Home and attitude

My frame of mind gets pushed out of sync when I am watching ‘The worlds most extraordinary homes’.

blue wall alley

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on Pexels.com

It’s mind-blowing to see homes wedged under rock, in the forest, along a steep coastline or balancing on mountain ledges.

Recently, I completed a survey, which asked what I like about London and I answered among other things I like the plenty of food and shopping opportunities.

Today I watchen the program and there are no shops, someone had to actually build a road to get to a build the house and buildings in the rainforest. There is no infrastructure as we know it, there is just somebody with a lot of money who can afford to build where they like.

Only people who do not work 9 – 5 can reside in remote locations, anybody with a regular 8 hours job probably couldn’t commute as there is no established transport to the areas of the houses.

minimalist photography of white and gray condominium

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

We workers live in blocks of flats or mass-occupied areas with a steady supply of goods, services, food and of course public transport.

Living in a city, a block of flats, in an urban environment, our minds always circle around the same thoughts, which are quite restricted to daily routine, commuting, shopping, education, work, budgets.

But living in a wild, remote area, with no shops, little traffic and no neighbours must spin the mind off into other things. I wonder whether this increases creativity to be able to make world-changing discoveries, like Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity by watching an apple fall from a tree. Imaging what could happen if we lived in remote areas with all that modern knowledge we have these days as compared to primitive cultures living an remote areas without modern comforts.

I wonder whether creativity needs solace to think out of the box.

Deal or no deal

With the oncoming general election the Conservatives are striving to get into government once again, which would lengthen their stretch by another 5 years.

Promises to end fracking, raise benefits by the inflation level from next year is meant to appeal to those poor who are leaning towards the Leave campaign but are natural Labour voters.

I think that offer is not good enough. What about the rubbish housing laws that see the poor misplaced and moved out of areas into short-term tenancies?

What about working conditions that don’t even allow workers to determine when they want to take a holiday, gave us zero-hour contracts?

And of course the promise of the Labour Party to end the misery caused by tuitition fees will be very attractive to large swathes of the population, even the middle classes will like it.

Free care for the elderly will attract everybody who has some property and does not want to have to sell it to pay for care.

The Conservative Party even gotten rid of the maintenance allowance for poorer students. That was a payment of around 3 – 4.000 pounds per year to help students with rent and living costs whilst studying. The first act the Conservative government did was to stop the Child Trust Fund, which paid money into an account created for every newborn child.

A rise of benefits with inflation will not even touch the loss of other major needs.

The benefits freeze was initiated by George Osborne, who then opted to leave the government. Osborne also was a big influence on the decision to hold the referendum that still haunts this nation for years to come.

A strong woman

The women pushed these days into positions of power are often the type who have their maternal instincts removed and instal policies a woman with maternal instincts and children would not make.

Just watched this first discussion about the outcome of the Grenfell Report where the female London Commissioner Dany Cotton of the Fire Brigade caused concern for victims by defending the behaviour of the officers on the day, saying she would not change anything on the information she knew at the time.

mother-as-nurse

A picture of my mother working as nurse at the end of World War II

A typical old-fashioned female would have felt sorry and come up with some more potentially life-saving answers to please the audience.

Margaret Thatcher, the first female British Prime Minister  is the classic example of a desensitized female who becomes even more stringend in her disregard to people as an old-fashioned Conservative man would. She hated working-class families and dismantled the unions. She started the process, selling off council flats, so that poor people had their bases taken away.

Theresa May, destroyed any integrity working-class people had via zero-hours contracts, Universal credit and a further reduction in housing security. Theresa May took it one step further from what Margaret Thatcher had started.

Now Esther McVey, feels no shock for leaving poor females in an old cock-roach infested block of flats whilst she proudly proclaims success for a new housing development for rich people nearby.

I can remember the old-school Conservative government well. A mixture of sexist males who would find generosity in their policies towards poor families with children and provide family-friendly policies. At least people still had proper rented homes with benefits to match demand and poor families had a chance to settle into family life.

All this changed with strong females at the helm who came up with policies who would punish people who dared having families without the money to do so. It’s the Conservatives who invented the Female Dictator figure. I think it is sad that woman allow themselves to be used in that way, just to prove that they can be as efficient as men.

I think women, wo made it into the richer, upper crust, want to show their superiority towards those poor, unfortunate woman who have no choice but survive in the poverty they have been given.

My own sister is an excellent example. Unable to have children herself, she always disregarded me as some unmentionable entity. Living in Britain with a poor man but lots of children, my sister refused to speak to me. When my father died, my sister tried everyting she could to deprive me of my inheritance, guaranteed by law and engaged a solicitor to snatch my quarter of my inheritance of me. She didn’t succeed, as many of you know I am good with legal arguments.

My sister has lots of money but cannot find a penny to help me or my children. Of course my inheritance is long gone, paying back debts, I had accumulated whilst my sister, as a spinster finds solace in counting her money.

 

homeless choice

Just as I reported about 45.000 homeless people in Los Angeles the other day, today I find a story about a homeless mother and son from Somalia living in Wandsworth on a bench.

Of course probably the weather makes a big impact on the homeless lifestyle. On average in Los Angeles temperatures are 13 degrees celcius in the winter, whlst the average temperature in London in winter is 2 degrees celcius. In a very cold year, it can be as low as -15, though that rarely happens.

On average the life expectancy of a homeless person in Britain is around 44. So living outside is not as good for your health as living in a flat.

Yet the culture of being homeless in California is very concerning, that poeple live inside of bridges, cars, all kinds of crevices, trailers. It seems to have become a lifestyle to escape the rules that come with having an abode.

The couple – a mother and her son – who live on a bench in Wandsworth, refuse continuously offers of flats and make themselves local celebrities on the bench. Well, cabs give them free rides, local takeaways give them free food. That is attractive and saves a lot of money. I am not sure if they also get benefits; so they could save quite a bit.

With earth warming, we may get higher temperatures and that habit of living on the streets may spread here as well. It would breakdown our culture and civilisation if people don’t dwell in proper houses.

 

woman in gray dress lying on bench

Photo by Nicole Law on Pexels.com

 

 

saving the state money

Some believe that unadulterated privilege is OK if it saves the state money. Donald Trump saves the state money in that he doesn’t draw a salary, but should it not be made a rule that nobody could work without getting paid unless it is a voluntary position?
Nobody in an executive position should have a voluntary status; then use this status to make policies that discriminate against some parts of the population.
Since I am so surprised that the Labour Party wants to abolish private education, I am gob-smacked as well as speechless. I can support that plan. I think that people who pay into private schools simply share the resources they create only with other privileged people who can afford to pay equally as much.
Those resources are systematically withheld from poorer pupils and that therefore constitutes discrimination.

Poor students need to take out expensive student loans, for which they are charged interest whilst private schools can act as if they are charitable and avoid paying VAT.  Pupils attending private schools are privileged and have a higher chance of being admitted to the top set of social climbers.

Something is not quite right here.
The argument is right that people who go to Eaton or other private schools are not really much more clever than poorer people but they are privileged and get simply pulled through the ranks without much competition and  learn to appear confident in what they do. Children grow up more confident if they have all the gadgets around them and can boast that their parents have the bigger house, better boat and luxury cars at home.

There is talk of free personal care for over 65. That is just as well as the pension age has been rising well above that age.
The argument that all people can work till they are over the age of 70 doesn’t work in any event, there are some who are fitter and some who are not.
But reducing working hours generally down to 32 hours per week would probably indicate that through less consumerism we need to produce less and therefore will have an abundance of labour.

It will definitely become cheaper in the long run to

  1. house the homeless
  2. care for the needy
  3. reduce working hours
  4. abolish zero hours working contracts
  5. provide cheap long-term housing
  6. educate all pupils to the same high standards.

Yet I am surprised by Labour’s stance making out they are so concerned about the environment because so far it has been the Union’s policy to fight for any job regardless how environmentally damaging the product or production method was.

I’ll watch the progress of the situation.

Slash, bang, whallop

Here we have it, Boris Johnson, shows how tough he is on crime and wants to build 10.000 more prison places and increase stop and search.

We are going towards a classical double-sided society. The underlings, living in prison cells and the good people living in houses/flats.

In the old days we could see the two-way society by the way pubs were built with two entrances for the poor and the rich. The public and saloon bars.

Boris Johnson now wants to create a new society whereby everybody just gets locked up, out of the way and that creates the internment society.

Gone has the community cohesion model, the trying to build civil societies who live together in peace and harmony.

I am not against stop and search and I am not against re-introducing the 20.000 police officers that were cut from the budget but recruiting masses of police officers quickly, doesn’t exactly increase the quality control of officer that is coming to our beats.

Yet stop and search done on an aggressively large scale, can seriously push mentally instable people over the edge and we may be walking towards a new age of riots.

Whilst the new government bemoans a break-down in civil society here in Tower Hamlets all Neighbourhood Watch signs were taken down from lamp posts. Those signs were always

  • an expression of anti-crime sentiment,
  • deterrents for criminals and
  • assurance for residents.

Why remove those signs, when they are simply a positive influence on the community? And whilst removing Neighbourhood Watch signs, which always introduced a better feeling of community spirit and increased attempts of community cohesion and simply replace all by a quick lock up and shut up policy?

It seems we are trending towards the Chinese model of building internmnet centres for re-education, and assisted living.

It is totally amazing that the government suddenly can find the funds to build 10.000 new prison places but is unable to build council housing in the same scale.

Keeping the poor in poverty

This government’s employment, education and housing strategy is mainly aimed at keeping the poor in a position of legal servitude. We have entered the age of modern slavery.

“The government had an opportunity to help support the most disadvantaged people in the UK but has instead wasted over half a million pounds,” said Lord Jay, chairman of the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee.

The government even refuses to spend £3.5 Million of Eurpoean Union Funding for the alleviation of child poverty and already had to hand back £580.000 of unspent cash, given by the EU as funding to the UK.

So all those Brexit arguments saying we could spend money we give to the EU on ourselves, is simply a lying trick to hype up the Brexit agenda. They have no intention of making things better for our poor families.  See source article. 

shifting responsibility

Look at it at very basic principles. The Conservative government wants to get rid of any government led service provision and shift the responsibilities for everything onto the private individual.

That principle is what led to a recent tribunal decision whereby leaseholders of a block of flats lost and have to foot the bill for £3.000.000 worth of cladding removal, fire patrols and developers legal fees.

photo of green leaf potted plants on window and stand

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

It is simply this principle of transferring everything from government to individuals, the principle of personal freedom and less taxes for all, that makes the indivduals pay.

Previously and post-war we had council estates, provided by local authorities, maintained and paid for and rented out.

I remember on our estate, the first flats for sale went for £5.000 for a 2 bedroom flat. Crazy prices. After that prices went gradually up to £5.000 for a 3-bedroom flat and now the prices are at £300.000 and rising for small flats.

But the difference is that every leaseholder is still responsible or all the costs of the block.

When I go to a residents meeting, most attendees are leaseholders and proud to be so but all are complaining about their costs. Apparently most of our Labour councillors are also all leaseholders of flats. So there is little difference in the Labour and Conservative activities.

It used to be Labour pro council housing and pro renting out. Now it’s all a mish-mash of ill-thought out policies and practises.

It simply is not working and people are deeply unhappy about the whole situation.

Nobody seems to practise what they preach anymore. There are no clear lines.

Obviously the sale of council flats has made living more expensive for everyone and raised the stress-levels. So why do it?

Housing

minimalist photography of white and gray condominium

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

In Germany for housing, the percentage cost of income is 27% and in Britain its 40%. Additionally there is a corrolation in that the higher the percentage of home-ownership, the higher is the amount of unemployment.

The combination of home ownership with a lack of homes for rent pushes up the housing cost and increases immobility. It increases the cost of living and reduces the quality of life through a need to have long commutes to work through public transport because home owners are stuck in their homes and have to commute to work. Especially the sale of many council flats increased social immobility and increased the cost of housing and reduced the availability of homes for rent.

In Britain renters stay in their homes for about 4 years and in Germany for around 11 years.

Britain is obsessed with home ownership.

Additionally real wages have fallen by 6%.

Yet the government created this red herring Brexit that is supposed to solve all the problems. One of the new Conservative candidates, Dominic Raab, threatens to shut down parliament to circumvent the democratic process and create a no-deal Brexit. Brace yourselves.

Britain is getting poorer under this government.

Source Politics Live, 6/6/19

BBC ‘High rents make young people less mobile’

BBC Through the wealth gap, the proportion of second home-ownership amongst the wealthiest has risen, whilst the average person is kept out of homeownership.

 

More young men remain residing at home

It is being blamed on the economic downturn but may also have to do with the direct selling of properties to foreign investors. See link to report.

It affects me, both my adult sons still live with me, whilst my daughters have all flown the nest. Of course they are entitled to housing because of babies and also if they find a partner with a home, they are off.

A lot may have to do with men these days earning the minimum wage.

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