[Ben Reeve Lewis is worn out …)
Well I’m a bit worn out to be honest.
Burning the candle at more than one end and not recreational v. work either, just work of various kinds.
The curse of the self-employed, say yes while its there, just in case it isn’t there next month.
Then next month comes around and its there, meaning you have just over committed and swap the panic of an empty diary for the panic of a diary that puts you on 15 hour days, including weekends just to deliver what you promised when you were worried you didn’t have enough work.
In between working for 3 London boroughs dealing with rogue landlords, defending a range of possession applications in court, doing freelance homelessness reviews AND writing the 5 year homelessness strategy for 4 Somerset councils I am a tad whacked out to say the least.
Also in there trying to pack up a flat and a house into storage, shift your life over to the Big Yellow Box and market the property. Not to mention ministering to the needs of a disabled mother in law and walk the dog. At which juncture, Harry Hill would say “And relax”.
So who can I take my tiredness out on this week?
Right to rent in Bengularu
A few days back I wrote of the government foisting the right to rent onto people but what I read in Indian newspaper the Deccan Chronicle makes it sound benign with the news that in the community of Bengaluru Police have been forcing landlords to evict transgender tenants.
All the result of a hysterical witch-hunt following the murder and castration of a teenaged boy which is being blamed on local transgender activists.
Mind you I can see Theresa May scribbling a note in the margin of her Westminster Briefing papers “NB for Gavin Barwell – can we extend the right to rent? Discuss Monday”
Mr Barwell says ‘No’ for a mate
And staying with Mr Barwell, albeit a week late I see that he has hit the headlines twice in a couple of days for firstly stepping in to block the building of thousands of new homes in Bradford as what the Indy calls a ‘Mate’s Favour to Tory MP and landlord Phillip Davies and again in his home constituency of Croydon for refusing to rule out the idea that he might block the building of thousands of new homes there as well.
Not bad for a man recently in office, charged with the responsibility of getting Britain building its way out of a housing crisis don’t you think?
Phillip Davies you will recall is one of two men who filibustered out Karen Buck’s bill to make it illegal for landlords to rent out property that isn’t fit for human habitation.
And Croydon too?
Croydon Councillor Andrew Pelling commented:
“There is a real danger that he could do this to Croydon, which would damage our local economy. He should rule out doing this to Croydon. Why hasn’t he?”
Upon reading about the letter sent to Bradford Council by Barwell, using a new power allowing the housing minister to intercede in what in this case was a local initiative with full approval, Inside Croydon wrote to him asking if he would also reserve the right to intervene and block a similar building plan in their area.
He didn’t respond.
Inside Croydon also provides a copy of Barwell’s letter, part of which reads:
“In exercise of his powers under section 21A of the Act (inserted by section 145 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016), the Secretary of State hereby directs City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council not to take any step in connection with the adoption of the Plan, while issues raised in the letters are considered further.”
So will he indeed try it again? He hasn’t said no and what happened to Cameron’s Localism agenda? The Bradford scheme had been through various consultancy stages and had the green light from local groups but this has been overruled by Barwell.
Brexit and journalism
Brexit articles continue to dominate al the press with stories that “The sky is falling”.
You could be forgiven for thinking that every editor in the land is passing out the message to it’s hacks “Make sure everything you write comes from a state of fear” but in many articles it just isn’t borne out by the details.
Take this piece in “Investing Expats”. The opening paragraph reads:
“Property has taken a battering since the Brexit vote with billions of pounds moving out of the market since June”
So far so predictably worrying but then goes on to quote David Cox of ARLA:
“The supply of rental stock has risen astronomically, which suggest it’s not quite right that landlords are pulling out of the market because of Brexit.”
The thing with Brexit and the press is that nobody knows where its going at all but the press have to have something to write about so they stoke up the doom and gloom to sell papers.
Journalism in practice
It’s the same when you have a catastrophe. Hot on the scene are various trusted journo types who haven’t been fed anything by police and have to stand there with the same footage behind them speculating on what just happened, whilst eavesdropping on the Sky anchor-man a few feet away hoping he has something new to say.
Meanwhile whipping up a storm of fear and unpleasantness.
One journalist of my acquaintance told me that when he asked an editor what story should take precedence in that week’s organ he was told “If it bleeds, it leads”.
The Expats article goes on to say:
“HMRC confirmed home sales fell by 11.3% to 93,130 in September, compared with 12 months earlier. Other transactions, including commercial property saw 9,670 transactions.”
Before swiftly going on to add:
“However, whilst April and May 2016 are lower than the corresponding months in 2015, it should be noted that the total for Quarter 1 to Quarter 2 of 2016 is still substantially higher than the corresponding period last year.”
So a series of contradictory stories stitched together by a general tone of “Where will this misery end?”.
What made me smile this week.
Which allowed me a few days off and a good sleep
See ya next week