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Live Peasant

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  1. With these sorts of shows the twitter commentary can be amusing to follow. What was interesting was that at the same time as this show went out featuring a significant number from the ethnic minorities the Home Office was tweeting a list of numbers of illegal immigrants caught in this week's 'round up'. All a little bit much for the delicate types who are comparing the present situation to 1936 Germany.
  2. Lots of people now doing stuff with shipping containers. I'm currently talking to one outfit about creating floating homes with a shipping container concept http://www.onecoolhabitat.com/about.html
  3. Having read Galbraith's book and Bernanke's essays on the great depression it was the single line that stood out for me but I can't remember which text it was.
  4. The 75% of the population who were never unemployed during the great depression, nevertheless, took an average 45% cut in the value of their wages.
  5. Evening Standard article Two housing officials were shot and injured today as they tried to evict a tenant from a flat in south London. The man and a woman were rushed to hospital where they are being treated. Their condition is believed to be serious but is not thought to be life threatening. Armed police raced to the scene after the shooting in Strathleven Road just before 10am. They forced their way into a flat in the street and arrested a man. He was unarmed but officers later found a gun at the address. The two officials were said to be in the process of trying to evict the man from the flat when he produced a handgun and fired at them. One report said the officials were chased down the street by the men as he fired at them. One of the pair was shot, witnesses said. Police said no shots were fired by firearms officers during the arrest. The two officials are believed to work for the Metropolitan housing association. A spokeswoman said the pair were being treated in hospital but their conditions were not-life threatening. There are thought to have been three officials, including a bailiff, who were sent to the flat to evict a tenant. One offical who works for the company said : “We know that bailiffs are unpopular but we do not expect our staff to be shot at. They are really shaken up.” A police helicopter was sent to the scene and hovered overhead during the armed operation to arrest the man. A Met Police spokesman said officers were called to Strathleven Road to reports of a shooting in the street at about 9.50am today. A local resident told the Brixton Blog: “The first we knew was when police arrived and ran past our front door. Then we saw them arrest a white guy in the middle of the road.” The street was closed while police forensics experts searched for evidence. He said : “An armed response unit was sent to the scene. London Ambulance Service were also called to the scene. One man and one woman were injured. They have been taken to a south London hospital. “Their conditions are unknown but they are not thought to be life threatening. “A short time later, armed officers forced entry to the suspect’s property in Strathleven Road and restrained a man. He was unarmed. A firearm has since been recovered from the address. “The man was arrested and has been taken to south London police station where he remains in custody.”
  6. 40,000 tvs depreciated over 3 years versus the cost of employing additional screws to keep bored inmates in order. No brainer. The issue here is not that tvs are used to keep prison wings quiet but that NHS managers have been duped into allowing a scam to operate. Presumably for kickbacks.
  7. The rental strategy In the summer of 2011, at an internal presentation by the directors of a major London estate agent, the staff were told about a strategy that promised to improve the bottom line. The plan, and its like at other firms, would have implications for the capital’s home hunters and sellers to this day. The company was facing an unfamiliar situation. The post-crash rentals boom had seen the lettings department offloading properties in hours and lining their pockets with fees, while their counterparts in sales struggled. The strategy announced would brilliantly turn the new market conditions to their advantage. A former employee has told the Standard that the directors instructed their agents to target the small but growing group of wealthy investment buyers with their for-sale properties. This would allow the firm to take its usual sales fee then rent out the property for the buyer and manage it on their behalf — turning properties they would once have sold to families and young professionals into long-term cash cows etc...
  8. faisal-islam-hundreds-of-new-homes-from-help-to-buy-at-what-cost/18168 The Fairclough’s new home looks like an ordinary home, the start of a new life for the couple from St Helens. The remarkable feature of the development has long since disappeared: it used to be the Knowsley Road, ground of the mighty. But this property is in fact an experiment vital for the entire British economy, upon which George Osborne’s hopes for recovery rest. Mark and Lindsey’s pad is the second in Britain in an experiment in which you the taxpayer are invested for the next half decade. etc
  9. The working class is finding a voice. Those who speak for the working class are furious about it.
  10. When he and Balls are starting a 40 stretch in Belmarsh.
  11. Crossfit boxes are all rammed as far as I can see @ 45-50 quid a month but nobody suffers from feckarounditis. Get in, do the workout & go.
  12. There's a planning app in Southampton for a high rise with 150 student flats. No shortage here it would appear.
  13. It seems that a decision to make desinewed meat being used in value ranges illegal was the catalyst. DSM was the replacement for 'pink slime' or meat recovered using high pressure water. The point being, the regulators trying to improve quality against supermarkets desperate to reduce costs.
  14. The model of raising rents to 'market levels' for a demographic that survives on min wage and benefits can only end in one of these associations imploding at some point. Can't be far away now.
  15. New Statesman Article link In a week that a parliamentary inquiry begins into the state of private renting, and official statistics confirm the seismic growth of Generation Rent, it’s starting to look like rental Britain is beginning to get the political attention it deserves. More than nine million people now rent from a private landlord. With hundreds of thousands priced out of home ownership and unable to access social housing, renting is fast becoming the new normal. And figures this week finally confirmed that for the first time since the 1960s, more people rent their homes from a private landlord than from a council or housing association. More and more of us now understand the frustration of paying hundreds of pounds each month in "dead money" to landlords, for a home that we can’t make our own. Last week, Shelter’s Rent Trap report painted the latest bleak picture of life for Generation Rent. While wages stagnate, rents are up in 83 per cent of the country; on average, renters are paying out £300 more each year. In some areas, that rises to more than £1,000 a year – and that’s on top of rents that are already higher than mortgage costs. This is the rent trap: people can’t afford to buy, so are stuck paying high rents, leaving them with little left over for anything else - half have less than £100 after rent and bills. This means they’re not able to save enough for a home of their own - leaving them facing yet another year of renting. As homes remain increasingly unaffordable, this trap sucks in ever more young people who know that the dream of a place of their own is slipping away. But the rent trap isn’t just a social issue; it’s an increasingly political one too. Renters are an ever-larger political constituency, with many closely resembling the archetypical middle income voter. And for voters in marginal constituencies, renting is a bigger issue than ever. Our report found that the cost of renting has increased substantially in a number of key electoral battlegrounds – meaning that prospective MPs will need to become more familiar with the realities of renting if they want to win or keep these seats. Renters in Solihull - a Lib/Con marginal - are paying almost £400 a year more in rent; Lab/Con marginal Thurrock saw rents increase by almost £300; and three way marginal Hampstead and Kilburn rents are up by more than £800. The subject of the newest by-election tussle – Chris Huhne’s Eastleigh seat – saw rents rise by more than £770 at a time when wages rose at half the speed. Some might say: does it matter if people rent? It’s commonplace in Germany, and people seem perfectly happy renting there. Should we be worried about this trend? The trouble is that renting in England isn’t set up to play the kind of role that it plays in Germany and other developed countries. Renting was deregulated in 1989 to provide flexibility for a mobile workforce – the Assured Shorthold Tenancy was introduced and 6-12 month contracts became the norm. Politicians at the time envisaged lots of young people moving around for work before they settled down, bought a home and had kids. But that’s not the role that renting is playing now. A major part of the growth of renting in recent years has been from families with children – some 1.3 million families now rent. For these families, renting isn’t working. They’ll typically have short contracts, after which they can be asked to leave for any reason, or their rent can be increased with no upper limit. That’s far from ideal when you’re feeling financially squeezed – or when your children are starting a new school year without being sure of where they’ll be living come the summer holidays. For years, successive governments have tinkered around the edges on renting. Politicians recognise that most don’t want to rent for the long term, so have focused on helping people into homeownership: guaranteeing 95 per cent mortgages, expanding shared ownership schemes. But these schemes aren’t going far enough – and this leaves families stuck in rented homes with no reassurance from government that things will ever improve. It seems that some politicians are beginning to wake up to the new reality of renting. Boris Johnson has said he intends to pilot longer tenancies in London, and Conservative newcomer Jake Berry has made the case for them too. Meanwhile, Ed Miliband and Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, Jack Dromey, have spoken about more widespread measures to make longer term contracts the norm, and called an Opposition Day debate on the issue in January. This week, a Select Committee began sitting for an inquiry into the private rented sector, and Shelter gave oral evidence on Monday, telling the stories of the thousands of people who come to us for help with renting problems. In the short-term, government needs to tackle the reality of rental Britain, because every indication shows that it’s here to stay. We’ve proposed the Stable Rental Contract: a five-year tenancy with predictable rent increases, which will give renters the certainty they can keep their children in a local school and plan their finances, while also helping reduce the risk of empty periods for landlords. It’s good news that politicians are beginning to up their game – but they have to translate words into action, as voters will hold them to account. The truth is that the efforts of successive governments have not gone far enough in helping people on ordinary incomes get a decent, stable, affordable home. The government needs a much bolder plan of action for helping people achieve this basic aspiration. The bottleneck of supply and demand is worsening. Without more homes being built, renting will continue to boil over. Rents will continue to rise; people will struggle even harder to put money aside; the dream of a home of their own will continue to slip away.
  16. FRONTLINE investigates why Wall Street’s leaders have escaped prosecution for any fraud related to the sale of bad mortgages. Seems the Americans are beginning to ask the right questions. You'll need to run through a proxy due to regional rights restrictions.
  17. locksmiths story link Locksmiths in a Spanish city known for its bullfights are directing their fighting spirit toward another adversary: banks. The dozen or so locksmiths in Pamplona, Spain, announced in December that they are refusing to carry out evictions, PRI reports. The move could essentially stop evictions in Pamplona because even if the police kick a family out of their home, the evicted can still get back in if no one has changed the locks. "As people, we can't continue carrying out evictions when people are killing themselves," Pamplona locksmith Iker de Carlos told PRI. In recent years, Spain has been struggling with a dramatic economic crisis. The country's unemployment rate is 25 percent. Spain's housing market collapsed in 2008 after a housing bubble, hurting the economy and causing a homelessness epidemic. As a result, more than 50,000 delinquent Spanish homeowners were evicted in the first half of 2012 alone, and 1 million homes lie empty in Spain, according to Reuters. In some cases the evictions have turned tragic. In November, Spain halted evictions for two years for some delinquent homeowners, including the long-term unemployed, the disabled and those with small children, after a spate of recent suicides connected to foreclosures, according to Reuters and Bloomberg. The U.S. has been more fortunate. While the American housing market finally seems to be recovering, there still is no end in sight for Spain.
  18. Presumably, that money had to be delivered into the account in the first place, so the victim didn't notice 300 quid appear in his account and then disappear or is it only me who checks his account daily?
  19. It seems that most bus routes would have fairly fixed costs so the numbers travelling for free would have a minimal impact on non-rush hour traffic. However, as nobody is going to this out of the goodness of their hearts I suspect there is a major sweetener somewhere.
  20. When I first became an HPCer, the number of IO mortgages without a specified repayment vehicle was published each month by the ONS. After the crash they stopped publishing the figures. Can't think why...
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