Tag Archives: Margaret Thatcher

The new Monopoly game

Do you remember playing monopoly? Did you ever play it? I grew up loving it. I am not some realtor, some real estate dreamer beyond the dream of having my own place. Most of us are like that. Just the time when I was young and the family played that game, or plying it with a couple of friends. I ended up having several versions, including the replica original with coins, in a wooden box, just a cool thing to have. So when we consider this game, as the prices of the streets were shown in those days; we knew that blue was the highest an always out of our reach. I lived in a green property for some time, so life felt good, yet today, Yellow, Red, Orange, Purple and light blue are no longer in my view of affordability, in the best case, I might be able to get one of the brown coloured properties. This is how the market changed in a mere 22 years. From an optional 80% of the map to a mere 2 out of 16, that is all that was left to me. So when I read ‘Total UK wealth tops £10tn thanks to City and property boom‘ by Larry Elliott (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/aug/08/total-uk-wealth-city-property-homes-inequality-saving), I just had to laugh. I understand that he might be trying to have a sense of humour about it. Yet when we see “A booming City and rising house prices provided a double boost to Britons holding assets in 2016 as they pushed the nation’s wealth through the £10tn mark, according to a new survey“, the question becomes: ‘How much of that is NOT owned by foreign investors?‘ Is that a weird question or what? Even as we see “Since the better off held a greater proportion of these assets, 40% of the gains of rising share and bond prices went to the richest 5% of households“, is ‘households’ correct or should it read clients represented by British law and accountancy firms, representing foreign interests in the UK? With “The £3.9tn increase in the value of residential property and financial assets owned by UK residents represented a 59% rise, whereas prices rose by 39% and gross household income was up 37%“, we see again the ‘UK resident‘ part and when we take a look at the government (at http://www.ukimmigration.com/investor/uk_investor_visa.htm), we see that basically any person investing in any property (as the London bulk is well over £1 million, the threshold for foreign investors is reached), which beckons the call, when we start digging into UK residents versus UK citizens, how will this all end? Lloyds shows even more sense of humour with “Lloyds said its figure excluded non-residential property and assets held by charities and other non-profit institutions“, which clearly includes all the foreign investors and they are always in it for the profit. It is the final part that gives the new consideration “However, a continued low mortgage rate environment, combined with an ongoing shortage of properties for sale, should help continue to support house prices over the coming months“. This now gives the premise, have the current and previous governments been guilty of betraying the British people by setting the stage of ‘ongoing shortage of properties for sale‘, in this we see the historic part that former Prime minister Margaret Thatcher was the last of the prime ministers giving a rising and clear need for social housing. We see this in the 2015 article from the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-14380936) where the amount of social housing went up in the beginning of her ‘reign’ to the highest ever recorded surpassing 150,000 right-to-buy, it took a small dive and in 1987 it got back to around 140,000, after she was succeeded in 1990, social housing took a steep dive to below 50,000 and from there it just went down and down. At the end of the labour reign in 2010 it was at the lowest stage ever, only now is there a small increase visible in that graph. Yet in the BBC article we also see a problem, even as it compares to 1918 where owner occupied is a mere 23%, the 2012-2013 part where 65% is owner occupied is as I call it ‘misrepresented‘ at 65%, because how much of that is empty and what part is foreign invested? You see, plenty of places in London are not offered for rent, but for lease, so who is the owner in that case and where does this fit in that graph? If we add the privately rented, we see that socially rented is a mere 16% (way higher than 1918), yet as we see the Thatcher numbers, who got the people there and how were the people kept out of affordable housing by not making that available. In Australia it might be as bad as the valid people in NSW housing are on the lists for a time in excess of 6 years. So how is that a solution to solving housing issues? And let’s not forget, when the housing is set and forced to become a larger contributor to social (read affordable) housing, what then remains of this ‘£10tn UK wealth‘ housing side? The fact that both sides of the political isle have been in denial and remiss to get any of that solved and Jeremy Corbyn claims to have a solution by pushing the UK in even deeper debt, deeper by the better part of a trillion pounds. So how does that help anyone?

Now, we might accept and understand that life in London is never affordable ever again, yet the political isles must equally accept that this change could constitute an infrastructure collapse. This gets us to some old news. In August 2014 we saw (at https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/aug/07/london-gets-24-times-as-much-infrastructure-north-east-england) the mention ‘London gets 24 times as much spent on infrastructure per resident than north-east England‘ which is a nice title, yet the dangers are shown soon thereafter. With “more than half of that total was down to the decommissioning of the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria – necessary, doubtless, but hardly an infrastructure ‘improvement’ as most people would understand it” we see only part of the danger. The quote “New analysis of public infrastructure spending by IPPR North lays bare the gap between how much capital expenditure there is in the capital than the rest of England” shows another part, yet the actual issue is not what is spent, but what is required to get something done. When we paraphrase it into “analysis of public infrastructure spending by IPPR North lays bare the gap between how much is required for the same amount of work in London compared to the rest of England” we see the dangers, when the infrastructure maintenance is 2400% of the rest of the UK, there is a danger, yet is it the correct one? In February this year, we see a partial repetition of the old Guardian article, yet with updated numbers it shows (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/20/more-than-half-uk-investment-in-transport-is-in-london-says-study) that London requires 50% of all the funds. In all this we are not given any reliable numbers, because in all this I do not see the comparison of £ per mile of rail serviced. Consider that London has 20 times the amounts of rail that most places have and he London rail when stretched can get a person from Waterloo station to Glasgow five times over (OK, slight exaggeration). Yet the message should be clear. As the infrastructure has less options with in addition less people being anywhere near it, the city of London is facing all levels of collapse. Another part was shown on July 17th in the Independent. The title ‘More than half a million social homes in England do not meet basic health and safety standards‘ is the first indication that social housing and infrastructure are beyond collapsing. With quotes like ‘almost one in seven of all social homes in England‘ are below standards, we see a dangerous escalation. So in this we see a mention of 224,000 houses where the most dangerous safety hazards (category one) is seen. It includes “exposed wiring, overloaded electricity sockets, dangerous boilers, leaking roofs, vermin infestations or inadequate security“, yes, the right and proper place to get your partner pregnant and start a family, would you not agree?

Even as we now see that the Grenfell disaster is a first step in looking into cladding, they all seem to forget that the cladding was done to appease the houses around Grenfell, in addition, the other failures and dangers are basically the non-cladding issues, so the mess is a lot bigger. when we consider the quote “Local authorities have a legal duty to act if a category one hazard is discovered, but hundreds of thousands are going unreported or ignored” we see a much clearer situation where government and city council members could be held accountable towards the transgression of ‘reckless endangerment‘ of lives, so in all this, what is the CPS doing? Has the Crown Prosecution Services made any start on taking a look at this, because these 244,000 houses would in theory represent 300,000 people working to some degree for the London Infrastructure, being it the underground, busses or other civil offices, if even 10% falls away, what happens then? How much pressure, increased costs and non-functional infrastructure remains for London at that point? It seems that the City of London has no way of dealing with such dangerous terms. As I see it, Lord Mayor Sadiq Khan has his work cut out for him. We should all agree that he did not cause this, but he can equally agree that it is on his plate at present and his success will be weighed against his ability to lower that danger and remove the hazards within his largely leased London city.

So as we look at the wealth boom, how exactly is it benefiting the UK and specifically London? As London becomes less and less affordable, as its ‘status’ as premium investment location continues, we might soon see a London that even the tourists can no longer afford. This is not a danger at present with the dropping pound against the Euro, so London is a great place to visit for Europeans. Yet the reality is that this benefit is merely short term, the dangers as the UK turns its economy around, which they will for certain, gives dangers that the dangers I predict are merely 5 years away. When that happens the tourism part will drop, not by a small part, but by a phenomenal amount (In my speculative view well over 20%), so whoever is investing now needs to get that part back in 4 years, they might be facing deadly competition for the few remaining tourists after that. The Time in 2015 talked about the tourism bubble and set it to greed, I think that it is not merely greed; in all this the infrastructure that is dangerously close to a collapse would be a much larger contributing item in all this. So as we see that the infrastructure is in a dangerous place, we need to wonder how the UK government will be addressing this. It is not like it is not a clearly visible issue. It is merely one of several critical issues that the UK faces. Yet in this, the housing part is also the contributing factor for other sides of infrastructure as well. We saw 3 weeks ago that the NHS has 86,000 posts vacant. Not only can they not be filled, even if there was a person available, the reality is that for nurses life in London has become largely unaffordable, which hits social housing as well as infrastructure, a clear visible item known for the better part of 3 years. As a conservative I would be willing to blame my political party, yet the BBC chart clearly shows that as the conservatives came back into office the social housing curve was moving back up (to the smallest degree). Now, there is part that was done by the previous labour government, but only to an even smaller degree. In this I will end with an article that the Business insider has in 2015, in it we see the minimum income per area, when we take a look is that only the cheapest place was affordable for NHS nurses, 54 miles from the hospital, anything nearer would require double the income they presently have, some places are forever out of their reach. Even whilst I know of some places in Swiss Cottage, Southwark and West Brompton, it is shy of the 86,000 places, it will not even give aid to 1%, or 860 places to live in. So, as some people are shrugging at the £10tn wealth value, or the imaginative issue that the NHS problem will solve itself. We need to realise that a few of these issues were interconnected and have been for many years. In this Labour and Conservatives are both to blame, they achieved nothing in stopping, or decently reducing the danger. So when you look at the Monopoly board consider the 22 places and which of these streets you cannot afford a place to live in. So how was this UK wealth any help in resolving the quality of life for those not in the top 5% wealth part, which amounts 98.85% of the UK population, foreign investors excluded.

Consider that side when the next rent is due, and more important, even as all the papers are shouting about rent drops, in the end, the rental price is merely increasing slower for now. With the rent being on average set to £1,500, the 12 month increase is set between £22 and £35 a month depending on your condition, so when you consider that if these people are lucky, their pay increase ended up being up to £61 a month, we see that the increase only takes care of the rent, it will not hold water to take care of the increased price of groceries or heating, so the outlook for the British tenant will be gloomy this Christmas. And before you start blaming Brexit, it would not have mattered one bit. If anyone tells you different, as I personally see it, they would be lying to you.

The people in Britain are seeing a new Monopoly board. Where you start with £800 and passing start gets you a mere £100, in addition add 15% to every street in the first 5 turns and add another 15% for the rest of the game. The final changes are 40% more due for any station and set utilities to 15 times rolled, regardless if it is one or both owned. Now we get a slightly more realistic version of the game as we live it today, so how far would you get in that version of the game? I might want to add that we would need to add 4 pubs, one for each side and treat them like the stations, yet the amount due is 10 times the rolled dice. It seems that our childhood monopoly is the one we still think we live at times, even as we never had any ambitions to own hotels, we always expected to get one house in one street sometimes in our lives; the reality is that this is no longer an expected reality. The reality is now that whomever owns and keeps a place, leaving that to the children is the only guarantee that they have any future at all in the UK, a reality that was not due to Brexit, but due to a government having other commitments, one that was to spending too much whilst not having any backup in place, it is the reality all in the UK face until well over 2040. I still believe that the conservative path to diminish the debt is the only way out and when we consider the news about the £40 billion divorce bill, that is not too weird, because at present Mario Draghi is spending 150% of that every month and getting out now seems to be a lot safer than being around when that collapses, or is that explodes into the faces of EU citizens? Most disagree with me on that, loads of them with economic degrees and that is fine. As I see it, the people all over are in denial of previous debts made and seem to imply that it is not for them to solve, so at your banks when you borrow £2500 every month to pay for things like rent, do you think that you will not have to pay any of it back? Do you think that financial institutions are that philanthropically minded? So as City AM announced on July 17thEurozone inflation fell in June, the European Commission today confirmed, easing pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to start tightening monetary policy at its next announcement on Thursday”, yet a week later we see “Draghi struck a dovish tone at the meeting in Frankfurt, with no firm date given to an announcement on the future of the quantitative easing programme, but investors were not convinced”, which we got on Friday July 21st. So as the spenders are all in denial on several levels, we see that their impact could be a disaster for London when that hits, I have stated in personal belief that getting out of that mess sooner would be essential for the UK. A mere week ago we saw (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-03/big-investors-losing-faith-in-europe-s-ecb-fuelled-junk-rally). Now we see the first mention, not of QE, but the mentioning of ‘ECB-Fuelled Junk Rally’, Bloomberg is now speaking almost the same parts that I have advocated against for many months. With the quote “Deutsche Asset Management has reduced holdings of European junk bonds in its 100 billion euro ($106 billion) multi-asset portfolios and JPMorgan Asset Management says investors should brace for a tough second half. BlackRock Inc. says risks for European credit are tilted to the downside and Nataxis SA recommends dialing back high-yield debt exposure” the large players seem to accept (read: come to the conclusion) the dangers I warned for, for many months, this is a dangers that Brexit should avoid. So, as some players are trying to delay it all, so that the UK gets part of that additional 2 trillion (as I see it).

These matters are connected, you see, when those players try to escape the sewers they will seek other parts that give rise to returns on investment that avoids their downfall, this is where the Monopoly game comes in. Because the reality is that this mentioned UK wealth of £10tn could be the escape hatch they need, yet in that the dangers to the infrastructure would only increase, I might be wrong in that view, yet it is merely my view. So feel free to disagree, providing you do not cry when I am proven correct yet again.

 

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Back to the Future politics

I have nothing against Jeremy Corbyn, I just don’t think he is particularly well at what he does, which as a conservative is pretty good news for me. Yet, when he loses the plot to the extent the Guardian implies he is, we need to worry about the minimum quality of politicians. Could it get any worse (I so hope Labour proves me wrong). The article that sets it off is ‘Corbyn says May must come clean over UK-made cluster bombs‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/22/jeremy-corbyn-theresa-may-cluster-bombs-uk-saudi-arabia-yemen). Now, normally it might be an issue, yet the actual issue is set in the following quotes and lets dissect them one at a time: “why it took so long for the government to establish that British-made cluster bombs banned by an international treaty were dropped by Saudi Arabia in Yemen“, so the Prime Minister of the UK is required the explain the acts of a sovereign nation that is not the UK? The missing part is given in the next quote “cluster bombs sold from the UK in the 1980s had been deployed in the current conflict in Yemen“, so Corbyn isn’t wasting everyone’s time with the particulars of another sovereign nation, no, he’s doing it in regard to weapons sold 30 years ago. Basically, he is advertising that the Labour party has no actual real issues to deal with, so they go back to the age when the labour party was a lot better than now, yet we all still felt safer with Margaret Thatcher being in charge, at least that is still a consistent truth today. So it is at this point that we see the reason why the Labour party might have hit rock bottom. The quote “The use of the cluster bombs is particularly controversial because the UK is a signatory to the Ottawa convention banning their deployment or assistance with their deployment, although Saudi Arabia is not“, Some might state that it is a big thing, yet realise that it was signed in December 1997 and it became effective from March 1999. So we see the mention of a treaty that came in effect close to 15 years AFTER the items were sold. This implies a few things, like retroactive things on sold items. So how stupid is this?

By the way, the one who fired the weapons never signed the treaty, so there is that too.

Now for the part that matters. There are over 30 nations that produce cluster munition. So, there are now two issues. One, did Saudi Arabia fire weapons sold 30 years ago? Were the weapons retrofitted for the planes that Saudi Arabia is using at present? If not, can we agree that there is a chance that more up to date bombs have been used, possibly not made in the UK? By the way, the issue given is that the US is also not part of the Ottawa treaty and the fact that the US has been supplying the planes (read: F-15). Is there any chance that the US would have been delivering the boom stuff too? No idea whether this would have been a Raytheon or Northrop Grumman item perhaps? I do not know, but I do know that asking Theresa May would not be on my list, mainly because she is likely to know sod all of weapon systems. There would have been the tiniest spark of intelligence if the question had been addressed towards Sir Michael Fallon, even if 30 years late, he could have looked into this. So, as we agree that the use of cluster bombs would have been known for some time, the fact that it is not up to the UK to speak on the actions of Saudi Arabia makes equally sense.

Even if we agree on the sensibility of the quote: “Even the US has suspended some military supplies to Saudi Arabia. Why can’t we do the same?” Well is that actually true? Don’t forget that the suspension could be lifted on January 21st after a new president is in office. So, the UK is now requested to cut the outstanding 22 planes (read: Eurofighter Typhoon). How stupid in this day of economies is that? First Labour squanders 11.2 billion on NHS IT that never worked and now they want to stop the UK economy to pick up? An act the French would love, but it seems to be really weird to stop one nation to get a plane that well over half a dozen nations are getting. Yet, in all this, I personally get the feeling that Jeremy Corbyn is not the most logical thinker of all time. He reminds me of the expression: “He’s stupid, but he’s not stupid, you hear what I’m saying?

Oh and the connected quote in this is even more hilarious “there has to be a political process to bring about a ceasefire as there does in Syria“, we can ignore the typo here, as I am more interested in the event of a ceasefire in Syria, when was there one and for how many minutes was it ever honoured? I think we can see the wind blow from an anal direction, smelly, unwelcome and extremely unhelpful, except for the person who is doing the farting, especially if it was after a few bowls of chili and cheesecake. The quote “They said the reported use of cluster bombs “calls into question the coalition’s wider respect for the rules of war”” is actually quite interesting. It is so for two reasons.

In the first, the Saudi Arabia never ratified the Ottawa treaty and neither did America for that matter, which makes me find the entire matter moot to say the least. In addition, I have been to the Middle East, not to Yemen mind you, yet the issues as seen in Libya, Yemen, Gazah and Syria shows that the lines of war are blurry to say the least, whilst not inaccurate, or improper, the ‘rules of war’ tend to be a bit of a ghost reading when we consider any war in the middle east. Even when fully part of a government, distinction of combatant and non-combatant quickly goes blurry, Beirut is equally a nice example in the 80’s. And what does that mean ‘wider respect for the rules of war’, he did not state the articles of war, giving way to a few more issues that bubble to the surface. More important, which accords (read: treaty) did Saudi Arabia sign? So as everyone is accepting the blind accusation of the use of British munition, which could be valid, the fact that the deal was made 30 years ago takes it all from the table. From my side, there is no clear evidence that if this stems from the 80’s that it is those delivered bombs (if they were of the cluster type) has no way of actually knowing what origin the used cluster munition had. And after they went boom, it might be impossible to show the original maker of the device that went boom. The last is a speculation from my side, yet overall, how wrong am I?

So as we see that Labour wants an early election and on how Jeremy Corbyn will hold nationwide ‘economic policy conferences’, will he also be raising issues that are 30 years old? Will we hear the story of the squandered 11.2 billion pound NHS funds? Or will he get united support by the financial industry on how important the single European market is? You know, those people who have everything to lose when they need to become competitive instead of having a 27 nation agreement where all get the maximum charge out of pension funds everywhere? I am merely asking. In addition, perhaps we will get info how the British economy is so much better served by not charging Saudi Arabia 2.3 billion Euro, so that France can. Let’s be honest here, I have no issues with the vote to halt delivery of weapons to any nation, yet to do it on a delivery done 30 years earlier is equally disturbing, especially as there still unanswered questions regarding the amount delivered and more important when the cluster bombs were delivered, for which plane were they meant?

Jeremy Corbyn should be making a lot of people really nervous. A person that is too little regarded in his own party is likely to be removed from his own office within a week of winning, so as we then see infighting and no results whatsoever, we see a stagnant economy fold and it will only benefit those who want to increase their stranglehold on the British Economy. The UK cannot afford this. In that regard having UKIP run the nation might even be safer, a bolt and dangerous statement to say the least. What we can see is that Labour no longer has what it takes. Let me just ask one last question to Jeremy Corbyn: “The £11.2 billion squandered on a non-working NHS IT project. Can we have it back please?” There is unlikely an answer forthcoming and more important, he has absolutely no clue where that kind of money from. Oh and let’s be clear what is starting all this, an event that is 30 years old! #JustSaying

 

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Your Affordable Front door Key

There was an interesting article in the Guardian yesterday (at http://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2016/jun/03/london-foreign-investors-money-housing-property). The article has a missing side, but that is not in question. You see Dawn Foster is illuminating an essential side. The issue ‘housing without xenophobia‘ is well found and well-founded too, all rounded and informative. An excellent piece. My side is not of opposition, but on a part she did not pause on (which was never a requirement).

The quote “they drone about how “Britain is full”” is one you need to remember, you probably will because the average UKIP person will hammer it to an uninterested audience on a daily basis. The second quote is probably one of the most brilliant ones “Britain is not “full” and very little of the country is built upon. With an ageing demographic, we need our population to expand; and with birth rates declining, immigration will be key to propping up the economy, the NHS and the care industry“, I agree with Dawn, but in that light she does not acknowledge that London is actually ‘full’, that part is nearly a given. Nearly being the operative word as the bulk of the UK population can’t afford to live there. There are plenty of other places where people in the UK cannot live, because the prices have gone up by too much. You see, the silent part in this article is all around ‘affordable housing’.

Dawn does illustrate this in the quote “But the most pernicious and covert xenophobia in the housing debate concerns “foreign ownership”. The amount of overseas investment, particularly in the London housing market, is increasing. Empty towers owned by foreign money are also an issue, because they ramp up house prices and concentrate construction on luxury suites rather than family homes and flats for first-time buyers” and she emphasises the need for housing to be affordable. Yet, I ‘accuse’ her of remaining silent? How come?

Well, first of all, her article was not required to ponder on it, perhaps we the readers should be doing that. The UK must soon, if not as early as yesterday amend the investment rules regarding real estate and investments. You see Dawn is not the first person getting close to the issue. There was David Batty, who is not as batty as some say he is (at http://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2016/jan/30/luxury-london-homes-86m-social-housing), where we see on January 30th of this year “A Treasury spokesman said: “This government is already taking strong action to ensure fairness in the housing market and help people on to the housing ladder. In 2014 we introduced a higher rate of stamp duty for properties over £1.5m and from April 2016 additional properties will face additional rates of stamp duty. This will enable us to double the affordable housing budget”“, which makes me wonder how far those plans are coming along. In April of this year (at http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/apr/20/london-housing-crisis-sub-prime-problem-super-prime), Anna Minton reminds us with “Down the road from Balfron, Peter and Alison Smithson’s Robin Hood Gardens, also internationally acclaimed, failed in its bid to gain listing, and is now one of dozens of estates, housing tens of thousands of people around London, facing imminent demolition“, we should not forget to carefully ponder the quote “While David Cameron has heavily promoted the sink estate narrative to justify “estate regeneration” – essentially a euphemism for demolition – Lord Adonis (PS not the same person Greece refers to), the former Labour minister appointed by George Osborne to chair the national infrastructure commission, is given to blunter statements, having made it clear that a central reason to knock down London’s estates is that they are sitting on “some of the most expensive land in the world”“, it is there that we see the problems and the issues for London and for the UK. The part ‘the most expensive land in the world‘ comes from a push we saw in the 80’s. I remember those times really well. Here is an actual decent quote from the Telegraph (who knew): “Mrs Thatcher and her Chancellor Geoffrey Howe confronted the recession in a very brutal way. Rather that cut taxes, they raised them, and rather than increase Government spending, they slashed it“, written by Angela Monaghan. It is not unlike the days the UK is facing right now, people have forgotten that from that era new wealth was created, in similar light, the politicians have forgotten that life in those days was at least to some extent affordable when we consider the UK rents, so there is the issue that is unspoken, we need to cap certain events, not in light of some assumptionary value of land, but to a value where we count the value on how many people are housed within that area. That is where we need to see the changes to investment taxation when it comes to real estate. So what if this balance is not a seesaw as we often approach it, what if it is more like a Balancing Bird Center of Gravity (at http://www.amazon.com/Balancing-Center-Gravity-Physics-Colors/dp/B0019LNESE)? So as the body and tail of the bird is the lucrative side of investment property as foreign investors see it, than the affordable housing part would be represented by the size of the wings. The fairness of not opposing ‘profit’ for those foreign and domestic investors, but to carry their profit they need to invest into the wings and quite a large amount too. Of course, that could mean that the wings are not in London, but that would not be the worst part would it? In the end those houses are also part of their fortune, whether it is rent to own, the foundation of those investors becoming housing corporations or even the start of a new British housing dynasty. They will grow into long term investors and growing the need the UK has for affordable housing, which is where we see the highly needed balance of profit and endurance.

That is the silent non addressed issue. That part should have been dealt with for the longest of amounts. One of the articles mentions Heygate Estate, we see the area of Walworth, Southwark, and South-London as a housing project, but what it became was even worse than a failure. The fact that it required to be demolished 40 years later, only 40 years later is the huge issue. The idea of modernisation was overshadowed by many issues, yet in this light is the clarity that the buildings failed to foster a sense of community. In my view it seems to image a prison estate. Modernisation without elegance fosters alienation plain and simple. Architect Tim Tinker stated: “farrago of half-truths and lies put together by people who should have known better” (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-23371735), yet who are those people? You see, when you place people in such a massive proximity, you negate the need for what I regard to be ‘spacious privacy‘. You might not comprehend this, or at least some of you will not, but when you are in an office, try to relate to people working in cubicles, those people tend to be different. Isolation in a work environment creates a different form of segregation. There is actually a decent blog article on the matter (at https://www.tradegecko.com/blog/open-office-beneficial-detrimental), I think that there is another layer at work. The writer states this on the open Facebook/Google culture “They are popular and effective no doubt, but only work because their office layouts align with their company culture and caters to diverse staff needs“, here I do not completely agree. Yes, he is stating a correct fact, but an incomplete one. You see, in an open environment we do not only work our way, work in open space and in cohesion, it works because these people work with the need to consider the work of others. That is where these housing projects are an issue. As there is a lack of community, consideration takes a downturn for the worse more and more. Yes, it can breed inconsideration, crime and anti-social behaviour, but is that actually happening or is that only happening in the mind of the other person, the fear of hardship due to isolation? Only the people who lived there would be able to tell for certain.

It is a mere question and the question matters because that is a psychological event that has been known LONG BEFORE that housing project became to be. I personally believe that if the project was more spacious, with a small Tesco mall in the middle with a lower population on such an area, I reckon (an assumption on my side) that a critical population point was surpassed here. I do not have the skills or the math to help you in that regard, it is only speculation from my side. However, to see housing to be demolished after merely 40 years shows a larger problem, problems with planning, with execution and perhaps even with the quality. Whatever it is, this needs to be done better and it needs to be done soon and adjusting foreign investments is the only clear way to do this (so far four administrations have been a failure in this). The issue as I see it is that Margaret Thatcher was the last one truly working on affordable housing. Some state that this started to happen in 1997, whilst there is enough evidence that the flat line was as early as 1991, making the starting point of this issue whilst the power was in the hands of Sir John Major, the fact that this continued during what we now laughingly refer to as New Labour. Even as we accept that a lot was done under the Thatcher government, we have to raise the issue that several of them after 40 years are now changing hands and getting pushed into other projects, making the costs 40 years ago high and might be regarded as a bad investment. This is here we are now, the need for affordable housing and no solution in sight, especially when the government is well over a trillion short. Foreign investors could be the solution, but it will require a different kind of investor. Now, we will hear on how those investors will consider it bad investment and walk away, because plenty of them are all about short term gains. I am stating that we do not deny them the gains, we just want them to be longer term, especially with the massive tax breaks they enjoy. They can feel free to move to the US and invest there, but when that 18 trillion debt collection falters their investments could collapse or be held against much higher tariffs making the United Kingdom the best option for a safe investment, even if it is not short term. And if they back off there will be other new millionaires jumping at the chance of a long term gain with a long term balance of value and increased exposure as welcomed new wealth.

The BBC is showing us the reality of the mess that affordable housing has given its tenants: “An entire community has been forcibly displaced for the sake of mere land value speculation“, which is the failing of three governments and a really inadequate planning department, not to mention that in all this the House of Lords equally failed its citizens by not adjusting the balance against such greed driven motives. In addition, after a long term of playing Ping Pong with the Hose of Commons, we see that projects are set to readjusting, which would make sense, but the fact that the tenants are ‘forcibly displaced for the sake of mere land value‘, whilst the tenants are partially the reason for the increase in value gives weight that these tenants should not have been allowed to be displaced, but should have been awarded an exchange to a similar sized apartment at no extra cost. The value was in part due to their tenancy. From my point of view both the House of Commons and the House of Lords failed these tenants, which makes us wonder: who gives a flying fig when greed comes to town?

There is in part the silence too, but that will be an article for another day.

The UK is currently in a place that whether Brexit happens or they are faced with Bremain, local issues will not be resolved until certain measures are taken to keep the people safe, not just from investors, but from local folly and rezoning needs at a price that might not be worth the effort, not in the long run.

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