Since the crisis, the number of people renting in the UK has sharply increased, but the number of landlords has decreased, as a smaller and smaller number of richer and richer people control the destiny of more and more Britons.
The UK has some of the worst tenancy laws in the industrialised world, offering virtually no protection from rent hikes and evictions. All this has made the south of England into a property speculatory's paradise -- 40% of the national wealth is in the form of property in the London area -- and situation of increased precarity for working people, whose children could be yanked away from school and friends and clubs, and whose jobs could become an unsustainable commute at any moment. Oxford Geographer Danny Dorling's outstanding book on the British property disaster, All That is Solid, is a must-read on this.
Shelter is the second-most important layer in the hierarchy of needs, right after food. Without stable shelter, you have no security, no ability to plan ahead, no ability to start a business -- life is a scramble, something that affects every member of your family, especially your kids. By turning the roof over your head into an asset instead of a right, successive UK governments have created a situation where doubling the cost of an absolute necessity is considered a virtue.
There's a campaign on 38 Degrees to introduce rent caps in London.
THE LONDON UNDERGROUND RENT MAP: WHERE YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO LIVE, BY STOP
Smartphones have relegated iconic red British telephone boxes to things of the past, but they are being preserved and repurposed. In fact, Yorkshire now has more repurposed boxes than working phone boxes.Via The Yorkshire Post:
While in quarantine, residents at a North London elderly care facility, and their caregivers, have been posing like Adele, Madonna, David Bowie, and other musical artists for an album cover recreation project. The photographer, Sydmar Lodge’s Activities Coordinator Robert Speker, writes that it’s his “job and privilege to keep them entertained during the COVID crisis […]
The United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority, the UKs antitrust watchdog, has begun an investigation into Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy.
After years of hearing a steady drumbeat about the necessity of surfing the web under the protection of a VPN, even the most technophobic among us are starting to come around. But even knowing the dangers one can face from cybercrooks phishing for information from unsuspecting victims online, those last holdouts still have some fears. […]
You may not realize it, but some of the biggest films in movie history have been edited using the same tools some of you use to cut your video of vacationing at Disney World. Giant movies from Oscar favorites The Social Network and Gone Girl to blockbusters like Avatar, Deadpool, and last year’s Terminator: Dark […]
Now that the initial furor and shortages have subsided, it’s probably not a bad time to start considering your long-term cleaning and disinfecting plans. Sure, that might seem anywhere from overly cautious to outright ridiculous, but the threat of COVID-19 appears poised to be present for a while and the need for quick travel clean-up […]