If you wanted to buy the Black Cuillens -- it’s a mountain range on a little Scottish island called Skye incidentally -- sorry but you’re too late. A very rich and so-far completely anonymous American has just paid millions of dollars for them. Quite what he intends to do with a pile of jagged rocks on a remote Scottish island no one has the foggiest idea. There’s no gold. Just a lot of stones and a couple of salmon rivers. Its a heck of a price to pay for a spot of fishing. Maybe it’s the history. The Black Cuillens are part of the estate of the famous McLeod clan. And the famous McLeod clan, like so many of Britain’s famous families, have fallen on hard times. They do have Dunvegan castle, eight hundred years old, but the roof is falling down. They do invite people to buy tickets and see the place. It’s the only way the aristocracy can survive. But the castle roof is in such a state, no amount of ticket sales will save it. So Britain’s heritage goes up for grab again, and America stumps up the cash. You’ve already bought the Queen Mary cruise liner, London Bridge and even Rolls Royce cars. Now they’re part of Ford, would you believe. I went to an auction in London the other day where they were selling Lordships of the Manor, ancient titles that merely give you the right to call yourself Lord of the Manor of Some Quaint British Village. And a bit of paper to prove it. But bidders were falling over themselves to part with their money. And yes, the big bidders were American.
Which is all fine and dandy until we wake up over here and discover that the very ground we’re standing on is now owned by an absentee landlord from the Midwest.
As you will have guessed, the people who live on the Isle of Skye aren’t happy. The Black Cuillens have been part of the McLeod family estate for a thousand years. All we know about the new owner is that he’s American and describes himself as a land collector. A sharp one too. The mountains were on sale for twenty million dollars. He only paid twelve million. You lot drive a hard bargain!
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