Posts Tagged ‘Tory’

Home is where the heart is?

Sarah Beeny?  Lovely.  Nick Knowles?  Horrendous.  The wobbly headed bloke from “Grand (i.e. very expensive) Designs”?  Insulting.  At least the Beeny and Smashie and Niceys televisual equivalent, the “Knowlester” try and mend and make do.  Old wobblers warblings about space, design and form are just insulting for the majority of us who can only dream of “dream” houses.  Do you own the place you call home?  Are you a property-porn devotee?  Designer furniture?  Glass walls?  Space-age coffee machines?  If you are between twenty and thirty years of age, I doubt you do unless your parents bought it for you.  House prices, despite recent slowing, remain ridiculous.  They lead to double job families where the majority of the second income will be eaten up in mortgage payments even before the childcare bills are discussed.  The infamous slum landlord Peter Rachman would face a difficult decision today; to invest in sub-par rental properties or child nurseries.  TV pumps out aspirational prop-porn while viewers scratch around for the rent and swop shifts to look after the kids.  Thatcher’s assault on council housing stock was one of the greatest Tory-Tricks; the working classes given the opportunity to own the place they resided.  And they fell for it in their millions.  The subsequent lack of investment in replacement social housing stock has led to today when private rents are increasing and bricks and mortar remain out of reach for the majority of young people.  Out of university?  Thirty grand in debt?  Foot on the housing ladder?  Not without a massive leg up.

Milk it

Another desperate few days for the LibCon pantomime.  Firstly one of their own, backbencher Nadine Dorries, described Cam/Os as “two posh boys who don’t know the price of a pint of milk” and then they took a hammering in the local elections as voters turned on them.  Cam/Os quoted the inevitable “mid-term blues factor”, low turnout and upset with the economy as the reasons behind their beating but it is clear that the people are not too happy with the boys. Cam felt the need to throw his celebratory weight behind the womanising buffoon Boris Johnson who had narrowly beaten Red Ken in the London Mayoral race.  The Etonian mafia must by now be getting the message that they are out of touch and very nearly out of time.  The roots of this useless Government go back, unfortunately, to one Tony Blair.  Good old “Tone” (man of the people) shafted the Labour Party when he left the strange Gordon Brown in charge as he rode off into the sunset to claim his enormous speech-giving royalties.  Gordon gave a cameo performance as a bumbling, angry, slightly autistic Scottish fun-denier and left the country with no option but to plump for the Etonian cabal.  The fact that Cam felt the need to wangle himself onto the BBC and tell the nation where and when he did his shopping and that, au contraire, he did know the price of a pinta, shows just how desperate he and his out-of-touch bunch are becoming.

Marks and Jailbirds

At last a novel and sensible idea emanates from the lips of Ken Clarke; the Hush Puppy wearing, cigar smoking, jazz loving grandee. He spoke yesterday of the idea that British firms should be encouraged to hire prisoners in an attempt to provide rehabilitation and lessen the chances of re-offending. Prison doesn’t work; the majority of released prisoners soon end up back in stir, learning from the old lags the ways of crime. Prisons are chock-a-block full of depressed young men, illegal drugs and demotivated staff. A mere whisper away from full scale rioting most of the time. I suspect Fletch and Godber would not recognise the new, privately run jails. Clarke’s proposal has some validity but there remains a fairly large question mark over its implementation. The recent “workfare” scandal where those claiming Job Seekers Allowance were frogmarched to the likes of Tesco to stack shelves and fill warehouses for no financial reward still haunts the Tory party deep thinkers. As a lefty I like the idea of giving the dispossessed more opportunity and anything we can do to keep the horrendous re-offending rate down is obviously a good thing but the nagging doubt remains that the young offenders will be taken advantage of; paid far below market rates so giving the profits of involved firms a boost. The bottom line will be profit, not true opportunity and chance (although it would be spun that way) and the disadvantaged will be screwed over. They always are.