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River Man

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About River Man

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  1. The attractions of Brighton are pretty obvious - it's not just the nightlife, it's also the amount of cultural activities going on (such as the Brighton festival) - music, theatre, comedy etc. Nowhere else in England - well perhaps Manchester - has such an amount going on in such a compact area. Plus, it's an hour from London, has one of the best climates in the UK, and has lots of beautiful areas with Regency and Georgian squares and houses. I think some visitors fail to realise how many quiet pretty enclaves there are around Brighton & Hove, which are very different to the admittedly
  2. I think he meant leave the South East, not leave the country. Or do you think the South East is all that matters?
  3. People's conceptions of average density are a bit skewed by city centre schemes. In England as a whole the average density was 43 dph in 2007-2010, up from 38 in 03-06. It's 41 in the South East. However this is skewed by a few areas. The average density of new develpoment in the suburban south east is much lower. So GUildford - 20 dph. Mid Sussex - 34 dph. Reigate & Banstead - 30 dph. You're talking about developmetn at much higher densities than now. You can see the figures in the 'density' tables here: http://www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/planningbuilding/planningstat
  4. I tend to agree. However, we are the only Western European nation without a minimum size for new homes. The late Victorians had by-laws which gave minimum standards for ceiling heights, room sizes, house sizes etc. I Think they may have persisted to the 1930s. That is also partly the reason why earlier houses are larger. (as well as planning) Incidentally the housebuilders do have a lot of land around cities sewn up in options which would take a long time to unpick, even if we abandoned the planning system tomorrow. Then we'd have the problem that landowners near cities would have to get us
  5. Hang on. 2 million houses at say, 30 dwellings per hectare, requires 66,666 hectares or 667 sq km. The land area of the south east is 19096 sq km, so the land area required is 3.5%, and that's not taking into account roads, schools, other infrastructure, etc etc, shops if we drop it to 20 dwellings per hectare - the figure increases to 5.2%.
  6. That may be true in some parts of the USA, but having spent time working in New York and LA, some of my colleagues did commutes that were mind-bogglingly long and arduous even by London standards.
  7. "Baby boomers" is a phrase nicked from the US where their birth rate peaked in teh late 1940s/ early 1950s. The peak in post-war UK fertility was 1965. Our baby boomers are currenly 47, not in their 70s.
  8. "It is not a novel that should be cast aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” ---- Dorothy Parker on Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand Let us not forget that Alan Greenspan, the architect of the entire credit boom, was one of Rand's closest disciples.
  9. Sounds not unlike the English - peas in a pod. Mind you, in my experience, many Germans are real anglophiles, a love that is not returned. There are english 'clubs' in every town in Germany: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/3743978/Britain-ich-liebe-dich.html
  10. "There isn't much point arguing about the word "libertarian." It would make about as much sense to argue with an unreconstructed Stalinist about the word "democracy" — recall that they called what they'd constructed "peoples' democracies." The weird offshoot of ultra-right individualist anarchism that is called "libertarian" here happens to amount to advocacy of perhaps the worst kind of imaginable tyranny, namely unaccountable private tyranny. If they want to call that "libertarian," fine; after all, Stalin called his system "democratic." But why bother arguing about it?" - Noam Chomsky "Lib
  11. meanwhile, you'd be busy raging against the coercion and oppression and general infringement of my liberties produced by your court system and all its hangers-on and bureaucrats, which has become so massively expensive to fund as a result of all normal state responsibilites being passed on to it that it consumes 60% of GDP and the bulk of most people and companies' time and effort.
  12. In Sweden, there is a rule called 'allemansraat' (All men's right). You can walk and indeed camp anywhere as long as you do not (i) damage crops or (ii) come within a certain distance of a dwelling. Surely you have to compel people to use insurance, so there is some government regulation and compulsion? Otherwise why would you take it if you can socialise your costs? Here's a question for the libertarians: should people be allowed to drive on the wrong side of the road, as long as they have insurance for any damage they cause?
  13. I see we probably agree with quite a few things. I however have a real problem with how people can 'own' land in any case - they haven't created it or made it. It was there in any case - title only exists because someone came along and decided it was theirs, or, more commonly in Britain, because it was enclosed or emparked and awarded to some chosen general on the basis of success in some military campaign. Why should someone, by owning land, restrict the freedoms of other people to walk across it or use it? Incidentally, I see you are a fan of Hayek. Have you come across this quote, from "I
  14. Cities contain hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people and are pretty central to civilisation and economic progress. Bungalows in the middle of nowhere are not. I suppose we could accept the right of property owners to build but we would have to ensure they pay the correct price for their decision. i.e. the costs tothose suffering new roads, or additional traffic. We certainly shouldn't let those paying for efficient services in cities - water, gas, electircity - subisidise having to pay for those amenities to reach those in isolated houses. We certainly should make sure they pay the
  15. I just added a few more comparators to your list - Wales and Scotland (because you were talking about Britain earlier, not England) and for comparison France and Germany. Of course the North West has a higher density that the South East - it includes Liverpool, Manchester and all their suburbs and associated towns - urban areas of 5m people - while the urban area which the South East is dependent on has been deliberately excluded! I'm not sure why London (population 8m) is a different case to the whole Liverpool-Manchester conurbation (5m to 6m, depending on where you stop counting). If you
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