This week's column tells the outrageous and shocking story of how a community that took the government at its word spent £800,000 and thousands of unpaid hours on improving its town, only to have the ground sold from under its feet.…
It shows that for all the grand talk of people taking back control, and having a "right to build" and a "right to bid", all that counts is private money. Property developers can sweep the whole lot away with a stroke of the pen.
I very much hope that the people of Totnes, after so much back-breaking work, will find a resolution. Much now depends on @SaputoInc and its response to their request. @AtmosTotnes
What all the UK needs is the kind of Right to Buy legislation that Scotland has: actual rights, which cannot be countermanded and gazumped by land deals.
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More from @GeorgeMonbiot

14 Sep
This is astonishing. A petition about the pollution of the Wye and Severn catchments has been rejected by Westminster on the grounds that they are the sole responsibility of the Welsh government.
Could someone lend the officials at @UKParliament a map?
While I fully support the territorial claims of Greater Wales, unlike our parliamentary officials I can't deny the current location of the border.
Congratulations to @MarkCheetham, who has managed to persuade @UKParliament that Shropshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire are in England.
Following his successful appeal, his petition has been reinstated. Please sign it.…
Read 4 tweets
14 Sep
The demand for #ivermectin to treat C19, despite the lack of clinical evidence, might seem puzzling.
But this is to misunderstand the way the world now works. It’s in demand *because* the evidence is lacking. If experts say one thing, culture warriors believe the opposite.
The far-right conspiracy theory machine is above all a revolt against expertise.
Those pointy-heads with their numbers and evidence want to limit my freedoms!
They say I can’t swing my fist because someone’s nose is in the way!
Who are they to tell me what to do?
The rejection of expertise also opens the way for scapegoating.
If you don't accept the evidence that Trump lost the election, you can attack officials for "stealing" it.
If you don't accept (or understand) the real reasons for our housing crisis, you can blame it on immigrants.
Read 4 tweets
6 Sep
There's an urgent need for a wealth tax. A big one.
Not just to fund social care and all the other desperately underfunded services.
But also to break the spiral of patrimonial wealth accumulation that creates a ruling caste, divides society and undermines democracy.
It's obscene that, while some people bathe in unimaginable wealth, accumulated over generations, others, who work from dawn to dusk, must visit the food bank to make ends meet.
Great wealth is socially unsustainable. It enables those who possess it to extract rent from the rest of the population, sucking money from the poor into their own pockets.
Capital generates rent. Rent generates capital. The spiral never ends, until big taxes are levied.
Read 6 tweets
2 Sep
The billionaire press, which has spent the past year raging against the destruction of public monuments, remains mysteriously silent about this attack.
Memorials to slave traders and colonial pillagers must be defended at all costs.
To women? Not so much…
In reality of course, the media's prohibition on toppling public monuments has always been conditional on whom they represent.
When the bastard is your friend, it's an unspeakable crime.
When the bastard is your enemy, it's a victory for democracy.
Here's the sculpture in Ponderosa Park, Sheffield, that was destroyed by arsonists on August 21, but remains unmentioned and unlamented by any of the usual defenders of public statuary.
Read 5 tweets
1 Sep
We need to talk about #ChinaSyndrome.
No, I don’t mean a nuclear reactor tunnelling through the Earth, but the constant use of “yeah, but China” as an excuse for failing to prevent climate breakdown.
First, where did this come from?
Well, there’s a long, racist tradition of invoking the threat of China as a scapegoat/excuse for everything powerful people do or don’t want to do.
There’s a name for it: the Yellow Peril myth.…
So pointing at China, even when its per capita emissions were much smaller than ours, came naturally to racists and deniers. But it was weaponised in 2006 by a BBC programme presented by David Attenborough, mistitled The Truth About Climate Change.
Read 8 tweets
30 Aug
1. I'm intrigued by the FT's strapline. For many years we've been instructed that capitalism is a practice, not a creed. It was no more than the outcome of everyone's rational pursuit of self-interest. Which is why, as we were constantly told, there was "no alternative".
2. In reality, capitalism is as much of a belief system as any other ism. It has been deliberately constructed and promoted over centuries by people seeking to present their self-interest as the fulfilment of a higher purpose.
3. So effective has this construction of belief been, and so powerful is its priesthood, that capitalism has achieved a similar status to that of religion a few centuries ago. Its claims have become a holy writ. Those who question or challenge it are blasphemers.
Read 9 tweets

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