George Monbiot has just written an excellent article in The Guardian explaining why, if he lived in Scotland, he'd vote yes to rid the country of its feudal landowners...
'Power's ability to resist change: this is the story of our times. Morally bankrupt, discredited, widely loathed? No problem: whether it's neoliberal economics, tax avoidance, coal burning, farm subsidies or the House of Lords, somehow the crooked system creeps along.
'Legally, feudalism in Scotland ended in 2004. In itself, this is an arresting fact. But almost nothing has changed. After 15 years of devolution the nation with the rich world's greatest concentration of land ownership remains as inequitable as ever.
'The culture of deference that afflicts the British countryside is nowhere stronger than in the Highlands. Hardly anyone dares challenge the aristocrats, oligarchs, bankers and sheikhs who own so much of this nation, for fear of consequences real or imagined. The Scottish government makes grand statements about land reform, then kisses the baronial boot. The huge estates remain untaxed and scarcely regulated.
'You begin to grasp the problem when you try to discover who owns them. Fifty per cent of the private land in Scotland is in the hands of 432 people - but who are they? Many large estates are registered in the names of made-up companies in the Caribbean. When the Scottish minister Fergus Ewing was challenged on this issue, he claimed that obliging landowners to register their estates in countries that aren't tax havens would risk "a negative effect on investment". William Wallace rides again.' (Guardian article).