[Ben Reeve Lewis was in a band once …)
Despite spending my working life uncovering lies and deceit, I can be remarkably slow on the uptake sometimes.
During my 3 year music business sojourn the band I was in were managed by Jim Beech, who also managed Queen and Chris Rea, all of whom I met at one time or another in the Marylebone High St management office.
I met Freddie Mercury up there 3 or 4 times and would always have a chat over a cuppa about how we were doing, he always making encouraging noises about success being just around the corner. (Clearly a better singer than fortune teller).
When he died I remember the TV news report talking about his male lover. I sat bolt upright, nearly choking on my tea and blurted in astonishment “FREDDY MERCURY IS GAY????????????????”.
It never occurred to me, despite that fact he had a huge moustache, wore a leather biker’s cap, fronted a band called ‘Queen’ and called everyone Darling, that he was anything other than uber-hetro rocker.
I’m similarly slow on the uptake when it comes to conspiracy theories. Did the royals have Princess Di killed? Is the world really run by a cabal of 10-foot tall blood drinking lizards? But this week I came across a story that made me think that their height is the least of our problems.
Communities secretary Greg Clark has been criticised for using the tiredness of MPs in a 2 am debate on the Housing Bill to jemmy in an amendment on planning that proposes to do away with local authority departments granting planning permission and replace them with “Designated persons” to yay or nay applications.
Planning academic Dr Bob Colenutt of Northampton University says:
“The ‘designated persons’ are likely to be consultants who also work for the private sector, which introduces probable bias and reduces the public scrutiny trail. And it is very likely to reduce the right that the public has to make comments on planning applications,”
Even I’m starting to smell a rat. It’s such an obvious and ‘in plain sight’ form of stitch-up designed to benefit the already wealthy at the expense of ordinary local people that I’m almost lost for words.
So instead of consultations and notices, public debate and some form of structure, the new estates of the future are to be blessed by the passing of a brown envelope stuffed with cash in an underground carpark at midnight.
The ceiling height of the average underground carpark is going to force those over-sized reptiles to crouch in order to receive their bung while the estates of the future sweep away Georgian terracing and art deco marvels to be replaced by squat windowless pods made of chip board and goat’s droppings to house the drones who compliantly service the developer’s car collections or caddy their clubs around the golf course.
Definitely a whiff of the Illuminati about it.
Council estate cleansing
Maybe this also ties in nicely with David Cameron’s announcement this week that he plans to demolish several high-rise council estates, presumably so they can be replaced by new ones at £3.85 per unit, planning permission granted by a large lizard employed by the developer solely to rubber stamp.
Whipping up enthusiasm he trumpets:
“Brutal high-rise towers” and “dark alleyways” in the worst estates “were a gift to criminals and drug dealers”.
Nice to know he has our best interests at heart. He’s doing it for us….his people.
But while Camo wears his altruistic heart on his sleeve I’m sure he will be more comfortable with this piece news of designer garages. Not shelves stacked with old tobacco tins filled with random screws, garnered over a lifetime of failed DIY projects or leftover cans of ‘3 in 1’ with nary a thimble full left from 1959, lest that bicycle chain go rusty. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
As the by-line runs, replete with Pathe Newsreel voiceover:
“Its goodbye grease, hello glam as London petrolheads bring in the designers for a garage as smart as the rest of the house”
Comforting news I’m sure to the woman I spoke to today who was facing repossession under a high court writ with no rent arrears, simply because her landlord wanted the property back to house his sister in law.
I’m sure the blow would have been softened had she access to a garage with a full sized pool table and Victorian chequered floor tiles fresh from ‘Fired Earth’ at £20 per square inch.
Another sign not only of the yawning income gap but also the sheer madness of the property market 2016.
Right to Rent coming soon …
With a vast raft of landlord-tenant legislation piling through our society like a 28,000 tonne oil tanker whose brakes have worn down to the metal we see the soon to be incoming piece of hilarity known as the ‘Right to rent’…..two weeks folks and anyone with a vaguely foreign accent, including Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins won’t be able to rent a shoe box in Peckham, let alone a family home.
Ably commented upon by sharp as a pin housing lawyer and author Sam Madge-Wyld here under the headline “Something wicked this way comes”. Sam points out:
“Curiously, there is no right of appeal against the service of a notice by the Secretary of State on the landlord, which must mean that it is potentially challengeable in the High Court by way of judicial review. Presumably, if the Secretary of State’s notice is quashed, for example because the tenant does have a right to rent, then the subsequent notice served by the landlord will also be invalid and potentially open the landlord to damages for trespass or breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment.”
A sample of the madness due to come.
What made me smile this week
Well curiously I shun soaps and crap TV generally on pain of self-harming due to trivia-TV-tedium but tonight I accidentally fell across an episode of Celebrity Big Brother where Angie Bowie had just heard of the death of ex-hubby David Bowie and told some witless no-mark celeb about it, only to have her think she had told her that David Gest had died…another celeb BB housemate.
Said moron ran to the bedroom in floods of tears to throw back the covers on Mr Gest who blinked at the sudden flash of light and wondered what all the fuss was about.
It took me half an hour to stop laughing.
Catch it on you tube
See ya next week