Monday, 22 December 2008

Property & the masses

I had hoped that one of the few silver linings to the recession is that we might have seen the demise of the 'reality' property tv genre. But Tory aristo-totty (can't see it myself) Kirstie Allsop was on the radio promoting her latest series.

Apparently this will reflect the present climate by focusing on home improvements rather than on buying and selling property. Kirstie sees this as a kind of public service but was at pains to point out that she still very much 'believes' in the property market.

'Believes' ? - acknowledges its potential for making a fast unearnt buck - well ok - but 'believes' ?

But then, post-Thatcher, the property owning democracy has become a belief.

Once entrepreneurs built engines, railways and cities, the conditions of their workers might have appaling, but they could claim to be progressing the fabric of society: Today's equivalents feel that by re-painting their window frames and sanding the floors, they have made similar a contribution.

It's a lie. Buying a house doesn't make you a captain of industry. (If that's what you want to be). You need a roof over your head and whether you buy or sell at the right or wrong time is pretty much a lottery. And the particular Thatcherite lie (which still has a tight hold) is that this represents some form of popular capitalism where everyone can be an entrepreneur.

That's a bit fucking rich coming from the Honourable Kirstie Allsop, daughter of a baronet and former chairman of Christie's auctioners...

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