Random Thoughts No. 2

I am not an accountant, so I am totally confused. I read and hear that our internal debt is the greatest in Europe, caused through overspend, and the escalating cost of house purchase. I gather that the government is worried about this debt, but if that is the case why at every opportunity does it increase our hidden tax burden, and permit the housing situation to be such that it is becoming successively more difficult for the lower paid to obtain a house. Indeed it is now arriving at the point where people, through the rises in the bank rate, are now finding that their mortgages have increased so much that it is placing them in a hazardous financial situation, and they are possibly likely to suffer repossession and bankruptcy.

This situation is being aggravated because there is no financial security from pensions, and those who are wealthy enough are buying up houses as second homes, holiday homes, and for rent, all as investment, leaving the underclass, as usual, on the wrong side of the fence.

While I am on the subject of housing, which also has a bearing on the overall housing stocks and cost of housing, I am also seriously confused about the housing of immigrants, and illegal immigrants, which must also be stressing the housing problem. I do not believe that the meagre salaries that these people are being paid, especially the illegal ones, are sufficient for them to be able to afford adequate housing, especially as a rental. I question what conditions these people are living under, in these circumstances, and whether local authorities are looking into the matter and taking the necessary action, or is it all being swept under the carpet?

Music trends. The other day I watched a film on TV, produced in America, in which the lead in, and ending music took me back to Africa 80 years ago. Then we had a small kraal at the bottom of the garden, a collection of mud and reed huts which housed our servants and their families. At nights, and on other occasions, presumably having some African significance, the Africans would sing in that rhythmic way, without a great range but a lot of repetition. It may have been coincidence, or it may be, like Picasso, the musicians are drawing inspiration from African traditions. Even when I was young, while I found it interesting, my subconscious was not ready to accept the African idiom. When I listened to the film I found the rhythm like a heartbeat, but the repetition and the monotony spoiled the effect.

My grandson Steve Jones, is a professional musician who has played with a number of bands including Roland Keating and is now playing with Air, the famous French band. As a result it has given me an insight into the Music Industry,. from which I have formed a number of theories. Having been brought up with classical music in my youth, the big band era in the 30s and 40s, jazz and dance music, I find it difficult to latch onto the current idiom, especially rap. I get the impression some young people with an ability to play an instrument, but not necessarily a real talent, helped by synthesisers and computer programs, create their form of music and are taken up by entrepreneurs, as ‘new faces’, milked and then discarded , with the result that they make little contribution to the overall music scene, sufficiently original to induce progress. For this reason I have to admit
that while I understand and like the music of Air and some others,, much that I hear I don’t understand and don’t care for. Whatever happened to melody?

More on the new industry, global warming. One could hardly turn on the television or lift a newspaper but be exhorted to adopt some system which is going to save the world. A few days ago we were shown on TV news a series of the most ugly houses, architecturally designed, with scientific input that was the last thing in energy-saving. The problem was they were as ugly as sin and would stand out like a sore thumb in any environment. One of my neighbours has had solar panels installed on his roof, not integrated with the roof, just lying on top, and we are told that it would take him 15 years to recoup the cost. From what I could see inside two years, if my gutters are anything to go by, the area above and down the sides, and possibly underneath the unit, will be clogged with bird droppings, aerial detritus, and anything else such as leaves which are floating by. I’m sure that he had that erected for all the right reasons, but whoever guided him did him no favours. I believe the government should just slow down on the exhorting and speed up on design.

Categorized as General

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