Monday, 29 July 2013

London House Prices 2

A friend casually said; 'My cleaners looking to buy a flat in Fulham '

Me:  'Your CLEANER! I mean - a one bedroom flat in  Fulham is going to set her back at least £500,000!

Friend:  ' I know - but she owns a £1 .5 million house in Wandsworth' 

London house prices are now surreal. The boom goes on and is now at the stage when even normally sensible people are charging in - convinced they must get on the London property ladder somehow - however low and squalid the rung -otherwise their children will never ever be able to afford to live and work in London.

London property is a BUBBLE.  But - as with any bubble - it is very difficult to say -with any accuracy (a) How big the BUBBLE will inflate to or (b) when the BUBBLE will burst.  But burst it will because it has to.  Wages in London have not risen for the last five years -yet property prices have soared - ergo the poor London workers are being squeezed with more and more of their salaries being used to pay for somewhere to sleep at night. A scruffy room in a flat in a not that smart area of London is now £200 a week plus or around £12,000 a year.

My children will - I am afraid - have to put up with renting such scruffy rooms as I am not going to buy them a flat at these silly prices -but others are - I walked into a friends picture gallery recently and saw a gorgeous 17th century portrait of a boy with his dog and gun by a man called Closterman.  It was being sold - my friend told me - as the owner wished to buy his son a flat in London.   

Well my pictures are staying firmly on the walls - boom come and booms go - and my portraits of my ancestors have witnessed many - and will witness many more I hope before some stupid descendant pops them in Sotheby's to try and make a fast buck.    


Friday, 26 July 2013

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds - a racist charity?

The COE of the RSPB recently sent a letter to the Guardian railing against the granting of two licenses by Natural England which allowed for the removal on one estate of four buzzard nests and, on a poultry farm, for five birds to be trapped and relocated - note - neither of these licenses allowed ANY birds to be killed.  So why then did Mike Clarke state in his letter to the Guardian that; ' .....licenses have been granted to kill or capture adult birds?'  What he wrote was demonstrably untrue as he well knew - i.e. in plain language he - the Chief Executive of a major conservation charity - lied. Now as charities can claim back tax paid on donations from the Exchequer the RSPB is in fact part funded by all taxpayers -is it right that a part tax payer funded body should employ a liar as COE and should not the Charity Commission take the RSPB to task for lying?  I only ask. 

Ok - you say - so he is a liar - but how does that make the RSPB racist?  Well -one would assume - that an organisation called the RSPB would be interested in the welfare of ALL birds and not favour one breed of birds over others? Increasingly though - over the last twenty or so years - the RSPB has tended to favour raptors over all else. Now back in the sixties raptors - that is all types of hawk - were seriously endangered for various reasons - the use of DDT being a primary one. Since  those days though raptor numbers have recovered and now birds such as buzzards are thriving. . The problem - conveniently always ignored by the RSPB - is that raptors are just that -raptors. They live by killing other birds and mammals. The famous incident some years back when an ornithologist in Cornwall was delighted when a small bird alighted in front of his hide, which he recognised as a native from North America, it had somehow made the enormous journey across the Atlantic unscathed. He started photographing the bird when - suddenly - a buzzard swooped down and killed it.

The fact is that raptors kill other birds - not just game birds or free range poultry but all birds. Nature is not cuddly - as wildlife charities like to pretend - but red blooded and cruel. Just because a buzzard is a spectacular bird while a fox is a mammal does not mean that it should be immune from being controlled just as the fox is controlled.

Incidentally - talking of control of mammals and protection of birds - it would be interesting to hear the RSPB's  views on culling badgers. Everyone knows that one of the major reasons for the catastrophic decline in the population of all ground nesting birds is the increase in the badger population but the RSPB remains discretely silent on the matter of badgers as - of course - they are cuddly and therefor off limits to a charity which survives on donations from a gullible and ignorant public.