Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

A clampdown on gazumping and other tactics that cause misery to housebuyers and sellers is being drawn up by the government as part of a renewed attempt to reduce the cost and stress of buying a home.

The Tories want to sort this out  and are asking for evidence from industry professionals within 8 weeks. This is a commendable and justified to finally make an offer a legally binding matter in English law at a distinct point in the proceedings.

In another area of housing policy alongside this announcement, Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary revealed a possible move by the government in the November budget of partially reversing its austerity doctrine by borrowing to invest heavily in new homes and associated infrastructure.

However, in these potential housing policy announcements, a further comment in relation to the new homes investment by Mr. Javid indicates yet again where the priorities lie for this government.

‘While councils “have a big part to play” in the plan, as do housing associations, the “biggest role” should be taken by the private sector’

In contrast, only about ten families so far from the  Grenfell Towers fire disaster have been rehoused, and apparently the government have decided sprinkler systems in tower blocks are an additional safety precaution that’s unnecessary.

At a time of a housing crises where social housing should at the forefront of policy, the percentage target number of 300,000 new homes per year will no doubt be higher in the private sector.

In addition, there is a case for the more than 200,000 homes sitting empty in England – worth a total of £43bn to be utilised and renovated for the social hosing sector. Is there an issue here though? Is it because property speculators in the UK, from abroad and offshore fund investors are of the ‘family’ of rich and privileged that also include members of the Conservative Party and/or their wealthy business backers?

Consequently, is it not surprising this Tory government won’t provide the resources to local councils to track down these mysterious property owners and fund the compulsory purchase and renovations of these empty dwellings?

There is a genuine belief in the Conservative Party that a homeowner is more likely to vote Conservative. It’s even alleged George Osborne stated this privately when Chancellor in discussions about the possible political fallout electorally of the benefit cuts. He is alleged to have commented this would be negligible due to a majority affected were unlikely never to own their own homes, and this would probably reflect in their voting choices to be of no political advantage to a Tory government.

‘Gazump’ – make a higher offer for a house than (someone whose offer has already been accepted by the seller) and thus succeed in acquiring the property.

Sources: Guardian/Observer UK editions and associated published official documents.

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The irony of quoting words such as ‘subordinate’ and ‘colonial possessions’ make me suggest a wider history is read with a bit more if a perspective attitude.

 Lets not forget we’ve had the same monarch since 1603 and there was also a Union Act at that time, although not of the full type there was eventually to be in 1707. There were many reasons on both sides for the Act of Union 1707 to be agreed …not least Scotland was broke!

Up to 50% of money circulating in that country was either lost or tied up in the disaster of the Scottish Darien Company which independent Scotland set about with such astounding ignorance and lack of forethought as to the reactions of the Spanish and English having their areas of influence and trade encroached upon. And don’t go blaming the English for their blockade .. it was a time of empire building and you were attempting nothing any different than England, Spain, and France etc. were … so don’t go there!
You blew it! … and Scotland would have done exactly the same as those two countries did. Rightly or wrongly by 21st century values, but at that time everybody was at it. 

There is often the North Sea Oil argument brought up … how England took most of the revenue from that. That conveniently brushes aside the £billions invested in Scotland prior to the oil being extracted in the first place!

Even back in 1707 we coughed up nearly £400,000, of which nearly 60% was used as compensation for that failed attempt at …. yes … a subordinate quasi-colonial possession.

 I’m not saying it’s okay … I’d preferred if my vote of remain was a success. I also respect Scotland and like the place and I’m perfectly happy and respect your decision if you ever vote to become independent. However, I get fed up with the ‘whoa its me’ … ‘ya English bastards took all our oil and all that’ … ‘Us Scots are wonderful we’re not to blame for anything’ attitude. It’s bullshit! … you had a chance to go independent and guess what? … as with the Darien fiasco, you blew it again! … You wanted to stay with the Bitch Mother of Parliament at Westminster so stop whining!

Either do something about it this time around  or lets just get on FFS!

Occasionally the House of Lords in the UK functions as a proper second line of defence against the excesses of government.

By the very nature of rejection the Article 50 Bill and sending it back to Parliament with an amendment to be debated for reasons that encompasses all that is decent and well meaning to others from all nations sends a strong message to many around the world.

In particular it sends a powerful message to the government’s and citizens of the European Union that there are many of us in the UK that are not the acronym of the word BREXIT I have arrived at.

Blindingly Rejoice Excessive Xenophobia Intolerant Thoughtlessness 

Britain’s rail franchise model ‘unfit for purpose’ say MPs

In this article from the Guardian Newspaper (link below) the following has been attributed and quoted by Paul Plummer, the chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents rail operators and Network Rail….

‘Passengers and taxpayers had benefited from the franchising system in which rail companies brought new ideas and innovation to Britain’s railways’

Plummer added: “Under franchising, the railway has gone from costing taxpayers £2bn a year in terms of day-to-day costs to now contributing £200m, money which helps to fund the major rail upgrades making journeys more comfortable and reliable.”

The above has to be regarded as an appraisal of a transport infrastructure which is staggering in its level of denial of what is happening in the real world of commuter travel.

It could be justified as assuming Mr Plummer travels so rarely on trains he obviously hasn’t noticed anything wrong … nor I presume looked up from the comfort of his 1st class seating at the commuters packed in tighter than it would be legal in live animal transportation.

No doubt he prefers the luxury of a car as opposed to the 35+ year old ex London underground/overground trains used on the Southern Rail coastal line where you have the joy of potentially two hour journey’s with no toilet facilities … and that’s assuming there are no extra delays!

How wonderful to know Mr Plummer lives in the bliss of ignorance where in the real commuter world people earning less than average wages are paying far in excess of 10℅ of their gross salary on rail fares.

What a joy to know he has a job that he hasn’t had his wages deducted every time he’s hasn’t been able to get to work due to the near year long industrial disputes with Southern Rail …. or indeed lost his job.

We must express our pleasure for Mr Plummer having not experienced the consequences of Network Rail infrastructure breakdowns … particularly more signal failures than an armless policeman directing traffic.

You carry on Mr Plummer with your propaganda and you never know, keep that up and perhaps you might get a job offer from President ‘Fart’  in the USA … the combination of your ‘Emporers New Clothes’ statement and what comes out from the Trump administration could then be classified as a ‘follow through’ 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/05/britain-rail-franchise-model-unfit-for-purpose-say-mps

It’s the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth I of England’s Coronation today which took place on Sunday, January 15 1559 where Elizabeth Tudor was crowned Queen of England at Westminster Abbey.

Interesting to note the House of Tudor was probably the most ‘British’ of the royal houses since 1066 in an indigenous context. Her grandfather Henry 7th who took the crown from Richard 3rd (Plantagenet – French) in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth, was Welsh. 

Her mother Anne Boleyn, whose surname could be seen to have a French connection, was ancestorally ‘English’ of at least 500 years with the family rising up from humble origins in the Norfolk village of Salle where her early ancestors were relatively prosperous peasants.
As the Tudors after Elizabeth’s father Henry 8th didn’t have any offspring to carry on the succession James 4th of Scotland became James 1st of England.
I’m not including James 1st in the same context as Elizabeth and House of Tudor, quite simply because he’s Scottish. That was a sovereign state in it’s own right and arguably not ‘British’ in this sense as the nation’s indigenous make up is primarily Picts, Irish and Norse tribes. 
In addition the Celts in Wales were the dominant culture in what became England for centuries before the Romans arrived and then the Saxons driving them westward.
That could be argued all day but I still maintain if you take the direct lineages of other royal houses one certainly goes back far less than 500 years to find a direct relative not born in Britain.
On that theme, there’s lot of stories coming out about people from abroad who’ve lived in the UK for many years, in some cases married to a British person and have a family, now at risk of deportation as a fallout of Brexit.
Well, seeing our current Queen Elizabeth doesn’t own a passport, her grandmother was German, the House of Windsor is German, her husband is Greek, will the ruling apply to her as well?

Currently, this could be an improvement 

​It’s UK Brexit with attitude. Whatever the rights or wrongs of the US Presidential election results an individual feels, one cannot fail to recognise the the betrayal felt of US …. and in a UK Brexit sense …. the citizens who consider themselves unheard, ignored and the whipping posts of austerity. Coupled with the cost of the worst recent financial meltdown since the 1929 Wall Street Crash that all if us have paid a price, the ones least able to afford have endured a disproportionate burden of the austerity policies with at best were debatable … and at worst, an excuse for right wing dogma to be imposed on whom George Osborne when Chancellor has now been quoted as saying were worth being hit as they would never be property owners … and by definition, never Tory voters. 

In the USA the same has been felt on both sides of the political spectrum. Hence the dogged fight Hilary Clinton had against Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination.

President Elect Trump may have been bullet proof from the negative effects of his obnoxious character, views and alleged violations against women, but he spoke a language and struck a cord with enough of the electorate, however unpleasant that realisation may be.

In times of crisis, despair, implementation of policies and ignorance of their plight by the establishment … true or perceived … a leaning towards the far right or left is sometimes the reaction of those felt to be most acutely affected.

It’s happened here in the UK and now in the USA. On a historical point, it’s worth remembering, or looking up if you don’t know, the economic circumstances surrounding the rise of Adolf Hitler in 1930’s Germany. There are similarities in the context that is was the establishment of the Allied powers after WW1 to take revenge on Germany and make them pay vast sums in reparations. This in turn hindered that country’s ability to build its economic structure. 

This was further exasperated and the effect was more severe on Germany with the Wall Street Crash. 

Consequently when a politician rose with radical views … which by coincidence the the European elite and establishment also didn’t take seriously … the worst affected citizens rallied to his cause.

For Hitler it was the Jews. For Trump it’s the Mexicans and Arabs plus the trade deals he was able to convince were the reason for jobs leaving the US. This of course being the fault of big business striving to get the most profit at the expense of US workers, and an elite and government deaf to cries of their own people struggling to obtain and get by on the very basics for living.

What happens now is anybody’s guess but it’s a wake up call again of the social responsibility of governments and corporate business to ensure all sections of society benefit, whether that be in jobs and/or infrastructure/public service investment, irrespective if President Elect Trump or in our case Prime Minister May are or not the correct individuals to set this in motion