Category Archives: Issues

There are so many social issues, it can be myopic to focus on single issue politics. Here I look at the bigger picture.

Propaganda

It’s propaganda! And there’s nothing wrong with circulating information to promote a good cause. But is the propaganda factual and the cause good?

This is a response to a false propaganda piece that I saw on facebook some months ago. It concerns a cartoon by Milt Priggee that seems to lay blame for the US foreclosure crisis upon “free market capitalism”.

But is the property market an example of free market capitalism?

Sources:
Definition of ‘Free Market’
Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/freemarket.asp

Definition of ‘Capitalism’
Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/capitalism.asp

Definition of ‘Barriers To Entry’
Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/barrierstoentry.asp

Cartoon by Milt Priggee, Puget Sound Business Journal

Divorce by Force

In this program I review recent news that the judiciary would like to extend access to the divorce process to the unmarried. I look at the cause of declining rates of marriage and the effects this is having on the divorce industry.

Sources and further reading:

The Telegraph, Top family judge calls for no-fault divorce for all and putting cohabitees on a par with married couples
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/divorce/10796954/Top-family-judge-calls-for-no-fault-divorce-for-all-and-putting-cohabitees-on-a-par-with-married-couples.html
ONS, Marriages in England and Wales (Provisional), 2011
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/marriages-in-england-and-wales–provisional-/2011/stb-marriages-in-england-and-wales–provisional—2011.html#tab-Marriage-Rates

Talking About Family Law
http://www.talkingaboutfamilylaw.co.uk/judge-speaks-out-on-no-fault-divorce-and-rights-of-unmarried-couples/

The Guardian
Couples should be able to divorce without going to court, says top judge
http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/apr/29/divorce-consent-handled-registrar-courts

Mail Online, Let couples get quickie divorce at register office and protect unmarried women left on scrapheap, says top family judge
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2616123/Couples-able-divorce-simply-signing-form-says-countrys-family-law-judge.html

BBC, Divorce Reform Act 1969
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12417483

Divorce since 1900
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/olympic-britain/housing-and-home-life/split-pairs/

Family Law Reform Act 1969
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1969/46

A brief history of divorce
http://www.cflp.co.uk/a-brief-history-of-divorce/

Mail Online, The wife who changed history – by asking for the first divorce
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-508936/The-wife-changed-history–asking-divorce.html

Family breakdown ‘could cost taxpayers £46bn’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/divorce/10674267/Family-breakdown-could-cost-taxpayers-46bn.html

Libertarian Review: Russell Brand

Russell Brand attacked parliamentary democracy on Newsnight recently and told Jeremy Paxman why he doesn’t vote. Brands criticisms of the establishment have caused a stir because they are true. The days of party politics enjoying popular support are gone.

But what is to be done? Brand advocates windfall taxes on corporations and an “egalitarian socialist” system but admits he has no idea how that might come about. He seems to think that other people know how to do it.

I’m cynical about this. The left have played all their cards and can only mouth empty rhetoric. Brand is no stranger to profiting from mega corporations either.

In this review I take a deeper look at these issues and Russell Brand.

(sorry about lipsync issue)
NEWSNIGHT: Paxman vs Brand – full interview
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YR4CseY9pk

An Open Letter to Russell Brand – Let’s Start a Revolution!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltiviifnA_E

Russell Brand I love you but you’re wrong
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XL3dLN0pd7Y

FP017 Corporatism: A marriage of left and right
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlHauIRE9Ww

FP008 Breaking The Corporate Matrix
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9-iGDXnOJk

The Fall of the United Kingdom
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-ibcORs4I4

The Housing Problem

I take a good look at Britain’s housing problem – the extortionate and unaffordable cost of homes in the UK. I trace the problem back to the Norman conquest that perpetuated centuries of land shortage, inflating rents and labour prices leading to stifled economic development.

In contemporary Britain there is a struggle between the wealth elites and the middle to upper classes who stand to lose a lot of money if new housing developments speeds up. The middle classes would prefer redevelopment of “brown field” sites, but this is less profitable and risky for developers.

Presently building a new property requires navigation of many hundreds of pages of planning and building regulations, that’s even if you can obtain some land!

Where will it all end? I rather suspect the middle classes are going to be burnt one way or the other. Prepare for some upset Daily Telegraph readers!? Maybe, the struggle isn’t over yet.

Sources and further reading:
The Progress Report Review of Who Owns Britain
http://www.progress.org/revwob.htm

Country Life, Who Owns Britain
http://www.countrylife.co.uk/countryside/article/506868/Who-owns-Britain-Top-UK-landowners.html

New Statesmen, The coming battle over land and property
http://www.newstatesman.com/society/2010/10/land-tax-labour-britain

The Telegraph, Hands Off Our Land
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/hands-off-our-land/8745367/Hands-Off-Our-Land-by-numbers.html
The ironically titled campaign by this middle/upper class newspaper to try and stop people from developing on land they own!
(cos that will spoil views, risk negative equity and leave plebs living next door?)

NHBC Foundation
http://www.nhbcfoundation.org/Publications/Primary-Research/Prospects-for-the-UK-house-building-industry-NF39

Image of Charlies House used with permission.

http://naturalhomes.org/save-charlies-house.htm