I posted this in the guardian in one of the blogs….
I remember a time when people KNEW it was immoral to make money off of the backs of other people, when we knew that making money off of the back of other peoples necessity was not good.
This seemed to change in the eighties. I lived in Reading at the time and remember landlords could charge ludicrous rents because the housing benefit would pay. I knew people who did deals with landlords splitting some of the profit. I talked to one chap who owned 100 houses whilst also working as a taxi driver. It was raining gold for him and he was going to milk the system for all it was worth. He didn’t have any empathy or sympathy for his tenants, why should he care about young white kids who seemed completely immoral. His houses were barely habitable, some of his tenants were barely ever sober. This was before the days of buy to let but he just bought houses in the names of every person he knew or had ever met. He didn’t come across as a bad man, he just prioritised those close to him.
Soon my friends were doing the same on a smaller scale, filling houses with friends to pay the mortgage, then another to pay for the pension. In the Thatcher years we all stopped being embarrassed to make money and when you don’t know who your neighbours are why not fleece the buggers.
Then came buy to let. I could not believe it when it happened. Already property prices were spiralling out of control.
This is wrong. The French know it and legislate to make it harder to gamble in property so what is it about us that means we lose our sense of right and wrong so easily. A free market can of course handle some legislation to guide morality, but those here who get a hard on thinking about bank balances might not agree.
Without sounding like too airy fairy, Karma happens right now. If you think you can be better off or safer by climbing onto the backs of the people around you then that’s your problem, sadly that can’t be sorted out in this blog, or probably ever.