Moving forward on affordable housing

Second attempt to write today, just stared blankly at the blank screen this morning and all was blankness. Perhaps it was the change in routine as the x-ray machines are being serviced this week so it was an afternoon appointment today. Poor Mike had to wait with me for a while yesterday as there were long delays. During yesterday’s zapping session I began imagining the x-rays destroying the crabby cells.

Bit of a result today, for a few days I’ve been fantasizing about cooking a simple meal of potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, garlic and cheese and today I cooked it, although I forgot the onion and garlic. Whilst it didn’t taste of much it felt good, didn’t taste ‘cardboardy horrible’ and I was pleased.

Kate had brought a coffee cake home, all the way coming back from hospital I was thinking about eating a slice; great disappointment, totally tasteless. I wasn’t pleased.

So, just read our local monthly magazine The Purbeck Gazette and there were, as is often the case, articles and letters about ‘affordable housing’, it’s desirability, who should decide on what, where and who pays. In the olden PT (pre-Thatcher) days we had council housing which was based on a simple formula of local wages and property values. This meant that rents were typically about 50% of local private rental values, thus allowing people to live and work in relatively expensive areas. In my opinion a good thing, otherwise we get a balkanisation of communities because of property prices (as is happening in London right now).

When the Thatch started selling council houses, councils were, and are, scandalously not allowed to use the money from the selling to build new housing. It was, and is, social engineering for which we are paying a price, especially the poor and younger folk.

So, instead of council housing we now have this thing called ‘affordable housing’, as ever in our neoliberal world this is an Orwellian misnomer. For rental housing it’s set at up to 80% of local private rentals, and hey, guess what, it’s pretty unaffordable: people on wages that most people now earn can’t afford the rent without housing benefit. Factor in the Tory benefits cap, bedroom tax, support for buy to let, allowing companies and individuals to profit so much from housing and we have an absolutely shit system. So it’s good to see the New Era protests, perhaps we need far more direct action in relation to housing. I think squatting in second holiday homes a start, I long ago suggested this and to begin with Jonathon Ross’s house in Swanage.

Random headline for yesterday’s blog but there was a piece suggesting it. I wrote a while ago that hundreds had been killed on the building sites of Qatar for the 2022 world cup, make that over 2000, how obscene, criminal and ………..words fail me. Can anyone justify over 2000 deaths for kicking a ball around? Germany wants a boycott. So Qatar could hand the tournament to Gaza, maybe with some games in surrounding countries, like Israel, Egypt and Lebanon. Now I’m quite excited by this, maybe the game could become a force for good, people working together rather than all the solipsistic, nationalistic, fundamentalist nutters doing their damndest to keep us on their paths to hell.

On the subject of Kleptos, see that Mr Lund’s “golden hello” at BG has been slashed from £12m to £10.6m, so that’s all right then.

Stateside news: many folk returned home after thanksgiving stays hooked on The Mentalist, assume it was popular family viewing. Well Kate and I have been hooked for a few years.

Manifesto 35:

  • all managementspeak to be punishable by writing out 500 lines of ‘I must not speak bollocks unto others, especially the misuse of inapposite sporting related bollocks’. So, going forward as I step up to the plate in a real time synergy of drilling down to action the gameplan.

Keep on keeping on, whether it be forward, sideways, backward, circular or even absolute stillness, love Duncan.


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