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Austin Allegro

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Posts posted by Austin Allegro

  1. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that we are unlikely to become 'Dickensian' because even the poorest westerner has access to life-enhancing resources that the wealthiest Dickensian could only have dreamt of. For example, the internet has made it much easier  to live outside the 'work-consume-borrow-work' cycle. Thanks to the internet I no longer need to work full time and pay high prices for rent/mortgage near my office; thanks to the internet I have a couple of extra passive income jobs which can support me if my main job fails; thanks to the internet I can research and compare things like insurance, savings and investments etc to optimise my income, thanks to the internet I can save huge amounts of money by utilising knowledge, eg learning to repair things from Youtube videos instead of paying a tradesman. 

  2. Ochlocracy... rule of the crowd

    A country should not be making fundamental, irreversible changes based on a razor-thin minority that might prevail only during a brief window of emotion.‪#‎buyersremorse‬

    https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/brexit-democratic-failure-for-uk-by-kenneth-rogoff-2016-06

    The country is not making any decision. The referendum was advisory - that was always made clear. It is up to Parliament to vote to leave the European Union, taking into account the will of the majority of the British electorate. That will was not just a 'brief window of emotion' but the end result of years of dissatisfaction with the status quo, as evidenced by the rise of UKIP. I agree the majority is slim - that will need to be taken into account during the process of realignment with EU countries.

  3. I'm in my 40s so not a 'yoof' but I did spend a few years living and working in a European capital. It's actually not as easy as is made out by the EU-philes and I had a lot of headaches over tax, healthcare, residency etc which were never sorted out. It works well if you're Latvian and want to pick strawberries in Lincolnshire, but not so well if you're a self employed consultant who works between two countries, etc. I suspect a lot of young folk like the idea of going off and living in a European country but don't in practice do it. It's basically misty eyed romantic viewpoint.

    That said, I agree with Charles Moore who said the reason people are angry is because 1. they confuse Europe with the EU and 2. They have been led to believe that parliamentary democracy is somehow racist.

    I am convinced that many Remainers, especially younger ones, think that we are 'leaving Europe' and this means somehow turning our back on all the good things of Europe. They have also been convinced that before joining the EU, Britain was some sort of cultural backwater where everyone ate spam all the time. They forget that before the 1970s nearly everywhere in the world was more inward looking and monocultural. Britain was actually very engaged with other cultures through its commonwealth connections, far more so than, say, Germany.

  4. Don't regret it for a moment. In fact I feel increasingly resolute every time I see another loony calling for the majority vote in a democratic election to be overturned because they don't like the result, and think they are more intelligent so it's only their minority view that should be counted.

    I'm starting to realise that my vote was as much as vote against these people as it was about the economy. The anti democrats are here, not just in the EU.

    This. Previously, I thought things like the second referenda in Ireland and Denmark to ensure the 'correct' result were the result of meddling and threats from Brussels. Now, I suspect it was politicians in those countries themselves that pushed for it. I am seeing now, respectable people such as Russell Group academics calling for second referenda and asking people to petition parliament to ignore the democratically manifested will of the British people. It is, quite frankly, sickening.

  5. I've said many times the solution to the so-called housing crisis is for councils to provide hardstanding and utilities and charge ground rent for people to live on it in caravans. They can do this for gypsies for free, so I'm sure they can manage it for people who actually work for a living and pay rent. Water-based versions could also be constructed for narrow boats.

    They won't do it, of course, because they are in the pockets of volume housebuilders and are stuck in a 1940s mindset that thinks everyone should live in a suburban semi.

  6. Next door sold for £325,850 in October 2014 and that was the end of terrace.

    Someone will have to explain what's special about that cottage. To me it's in the middle of nowhere on a busy road looking at the google map photos

    Edit zoopla reckons no 1 is only worth £137,000 I think even that's above the odds

    It's got an Aga. That alone adds a hundred grand to the 'value'.

    Add to that, the owners have probably spent a few hundred quid on Farrow and Ball paint - adds another fifty grand at least.

  7. Why shouldn't communities be living very separate lives?

    Do they really expect everyone to live the same life?

    It always amuses me when I read about social engineers puzzled by why there isn't enough 'integration'. Are they really surprised that large numbers of people from halfway across the world with totally different religious and cultural beliefs don't particularly want to mingle with the British underclass, any more than British people wanted to do the same with Untouchables in the British Raj?

  8. I have watched a few Grand Designs. I do like some of the ideas presented but the attitude to finance appears to be quite reckless in about half of the episodes.

    I do hope it's over-acted/edited a little to make for more exciting TV viewing. Otherwise, a lot of those people are going to be in serious financial trouble. Unless they built in London and at least 3 or more years ago.

    Never mind they can always re-use the house by having it on 'Can't Pay We'll Take it Away'.

    'We have a high court writ from Mr Kevin McCloud for an outstanding payment of...'

    'What mate? What? Dunno what you're talking about mate?

    'You received a high court summons...'

    'Never got no letter, mate!'

    etc etc etc

  9. Jesus would have punched this guy in the face.

    The church has always been a way to swindle the poor though...so no surprise there.

    To be fair this is one individual. I believe the church as an institution, at least in England, is pretty careful about ethical investments these days, unlike the 19th century when there were slumlord Bishops etc. But yes, the church over the centuries has often been rather at odds with our Lord's ideas.

  10. If ever there was conclusive proof that organised religion is everything to do with politics and social control and absolutely nothing to do with spiritual development, then this is it.

    I wonder if it's a more a way of making passive income without being involved with stockbroking, which might be seen as too capitalist. In that sense, he may be like some teachers who get into BTL because it's not seen as a 'Tory' thing, more 'providing a service'. Clergy, like teachers, have seen a fall in income and status over the years.

    Of course, if he is doing it for philanthropic reasons, he can continue, making his small £500 profit a year, but if it is to make profit he should come clean and say so. The problem is that a lot of modern liberal people chase the idea of 'ethical' business.

  11. It's a great read.

    But then today....the middle classes are shopping at Aldi and Poundland and eBay.

    The 'servant problem' was an obsession with the middle classes from 1914 to about the mid-fifties. The change from being able to afford servants to having to do almost everything oneself was probably on a par with the change now from being able to afford one's own home to being a lifelong rent/mortgage slave. It took a couple of generations and lots of technical advances for middle class people to accept the idea. However eventually the 'servant problem' was solved but I'm not quite sure how the 'housing problem' will be solved.

  12. Defered pleasure or consumption is probably the defining feature of the middle class. It used to be the case that saving a portion of your income every month for a decade or so could give you a small independent income. Now you'd have to save for about a hundred years for the same result. So what's the point? Buying a home has been pushed out of reach, especially of people encouraged not to save but to take on debt instead. Is it really suprising that an environment of discouraging savings and property ownership is destroying the middle class? What's worse is the shift in attitudes that comes with the instant gratification culture being fostered. A generation of borrowers and are hollowing out middle class values. Once you learn the habits of a deadbeat you are condemned to live as a deadbeat.

    This to me is one of the biggest social changes in the last century or so. There were entire generations of parsimonious middle class people who were able to scrape by on 'private incomes'. The nearest equivalent today is people living off BTL or 'digital nomads' moving to developing countries to live cheaply.

  13. Austin Reed always seemed to me to fill a rather odd gap between the high street chains such as M&S, and top end off the peg retailers of the type you only get in London or some large cities, such as Roderick Charles, Charles Tyrwhitt etc. I would imagine there is very little demand for that sort of thing outside London anyway. Fewer and fewer men have to dress in a suit, shirt and tie for work nowadays and most of those that do seem to get shiny tight suits from Primark.

  14. Cant see why you cant park your own vehicle/van/trailer on your own or someones land with consent, tell the council egit to get stuffed.

    If people are prepared to move every year or so, it could be a reasonably good way to live. I am guessing it would take one to two years for the council to find out, investigate and then take legal action. There's a slum landlord in London who's been doing this with a houseboat for years - every time the council moves him on he just tows it to the next borough and the process starts again.

  15. Yeah, I can't keep peddling "but they'll crash any day" to the Mrs - I've been saying that since 2007. Even though they *will* crash any day. Certainly since April the viewings we've made have had far far less people show up at the same time.

    If house prices managed to stay high despite the financial crash of '08, I don't really think anything will cause them to drop sharply, short of nuclear armageddon. I think all we're getting is a slow stagnation and devaluation, Japanese style. A correction over the course of decades rather than months or years.

  16. Depending on location, a church could perhaps make a good investment. Convert part of it for your own living, then hire out the rest as a public space for local community groups, licensed wedding venue etc. There are quite a lot of congregations sharing churches these days. Some of the wackier protestant sects get moved on quite often as they make a lot of noise in services, so you'd have to forego your Sunday morning lie -in if you 'lived above the shop'.

  17. The tax system in the UK is far too complicated, thats why they get away with it as most people will just shrug their shoulders as it is too hard to work out.

    I employ an accountant and know more than most peeps through years of experience and even I have found it too hard to accurately predict this year.

    Will wait till the dust settles and adjust accordingly later in the year.

    Also, one risks being branded an evil Tory little better than a Russian gangster if one uses legitimate tax avoidance schemes. In the popular mind it seems that it's ok to get relief on tax if the government does it for you (tax credits etc) but not if you do it yourself!

  18. OK, I'll bite. Whence "treebus"?

    I would fear a neighbour who severely pollutes my place, for example with a loud stereo or a wood-burning stove. But not one who merely neglects his own place. Biggest worry there would be his prospective successor, if he's of an age where that's likely to happen anytime soon. If it's sufficiently neglected now, there's a likelihood you'll either get a developer tarting it up, or a DIY enthusiast who'll give you years of exciting projects complete with noise and dust.

    Sorry, the spelling should be 'Mr Trebus'. Google 'Edmund Trebus' and you'll find out.

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