Housing horrors

In France the government has decreed that many more ‘HLM’s (Habitations à Loyer Modéré or Homes at Moderate Rent) must be sold. But, although HLM are the equivalent to our council housing, there is no subsidy for the tenant – only first refusal on the purchase. Unsurprisingly the homes (almost invariably flats) are proving difficult… Read more

The Mauritania option, Prime Minister?

Have rather belatedly, stumbled on an interesting article in ‘Medium’ here. It transpires that Richard Tice, co founder with Arron Banks of Leave EU has apparently said that “WTO rules are what most great countries trade under”. He must know – he’s a property developer. James Hardy, the writer of the Medium article, decided to… Read more

Weeping for Kensington

The report by the MP for Kensington and former Kensington & Chelsea councillor, Emma Dent Coad, “After Grenfell: Housing and Inequality in Kensington and Chelsea” makes for horrific reading. Is this really Britain’s richest borough? Is this really Britain’s richest borough in 2017? The reasons why Dickensian diseases are reappearing two centuries later is obvious… Read more

‘Non-recourse’ loans

Following comments on modern banking, I’ve discovered an idea with which I was previously unfamiliar ‘Non-recourse loans’. A minority of US states have non-recourse loans, including California and Washington State, so nobody can suggest they are incompatible with Common Law systems or are unworkable or punitive for lenders. A non-recourse loan is where, if you… Read more

Fat chance

“Obesity is unlikely to occur (although it is not unknown) without the refinement of foods, because without such refinement it is hard for the body to process enough food to obtain a large excess of calories. Modern refinement frees calories and provides them in concentrated packages, making  over-consumption possible. Given the costs of transportation and… Read more

Châtauroux Free Buses

A short and explicit addition to the transports of delight seems appropriate. In the Val de Loire region of France where bus travel is free for all in Châtauroux – this is the transport usage graph which proves that travel will increase but it seems unlikely (confirmed in the French Vox Pop) that that this will… Read more

Universal Basic Services – the soup kitchen and others

After free information and free transport, which I considered here the remaining two recommendations of the recent report on Universal Basic Services are free Food and Shelter. At a time of record low interest rates the report’s proposal to issue bonds to finance lots more social housing is uncontroversial. Thereafter there are some very big… Read more