You are being very unkind to the landowners on Islay,Tim Helmer, The land on Islay is, in the main, well managed and the owners do not put an ‘economic pinch’ on the inhabitants. In fact they are quite generous benefactors to the community in one way or another.
Whilst the owners of the larger estates may have business interests on the mainland they maintain homes on Islay and they and their families spend time there. They reinvest in their estates. Why would they not? The downtrodden tenants of the cruel landlords are, thankfully, confined to history as far as Islay is concerned – this is 2018 not 1818. They certainly are NOT like slum landlords.
If you wanted to buy land you would have to pay the market value and only if that land was put up for sale.
I would suggest that Wikipedia is not the best source of information if it is presenting such a feudal view.
The various land owners – and the rest of the population – all pay taxes of one sort or another. Some of these – e.g whisky duties, going straight into the UK Treasury others – i.e. Council Tax go to Argyll and Bute Council, under whose jurisdiction Islay lies.
There is not and never will be a ‘locally elected government’ on Islay and not possible for all monies generated to remain on the island.
Regarding buy outs – Eigg and Gigha are completely different – both these islands were private land in the ownership of one person with, inthe case of Eigg, no publicly owned infrastructure such as roads. Islay is in the ownership of many with a road networking owned and maintained (albeit not very well) by Argyll & Bute Counciland I would doubt whether Ileachs would ever want a ‘buy out’.
If even a small part of the whisky revenue, i.e. taxes & duty, from these many distilleries was allowed to stay on, and be invested in, Islay the infrastructure could be upgraded to cope. As things stand this will never happen.
As for the water, distilleries on Islay and the mainland draw their water from natural sources – mostly springs – and I do not know of any who draw from public water supplies.