Monbiot\’s latest


Some people live in houses with more bedrooms than they need. Therefore we must force people to take in lodgers.

As is commented:

Sounds a bit Soviet to me … everyone to live in a kommunalnaya kvartira (shared flat).


25 thoughts on “Monbiot\’s latest”

  1. You shouldn’t have taken his global warming toy away. Look what he gets up to.

    I saw his interview with the then top dog at easyjet. His interviewing technique consists of being rude and interrupting, asking a question, and if the answer is going too well, ask another question to try and confuse the interviewee. You learn nothing about the interviewee but a lot about George.

    Anyway to the point in hand. This article hits a new intellectual low for a guy already so low radar couldn’t spot him. Give him his due, he is sometimes logical and thought through (but just wrong). Here he hasn’t even thought.

    How can upper-middle class pontificators still play the envy card? None of my working (aspiring to middleclass) acquaintances would come up with such twaddle, because George, that is what it is.

  2. Philip Scott Thomas

    His interviewing technique consists of being rude and interrupting, asking a question, and if the answer is going too well, ask another question to try and confuse the interviewee. You learn nothing about the interviewee but a lot about George.

    Probably learned that from listening to The Today Programme.

  3. I’m sick of bloody footprints.

    Define ‘bedroom’, George. That should send you into a never-ending loop.

    Recently looked at a house where the top floor was open plan. Over 60 square metres, but open plan. Can I count that as a single bedroom? Or shall I put a couple of families in there.

    When my kids leave home, can I keep the rooms for them for one, two or how many years? Who decides you, me or the local commissar. Do my twins have to share or can I let them occupy a room each. Could go on like this for hours, but I’ve got better things to do. Oh bu**er off, and leave me alone, George.

  4. A Quartering Act aimed at bankers! Great idea.

    Let’s see if it works any better in London than it did in New York.

  5. “This article hits a new intellectual low for a guy already so low radar couldn’t spot him.”

    And a mark of just how low is the percentage of highly-recommended comments that are ripping him a new one. It’s close to 95%.

    Amazing! An idea so utterly stupid even the usual suspects at ‘CiF’ are ducking their heads, shuffling and refusing to make eye contact….

  6. Let’s seize the holiday villas of Guardian columnists.

    Oh, and he whinges about the council tax allowance for single occupancy, but cannot grasp that this discount is because a single person household will consume fewer resources than a household of many; the fact that council tax is based on rateable value is a hiatorical accident, it is NOT a tax on house occupancy!

  7. The guy is being accused of being a fascist. I’m not sufficiently expert on fascism to agree or disagree with that.

    But one thing I do know. He is cheerleading for the use of force, to appropriate the private property of others, so he can dish it out among his favoured clientele. And at the very least, that is gangsterism. It’s what Mugabe has been doing for years.

    Our chattering classes are full of people who are fuelled by hatred and intolerance of their society, and determined to blight the lives of others. This pathology is usually dressed up as concern for the underclass. Don’t be fooled.

  8. regardless of the size of your property, you get a 25% council tax discount. The rest of us, in other words, subsidise wealthy single people who want to keep their spare rooms empty.

    Council Tax ? Doesn’t that pay for “people based” services ? For example, refuse volume is proportional to the number of people not the size of the house, libraries are not visited more often by people with more bedrooms, additional firemen and policemen are not required for empty rooms, in fact, a single person by definition is not going to require school meals.

    We had this argument ages ago when the Poll Tax came in, it’s way more likely that a person with a big house paying more Council Tax is going to be subsidizing others, not to mention the stonking great amount they paid in stamp duty when they bought the place (like £20K+ on a £500K+ property).

    the total housing stock is a common resource

    The guy is a loon, land might be a “common resource”, but houses are not.

    In fact that’s a better idea, make people who own vast tracts of land build houses on them and rent them out (they’ll pay for the building costs of course, just like his proposed landlords have to fund the adjustments for heath and safety, I’ve been there and done that and it isn’t cheap) , just how much land does Georgie boy own then ?

  9. Brian, follower of Deornoth

    What is this “single person discount” of which you speak? If I shared my house with another person, we’d each pay £400 a year. Since I live here by myself, I pay £600. That’s a 50% sole occupancy surcharge.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    The problem is not so much the idea itself, as mind-numbingly stupid as it may seem, but the mentality. It is utterly amazing that the country that gave the world the idea of liberalism would now take seriously the idea the government has the right to count how many rooms we have, arbitrarily decide if we are using them in a manner approved of, and then force us to take in extra people. All because the State has failed to make sure enough new homes are built.

    It gives proof to the religious quip that the Devil finds mischief for idle hands. Or in this case, if you give f**kwits like Monbiot powers they should not have, they will eventually use them in ways they should not. If all you have is a sledgehammer, pretty soon every problem looks like a nut.

  11. Actually SMFS has an excellent point “a manner approved of”. I am currently typing this in what we refer to as “the study” or “the office” and that our Lords of the HSE have declared cannot be a bedroom (it has an open-face gas fire) but any estate agent would call a bedroom.

    Whereas the old drawing-room, downstairs, also with an open face gas fire but don’t tell’em, please, is our guest bedroom.

    Numbers, who needs stinking numbers?

  12. This idea didn’t go down all that well in WW2 with billiting of bombed out people in other peoples houses. Often much acrimony.
    As well ‘lodgers’ often have family – where do they go?

  13. Monbiot is one of these creeps who views the rest of society as an unwelcome intrusion into his vision of utopia. He reserves the right to regard us as a form of pollution, about which he may complain, and find fault. Everything we are, everything we do, afflicts and offends him. Why do we all have to mar his aspirations, by being inconveniently alive, clogging the place up?
    Well, it’s because if we were all to oblige him by dropping dead, and returning to our creator, the day would still come when Monbiot would arrive in heaven, and start complaining about everybody else up there.

  14. Jeez, I actually had to read through that load of drivel to comment on it. Not a pleasant experience’

    ” Instead of paying rent, lodgers – who are vetted and checked by the charity that runs the project – help elderly homeowners with shopping, cleaning, cooking, gardening or driving.”

    Would that be regarded as a taxable benefit? If so how would the value of the lodging be assessed? A flatshare in some parts of London costs £200 p/p p/w let alone a room in large house in say Hampstead with use of all the facilities.

    Sounds like skating very close to whether the property is a single dwelling or not. Other side of that line the place’d almost have to rebuilt to comply with building & fire regs.

    Finesse either of those points & you’d clear a coach & horses path through most letting law.

    So actually Georgie Boy, full marks for effort. Bring it on.

  15. So Much For Subtlety

    Actually I have just realised that what poor George has done is watched too much Upstairs Downstairs. What he means is that the British government ought to be giving the middle class tax breaks in order to take the feckless poor in as domestic servants.

    I mean put that way, who could object?

  16. Had a discussion with my operations manager this morning at work. She thinks Monbiot is useful, ‘cos he writes these outrageous articles.

    She thinks it is useful because we focus on real solutions to the problem because his are so idiotic that we come up with something intelligent

    The question is: Do you think that he is being deliberately stupid?

    Me thinks not.

    How do you vote?

  17. This is very unfair to Uncle Joe. The USSR had a housing shortage the same one early Victorian Britain had – because they were poor & had an enormous number of people moving to the cities. The were at least trying to build a wealthier society.

    The reason we have a housing shortage is because our political class prevents them being built. They are actively trying to create a poorer society.

    It is the difference between a planned & unplanned famine, something we have yet to experience but give hem time.

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