renters have waited four long years for the government to come good on scrapping Section 21, to make that now dependent on unspecified court reforms taking place is ludicrous.

“Renters shouldn’t have to live for one more day with the fear they can be evicted from their home for no reason, knowing that once that notice lands on their doormat, there is nothing they can do.”

A government spokesperson said: “Our landmark Renters Reform Bill offers better protections for tenants and gives them greater security to challenge poor conditions in their homes.

“We are abolishing section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and the Bill passing through Parliament will see this happen.”

If you or someone you know is homeless, facing eviction, or want to get in touch with us about your housing issue, please email us at housingstories@itv.com

 

One family told to leave their home every 8 minutes in England
Carol has lived in her home for 10 years. Today she waited as bailiffs evicted her, her daughter and two grandchildren.
Carol has lived in her home for 10 years. Today she waited as bailiffs evicted her, her daughter and two grandchildren. Credit: ITV News

 

Rural Planning Handbook: Levelling Up and Regeneration Act Update by Simon Fairlie at The Land Magazine

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR READERS OF THE RURAL PLANNING HANDBOOK
 
The Levelling Up and Regeneration Act became law on 26 October.
. This makes significant changes to planning law,
 meaning that some of the material in the Rural Planning Handbook is now out of date. 
 Judging from commentaries upon the Bill as it passed,  the main areas of concern for impact developers, smallholders and homeless settlers are:
(1) The four year rule disappears and it is now a wait of ten years before one becomes immune from enforcement, whether the breach is operational development or change of use.
(2) According to Section 104, if we understand it correctly, someone subject to an enforcement notice cannot appeal against it if they have, within the previous  two years, been refused planning permission for the same matter  (whether or not they went to a planning appeal). The government states that the object is to ensure “there is only one opportunity to obtain planning permission retrospectively after unauthorised development has taken place.” 
(3) Planning applications will become mere expensive, through  double costs for retrospective applications, and fees for statutory consultees. 
(4) There will be a new notice called an Enforcement Warning Notice, asking a person to submit a retrospective planning application 
Eventually a new edition of the Handbook will have to be produced. In the interim the book will be sold with an insert explaining the changes.
For more information see:
The Rural Planning Handbook Cover 2018
Simon Fairlie

‘Jumping Jack’ Manson vs. land-grabbing Squire Myers (1970) Anti-enclosure comic strip for junior school children to teenagers

Jumping Jack Manson comes across a land-grabbing squire…
…who gets his minions to burn hay-ricks and blame it on the plucky peasants…
…but wicked Myers’ didn’t plan on Jumping Jack and his amazing spring-heeled boots!

Taken from comic The Hotspur (1970) this six-page strip is available below as single image files 3×2 or 6×1 and as a printable PDF [right click or touch and hold to download]

7MB PDF – ‘Jumping Jack’ Manson vs. land-grabbing Squire Myers (1970)

Jumping Jack Manson enclosures (1970).pdf

2MB 3×2 JPG – ‘Jumping Jack’ Manson vs. land-grabbing Squire Myers (1970)

2MB 6×1 JPG – ‘Jumping Jack’ Manson vs. land-grabbing Squire Myers (1970)

 

 

 

Hull City Council allow “right to grow” on unused council land [Source: The Guardian]

Hull City Council’s ‘right to grow’ motion on unused council land is a UK first

Taken from The Guardian:
Hull set to allow ‘right to grow’ on unused council land in UK first
City councillors pass motion to let community groups, charities and neighbours cultivate fruit and veg
by Patrick Barkham, The Guardian
Monday 16th October 2023
Ref: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/oct/16/hull-allow-right-to-grow-unused-council-land-uk-first
Hull is set to become the first city in Britain to give people a “right to grow” on unused council land. Community groups, charities and even small groups of neighbours would be able to cultivate fruit and vegetables on suitable council land in what campaigners say will provide healthy local food, boost mental health and revive neglected spaces. Hull councillors unanimously passed the “right to grow” motion that means the council will produce a map of suitable land it owns and help those who want to grow food on it overcome practical obstacles such as insurance or provision of water for the plants. The motion, which will first go before the council scrutiny committee, follows a burgeoning local and national campaign for a “right to grow” on neglected urban land.

The waiting list for allotments in England has risen by 81% over the past 12 years as more than 150,000 people seek a place to grow fresh food.

“It will benefit Hull in many ways,” said Gill Kennett, a local councillor who backed the motion, which received cross-party support. “We are a deprived city and we do need cheap food. In terms of mental health benefits, growing food gives people something to do, it gives them confidence, it ticks so many boxes.”

Incredible Edible, a grassroots network of more than 150 community growing groups, is calling for a national “right to grow” law obliging all local authorities to keep a register of land that could be used for growing, and which people could apply to.

Campaigners say councils can meet the growing demand for places to grow in urban areas by stripping away bureaucratic obstacles such as growers requiring public liability insurance, which could be provided under councils’ existing insurance. Even land earmarked for development that sometimes lies unused for years could be cultivated for one or two harvests.

Pru Elliott of Incredible Edible said: “We need to see a change of rules and a change in the way land is used. If communities are given a right to grow they will use it. We just need to get rid of the red tape. If Hull can bring this to life I hope it will be an example for councils around the country that it’s something really tangible that they can run with. It’s about letting go of control a bit and trusting communities.

“It’s producing healthy food, it’s benefiting mental health, it’s reducing crime and antisocial behaviour – we’re seeing that councillors in more deprived areas get it. They recognise all these extra benefits that come with something as simple as people growing food in the local community.”

The Create Streets thinktank, whose chair is an adviser to the levelling up secretary, Michael Gove, recently produced a report calling for a “right to grow” as part of a greening up of British cities.

In Hull, the motion came about after Hull Food Partnership – a collaboration between local people, businesses, charities and the council – devised “food hustings” at the local elections, where councillors discussed how Hull could address local food issues from food banks to “food deserts”. Anna Route of Hull Food Partnership said: “Everyone should have the ability to access good quality locally produced food regardless of their background or income, and we want to remove as many barriers to feeding people well as possible.”

Darren Squires of Rooted in Hull, a social enterprise that grows food on former industrial land in Hull, said the benefits of growing food in urban spaces included providing fresh, healthy produce for food banks, boosting mental health, growing low-carbon food, and also providing wildlife-friendly green corridors in the city.

“People do want to grow but we don’t have the opportunity to unlock that land normally,” he said.

Squires said he hoped the motion would result in the council providing groups with public liability insurance under its own umbrella as well as practical help such as connecting up growers with sources of water for dry spells, whether harvested from nearby roofs or via mains pipes.

“I grow in a small yard and I can eat salad all summer and it costs me a few pounds rather than a few pounds every couple of days from the supermarket,” he added.

“There are some veg that no amount of money will get you the same quality as something you get when you pick and eat it the same day. You’ve not eaten French beans until you’ve eaten some you’ve grown.”

Empty mansions in abandoned HS2 ghost village ‘taken over by squatters, dealers and religious cults’

Empty mansions in abandoned HS2 ghost village ‘taken over by squatters, dealers and religious cults’

https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/local-news/empty-mansions-abandoned-hs2-ghost-27872186

Empty mansions in abandoned HS2 ghost village ‘taken over by squatters, dealers and religious cults’

The homes in Whitmore Heath were purchased by the government for the line that will now never be built

A HS2 ghost village in the West Midlands is full of abandoned mansions that locals say have been taken over by squatters. Whitmore Heath’s beautiful and pricey homes once made it a thriving community – but now squatters, drug dealers and even religious cults have allegedly moved in.

HS2 purchased 35 properties in the rural hamlet. The average property price was £600,000, but houses were compulsorily purchased by the government because the train line was set to pass under several multi million-pound mansions in the area.

Now that plan is in tatters – even though other parts of the line are still being built, some near Coventry, amid much local anger. PM Rishi Sunak announced at the Tory Party conference that the West Midlands to Manchester line would be scrapped.

Yet because people have moved out, remaining residents say the the empty homes are now trouble-spots with squatters living in the houses.

Edward Cavenagh-Mainwairing, 61, is the 33rd generation of his family to live in the Staffordshire village. He said three properties are now used as cannabis farms – and warned there is no longer a sense of community in the area.

Mr Cavenagh-Mainwairing said: “When you walk around the area, it’s a bit sad to see it all locked up and three houses are now used for cannabis. There was a sense of community, but now there isn’t.

“HS2 has strengthened us all together in a way – because we are all suffering from it. But hearing the news about it being scrapped made me feel numb, it’s still not a victory because it’s confirmation that it was a really bad decision.

“It should have been stopped earlier. A lot of people’s lives should have not been upset to the degree they have been.”

One security guard, who asked not to be named, said they had been hired to guard the home as squatters have previously lived there. They said they had even seen cults ‘trying to break in’ to the house.

What’s more, they said a religious group had even tried to arrest security guards. They said: “We’ve had cults trying to break in.

“They would even try and arrest you.” However, some residents actually like living in the village – and they are confident more people will return to the area.

Chris Shemilt, 65, moved there around five years ago with his wife, although he is in the process of moving away. Yet he has said he ‘doesn’t see anything wrong’ with the area.

He believes the homes bought by the government will go back on the market. Chris said: “I don’t see anything wrong with it myself.

“I think people will move back to the area, I think a lot of them were bought by the government – who bribed people to sell them.

“I suspect they will go back on the market.” Chris said the costs of HS2 were ‘way too high’ for it to have ever been completed as planned.

The financial advisor said: “As far as I’m concerned, the costs were way too high for them to do it. Quite simply – all they’ve got to do is run the train to Birmingham on the same line they’ve already got – which is quite a good line anyway.

“If they slightly improve that line, then they can go straight through to Manchester.”

Rishi Sunak has defended scrapping the Birmingham to Manchester line. He said: “We’re going to take every penny of that £36 billion and we’re going to spend it on transport across the country – on bus, on road, on rail, on all the forms of transport that you use every day.

“We’re going to deliver it far quicker so that you can see the benefits faster. We’re going to see it across more parts of our country.

“I think that is the right thing to do for the long term.”

Great Lives: Ken Loach on Digger, Gerrard Winstanley – BBCR4 – 26 Sep 2023

Great Lives: Ken Loach on Gerrard Winstanley – BBCR4 – 26 Sep 2023

But sadly not a lot on Pride’s Purge, or the injustice and horrors of Charles’ execution, which drove Winstanley to act, and cleared a way for the mercantile classes’ British Empire…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001qtc5
Veteran British film director Ken Loach nominates the 17th century radical pamphleteer and and leader of the Diggers, Gerrard Winstanley.

Born in Wigan in 1609, Winstanley began writing religious pamphlets after his cloth selling business in London went bankrupt and he was forced to move to the country. There his ‘heart was filled with sweet thoughts … that the earth shall be made a common treasury of livelihood to all mankind’, for ‘the great Creator Reason, made the Earth to be a Common Treasury… for Man had Domination given to him, over the Beasts, Birds and Fishes; but not one word was spoken in the beginning, that one branch of mankind should rule over another.”

Winstanley began to dig a nearby wasteland, calling on others – rich and poor -to join him in the digging, which he believed would start a revolution and feed the poor. His ideas were radical, communal, spiritual and deeply challenging. Within a year the Diggers had been aggressively expelled from their site of occupation.

The late Tony Benn called the Diggers, ‘the first true socialists’, but Winstanley has also been claimed by anarchists and environmentalists.

With Emeritus Professor of Early Modern history, Ann Hughes. Presented by Matthew Parris and produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Ellie Richold

The Land Is Ours’ 1999 occupation of St George’s Hill

Winstanley (1975) dir. Kevin Brownlow

WATCH HERE ON ARCHIVE.ORG

Or buy via the BFI – Winstanley – A powerful story of the 1649 St George’s Hill commune inspired by the visionary leadership of Gerrard Winstanley. 1649. With poverty and unrest sweeping England, a group of impoverished men and women, known as the diggers, form a settlement on St George’s Hill, Surrey. Inspired by the visionary leadership of Gerrard Winstanley, the commune’s tireless, yet peaceful attempts to assert their right to cultivate and share the wealth of the common land, are met with crushing hostility from local landowners and government troops. With Winstanley, filmmakers Brownlow and Mollo (the creators of It happened Here) have produced an astonishingly authentic historical film, and a powerful, moving story of one extraordinary man’s vision. Special features New restoration by the BFI National Archive. New filmed interview with Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo (38 minutes) It happened Here Again (Eric Mival, 1976, 48 minutes) ­ the making of Winstanley 9 Dalmuir West (Kevin Brownlow, 1962, 12 minutes) Fully Illustrated 32-page booklet with contributions by Marina Lewycka (author of A Short History of tractors in Ukrainian), Eric Mival, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Tom Milne, and David Robinson; plus biographies and credits. Dolby Digital 2.0 (320kbps)

Winstanley is a 1975 British black-and-white film made by Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo and based on the 1961 David Caute novel Comrade Jacob.

The film details the story of the 17th-century social reformer and writer Gerrard Winstanley, who, along with a small band of followers known as the Diggers, tried to establish a self-sufficient farming community on common land at St George’s Hill (now a private gated estate, the ‘Beverly Hills’ of Britain) near Cobham, Surrey.

The community was one of the world’s first small-scale experiments in socialism or communism, and its ideas were copied elsewhere in England during the time of the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, but it was quickly suppressed, and in the end left only a legacy of pamphlets and ideas to inspire later generations of socialist theorists.