19 October 2011
Paul, appeared for half an hour to babysit me before Jane arrived at 11.00. I was able to take advantage of this brief visit to get him to convert some of my incoming jokes etc to Word documents – they often come in enclosing in a table which makes it difficult to open.
I heard on the wireless this morning some nonsensical idea being put forward by someone in the government that over 60-year-olds should consider selling their bigger houses with unused bedrooms and moving into something smaller, to make way for the young people who need the extra rooms. What a lot of nonsense. This sort of thing smacks of dictatorship, Animal Farm, etc. As much as anything else, an Englishman’s home is his castle and we should not be told by the government or anyone else what to do with it. In any event, the idea makes little sense as the bigger house would probably be beyond the means of the young people anyway. I could probably make a good argument for the complete reverse. In other words, if some elderly people live in a small house, they should consider moving into a bigger house and releasing the small house onto the market, which, no doubt, will be more affordable than a big one
Talking of an Englishman’s home being hiscastle, the Dale Farm eviction of the illegal so called travellers’ at last starting today. This is at the end of 10 years of legal argument and although it is estimated to cost between Â£18- Â£20 million and on those figures it would seem to make much more sense to leave them there, I agree with the judges who say it is a matter of the law. Once one exception is made to allow people to build on the green belt. then, no doubt, many others would attempt to follow and we would end up with ribbon development linking all our towns and village.
Basildon Council sent in 150 police in riot gear to clear the way for the bailiffs. Inevitably, there was a certain amount of battling going on between the agitators and the police but it seems that the whole affair was managed without anyone getting seriously hurt. The most vicious and violent response appears to have come from the agitators, many of whom are more interested in a good fight with the police than they are about rights and wrongs of Dale Farm.
When this one is cut and dried a number of the diehard agitators will, no doubt, move onto the next protest. I am not denying that there are not people amongst these agitators who genuinely support the Dale Farm cause but there are many more who don’t. It must be remembered that these ‘travellers have been offered another site about a mile away as well as other land and housing which they have rejected on the ground that they are culturally unacceptable, whatever that means. Also, according to a television programme I saw, a number of them own finevillas in Ireland, so there is no question of anyone being made homeless.
Most of such protests ultimately prove to be pointless. Rather like the 24-hour general strike, which is currently taking place in Greece. Thousands protesting against the austerity plans being implemented by the government in order to try to prevent Greece defaulting on its loans. What is the point of a General Strike and making the situation even worse – it is called ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face.’ The Greeks have got themselves in this financial mess over many years and now must face up to the consequences. Certainly striking will only make matters worse, everyone, rich and poor, will have to make minor sacrifices and then by all pulling together and putting up with things they will drag themselves out of the hole they have made for themselves. It is touch and go whether they will make it or go bankrupt, which is without precedent in the European Union. Unfortunately, if that does happen, although we are not in the Eurozone, we too will be affected and our now economy is fragile enough without having to face the additional strain. A defection such we might see in Greece could well bring down the whole pack of cards and the economic reverberations wound be felt world wide.
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