4

Lazy Vegetarian Meal ideas #14 Potato, Aubergine and Chickpea Curry

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I’ve been trying to branch out in my cooking recently and attempt something new.  I’m always tempted to stick tomatoes in every single curry I make; tomatoes are my definite cooking comfort zone.This curry has no tomatoes and at several points during the creation of this dish I almost panicked and threw them in, but I’m really glad I didn’t. This is a tasty, versatile and filing dish that is fabulous with rice or as dosa/wrap filling. It does take a bit of time to prepare, but most of that is just boiling some potatoes and leaving them to do their thing whilst you watch Netflix.

What you need: Four chopped potatoes, half an aubergine cut into small chunks (make sure all the chunks have some purple skin on them), a tin of chickpeas, a quarter of a cup of vegetable stock (you don’t need much), olive oil, a large chopped onion

Spices: Mustard Seeds, Chilli flakes, Fenugreek, Asafoetida, Cumin seeds, Garam Masala, three Bay Leaves, a generous amount of Salt and Pepper, a sprinkle of Chilli powder, Cumin and Cinnamon (optional)

Note: As always the spices should be used to match your personal tastes. I like spicy food so I add a lot of chilli, but maybe your looking for a milder flavour in which case you could leave the chilli powder altogether. Don’t go too easy on the cumin seeds, fenugreek or chilli flakes though because they do kind of make this curry.

1: Chop and boil potatoes and leave for 20-30 minutes depending on how paranoid you are (I hate hard potatoes with a passion so tend to leave them boiling for a little longer than most). Whilst the potatoes boil, chop the aubergine and leave to soak in cold, salted water for around 15-20 minutes.

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2: Heat oil in a large saucepan and add asafoetida. When the oil has been heating for a few minutes (probably the amount of time it takes to chop the onion) add the mustard seeds. When the seeds have started to pop, add chopped onion and fry on a high heat for at least five minutes, then turn to a low heat and stir occasionally for a few more minutes. I normally add a sprinkle of fenugreek, garama masala, cumin and chilli at this point.

3: Add some more oil, turn up the heat and add chopped aubergines and fry for it all for a few minutes. Don’t be afraid to add some more oil as the aubergines lap it right up, but be careful not to saturate.

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4: Add the potatoes and fry for a few more minutes. Then add chickpeas, some more spices and a small amount of stock and turn down the heat.

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5: Stir occasionally for about 10-13 minutes

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Enjoy!

5

Blaire’s ‘apology’ for the Iraq war and the rise of ISIS

The newspapers are very excited today with news that former prime minister Tony Blair has finally ‘apologized’ for the 2003 war in Iraq, despite the fact he still doesn’t regret the war and simply conceded that they made some ‘mistakes’ regarding the Weapons of Mass Destruction which, at the time, they claimed could attack the USA in as little as 45 minutes and which was quite soon after proven to be, quite frankly, utter bollocks.
The supposed WMD’s and alleged (and disproved) links to Al Qaeda were the main justifications for the war and were used as its main selling point; now we know beyond a doubt (although anyone with half a brain could see it at the time) that these were at best an error in judgement based on dodgy evidence and at worse a calculated and planned lie that was used to promote a war that the USA  had long decided to pursue (which is backed up by the fact that Tony Blair had agreed to go to war a year prior to its taking place, when at the time he was still publicly pushing for a diplomatic solution), and the tensions that existed from the 1990s with George Bush Senior. I read in one of the articles (See below) that the source that they used as evidence that Iraq could attack the USA using WMD’s in 45 minutes had been taken some years previously from a random taxi driver who could potentially have been joking, and was unlikely to have any real knowledge on the subject.
Blair is still trying to justify himself by saying that although all the reasons they gave at the time to promote the war turned out to be wrong, they still got rid of an evil dictator and gave the Iraqi people a shot at freedom, which would be okay if it was not undermined by the rise of ISIS and horrific conditions that Iraq has been in ever since. I do not deny that Saddam Hussein was a bad man who abused and sometimes killed his people, he was. He was a dictator, and conditions in Iraq prior to 2003 were unlikely to be great, and if there had been a strong Iraqi resistance who had enough support and strength to take over it would not have been a bad thing that he was ejected with western help, although I feel the roots would have to have lain in Iraq, not imposed from outside.
However, even if we overlook the fact that the USA actively backed Hussein in the 1980s (coincidentally one of his most brutal periods in power), the US actually helped him into power and only started to turn on him in the 90s, and (if my sources can be believed) Iraq was actually an okay place to live before the US helped Hussein to power. Even if we ignore the US’s direct role in creating the regime they then tried to dismantle, Saddam Hussein was not the only dictator in the world, nor was he the worst. We actively fund dictators all over the world through foreign aid, and the US has had close links to Saudi Arabia, which has a  (putting it mildly) questionable regime of it own, for years. The US and UK cannot abet and assist some dictators and then condemn and attack others and still pretend to be upholding human rights and morality, it just doesn’t make sense. Blair cannot pretend that we did a good thing in Iraq by getting rid of one bad regime and allowing an even worse one into power, and act like that somehow makes it all okay. If we are going to condemn ruthless dictators on principle, we cannot pick and choose the ones we like and don’t like based on our own interests unless that dictator threatens us directly, because even though conditions were probably not good prior to the war, the destruction and civilian casualties that happened both during the war and continue to happen just weren’t worth it. Even if this had been the justification for the war (which it was not) it was not, to my mind, justification enough whilst we still have friendly ties to some of the most brutal dictatorships in the world.

As the Chilcot report should (hopefully) be released fairly soon, Blaire’s ‘apology’ can be seen as an attempt to save face by apologizing before he is forced to when the report finally comes out. If you have read my earlier posts, you will know that whilst I am not anti war in principle, I believe the war in Iraq was a cold-blooded and utterly pointless catastrophe, that the US used the tragedy of 9/11 to justify it, and that Blair and Bush should be tried for war crimes. I was ten years old during the build up to the war, I remember going on frequent anti war demonstrations and it seemed very obvious at the time that the war was not justified, that they were grasping at straws and that they were basically set on war no matter what, that they would spin anything to their advantage and make up evidence to justify the war. I hope when (and if) the Chilcot report does come out, George Bush and Tony Blair will have to answer to their crimes. Realistically, they won’t go to trial, and it will be up to the history books to condemn them for their actions, but at the very least we should acknowledge (if they won’t) that the war was not just a mistake, the evidence wasn’t just incorrect, but it was manipulated and spun into a massive lie intended to hoodwink the public into supporting an illegal and unjust war. We cannot keep taking this approach where dictators are our friends until we decide to attack them, and thinking that completely turning a country on its head and then leaving it

Reading
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/oct/25/tony-blair-sorry-iraq-war-mistakes-admits-conflict-role-in-rise-of-isis

http://www.cato.org/commentary/foreign-aid-simply-wont-reform-dictators

http://time.com/23075/william-easterly-stop-sending-aid-to-dictators/

http://www.businessinsider.com/foreign-aid-dilemma-dictators-on-our-dole-2011-3?IR=T

https://www.quora.com/Living-in-Iraq/Is-Iraq-a-better-place-or-worse-to-live-since-the-fall-of-Saddam-Hussein

http://www.businessinsider.com/foreign-aid-dilemma-dictators-on-our-dole-2011-3?IR=T

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/middle-east/16290-iraq-is-worse-than-ever-before-so-what-was-the-invasion-and-war-all-for

https://www.globalpolicy.org/political-issues-in-iraq/justifications-for-war-wmds-and-other-issues.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3287982/I-m-sorry-Blair-takes-blame-Iraq-War-admits-conflict-caused-rise-ISIS-astonishing-apology-TV-show.html

https://news.vice.com/article/the-cia-just-declassified-the-document-that-supposedly-justified-the-iraq-invasion

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34630380

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationale_for_the_Iraq_War

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/tony-blair-apologises-for-mistakes-over-iraq-war-and-admits-elements-of-truth-to-view-that-invasion-a6707776.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-26116868

http://www.politico.eu/article/blair-says-sorry-for-iraq-us-cnn-saddam/

http://www.thenational.scot/news/blairs-iraq-war-tv-apology-rejected-as-spin-before-chilcot.9205

1

ZSL London Zoo

Here are some pictures from ZSL London Zoo to perk up your Sunday afternoon and remind you that animals are awesome, the natural world is fascinating and butterflies are pretty.

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Giraffes!

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Spot the monkey..

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Am I the only one who thinks this Eel is adorable?

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Lonely Penguin

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Sitting Llama

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More Llama

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I love a good Llama

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Okay enough now

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3

The transformation of MeadRiver and why immigration can be a very good thing

Home Secretary Theresa May’s October  speech on immigration has attracted a lot of attention, and whilst some people are openly appalled by her statements, a lot of other people are rallying behind her. Here is a quote from the speech, in which she states that immigration is not in our national interest, is bad for local communities and increases poverty: “When immigration is too high,” she said, “When the pace of change is too fast, it’s impossible to build a cohesive society. It’s difficult for schools and hospitals and core infrastructure like housing and transport to cope. And we know that for people in low-paid jobs, wages are forced down even further while some people are forced out of work altogether.” There is, she added, “no case, in the national interest, for immigration of the scale we have experienced over the last decade.”
Julia Hartley-Brewer, a reporter for the Telegraph, appeared to agree with May, and in an article published yesterday she claimed that:”  New arrivals don’t immerse themselves in the language and culture of their new home, they simply move to an area where there are many others from their motherland and set up separate communities. ” and then went on to say: “A study of the latest census by the Demos think-tank found that nearly half of ethnic minorities – four million people – now live in communities where whites are a minority. Is this what we really mean by a multiracial, multicultural society?”

Now, some of you lovely readers probably already know that I am in favor of immigration. You may have seen from some of my recent posts that I believe we can and should allow far more people affected by the refugee crisis into the UK, but it goes beyond that. I like immigration. I want to have the opportunity to move to different countries, both in and outside of the EU. I want live and work in these countries, and I believe other people should be able to live and work in other countries as well. I understand that we cannot have completely open borders, but I also disagree very strongly with the far too popular idea that immigrants are coming here to scrounge off benefits and steal jobs. This has never been proved,  and studies show that a very, very small amount of non UK Nationals claim benefits, whereas the percentage of UK Nationals do claim them is much higher.  (also see http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-facts-behind-theresa-mays-speech-about-immigration-a6685791.html)
Whilst some employers can and do employ immigrants illegally or pay them less than they would a UK national, it is also true that many people born in the UK are not willing to do some of the jobs migrants, for various reasons, will accept. Also, if the employer is actually paying an immigrant less than a UK national, this is surely taking advantage and not giving the equal rights that a UK citizen may find it easier to demand, and would only really work for cash in hand or illegal employment. Whilst I don’t deny this does happen, I do have to question if it is nearly as widespread or common as is often assumed, or that when it does happen it is for a long period of time, as often someone may start out in an low paying job and the progress or seek new employment.Today I read a comment in the Metro newspaper by a couple who run a retail company, and they claimed that the majority of applications they receive are from migrants who work very hard, as many UK nationals are not interested in this kind of work. As recent Tory measures now mean that immigrants will have to wait four years to claim benefits, surely if they cannot claim benefits, they cannot be benefit scroungers. Whilst it can be hard for UK born adults to gain employment, especially as there is a catch 22 situation where you cannot gain employment before you have experience and cannot gain experience without employment, it is also true that a lot of people are not willing to accept bad pay or a bad work environment (which they shouldn’t have to) and a lot of places (like the office I work in) have quite a high turn over. If someone, for whatever reason is used to poor wages or urgently needs money, this may be why they are willing to accept conditions others are not, which may be the reason why some people who have newly immigrated to the UK may take lower paid jobs.
It is also wrong to assume migrants only take low paid, illegal jobs. Without immigrants, the NHS would collapse. Our economy would suffer. The government would have to raise taxes because we would lose out on all the money these people contribute to our economy each year. Whilst a small number may come here because they hear we are a generous society, it appears that far more come here to work, to provide for their countries, or because they think the UK looks like quite a nice place to live and work, and I have never found any of these anti immigration arguments convincing because they all seem to stem down to unfounded fears and prejudices that don’t actually seem to apply to real life.
I strongly disagree with the idea that immigration is a bad thing for communities or that it encourages poverty. People seem to assume immigration has to have a negative impact on a town, that it will change it for the worst and the town will end up worse off then it was before. Based on a due to my personal experiences in the town I have lived in for 17 years, I would argue that yes, it will change the town, but it does not have to be a bad change, and it may well change the area for the better.  In light of my experiences, I am going to tell you a story about my home town and how immigration, whilst it cannot be seen as the only or perhaps even the most important factor, has a definite positive correlation with the transformation of this town from a crime ridden, BNP centric, isolated ghost town into a comparatively affluent, well connected and, for the area, reasonably safe and pleasant place to live. This is a true story, but in the interests of privacy I am going to call this town MeadRiver.

I moved to MeadRiver with my parents in 1997 when I was five years old. We moved into a housing association rented flat with two bedrooms and a communal garden. The flat we moved into had previously been occupied by a crack dealer who fled in the middle of the night and burned down part of the flat in the process, and for the first few months we were there people would bang on the door and demand money and/or drugs. Our flat was in the ‘nicer’ part of MeadRiver, meaning it was not in a massive grey tower block and didn’t have as many nearby gangs, but it was not by a long shot a good place to live. The town did not have good transport links, there was no nearby tube station (only a train station about fifteen minutes away), it did not have many shops (I only remember a Safeways, most of the businesses are fairly new), as it was filled with massive 1960s style concrete tower blocks it had been used as the set for various Dystopian films that called for a disturbing landscape, and there was a lot of violence, gangs, racism, segregation of the ethnic minorities that lived here, and MeadRiver was a classic BNP ridden impoverished area.
Now, I’m not going to say the transformation of MeadRiver was solely because of immigration, or even that immigration was the most important change that has happened in the last 17 years. The most important change was better transport links, first in the form of a new tube station built about ten miles away (accessible via bus) and later another tube line opening in a nearby town. These transport links made the town more appealing to commuters, and therefore people who earned more money started to move there. This had a knock on effect of more businesses opening to satisfy the needs of the newly fairly well off commuters, and therefore the layout of MeadRiver started to change. New houses also started being built, which tended to be more up market and designed for key workers, rather then being built for social housing. These changes all contributed to slowly change MeadRiver into a safer, richer, more accessible and more active neighborhood.
However, immigration does also appear to have played a part as well. When MeadRiver was first built in the 1960s, it was one of the most homogeneous estates in London, and even though it did experience immigration before we moved, from what I (and my parents) recall, in the first few years it was still a largely white working class area.  Then in the 1990s, there was an influx of immigration from non EU countries (largely from Nigeria and Ghana) which has transformed the ethnic makeup of MeadRiver. Starting out as a homogeneous, BNP centric town, MeadRiver is now one of the most multi cultural places in London and, although it is by a very small percentage, there are slightly more people of African origin living here than UK nationals (White British 33.3%, Black African 35.6%). Therefore, MeadRiver is one of the areas Teresa May and Julia Brewer must be referring to. And yet, far from the influx of immigration changing MeadRiver for the worst, with increased poverty and lack of social cohesion, my experience suggests quite the opposite.

MeadRivers higher affluence coincides with higher immigration levels, and this may well be because a large number of those of African origin who moved to MeadRiver got themselves jobs, seemingly fairly well paid jobs. The part of town I live in, which is still one of the nicer parts of MeadRiver, has a large African population, and from what I have seen more than half of the people who have the nice cars, live in fairly nice accommodation, and share my daily commute to central London are non white (and as MeadRivers used to be fairly homogeneous, I have to assume that most of them immigrated in the last two decades).  This is obviously not true of everyone who lives here, and the greater transport links and  more upmarket housing has simply made the town more attractive to more people regardless of their race, but the fact still stands that the influx of immigration has not, in any way, made MeadRiver a worse place to live, and has a positive correlation with the positive changes that have occurred in this area during the last 17 years. Those who immigrated here also appear more likely to have a decent job, live in a nice house and presumably pay taxes. Whilst I am not suggesting that the majority of white british born adults in MeadRiver don’t work, live off benefits and belong on Jeremy Kyle, to assume the opposite is just plain wrong.
Crime, whilst still a problem on the estates, also appears to have decreased and you feel fairly safe walking around this town at night, indeed safer then you do in the nearby, bigger towns. There are several African supermarkets around the area, and some churches which tend to be fairly dominated by black people have sprung up around the area, but I don’t see this as a bad thing. Call me crazy, but I would take a few churches over crack dens any day. And whilst white BNP supporters do still exist, they tend to stick to this one pub in the town center and not really bother anyone. I never hear about high levels of violence anymore, and as far as I am aware muggings and theft are quite uncommon in my area. As far as cohesion is concerned, it doesn’t appear to be an issue. There is a strong black community, but I don’t see why that should threaten me, or why I should have a problem with it.
I have been to our local NHS services and they are as fast as you would expect from an NHS doctor, I have managed to get tests and check ups quickly after booking and have never had to wait that long for an appointment. As far as housing is concerned, the influx of people seems to have encouraged more and better housing being built, as MeadRiver is still quite far out of London (although the Crossrail may change this somewhat) prices still tend to be cheap for a London borough, and whilst it has expanded out to accommodate its growing population, I am not aware of any substantial housing shortage in the area as compared to other areas with less immigration. There are quite a few primary and secondary schools in the area, and I am not aware of overcrowding being an issue. As more people moved to MeadRiver, more local businesses opened up in the area because there was a need for them, and these businesses employ local people.
As far as I, as an almost life long resident of this town am concerned, all the changes that have occurred have been for the better, and the influx of largely non EU immigration has helped contribute to this town in a positive way. I see no signs that immigration has had a negative effect on MeadRiver. I appreciate this may not be the experience of all towns effected by high immigration, particularly those out of London area, but as my personal experience and observation is concerned, immigration is at worse a neutral influence, and at best a positive contributor to raising levels of affluence, safety and transport. Everyone always seems to assume immigration can only have a negative impact, and I would like to hear about other peoples experiences because I really do not see why immigration is always painted as such a bad thing.

Articles on Theresa May’s immigration speech

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/11915376/Theresa-May-saying-what-everybody-thinks.html

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/oct/06/reality-check-is-theresa-may-right-about-immigration

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/11916438/Theresa-May-is-right-Britain-does-not-need-more-immigrants.html

http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/12-things-theresa-may-immigration.html

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/oct/06/reality-check-is-theresa-may-right-about-immigration

1

Starlight Blogger Award

Thank you very much to heenieblogsfood for nominating me for Starlight Blogger Award, I’ve only been blogging properly since the summer and it’s been fantastic, I’ve already learned so much about politics, writing and cooking (thanks to all your lovely recipes). I’m really glad some people like my ramblings and hopefully this is a sign of good things to come!

This Award is created to highlight and promote Inspiring Bloggers.

Rules for the STARLIGHT Blogger Award:
Thank the giver and link their Blog to your post.
Answer the 3 original questions then the 3 new questions from your nominator given to you.
Please pass the award on to 6 or more other Bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated by you and add 3 new questions for your nominees.
Include the logo of the award in a post or on your Blog, please never alter the logo, never change the 3 original questions and never change the Award rules.

Please don’t delete this note: the design for the STARLIGHT Bloggers Award has been created from YesterdayAfter is a Copyright image you cannot alter or change it in any way just pass it to others that deserve this award.
Copyright 2015 © YesterdayAfter.com – Design by Carolina Russo

3 Original questions for everyone to answer:

  1. If you could describe or picture your inner soul how will you describe it? 

I’m really not sure. Perhaps a multi colored spiral or a cheery yet sardonic abyss.

2.   What are you working on right now?

I’m intermittently working on a research project about foreign aid, with the end result hopefully being a well sourced and horrendously academic article or perhaps a series of articles on its many short comings and possible ways to improve/change it. I also really want to get into travel blogging, and I’m hoping when (if) I next go on holiday to do that quite extensively. I’m also about to write a pro-immigration post detailing my own experiences in my hometown, so hopefully I’ll get around to that asap.

3. What is your creative dream project? 

I would love to do an extensive research project and write convincing and high-brow articles on world poverty, British politics and society and other issues that concern me, such as individual freedom and our right to do what we want with our own bodies and lives, providing it does not harm other people. I’m thinking of doing a series of articles on these subjects, but it would be better if someone paid me to do it :P. I would also love to be paid to travel the world and write about it.

The questions heenieblogsfood asked:

  1. What inspired you to start a blog?
    I’m one of those people who gets really grand ideas, like “I’m going to travel the world” or “I’m going to be a world famous actor”  and yet never actually gets around to it. Someone very close to me told me off for my lack of ambition and direction, so I started thinking about what kind of career and employment area I want to go into, and what I’m good at and enjoy doing, and I decided that I might want to be a journalist. Blogging seemed like a good way to see if I would be any good at it, and  a way to practice my writing skills and develop my opinions whilst producing articles that I can hopefully one day send to employers as part of my job application.
  2. What do you want to achieve through blogging?
    I want to develop my writing and arguing skills, learn more about the world and write some crackin’ articles that will make top newspapers/websites/think tanks want to hire me and pay me lots of money to do what I’m currently doing for free.
  3. Favourite TV show these days?
    I’m a bit of a Netflix/streaming addict in my spare time so there’s really too many to choose from, some favorites are Game of Thrones, Peep Show, Penny Dreadful, How I met your Mother, and anything Louis Theroux or David Attenborough.

    I would like to nominate the following lovely bloggers for this award, please check them out!
    Rabbit Food
    Rich Bitch Cooking
    KOOLAIDMOMS
    Semi-Partisan Politics
    Aislinnpaula
    The Daytime Renegade

    And my questions for you are:
    1: What are the main things you blog about, and why?
    2: Would you rather be a democratically elected leader or a one party state dictator?
    3: Do you believe world peace is possible?

    Thanks for reading, and thank you very much again for my nomination

4

‘Affordable housing’ and why David Cameron’s ‘Generation Buy’ is not for young people

This is my little article/expression of frustration concerning David Cameron’s new housing policy. He is quoted as saying: “When a generation of hard-working men and women in their 20s and 30s are waking up each morning in their childhood bedrooms – that should be a wake-up call for us,”, as part of a speech about changing ‘generation rent into generation buy’ and pledging more ‘affordable’ houses available to buy at a capped rate.
I took some issue with this, not with the first statement (which is very true) or with relaxing housing regulations (which I’m actually in favor of) but because Cameron is trying to sell this as a good thing for the younger generations, when in actuality it is very unlikely to help them at all.

Now, I’m not against people buying their own homes. If you want to own your own home, that’s fine. That’s good. Whilst you’ll have to pay for your own repairs and damages, you will not have to deal with landlords turning up to ‘inspect’ your property and you can decorate and do what you like (as long as your neighbors don’t complain!). Plus, you can also fix up your house, sell it for a profit and buy a beach house in the South of France (or dream destination of your choice). Personally, I’m not that bothered about the supposed British dream of ‘owning your own home’, but I understand its appeal and it is disappointing that despite politician after politician pledging more affordable housing year after year, prices actually seem to be rising and it is a lot harder for people to move out and afford their rent/mortgage than it seems to have been few decades ago. It seems that even twenty years ago the idea of someone in their mid 20s or early 30s living with their parents was quite rare and seen as a bit weird, whereas now its pretty standard. This isn’t just because buying is expensive, but because renting is ridiculously expensive as well and if you live in London you often have a choice between renting a tiny flat which is going to eat up at least half of your income (not accounting for bills, travel and living expenses) or living with your parents indefinitely until you have enough money to survive in your property.

I’m really not sure encouraging buying  and making it harder to rent is the way to go. Firstly, I’m pretty sure you need a bigger deposit for a mortgage than you do to rent a property. That means a lot of younger people cannot afford to start buying on their current income, and if you cannot rent these new ‘affordable’ properties because they are only available to buy, this will not benefit you. The Independent ran an article on the subject, which suggested that these new houses will only benefit those who earn more than £50,000 a year, and is actually going to reduce the amount of cheaper housing in the long run. Whilst a lot of people do earn more than £50k, these people don’t tend to be in their 20s. These are people in the middle of their career, people who have had promotions and have enough experience to apply for more senior positions, or people who have money from non vocational means (like the stock market or inheritance). Unless you come from a wealthy family or have been very lucky and/or incredibly ambitious, it is unlikely that someone in their 20s or early 30s is going to be earning 50k a year. I don’t mean to say that people over 30 shouldn’t have more houses to choose from, but David Cameron cannot say he is building houses ‘for the younger generation’, and then build houses that very few of said generation can afford. If he wants to build these houses, there is no need to lie about the motivation.
Also, getting a mortgage on a house is quite a big step. It means that this is your house (unless you sell it, although there are precautions that will stop you selling these new houses for a quick profit) and you may be stuck with it for some time, even if your job changes, or your life or circumstances changes, or you just want to move somewhere new. Whilst renting is for a set period of time, it can be for as little as six months and allows a certain degree of flexibility in your life, you can also leave early if you find someone to take over your rent which I’m fairly sure doesn’t apply to mortgages. It is true that a lot of people may want this security, particularly those with partners and/or families. However, many young people (particularly those in their 20s) may find the idea of buying a house that young quite unnerving and not particularly attractive. Your 20’s are about moving around and finding out what you want to do and where you want to live, not about settling into a mortgage at, say, 24 and being stuck with it for the next 25-30 years. Making it harder for people to move house easily also means less houses will be available in the short term, as rented properties are likely to have a higher turn over and greater flexibility.  I personally always thought a mortgage was for when you were settled into a solid, stable career and quite possibly had a solid, stable relationship with a partner who you could share your mortgage with, and whilst this may apply to some people in their 20s and early 30s, I doubt its that high a number. Whilst I don’t deny some people want to own a house from an early age, a lot of other people don’t, and I don’t really agree with Cameron when he assumes that everyone wants to own their home right now, and that renting is not a good alternative for many people.
Renting is far more attractive to me personally, but even though I work full time (and earn above the living wage) and have people I could split the rent with, most places are either way out of my price range, or are possible if I don’t eat/ever go outside/spend money on anything apart from rent, bills and (if I’m lucky) oyster card. Rather then make more affordable houses to buy, I want to see a lot more properties to rent in the hope that if there are more properties available, the prices will go down enough that regular people earning regular money can actually afford them and not bankrupt themselves in doing so. You can have your ‘affordable houses to buy’, but this should not be at the expense of rent-able properties that are, for many of us, the only option.

I am sure more houses are being built, but it doesn’t seem to be going fast enough. As I’ve said in my refugee crisis post, there are currently 610,000 empty homes in the UK and many unused commercial buildings that could, fairly easily, be converted into housing. I am not 100% of the status of these houses, whether they are too expensive for most people to afford (likely), if they are condemned, used for squats or just abandoned. It’s probably a mixture. But these houses are there. Whilst we do also need to build more homes, we can and should do something about these buildings that aren’t currently being used. Whilst I’m not a builder or a town planner, I feel it is logical that an empty commercial building could be turned into housing accommodation more easily than building brand new houses, or saying you are going to build more houses, and whilst some of them will become new commercial properties, some of them will just sit unused for years.  I accept you can’t utilize all empty commercial buildings, but using some of them would be a step in creating more affordable housing.

Basically, whilst I don’t think building these houses in itself is bad, the justification used is completely wrong. These houses are not going to benefit the majority of young people, they are not going to be affordable for those under a substantially above average income, and buying rather than renting is not necessarily the best option for young people. We can have these houses, but please can’t we also start utilizing the properties we already have as well as allowing more houses to be built so perhaps, one day, affordable housing will not be a pipe dream.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34460822

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/07/pm-cameron-vows-scrap-rules-forcing-developers-build-affordable-homes-for-rent

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-s-solution-to-the-housing-crisis-only-affordable-to-those-who-earn-more-than-50000-a6684246.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34460822