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Austin Allegro

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Everything posted by Austin Allegro

  1. Rapid Descent - I have found your posts immensely interesting and may I say you seem to be one of the few people able to discuss this issue intelligently. My problem with the climate change debate is that the doomongers engage in all sorts of sophistry, seemingly unconsciously. Time and time again we are told there is a 'consensus' on climate change but this is plainly not the case; then we are told that anyone who dissents is not properly qualified and/or in the pay of vested interests. We are also told that non-scientists cannot possibly understand the debate, and therefore should not even try. It's all starting to sound like the Roman Catholic church in the face of the Enlightenment. We are the high priests and therefore the only ones to understand the ways of God (Gaia): anyone who dissents from our view is influenced by the Devil (oil companies). 'Science' is an industry in just the same way that oil companies are: involving large numbers of people with vested interests and a wish to remain in employment. If we were just discussing an abstract concept, it would not be a problem. The difficulty is where science encounters politics. Those who believe that mankind is causing serious changes to the planet must in all conscience work to change human behaviour - but this cannot be achieved by half hearted measures. It's known as the Lalonde Effect - the general public must not be given mixed messages or given room to doubt as this is damaging to public policy implementation. My personal view on the issue is 'agnostic'. Scientific consensus changes - as has been rightfully pointed out the world was thought to be cooling 30 or 40 years ago - eg read the scare stories like John Christopher's 'The World in Winter', so why should it be any different this time? We are also being told more and more now that it is 'too late to do anything' so why should we bother anyway? However, I do believe we should be changing to clean energy and using less of it, simply because this is a more efficient use of resources and manifestly causes less pollution. Anyone who's been to cities like New Delhi can tell you that, global warming issues aside, millions of two stroke engines make for an extremely unpleasant atmosphere.
  2. Creditors are still using tactics that are very close to harassment LOL! You don't say! I think someone should put him in touch with the Beggar Woman. They would get on well...
  3. Surely a 'greedy' tenant is one who wants a better property for less rent? I would have thought that is just the kind of person they DON'T want to tell their landlords about!
  4. I suspect this is what will happen. Why bother with local labour, when eastern europeans can be bussed in along the A55 each day, living four to a room in the slums of Bangor, Colwyn Bay, or even Chester or Liverpool.
  5. I get the impression that today's bank managers are pretty much just loan pushers. Whatever happened to bank managers who were like Captain Mainwaring? In 1968 my father tried to get an overdraft for £50 to buy some furniture when he got married. He was given a stern lecture by his bank manager and told he couldn't have it!
  6. Did anyone see this last night???? It involved a classic Essex-type family who lived in a Barrett home (complete with two England flags). The wife had run up £63,000 of debt on things like booze ups with her mates in stretch limos, shopping spree in Lakeside, etc etc. A fairly normal modern British blinged up family, one might think. The scarey part was, the husband was a bank manager!!! Now, I can understand that he might not know exactly what his wife does with her salary, but surely he could see that she was spending far, far more than her £20k salary allowed for?
  7. I must admit I do enjoy having a laugh at the ridiculously overpriced properties on estate agents' websites. Quite often I feel like asking to look around just for a wind up, and pretend to be all excited and enthusiastic over some cack-hole and make some ridiculously over the top offer...but the sad thing is there are probably people who will do this genuinely anyway! I think it is important to retain a sense of humour at the ridiculousness of it all. I quite like the current ad on telly for Nationwide (I think) showing a man trying to squeeze into a tiny locker which turns out to be his flat. The unfunny bit of course is that the banks are partly to blame for that situation in the first place.
  8. I've read most of the comments (for some annoying reason there are a lot of duplications) and most of them seem bearish and fairly insightful, although the 'supply and demand' thing comes up a lot. The bull comments are definitely in the minority.
  9. Indeed - it was this thought amongst others that started me questioning the whole issue of house purchase in the UK. This type of greed is insidious - it creeps up on you without you realising. When you start looking forward to your parents' death simply so that you can buy a hyper-inflated shack, things have gone seriously wrong - and before you know it you're signed up with Harold Shipman Estate Agents.......
  10. Ah, but Hackney is 'vibrant' 'cosmopolitan', 'diverse', 'up and coming' etc etc, therefore worth paying 10x as much...
  11. I was speaking to a friend the other day who bought his flat on an IO mortgage because it was all he could afford. I pointed out that might be a bit risky, as what happens in 20-25 years when he has to repay the capital? He said he wasn't worried, as by then his parents would be dead and he would have inherited his 'half' of their estate (he has a sister also). I pointed out this was still risky, as a. it was conceivable that his mother at least might still be alive in her late eighties b. it was possible that one or both parents had to go into long term care, which might have to be paid for by the cost of the house, or c. that a collapse in house prices would mean the resale value of the parental home would not cover the capital repayment of his own flat. He didn't seem too worried about these things though - is this perhaps the reason why people gladly take out IO mortgages (something that would horrify me) or do the sheeple not even think about these things?
  12. It looks like the sort of house '8 Ace' out of Viz comic would live in...
  13. I've been trawling the rentals on findaproperty.com and have noticed that whilst the good stuff is being let, the crappy 'studio' (ie, single room in a flatshare) in the less salubrious areas of London just don't seem to be shifting.
  14. Reminds me of a Harry Enfield sketch about a couple in an estate agents. The agent shows them a picture of a sewage outlet which is the only thing 'in their price range' 'But it's a sewage outlet' exclaim the couple. 'Yes' replies the agent 'but it is near the tube'.
  15. I tend to agree. As long as the financial services sector continues to thrive, house prices in London will remain high. I understand there is some evidence though that this sector is leaching away. One thing I'm not sure of is how much of a 'bonus culture' was there before the late eighties crash - I assume not much, since the city was only deregulated in '86. We also now have a lot more international bankers, dodgy Russian money launderers etc looking to buy property, as London is now far more of a 'rich man's playground' than it was in the eighties.
  16. At last some sense. If the government really does think The End Is Nigh, then they should be making drastic changes, not just farting about with VAT on jet fuel. Come to think of it though, that will probably be the next stage - what better reason to introduce massive restrictions on civil liberties than Saving The Planet From Ourselves: you could have a black out like during the war, with ARP wardens (on the public purse, naturally) prosecuting people for leaving lights on. The only lights allowed would be those of the bonfires being used to burn the heretics who dared to question global warming!
  17. Hello everyone, long time lurker, first time poster. Here's my 'testimony'... I'm 35, working in publishing/corporate communications in the construction industry sector. Lived in London all my life except when a student. Family/friends/most job opportunties in London, so staying here for forseeable future. I always assumed I would buy a place, and up until about 2000 I was still looking at places, as there were still 1 bed flats available at 3x salary, although not many good ones. The poor quality made me realise that perhaps I wasn't that badly off in my current rented place - tiny (250 sq ft) somewhat shabby one bed flat but with a garden and in super location in one of the nicest parts of London, with a stable landlady in it for the long term, and (relatively) affordable rent. So I decided to stick with my current place but save like mad for a deposit, and applied to any and every job to get a higher salary, despite liking my current job and it being reasonably well paid. However, prices just kept on rising and rising. From all around I heard 'you've got to get on the ladder' 'renting is dead money' and all the other rubbish, and I thought it was just me, being stupid, or lazy, or not trying hard enough or something. However, what finally put me off looking was in 2001 when I looked at a tiny, pokey studio in the boiler room of a converted church in East Finchley, looking out onto a carpark. They wanted about £95,000. This was my 'moment of clarity' about it all. The sheer meanness of expecting people to live in something the size of a dog kennel (but with spotlights and neutral decor)- I realised something had gone deeply, deeply wrong in our society! Then I read an article in the Evening Standard about people in their 20s and 30s in London giving up on 'getting on the ladder' and accepting they'd be in rented accommodation for the foreseeable future. Finally I realised I wasn't alone and decided to search the web a bit, and thank God I found House Price Crash! I have now decided to keep saving in the hope of a crash/downturn, as I couldn't afford to buy even the cheapest crack den now, even if I wanted to. I find the articles, posts etc really interesting. Call me a doom-monger, but I really don't think there will be a crash in London at any rate. As long as the financial services sector continues to boom, we will have high house prices. Only if that sector begins leaching away will we see a gradual downturn in prices.
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