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LAND OF THE DISPOSSESSED

_________GEORGE MONBIOT _________ It is all very well to talk about land refo rm in the

T h ird World, but we need land reform in Britain.

MSadie Bowen watches bailiffs arrive to evict her while being interviewed by two journalists.

o n m o u t h , th e town where two rivers and two n a t io n s meet, is on the b rin k o f being torn a p a r t . For th e la s t th ou sand years, it was one o f the centres o f th e Welsh B o rd e rs ’ economy. Like all m a rket tow ns, it engaged, un til recently, in com m erce which reflected bo th the resources an d th e peculiar ta stes o f its h in te r la n d . F rom th e medieval g a te house on the bridge over the M onnow to th e te e te rin g G eorgian tow nhouses overlooking its narrow streets, it is a place unlike any o th e r.

O n e mile from the city centre, in the tria ng le o f la nd t rap p ed betw een the old tow n road and the new bypass, tren ches have exposed a fire-horizon set w ith the stem s o f clay pipes, cob

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p h o t o g r a p h b y n i c k c o b b i n g b le stones a n d broken pots. T h e holes were d ug by a rchaeologists working for th e new owners o f th e site — developers whose n am e is now fam ilia r to everyone in B rita in , the superm a rk e t chain Tesco.

A lm ost everyone in M onm ou th believes th a t the sto re would destroy w h a t makes th e ir tow n special. T h e borough council tu rn ed down th e com

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