[Ben Reeve Lewis doesn’t care anymore…]
I am officially old.
Remember when you are young you know the latest actors, the upcoming bands, who is collaborating with who and what the hot stuff is?
Then you have kids, start working harder and you read the line-up for Glastonbury and realise with a mild panic that you haven’t heard of half the bands?
It troubles you, youth is slipping away. You might even go out, get a couple of CDs by these upstarts to keep yourself up to date and your kid thinks you are cool for a day, which cheers you up for a bit but not long.
Who’s a celerbrity?
Today I saw an advert for the line-up of ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’ and I realised that I didn’t know who a single one of them was.
But here is the clincher, not knowing didn’t depress me. What depressed me was that I didn’t give a toss that I didn’t know who they were.
It’s not the fact that you don’t know who they are that is the sign you are old, its ‘no longer caring’ that you don’t know who they are that tells you that the long inexorable slide out of the back door has begun.
So I had better begin the news while I can still remember my section 21s from my section 8s.
VIctoria hits the spot
In last Sunday’s Landlord Law Blog roundup Tessa pointed me at a clip I missed from Question Time of journalist Victoria Coren ‘s sarcastic but on the money remarks about working middle income groups leaving London because housing is so unaffordable.
Ms Coren’s not entirely ironic rant predicated by the idea that only the very rich or the very poor can afford to live here these days.
By very poor I mean people on benefits with less than 3 kids. More than three kids and the benefit cap will getcha.
Made me laugh but with a certain rueful acknowledgement, being as Frazzy and I are exactly in that group being squeezed out, despite working stupid hours each week, including weekends and yet still struggle to meet our housing costs.
Its 8pm at the time of writing. I’ve been on the case since 7am and Frazzy since 6am and we are still both beating away on our keyboards bringing in a living.
Support from London Think Tank
And lest people think that Ms Coren was only being provocative, look on this study published by leading think tank ‘Centre for London’ which states:
“that school teachers, bus drivers, electricians, chefs, doctors, nurses and even solicitors who don’t already own homes in the capital are being progressively “priced out” of it as house prices and private sector rents soar.“
What irks me is that my lot, these middle earners are exactly the group that government says they fully support and encourage. People who “Do the right thing” as IDS keeps mysteriously and meaninglessly saying.
No you don’t mate. Its that simple. You’re kicking us to death.
And yes before you say it, I know there is life beyond the M25. I’ve been there. I’ve lived there and its great but its not my home.
Anyway, I’ve written about this before and don’t want to bore my regulars, or turn off anyone new to Newsround so lets look at another fella working hard and get a kicking off of the state.
Four years later …
The unfortunately named Robert Fidler, a farmer of surrey who erected a huge pile of hay bales on his land while he secretly built a mock Tudor castle behind it so the planners didn’t see.
The name of the game was to get the house past the 4 year planning enforcement rule, after which time it cant be ordered to be torn down.
The planners successfully argued that as it was hidden behind hay bales he couldn’t apply for retrospective planning permission because the neighbours hadn’t seen it. He now has 90 days to demolish it.
Have a look at it in the article. Its actually alright, although not personally my cup of tea but very in-keeping with the Surrey countryside although I wouldn’t go as far as Mr Fidler in saying:
“It would be like Rembrandt being asked to rip up his masterpiece of an oil painting”
The council spokesperson from Reigate & Banstead said:
“The Secretary of State’s decision demonstrates that people who ignore planning rules for the good of everyone are likely to find themselves in this unfortunate position”.
For heaven’s sake give the guy a freakin break. Its is a bloody sight more attractive than half of the rabbit hutch flats springing up all over London that do have planning permission, most of which must have been granted in the form of brown envelopes in an underground car-park.
Mr Fidler just wasn’t greasing the right palms.
Why do we need new schemes?
Here’s a bit of hot news for you. The TDS are set to launch their own custodial tenancy deposit scheme In England and Wales on the 1st April.
Up until now only the DPS had a custodial scheme, I wonder if My Deposits will also follow suit? [They have – Ed]
I’m no expert on the working shenanigans of the market side of things but do we really need another custodial scheme? If both DPS and TDS scheme would be free where is the competition?
I’m not saying this to be sarcastic, I would genuinely like to know, so if anyone from TDS wants to comment and clarify feel free. What would make a landlord or agent go with TDS instead of DPS?
A person who would have no interest in deposit protection or hiding a castle behind hay bales is the owner of El Fureidis in Miami which according to my daily newsletters from property porn website Curbed was used as Tony Montana’s mansion in ‘Scarface’.
I know its predictable but could anyone resist standing at the top of the stairs each day and shouting “Say hello to me leetle friend”?
I know I couldn’t but then I’m sad like that, as well as predictable.
Apparently the house sold for only a third of its $35m asking price. If Tony Montana had really owned it I dare say his estate agent would by now be dangling from his heels from the top floor by now.
What made me smile this week
A couple of things actually. Discovering Lyle Divinsky an upcoming soul singer (A new musician…. I cant be that old) who sounds remarkably like Daryl Hall and whose album hasn’t been off me iPod this week and also the long awaited publication of the 10th Bernie Gunther Mystery, ‘The woman from Zagreb’ by Phillip Kerr which I’ve been greedily devouring.
I’ve been waiting like a kid at Xmas since his last novel. If you like Bogart-esque film noir you’ll love Bernie.
Oh and also reading in the Independent this week that scientists have discovered that a warped sense of humour and the ability to laugh at tragic events is one of the early signs of dementia.
In which case I’ve been going into dementia all my life.
See ya next week