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  • An Englishman’s home is not his castle


    by Rumbold
    23rd April, 2008 at 2:45 pm    

    Today is St. George’s Day. Now that it has been reclaimed from the far right, people are more comfortable celebrating it, or conversely not celebrating it, which creates the sort of feeling that a national day should engender; awareness mixed with a bit of pride but no pressure. It is now inclusive again, not exclusive. Strangely enough, this widespread acceptance of flying the flag of St. George is largely thanks to a group of semi-literate, cheating thugs (the England football team).

    It used to be said that an Englishman’s home was his castle. How that phrase still exists with compulsory purchase orders (CPO) around I do not know. CPOs are tools used by the state to seize property from its owners, despite the owners not having committed any crimes. The state can seize this property for its own benefit, or in order to aid the expansion of corporations. Given the cosy relationship between the state and big business, it is any wonder that properties are confiscated to help companies boost their profits, or to help the state create grandiose schemes?

    Recently CPOs were in the news once again, when an elderly woman, who was to have her home stolen and demolished to help Tesco, applied to demolish the house of the Tesco chief executive:

    “A grandmother from Merseyside has applied for planning permission to demolish the home of Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy. Dot Reid is retaliating against plans to bulldoze her home and 71 others in Kirkby, to make way for Everton’s new stadium and a Tesco supermarket. The 58-year-old said Sir Terry, who lives in a mansion in Hertfordshire, deserved a taste of his own medicine.

    She plans to turn the site of the Tesco boss’s house into a community garden. The grandmother lives on Spicer Grove where there are a mix of bungalows and houses, which would be bought under a compulsory purchase order and demolished under the plans. She helped set up a housing co-operative which was given government money to build the homes, which were finished in 1992.”

    CPOs in one shape or form have been alive in this country and many others for a long time. What greater signal could there be for the contempt that the powerful feel for the rest of us that they would protect a law that allowed a law-abiding person’s property to be seized just to gratify their own whims? This law should be abolished now.


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    1. inders — on 23rd April, 2008 at 3:28 pm  

      CPO’s aren’t always for the benefit of big business. Many councils use them to knock down decaying housing and building new houses in regeneration areas.

    2. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd April, 2008 at 3:53 pm  

      I attended my britishness ceremony on monday (the queen’s birthday). Other than the little old colonel, from the registrars to the entire hall full of broken english speakers, there wasn’t a single english person in sight… until we all got our certificate of nationalisation, of course.

      God bless Britannia

    3. ZinZin — on 23rd April, 2008 at 4:11 pm  

      Rumbold can you not partake in the hackneyed attacks on footballers? but not all of them are scumbags. Now you have outed yourself as a libertarian, now are you a rugger bugger?

      On another note the board of Everton football club should be demolished, but the shareholders beat me to it.

    4. bananabrain — on 23rd April, 2008 at 6:15 pm  

      Strangely enough, this widespread acceptance of flying the flag of St. George is largely thanks to a group of semi-literate, cheating thugs (the England football team).

      hur, hur, hur, hur. good one, rumbold. and, actually, i agree; i think i’d be 100% more likely to fly the st george cross nowadays than ever before, perhaps football is good for something after all.

      incidentally, i believe st george was in fact turkish. another interesting thing, i don’t know what you’d all make of this, is that over the centuries, it has become more and more customary (in pictures of the mythical events in question) for the dragon to be displaying genitalia of a distinctly, ah, female nature. who knows what that means, but i bet it’s got something to do with football.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    5. Cover Drive — on 23rd April, 2008 at 6:30 pm  

      Shalom bananabrain

      Hope you’re having a good Passover.

      incidentally, i believe st george was in fact turkish.

      Father Christmas (or St Nicholas) was also Turkish.

      The Santa Claus people are familiar with today is a Europeanised version of the original St Nicholas.

    6. bananabrain — on 23rd April, 2008 at 6:54 pm  

      not too bad - in fact, mrs bb and i have just been blessed with the safe arrival of mini-banana #2, a little girl this time!

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    7. Don — on 23rd April, 2008 at 7:33 pm  

      B’brain

      I’m in awe that you noticed the dragon’s bits (although also quite aware that google has now recorded that I searched images for ‘dragon genitalia’ Man, the things some people will tattoo).

      But on reflection, don’t most mythical monsters show female characteristics? All part of the lurking gynophobia that crops up in most religious systems …

      Rumbold,

      CPO’s (like health and safety regs) can be misused, but you are using far too broad a brush. There is a real need to have an instrument which prevents opportunists from milking necessary development, as inders pointed out. Yes, unscrupulous operators will use it for their own ends, just as tunnel-visioned drones will use health and safety to stop potentially lethal but worth-it cheese-rolling events. All systems are imperfect, but to take a couple of egregious examples and conclude that the principle itself is to blame?

      Which is rather of a piece with your new party’s manifesto - simplistic and emotive. It’s always good when a tory leaves the party, but this piffle? I spent about an hour perusing it (out of respect for you, mate, not because I thought for a moment that DK and his UKIP chums had anything worthwhile to offer)and it is dire. One or two reasonable but unoriginal points and the rest the sort of Panglosssian nonsense that we get from (Dave?) our occasionally commenting, ego-tripping eco-warrior.

      I’m hoping it’s just a phase.

    8. Rumbold — on 23rd April, 2008 at 8:04 pm  

      Inders:

      “CPO’s aren’t always for the benefit of big business. Many councils use them to knock down decaying housing and building new houses in regeneration areas.”

      But why should they be allowed to take people’s property just because they think that they could put it to use better.

      ZinZin:

      “Rumbold can you not partake in the hackneyed attacks on footballers? but not all of them are scumbags. Now you have outed yourself as a libertarian, now are you a rugger bugger?

      On another note the board of Everton football club should be demolished, but the shareholders beat me to it.”

      Nope, I am a football man. What is wrong with Everton? They seem to be doing well at the moment.

      Bananabrain:

      He also ended up as Archbishop of Alexandria, at that time a post similar in stature to the Bishop of Rome. As for a gragon’s bits, I confess I had not given it much thought, but it is interesting how dragons are now depicted as fire-breathing with wings, whereas in centuries past they were not so.

    9. Rumbold — on 23rd April, 2008 at 8:11 pm  

      Don:

      “CPO’s (like health and safety regs) can be misused, but you are using far too broad a brush. There is a real need to have an instrument which prevents opportunists from milking necessary development, as inders pointed out. Yes, unscrupulous operators will use it for their own ends, just as tunnel-visioned drones will use health and safety to stop potentially lethal but worth-it cheese-rolling events. All systems are imperfect, but to take a couple of egregious examples and conclude that the principle itself is to blame?”

      Normally I would agree with you on the point that misuse of a law does not automatically make it a bad one. However, for me, this case is different, as I object to the principle of the law. I do not think that people should be forced to give up their property, even if it is sitting in the middle of a proposed motorway. The motorway can be built around the property, or not at all.

      “Which is rather of a piece with your new party’s manifesto - simplistic and emotive. It’s always good when a tory leaves the party, but this piffle? I spent about an hour perusing it (out of respect for you, mate, not because I thought for a moment that DK and his UKIP chums had anything worthwhile to offer)and it is dire. One or two reasonable but unoriginal points and the rest the sort of Panglosssian nonsense that we get from (Dave?) our occasionally commenting, ego-tripping eco-warrior.”

      Very kind of you to say so Don. The UKLP manifesto is meant to be a broad overview of each area, so is not as detailed as a full proposal would be. I do not necessarily agree with all of the manifesto, but I agree with the broad thrust of it, which is about cutting spending and state interference in people’s lives. Which bits were Panglossian?

      Where is Dave S nowadays?

    10. inders — on 23rd April, 2008 at 8:40 pm  

      “But why should they be allowed to take people’s property just because they think that they could put it to use better.”

      If you have an estate of mostly public sector housing mixed with some owner occupied stock from right to buy and the estate is going down the pan. All the people living under the social rented want to be rehoused and most of the people who bought want to move because the price offered is more then reasonable. But you have a lovely old dear or dears that have lived there since 1947 and don’t want to move no matter the price then I’m afraid the needs of the many will override the wants of a few.

      Of course there is public recourse and they can appeal the decision. I know of cases where old dears are the last house in the street to sell up and supermarkets have to wait because the supermarket can’t get the council to CPO it.

    11. inders — on 23rd April, 2008 at 8:45 pm  

      *side note*

      How the heck do you think they built the motorways and dual carriageways ?

      By going around people’s houses that didn’t want to sell ?

    12. Rumbold — on 23rd April, 2008 at 8:47 pm  

      Inders:

      That is a reason why council tower estates should never have been built. If one person wants to stay, then fine. That is the essence of freedom. You should not be able to override the fundamental rights of a law-abiding individual just because it is believed that more people will benefit from that decision.

    13. Rumbold — on 23rd April, 2008 at 8:47 pm  

      Inders:

      “How the heck do you think they built the motorways and dual carriageways?”

      I know how they do it, but they should not.

    14. inders — on 23rd April, 2008 at 10:50 pm  

      They shouldn’t have built motorways ?

      Why don’t you buy a cave somewhere and go live in it?

    15. inders — on 23rd April, 2008 at 11:06 pm  

      And i wasn’t talking about council blocks of flats. They were never sold on the right to buy scheme cuz you’d have to be a loon to buy one.

    16. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 11:40 pm  

      Congratulations to you and lady b-brain, bananabrain.

    17. Cover Drive — on 24th April, 2008 at 5:41 am  

      Congrats

    18. A Councillor writes — on 24th April, 2008 at 7:56 am  

      Congratulations to yourself and your wife, bb.

      Just to make a teensy correction, Saint George was indeed born in what is now Turkey, but at the time was Nikomedeia, the capital of the Roman province of Bithynia and was almost certainly a Greek-speaker. The same applies to Saint Nicholas of Myra.

      I’m afraid that the Turks didn’t turn up in Asia Minor until the 11th century.

      Amusingly enough, St George is a rather well travelled saint as he is the patron saint of Aragon, Catalunya, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Palestine, Portugal and Russia.

    19. Rumbold — on 24th April, 2008 at 10:49 am  

      Inders:

      “They shouldn’t have built motorways?”

      Motorways can curve can’t they? Most people would sell up if offered enough money, leaving no more than a handful of people.

      “Why don’t you buy a cave somewhere and go live in it?”

      Perhaps I will.

    20. bananabrain — on 24th April, 2008 at 12:03 pm  

      I’m in awe that you noticed the dragon’s bits (although also quite aware that google has now recorded that I searched images for ‘dragon genitalia’ Man, the things some people will tattoo).

      hur hur hur. i just heard that somewhere, i can’t claim to be a frequent inspector of mythical nadgers in art.

      But on reflection, don’t most mythical monsters show female characteristics? All part of the lurking gynophobia that crops up in most religious systems …

      there’s a story in the jewish apocrypha called “bel and the dragon” - in fact, the hero (who may in fact actually be a woman, i can’t remember) kills the dragon by feeding it so much cake that it explodes. now that’s a jewish way to do it, none of this silly buggering about with swords.

      and, councillor, yes, i know, turkey wasn’t actually turkey until much later, but i don’t know what you call someone from asia minor, anatolian perhaps?

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

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