Interesting reading and maps of land ownerships – “Commonwealth nations”. Fifty three countries are members of the Commonwealth. Our countries span Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific and are diverse – they are amongst the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries. Thirty-one of our members are classified as small states – countries with a population size of 1.5 million people or less and larger member states that share similar characteristics with them. Self-determination is our only out of this “elites” control.
British Crown – Britse Kroon – Statebond – “crown land”
“Country,” on the other hand, is much more vague. The term has no agreed definition, and different governments use it to refer to different things. If the decision were up to another government, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland might instead be considered provinces or regions, since they do not have sovereignty over their lands (only the United Kingdom does). I suppose because of their distinct cultures and historical independence, the U.K. decided to regard them each as countries.
Beyond the four countries, the U.K. also has sovereignty over the three Crown Dependencies (the Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey). However, as independent jurisdictions they are not part of the United Kingdom. The Queen serves as the islands’ head of state, but not technically as their queen. In the Isle of Man, her title is Lord of Mann and in the Channel Islands, she has no specific title.
To top off the confusion, many of the places are similarly named. Four of the regions have “Britain” or “British” in their name. The British Isles, The British Islands, Great Britain, and Britain all have different meanings (“Britain” is not shown in the diagram, but it is an alternate name for the United Kingdom).
“Ireland” appears three times: Northern Ireland (the country within the U.K.), Ireland (the Republic of Ireland, an entirely separate sovereign nation), and Ireland (the island they both occupy).
Separate from her role as Monarch of the United Kingdom, the Queen is also Queen of Canada, Queen of Australia, Queen of Jamaica, and Queen of the other 12 other sovereign states shown in the chart, known as Commonwealth Realms. The Commonwealth is the last remaining connection between the U.K. and [most of] its former colonies, which together make up about a third of the world’s population.
The concept of the Commonwealth came into being shortly after colonies began declaring independence while retaining the U.K.’s monarch as the head of state. It described the changing British Empire, which now included independent countries. Since then it has gradually evolved into a voluntary intergovernmental organization in which all members are equal. Two of its members (Rwanda and Mozambique) don’t even have any historical ties to the British Empire.
OTHER FACTS / HISTORY
Who owns the world? The Queen, the family of the actress Nicole Kidman, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and the media tyco
Kevin Cahill’s book “Who Owns the World: the Hidden Facts Behind Land ownership” is published by Mainstream. Read “The Great Property Swindle”, the first part of the author’s exclusive investigation into land ownership for the New Statesman.
The only option we have, is to obtain a mandate to get our freedom back. We are part of BRICS but also Commonwealth – a double cord around us. With the implementation of B-BBEE since 1994 and the killing of our language, history, culture and identification, it was much easier for them to make it happen and they use different mechanisms, like corruption and crime, murders, etc. The world divides into two simple categories: those countries that allow citizens to own the land to which they hold legal title and those that grant only tenancies to their citizens, permitting the state to claim a total prior right to the use of all land within its borders. Go into the history of “common wealth” as well and “crown lands” in certain countries.
Some of those countries that allow their people to own the land to which they hold legal title are among the most economically successful – such as the United States, Germany and France. Those operating what is essentially a feudal or pre-feudal system, in which the state or monarch claims legal rights to all land, tend to be less developed, with rare exceptions such as the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The latter category, in which citizens cannot own land legally, is dominated by one of the oddest situations on earth: the legal ownership by a single individual of all land in a number of countries and the consequent downgrading of all citizens of those countries to the status of feudal vassals in relation to land. Since 1994 the ANC took over in South Africa and also part of “the common wealth”.
The world’s primary feudal landowner is Queen Elizabeth II. She is Queen of 32 countries, head of a Commonwealth of 54 countries in which a quarter of the world’s population lives, and legal owner of about 6.6 billion acres of land, one-sixth of the earth’s land surface. Her position is a relic of the last and largest land empire in history, rumours of whose demise would appear to be somewhat premature based on her position and possessions. But her power is real, or at least legally real, and it derives from a tradition based on a specific and unbalanced relationship between rulers and the ruled.
We have two kinds of feudal state: the inherited state, usually with a monarch at its head, such as the UK; and the state that claims ownership of all land and is feudal in its conception and often totalitarian, such as China. But the core surviving feudal structure in the modern world is inherited, transnational and covers many countries. It has no formal name. It is, in fact, the British crown and its wearer, Elizabeth II. Her legal title runs thus: “by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith”.
This constitutional statement includes some vast territories where the Queen is quite separately the sovereign head of state and legal owner. First among these is Australia, which, if its Antarctic territories are included, is the second-largest country on earth. And the Queen, in effect, owns it. She also owns the third-largest country, Canada.
When the Queen’s territories are added together, the Russian Federation ceases to be the largest single political entity on earth. Like the Queen’s realms, the Russian Federation is dramatically underpopulated and immensely rich in mineral wealth of all kinds.
Together, the Queen’s realms have a depth of international political defence unlike any other alliance. They are combined together in the Commonwealth, the largest single bloc in the United Nations, the largest single combination of nations outside the UN, and they are all headed by the same diminutive octogenarian. If the Queen could convert her landholdings into cash, she would not only be the richest individual on earth, but also the richest person who has ever lived. Another way she could achieve that, however, is by turning upside down the 13 tax havens of which she is both ruler and owner and shaking the cash out of them.
The list of the world’s largest individual or family landowners (see table above), dominated by the Queen, has some interesting entrants. The largest individual landowner after the Queen is another monarch, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. He holds the land in trust for the people and as a gift from God. This ancient constitutional formulation also applies in Scotland, where the monarch holds the land in trust from her ultimate feudal superior, God. The same religious formula applies to the King of Morocco, Sultan Quaboos of Oman, King Abdullah of Jordan, the Emir of Kuwait and Sheikh Hamad of Qatar.
In Canada, New Zealand and Australia, government agencies allocate and dispose of land on behalf of the Crown. There is no formal record of any of these countries remitting funds to the UK on behalf of the Queen.
The Pope, who is a head of state and a monarch in international law, also acts as God’s representative but not in quite the same way as Muslim monarchs. In Catholic dogma, all land does indeed come from God, and for many centuries the Pope had nearly as many acres as Elizabeth II has today – between 20 and 30 per cent of Europe and the same proportion of South America. Most of those lands have been lost, but the Pope is understood to own all the land of the Catholic Church’s institutions, religious orders and dioceses as monarch, on much the same basis as the Queen owns her acres. The estimated total of land held by the Pope is around 177 million acres.
At eight on the list of individual and family landowners are the farms and ranches of the Kidmans in Australia, to whom the actress Nicole Kidman is related. Theirs is the largest private, non-monarchical, non-state landholding on earth. The Kidmans cannot “own” land in Australia; only the Queen does so there. What the Kidmans possess is a mixture of specific Crown leases for fixed periods of time and freehold leases for indefinite periods.
The first American on the list, Ted Turner, is at number 24. As Australia demonstrates, a small population can create huge landholdings if there is plenty of available land. Despite its vast size, America has a relatively large population in relation to land availability, especially for agricultural use. Both countries practice free-market capitalism, but the American model is based largely on industry and population, while Australia’s is based on a combination of agriculture and mined minerals.
Alongside the Kidman holdings, there are no fewer than eight other Australian ranches on the list, the smallest of which, the Colonial Agricultural Company, is over 4.5 million acres in size. While the Kidman holding is larger than Hungary, larger even than 90 of the world’s smaller states, Colonial Agricultural is bigger than the world’s smallest 43 countries. These huge holdings, which are are not replicated in either the home of free-market capitalism, the US, or Canada, suggest that economic prosperity at a corporate level is not formally impeded by feudal structures, so long as there is flexibility in their application, matched by entrepreneurial aggression in forcing that flexibility to operate.
Kidman Holdings was founded by Sir Sidney Kidman in the 19th century. Nicole’s parent’s Antony and Janelle are related to some of the largest landowners on the planet.
A map of Australia showing (in red) the vast amount of land spread over 17 locations belonging to Kidman Holdings – said to be larger than Hungary, larger even than 90 of the world’s smaller states…
The Anna Creek Station is the largest cattle range in the world at 11 million hectares
Australian farming company Kidman Holdings is the eighth biggest landowner in the world. The research, published today, ranks the Kidmans as owning a tract of land four-and-a-half times the size of Wales – 24,000,000 acres. ‘Theirs is the largest private, non-monarchical, non-state landholding on earth.’
But despite the Kidmans’ possible association with landed wealth, the list is topped by the Queen, whose lands include Sandringham – and the whole of the Commonwealth
By international comparison, a high proportion of land in New Zealand is now set aside for conservation purposes. Just over 32 per cent of our total land area is legally protected, either as public conservation land or through conservation initiatives on private land, such as the QEII Trust covenants. The amount of public conservation land has increased significantly since 1997. For example, 8.06 million hectares were set aside in New Zealand for public conservation land in 2004. By the end of October 2007, a total of 8.43 million hectares were legally protected. This represents an increase of 4.56 per cent in less than three years, which has been achieved partly through the buy-back of Crown-owned land that was formerly leased or licensed to others.Conservation efforts on private land have also increased significantly. In 2004, a total of 146,280 hectares were registered as formally protected private land. By June 2006, the QEII Trust and Ngā Whenua Rāhui protected a total of 221,473 hectares – an increase of 51.4 per cent over this two-year period. READ MORE:
Brittanje in NZ
“Location of Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants and registered covenants and area protected June 2006”