My Buy to Let landlords

The property was a miniscule one-bedroomed ‘house’ on a development at the edge of town. 

Let’s call him Mr Get Rich-quick. He told me, as he showed me round, (it didn’t take long), that he worked for a couple of Pakis in the pharmaceutical business. He didn’t like them because they were overpricing drugs which they were selling to the NHS. By this he established his patriotic credentials. I think the idea was that he was on my side, a fellow Brit; not an exploitative landlord. He had principles; he didn’t like the NHS being ripped off. However, he overdid it and, crudely, invented what he presumably thought would be a mutual enemy – Pakis. In trying to sound patriotic he ended up being racist. Perhaps better not to be a buy-to-let landlord in the first place and then the problem wouldn’t arise. Continue reading “My Buy to Let landlords”

Groin Relics

I started work at this medium-sized company in the Autumn. They make sheds. That is sheds with light-fittings and electric wiring. Marketed as an extra living space for your garden the uses seem endless; a Yoga studio, a home-office, a childrens’ room. Prices seem to start from around £10,000 and go up to £20,000.00 or more. It crossed my mind that you could just buy a shed, fit some lighting, put up some insulation and pop in a heater by yourself. But I am of course thinking of utility not what the shed will do for the value of my property.  Continue reading “Groin Relics”

True tales from Britain’s public sector (1)

Your editor went for a job interview the other day – at a Higher Education public sector organisation which will remain nameless.

One of the interview questions was “what issues are facing the Higher Education sector at the moment”. The correct answer was “the funding crisis”. Continue reading “True tales from Britain’s public sector (1)”

The life and death of a local authority officer (sob sob)

The Guardian often publishes anonymous contributions by public sector staff (managers and above; not anything yukky like, say, dustmen). The “secret teacher”. The “anonymous housing officer”. The “secret policeman”. And so on. Invariably it turns out that the anonymous (why anonymous?) writer is hard-working, over-worked, misunderstood by the public and ill-appreciated by government. Who does nothing but save the vulnerable from morning to night. Continue reading “The life and death of a local authority officer (sob sob)”