HARD ON THE HEELS OF THE SEIZURE last year of 45% of Cambodia by foreign property speculators (see “Country for sale“, Guardian Weekend, 26/4/2008:) comes news that 2/3rds of this island in the British Virgin Islands could be gobbled up by the super-rich, who need somewhere to park their yachts and play golf:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/119884382?z00m=15374441

The on-line petition (above) seeks to halt the development on the limited grounds that it will destroy the habitats of 26 animal species. I think that should be 27. More of the story here.

Meanwhile, our own tiny, overcrowded island is steadily getting even tinier and overcrowdeder, as floods of these same billionaires buy up and fence off rural acreages and gate their communities in their insatiable quest for privacy (e.g. see Ian Jack’s article on Britain’s sudden rise in land prices, in the Guardian in February).

QUESTION: how tiny would this tiny island of ours be, if the part of it occupied by the richest 1% were removed? The Isle of Dogs perhaps? (It is hard to work this out because over half of Britain isn’t registered – and at least some of this has been owned by the same “happy few” since approx 1066).

FOR PERSPECTIVE:

American writer P J O’Rourke, points out that if the whole of the worlds’ population moved to one place it would cover former Yugoslavia at the same density as Manhattan and he says “Manhattan is a pretty good place to live.”

– from Educational charity WORLDwrite’s Ceri Dingle, describing the new, pro-immigration film “The More the Merrier“.

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