Thursday, December 21, 2006

How much is your house worth?

I'm in the process of trying to buy a flat in London. I'm effectively a first time buyer again due to the fact that I separated last year. But that's another story.

The London property market is a nightmare if you are a first-time buyer. I am earning nearly three times the salary I was making ten years ago. Back in those days, I could afford to buy a flat, because I wasn't living in London. These days, even on a good salary, I am struggling to find anything bigger than one room.

I read in the newspapers that there are two reasons property prices are so high here. One is that a few hundred City traders who earn over a million a year put all their money into property, thus driving prices up. Another is that the Russian mafia have decided to come here and buy houses, driving prices up even more. What the hell are those guys doing here? There just seems to be something wrong about that.

I was coming home from the supermarket this evening, and I was in the car park waiting for the lift. A young homeless man had made his bed on the floor outside the door of the lift. You see them everywhere. Almost always men. There he was, stretched out in his sleeping bag as I stood there waiting. It was oddly embarassing. Shoppers were going past with their bags of Christmas presents. Our eyes met, but we didn't speak. He had a vacant look in his eyes, maybe drug-induced, as he stared out from the top of his sleeping bag. It was fucking cold today in London. At least he was inside. He must have been in his twenties. What a life. Still. At least he's not paying for sex. That's the main thing.

A couple of months ago, I went to a charity concert in aid of the homeless. During the interval, I spoke to the Director of the charity. I asked him what proportion of the homeless in London were men, and what proportion women. He thought for a minute. "Over 90% are men" he said. I asked him why he thought that was. A sharp intake of breath. "Oh, difficult to say. Never really thought about it". You're the Director of a homeless charity, and you've never really thought about it? He looked nervous, like he didn't want to talk about it. "Women tend to get looked after", he said finally. He seemed keen to change the subject. There is a man in deep denial.

There is another reason property prices are so high here, that there are so many homeless, that there is such a housing shortage. Divorce. Social breakdown. The first person to draw my attention to it was Angry Harry. A couple are married. They have a house and a car. They get divorced. They need two houses and two cars. Divorce puts additional pressure on the housing market, and on the environment. Very large numbers of people now live alone. They all need a house. Previously they would have lived in families. But the family is an instrument of the Patriarchy, so it is being forcibly abolished. People are encouraged to divorce and live alone, demand for housing increases, prices go up, the poorest people, those who don't get tend to get looked after, fall off the bottom of the ladder, and end up sleeping in car parks.

Feminists have been waging war against marriage and the family for nearly forty years now. Who is it that has to sleep rough through a British winter? It's not the feminists.

1 comment:

jbgood2 said...

How sad that the Director cared so little about the people whos interest he claimed to have at heart that he'd "never really thought about it". Also "women just get taken care of" indicates that this charity was gender specific and he was a male mouthpiece for feminists. These homeless men are the victims of the feminist state and are a reminder to all men to tow the line or ultimatly die on the street. While it can be argued that these men should do more to help themselves there is a whole industry geared towards keeping women housed and reliant on state benefits that is not available to male second class citizens.