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About sarahleyburn

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  1. That's a mistake by The Sun. In the PR, the £595k figure refers to the total advantage of owning over renting including the asset price, not to the asset price alone:
  2. Yep, it's still timing out here. My ISP is Plusnet. (It's happening with all browsers I've tested, with or without AdBlock.)
  3. Rural North Yorks (Yorkshire Dales). Where the only people who have bought in the past 10 years seem to be incoming retired people and second home owners, and all the locals under the age of 35 rent - or, more often, live with parents or move away. Apparently house prices here have risen faster than in any other region, and four times faster than incomes. So rents are already relatively low compared to house prices (I'm amazed anyone bothers to be a landlord here without capital appreciation). Can't say I'm seeing a drop in rents though - I suspect many landlords who bought in the past 10 years will sell up rather than drop rents. Either way suits me.
  4. Spoke to the letting agent today to apologise for being a few days late with the rent this month (first time we've ever been late - just forgot!). The letting agent told us not to worry - we're among the very few tenants on their books who normally pay on time every month, and around half of their tenants are in arrears right now...
  5. I agree with some of this. I'm just not sure about "the UK pays most, we'll go there" point. I think most people will go wherever they have the best chance of getting work - ie somewhere where they speak the language and know a few people already. But I'm just speculating. My argument isn't really with your points above - it's with the general Daily Mail type demonisation of immigrants (which wasn't what you were doing - I just happened to start ranting in reply to your post, sorry). I think the demonisation happens because it rationalises the anger people feel at the numbers of immigrants here. I think my point is that the debate around the numbers of immigrants and the debate around the behaviour of immigrants ("they're all scroungers" etc) are two completely different issues. If people want fewer immigrants, fair enough. If people want lower benefits caps, fine. IMO, neither of those have much to do with the moral fibre of immigrants, but somehow these different arguments all get clumsily conflated and blurred in the media and in discussions around the issue - which is dangerous, IMO.
  6. 1) Possibly, but it seems unlikely that every individual I've met wants to come here to work, and I've met none of what you suggest is the majority - people who want to come here for benefits. 2) My comment was around the question "What I don't understand is just why is the UK so attractive to immigrants?" a couple of pages back, not about how their behaviour changes once they get here. You may be right - although my suspicion is that the immigrant population behaves much the same as the UK population once they get here - some work hard, some play the system, some fall down on their luck and end up relying on the system without wanting to. I'm not going to argue with your comment that our politicians are utter fools...
  7. I know what you mean and have spent a lot of time thinking about it - and I don't know the answer. But the most likely conclusion I've come to is that the paradox you mention is the answer to your question; the incredible riches offered if you have control of the natural resources juxtaposed with the widespread poverty breeds corruption. The same goes for aid; the sudden influx of huge wealth from the West (/North/whatever) almost inevitably creates a sordid scrabble for control of that wealth (Dambisa Moyo's book, Dead Aid, is a really interesting read on the links between aid and corruption, among other things). It's also probably relevant (without wanting to over-simplify / blame the West for everything) that colonialism was incredibly corrupt and all about the grab for resources, and most (not all) "aid" is the same - ie British aid to Africa is mostly about securing British interests and contracts for British firms - a point which isn't lost on most Africans. (Which is why they laugh so hard at European hand-wringing about the Chinese taking over Africa for Chinese interests - China is only doing what Europe has always done, but being upfront about the reasons instead of calling it charity.) Random anecdote: I was travelling through Sierra Leone and Liberia purely for tourism and almost nobody believed that I wasn't there to do a bit of diamond trading. "Everyone does it" was the general feeling - especially UN / aid agency employees, allegedly. There's (understandably) a lot of anger locally about the hypocrisy of that. And coming full circle, there's plenty of fury at the way the UN has pushed up the costs of living for locals (especially land / homes) in places like Freetown. The first time I went to Africa, I had the knee-jerk reaction of "we must help". The last time I went there, I strongly felt that the best way to help was to stay out of the continent altogether. Sorry, rambling! Neither - I'm just interested, and not particularly qualified to comment! I fell for the continent about 10 years ago, and have taken every opportunity I could to live / travel / work there (various trips totalling about three years). I'm in the UK these days.
  8. Agreed - and while that's not an issue that particularly upsets me (there are plenty of other causes of the high cost of living that bother me far more), I understand why it angers people.
  9. Couldn't disagree with your first paragraph more (Agree with your second point on the cost of living.) For immigrants from the developing world or whatever you want to call it, this is just not true in my experience. In Africa (where at least 300 people asked me for help with their visa applications / sponsorship) the reasons to come to the UK were: There is peace, stability, a perceived opportunity to earn a surplus income to send home and a perceived lack of corruption (I had lots of discussions on that last point...). I didn't meet a single person who mentioned benefits; everyone I met fully intended to work 16 hour days and send every spare penny home to their families. The plan was usually - but not always - to return home once they'd made their families secure. Quite a few of the younger folk were more ambitious and wanted to establish themselves in professional careers that could really go somewhere. Basically, most immigrants want what most other people want: security for their families, the opportunity to work and the opportunity to fulfil their potential. I don't mean to rant - I'm up for a discussion about the sustainability of the numbers, but blanket generalisations about peoples' intentions in coming to the UK really annoy me, sorry
  10. Heh, well spotted. (I'm not from Leyburn itself, but I'm not a million miles away.) Yep, tis a lovely part of the country.
  11. If you're happy to take a local wage... Richmondshire, North Yorks (where I live): Average house price: £245k Median income: £18.8k
  12. I'm still betting on 2013 being The Year, but with decent (say 10% nominal) falls this year - with the London juggernaut slowly grinding to a halt and then turning (and no longer masking falls in the rest of the country), and with rents starting on a slow downward trajectory (causing some accidental landlords to capitulate). But sentiment is the weirdest thing, so who knows.
  13. Agreed, but it's not quite that black and white. People in a wheelchair as a result of a spinal injury often have associated problems, including susceptibility to infections, skin sores necessitating bed rest, regular appointments eg to change catheters, pain management medication etc - meaning employers may have to be understanding about time off, which they tend not to be. Probably why so many people with spinal injuries go self-employed if they can.
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