with Paul Jennings, OPD smallholder and self-builder. (Part 2)
Paul Jennings built his own straw-bale house and lives with his family on a smallholding in Carmarthenshire in Wales. They were able to build their house via the One Planet Development (OPD) policy in Wales.
1. With the OPD, we have to have a land-based business. We have to be working towards something that will cover council tax, communications, clothing, food we don’t grow ourselves – plus another couple of things. If you boil down your needs to the bare minimum, you have to cover that from a land-based business.
2. it would be easier to envisage a healthy internal economy within OPD, when there are 10 times as many people doing it. Then it becomes easier, because things you might need, like onion sets, or fruit trees or livestock, then there will be an internal market – an opportunity to trade within OPD.
3. I’d begin by recreating communities, at a local, human scale. I don’t think that any political project that starts at the other end can succeed. Sufficient, small-scale communities are inimical to capitalism and the state. Because as soon as people live in communities that meet their own needs, they start to become units of resistance to large-scale outside organisations. I think it’s those face-to-face relationships that make genuine human life.