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Letter from Cornwall

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As a resident of Cornwall all my life I think the County has changed for the worse by far.

The very thing that people used to come here for,ie,to escape the rat race etc,well not any more, Cornwall is not a peaceful haven any more,it is a over comercialized , conjested badly developed and and totally changed,I wish I could say otherwise but I would be kidding myself and all you. I recently spoke to a chap who moved down from Kent with completely shattered illusions.

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crashed out and burned- you're a genius for coining the phrase "economically cleansed"; perfect; it describes exactly what is happening now and what has been going on in London for at least a couple of decades. With their money, the middle-classes displace the poor from all the areas that they want to live in(inevitably areas with low crime, good transport links, close to hubs of economic activity-the major conurbations, and now with the second home frenzy any area that is picturesque, attractive and scenic) and so the poor are flushed out to economically depressed, ugly, hateful residential areas with high crime and high delinquence. What was that about the rich getting richer.....??

If you think the UK is bad, have you been to the U.S.? The middle classes live in suburban residential areas in detached houses with pools at the back and SUVs parked in the drive. There is nothing in these suburban residential areas but houses. No shops, no bars, no restaurants. Nothing. In order to go shopping or have a social life you drive down to the mall in your SUV. Many of these neighbourhoods are patrolled by private security firms.

At one end of downtown, there are the slums, and I mean slums. These are no-go areas, sometimes even for the police, and as a visitor one is regularly warned not to enter particular districts of town under any circumstances and to immediately turn around should one accidentially take a wrong turn. In Los Angeles, the nightly shootouts from the gangland areas can be heard from some of the middle class compounds.

The average American middle class citizen is completely oblivious of this. They vaguely know that there are areas one should not enter, but they have no idea about the social division and exclusion. No wonder. They drive in their SUVs from their suburban detached homes straight to the office's underground car park. I once asked a secretary (that's a secretary, not a rich lawyer or banker) in our Washington DC office for directions to walk somewhere. She answered she would not know, as she never walks in the street.

Is this where the UK is headed? I hope not.

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Rockdoctor - quite!

In St Ives we have the situation where people who bought their council houses only a few years ago for about £30K are now selling up and getting a minimum of £250K.  For a an ex-local authority house! 

One of the many failures of the government (present and past) is to prevent this kind of thing from happening. Enabling people to buy their council houses is fine, but there should be strict regulations tying the price of any future sale for a long period (e.g. 25 years) to the rate of general inflation. Or, if price regulation is not thought a good idea (and there are arguments against it), the council should retain a long running right (again 25 years) to a significant proportion of any profit made on a private sale. It is absolutelty ridiculous that with my council tax people receive homes at subsidised prices and then flog them off on the open market with a huge profit.

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Rockdoctor - quite!

In St Ives we have the situation where people who bought their council houses only a few years ago for about £30K are now selling up and getting a minimum of £250K. 

Beachbabe, you sound (from the above and your previous replies) to be a refreshingly reasonable person in regard to Cornwall property situation. Perhaps I'll recommend you to my friends who come down every year but there are too many to stay in my flat in Falmouth.


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Thank you for your kind comment. However you actually sound like a much nicer person than me - in that I believe house guests are like fish - they go off after 2 days. I deliberately make sure my house has 2 offices, an ironing room etc, so that I always have the excuse that there's no room for anyone to stay! Well done you for being a lot more accommodating than me! :)

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I have no idea why rich Brits need to buy up their holiday destinations. What's wrong with just visiting? Isn't the whole point of visiting Corwall or Devon that it's Corwall or Devon, not Kensington-on-sea?

I guess too many people are worried out paying their credit card bills to have the energy to fight back aginst the rich's clean silent weapon to forcibly remove the poor - and even the average.

Economic cleansing via the property market in the UK has been so successful in the UK, I'm surprised it hasn't been adopted militarily across the globe. Imagine the Hutus BTLing in the Tutsi areas, the turks 'economically redeveloping' kurdish regions with thier new EU grants, The Israelis BTLing on the Gaza strip, the Catholics and Prodestants trying to force up prices in each other's areas?

Would 'Israelis price out 100 palestinians in Gaza, Palestinians respond by buying mobile home in Tel Aviv'? be global news? 'Crisis as Tusti key workers leave, priced-out by Hutus' be global news? I don't think so.

Property speculation - depleted uranium without the 4.5-billion year half life. Nice and clean.

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