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26 May 2013 @ 09:11 pm
I've lost the class war. Which way's the refugee camp?  
It's another moan about housing in London. The most recent outrage for me is the realisation of the extent to which London properties are being flogged off to foreign speculators and then rented back to Londoners at above mortgage costs. Lend Lease, the evil multinational who were given for free a massive swathe of prime zone 1 real estate by my council, Southwark, immediately set up a department in charge of selling the eventual flats to investors in Asia and the Middle East. This week I was in a little local estate agent in Lewisham, of all places, which turned out to exist only to sell local flats and houses to Chinese speculators. Ironic really - we won't be a property owning democracy because our property is owned by people in places like China and Dubai. I can't compete with that, or with the members of the merchant banking class of the UK who also own numerous properties as investments, or with the prices themselves that rise far faster than my income. I don't want to own anything, I just want to live with some dignity in a community where I can feel rooted and to have my family (including dogs) with me.

So I've lost the class war. My middle class privileges turned out not to be privileged enough. In five year's time, anyone without a phone number income can expect their children to live their lives out in the sort of accommodation that I only experienced in university halls of residence. Fascists will say it's because asylum seekers have taken all the houses. Other right-wingers will blame people on benefits, if they still exist then. I'll blame the 1%, but they will remain as unaccountable as they are now.