March 28, 2013

Why are we being seduced by property porn again?

Posted in Irish Independent · 227 comments ·
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Last week the “glossy brigade” was out in force. Papers were full of bright, impossibly blue skies, over “imposing” homes many of which “boasted” this feature or that attribute. Yes, the glossy brigade, Ireland’s property pornographers, who pedal lifestyle fetishes to the middle classes are back at a newspaper close to you.

 

Amazingly, just six years after a property crash, which destroyed much of the economy, chatter about house prices appears to be back, or at least, out of social quarantine. Any day soon, expect a new TV programme on house hunting, the joys of home makeovers or the allure of trading up.

 

 

Why do we allow ourselves to be taken in by this nonsense? Every spring since the crash, the estate agents and the property industry have tried to re-launch the property market with puff pieces, hard selling and gimmicks.

 

Yet underneath the hype, the evidence from the housing market, published yesterday tells a significant story. Since the pre-Christmas spinning about property, in February prices fell for the third month in a row. Prices are down 2.6pc on the year.

 

Annual change property prices_CSO_Davy

(via)

So much for the talk about the recovery in the domestic economy which spilled out from the huge marketing push of so-called “Ireland Inc” in the US around St Patrick’s Day.

 

The reality is the house price index has just experienced its largest monthly decline since January 2012. House prices fell 1.6pc between January and February.

 

But when you look a bit closer, you see a tale of two markets. In Dublin, property prices fell 0.3pc in February but are up 3pc on the year. Outside the capital, prices continued to slide, falling 2.1pc month-on-month and a nasty 6.1pc decline since this time last year.

 

The Dublin market is showing the early signs of decoupling from the rest of the country. Outside Dublin, house prices are still weak and in the past two months have weakened further.

 

There are simply too many houses in the wrong part of the country where people don’t want or can’t afford to live at today’s prices. So what will happen? Prices will continue to flatline or fall.

 

The first thing to appreciate is just how dramatic the fall has been. Overall house prices are down by just over 50pc across the board and in Dublin prices are down 56pc from peak to trough.

 

If you want to see the recession, look no further. Because so many people were convinced by the ‘glossy brigade’ to see housing as a wealth generating exercise, the flip side of the fall in houses prices is a massive increase in debts relative to assets.

 

Billions of euros of household “wealth” have been destroyed by this collapse in houses prices, yet the debt remains. And the more house prices fall outside Dublin the more the debt relative to assets rises. And what the banks are about to do – which is to accelerate house selling in order to clear their books – is going to make the situation worse. In economics, this is called the paradox of deleveraging.

 

When the bank and the home-owner sit down as is now envisaged in the personal insolvency process unveiled last week, the bank tells the client to sell the property. This makes the individual debtor’s balance sheet better. But this is only the case if he sells and no one else does. But what happens when the banks are sitting down with everyone and telling them all to sell (repossession by another word) at the same time?

 

Obviously all prices fall. Therefore the very act of trying to pay back debt quickly puts the debtor in a position whereby he has more debt relative to his assets rather than less debt.

 

This is likely to be the ultimate consequence of the Government’s efforts to bring the housing/banking crisis to a close. Prices outside Dublin, where the vast majority of new houses in new estates were bought during the boom in counties surrounding the capital, are likely to fall further.

 

In contrast, some parts of Dublin – south Dublin and older areas in the capital – are witnessing a mini-boom where there are not enough properties and there is no more space to build. We are seeing what might be described as the ‘Knightsbridge and Kensington’ effect in this part of the Dublin market. Over the years in London, even in severe property slumps, Knightsbridge and Kensington tend not to lose their value, or if they do, these areas rebound quickly.

 

But the question for the country and the economy remains: is this a good thing? Is a recovery of the housing market in Dublin a good development?

 

The unambiguous answer is no. Property destroys economies, good money chases unproductive investments and banks revert to type.

 

We all know that is going to happen. We have seen this before. The banks will start at the usual again, despite the slump, as they compete with each other to lend to ‘sure bet’ customers again. As trophy house prices rise, they will begin to look for less and less collateral and will, yet again, get involved in the property racket. Leopards don’t change their spots.

 

In order to prevent this two-tier market developing and the banks again driving up property prices, the central bank could act. The key to house price rises is collateral. If the banks lend a percentage of today’s price, then the rise in prices becomes self-reinforcing. Each rise begets new larger loans and so on.

 

What if instead of lending against today’s price, the banks were forced to lend against the average house price for the last 30 years?

 

House prices would never rise dramatically. There would be no boom or busts and the housing market would never again distort the economy.

 

Now is the time to do it, when the property cheerleaders are still relatively muted and when the collective memory is still traumatised by the last boom.

 

If Dublin decouples from the rest of the country on a permanent basis, it will reinforce wealth divisions, with one section of the population struggling with too much debt and not enough income.

 

Another smaller, but influential part of the population will find their wealth underpinned by rising property prices. If that were the upshot of the past six years of economic trauma, it would be a lamentable result for all of us.


  1. Adam Byrne

    Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

    • Grey Fox

      Not everybody is a fortunate as you Adam….

      • Adam Byrne

        Nothing to do with fortune, I was born dirt poor. It’s about talking responsibility for one’s own mind, decisions and life, and not believing the tripe that gets shoved at you each and every day.

        • Adam Byrne

          taking I mean.

        • Grey Fox

          Well done Adam well done, you are a shining example to all of us!! hmm…

          • Adam Byrne

            I’ve no interest in being an example to anyone apart from my daughter.

          • Colin

            Yes, Adam is a good example to us all, whether he wants to be or not. Its a pity you Grey Fox haven’t yet grown up to accept responsibility for your decisions.

            I’m currently considering buying property in London. Tell you what Grey Fox, how’s about I over extend myself and buy somewhere like Kensington, and sure if I lose my job, I’ll call around to your house looking for a dig out to help me continue living in the splendor of what I would have become accustomed to? Socialism for the rich I tells ya, I want a piece of the action too!

        • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

          Adam , well said , my father instilled a hate of banks in our family, “Never ever let them into you” he’d say.

          My father said a man with debt has two words removed from his vocabulary ,
          “What words” us kids would say.
          “F*&^k Off” my Dad would laugh.
          He died in 1971, but I never forgot, he was right , best gift I ever got.

          I remembered (1998-2008) and when my mates traded up and got equity release loans and bought new cars, I still drove my very wounderfull Toyota Carina, I had it for 13 years and put 350,000 MILES on it, truely the best car in the world.

          Adam, dirt poor , Ah you had it good, we envied people who were dirt poor, we didn’t even have the dirt !!!!!

          Don’t believe , be free.
          No Pasaran !!!

          • molly

            Yes you are right but the big problem with all this is yes people went mad on a buying spree bought a house + high end cars + new everything new for the house+landscapers had a field day with there telephone number prices and to top it all ,people bought holiday homes or buy to let’s .
            Now we are being expected to pay for all this and we are paying for all this.
            When you sit back and think about what we are being asked to shut up and put up by this government ,have we learned nothing ,the prime example is the by election where FG and FF are first and second .
            So we the Irish people deserve what we get,when the full weigh of what this government are doing to us over there remaining term makes me think we have not suffered enough.
            By fine gale winning the by election it tells kenny that he can continue to load more and more pain on us.
            Keep up with the jones I don’t think so and yes David you are right the seperation between rich and poor is growing.
            How many people who went mad with the help of the banks in the boom where keeping up with the jones and where showing off look at me I have arrived,and we are being forced against our will to pay for this.

      • Eireannach

        Grey Fox is ‘unfortunate’ because somebody gave him money, which he managed poorly!

        You couldn’t make up your Orwell doublespeak if you tried.

        People who were given loans of money were ‘unfortunate’.

        Nice bit of propaganda there, Grey Fox.

        Sympathy winning it is not, I can tell you.

        • Grey Fox

          Well aware of your twisted views Eireannach, I, thankfully still have the “two words” Puschkin speaks about and I have no compunction in using them in relation to you so do me a favour. act accordingly!

          • redriversix

            How restrained of you Grey fox…!

            very eloquent and I am sure your instruction will be followed..!!

          • Grey Fox

            Thanks RR6, just not in the mood for pontificating a@*holes today, too many of them in this country, as for “Anal Adam” he needs to give his “never a lender…blah blah ” message to junior cert students if he wants to help with a solution. i ask for no sympathy, I am well able to fight my own battles and do as you well know, I just get animated when comments are devoid of humanity and true concern for fellow man, this disaster visited on us by the Banks and impotent government is not black and white.

          • Eireannach

            Devoid of humanity?

            You reckon you are ‘unfortunate’ because somebody gave you money.

            In a world where €10 can save the eyesight of a child with cateracts, I think you are a despicable squanderer of precious resources.

            If you don’t like being judged in this way, think of the kids with cateracts. €10 of the money you wasted would save their eyeseight.

            Now, F**k off yourself, you Celtic Tiger pr*ck!

          • Colin

            What are you fighting for Grey Fox? Socialism for the rich? Wait, let me first buy a big gaff I can’t afford, then I’ll join your cause! Together we’ll screw the plebs and laugh at them while we sit by our roaring firesides sipping the brandy we stashed away. We’ll speak in posh accents and those nice people from the Troika will be impressed by our standing and laugh at our jokes, jolly good old fun dear boy.

    • 5Fingers

      Go away outta dat ya messer!

    • 5Fingers

      David, you’re jumping the gun. But a good read.

      Prices have now fallen to effect proper yields on rental. Dublin’s property is some places is probably too low anyway. The reality is that it is a 2 tier market. Dublin’s houses tend to be much better serviced than outside the city. Same for other population centers. Am not sure we will see the lunacy return in the same way. Why?

      1) Property Tax will increase and act as a brake. In 10 years time the typical property tax (if I compare with other cities around the world) will be around 4-6k euro.

      2) Prices will settle at proper yield levels. Right now we have 100K house attracting a rent of 800-900K. That suggests an under pricing of about 40% and maybe more.

      3) Cost of fuel for commute and running a house is now being understood. I expect a more mature rental market with better regulation. People’s need to own will measured against true cost of ownership.

      I expect country property prices to fall so much as to force land valuation tax to make up the difference. This will force land back into production in time. Right now, a land valuation tax is noncollectable as the owners of same have yet to be properly liquidated.

      The only reason property prices will climb is yield and better services (happening now in Dublin only and may other cities), jobs (not there yet) and good growth (not there yet).

      • Bamboo

        Point 1. Question is how many people will there be left in the country to pay for taxes. People are leaving the country and once settled somewhere else they won’t come back. More and more young people who can move back home will do so. Parents will make provisions for their children to move back home. So what property tax rate will be applied? How can you proof that you are living at home in order to set a property tax rate. Currently there is no system and resources in place to set a property tax rate. Most likely there will never be such a system.

        Point 3. There will never be a mature rental market. This is the culture in Ireland and that is here to stay.

    • bonbon

      I’m afraid you betray complete ignorance of modern startup firms with a clincher idea and a fledgling product. It is absolutely critical at a certain time window to get cheap credit, with a commitment. Now some may say that is a “private matter”, well let some do that. National credit instrumented to regional banking, and commitment is modern.

      What is destroying all this is the backing of a giant casino by national economies. Solve that and make sure casino’s are perfectly free, WITH NO GUARANTEE. That’s the shears.

      Direct experience in this area qualifies some to talk about it. The ashen faces of very good engineers who simply cannot fathom bank closed doors is a very bad sign.

      Mid sized firms must have access to cheap credit for critical phases of plant or machinery or service development. These time windows cannot wait for the oozing, squirming political maneuvering, nauseating to observe. The only thing that comes to mind is the snakes Patrick threw out. They oozed back! Well let them squirm through the movements of a modern agro-industrial economy – it will make sushi of them!

    • SMOKEY

      Hey I promised y’all some free BBQ Sauce a while back, a post or two ago, and I will give you each a jar at the Dungarvan Festival of Food on Sun the 14th of April!
      Email me at thesmokehousebbque@gmail.com for the password to get you free bottle of sauce.
      Hope to see you there!!!
      Oh, as for the article today, spot on. Thank goodness for my Tracker.

    • jeeaaan

      Living with mom and Dad then again maybe social housing.You constantly debate the economic crisis however if all people were to never take a chance to buy a home there would be a very big social waiting list and the state coffers reduced as a result of expenditure rather than income from taxes on these purchased properties.People who opt out because of a safety net are the very people who appear to condemn the risktakers.They constantly insinuate moral hazzard.When and only when these people wake up to the fact these very people contributed who are now ridiculed we will be able to move on.

  2. Griff

    Large part of an answer is to legislate so that mortgage loans are non-recourse – that should nudge the banks towards prudence and give a modicum of protection from devastation to the “ordinary man in the street”

  3. Locutus

    For a while now I’ve been talking about a 2 tier recovery and this has been evident for 2 years now. I’m not sure, though if the property market is solely responsible – I think the recovery (can it really be called this??) in Dublin (particularly South County Dublin) is a by-product of the improvement in economic activity in Dublin generally. Most of the decent employment takes place in Dublin – the major employers are there, government, financial services, manufacturing, export, IT, civil service, NAMA & the like. This is wehere the higher wages are paid, this is where the more secure jobs are and this is where banks are choosing to take a bet on the property market. What worries me, all the way out here in Delta Quadrant (outside M50) is that a recovery may never happen. I live in commuter belt, but I see small local businesses closing and no recovery in any sector. I’m not sure who the ‘glossy brigade’ are that you refer to in your piece, but perhaps there is a recovery in prices and perhaps they are merely reflecting that recovery in marketing the properties as opposed to causing it??

    • Grey Fox

      Good points!

    • Colin

      If we closed down all the quangos in Dublin, we would see property prices in Dublin fall. But when you are living in a liberal lefty ‘I feel your pain’ banana republic, hundreds of millions are set aside every year to help the Irish people out on all kinds of issues, including advice on broaching the topic of ‘threesomes’ with your teenage children. Yes, where would we be without this service?

      If we paid our RTE ‘Contractors’ like Tubs a max of €100,000, and nobody in the Public Service including University Heads, Hospital Consultants, NAMA account managers et al etc…. no more than the Taoiseach’s salary, then we would see reality hit the Dublin property scene (especially South Co. Dublin). But there exists a dogmatic certainty in Insider Ireland where they gather and chant ‘Expensive Property Good, Cheap Property Bad’.

      • Deco

        If all the quangos got closed down a fortune of money would be saved, borrowing would be lower, and there would be more money in the economy.

        But, the quangos, and the institutional state have become a massive vested interest in themselves. They simply will not tolerate any austerity. Austerity is something they need other people to suffer, so as to be there to “give a voice to the voiceless. Why not stop the stupid quangos and reduce PAYE/or reduce borrowing and watch everybody become better off.

  4. Dorothy Jones

    http://irelandafternama.wordpress.com/ Rob Kitchin’s blog is a good running commentary on the stats concerning housing in Ireland.
    And this: a useful synopsis on ghost estates. Shocking figures. http://www.nuim.ie/nirsa/research/documents/NIRSA%20working%20paper%2067%20-%20Unfinished%20estates%20in%20post%20Celtic%20Tiger%20Ireland.pdf

  5. Puschkin the Black and White Cat

    True, there is a property fixation. Rents in Grafton Street are still the highest in the world. House prices in Dublin are still twice their economic values, on average.

    NAMA (whatever it is) is now giving mortgages, my God, the properly monster never went away.

    I believe part of the problem is the fact that Ireland is not an industrial country and has almost no history of industry. If you look at our media (all across the country) you’ll see our business leaders depicted and for the most part they comprise importers/retailers and property landlords, with very few creators of wealth.

    The Government cannot see beyond The Tent and our “banking” sector. The banking sector is without any industrial experience whatsoever still depends on property to keep balance sheets in the black and to pay their obscene salaries.

    We cannot slay this monster, Michael Davitt tried but the monster lived on, now in 2013 the monster will condemn a whole nation to poverty.

    As an example only this morning I saw a tiny retail premises in my town with an asking rent of 10,000 pa, 250 sq Foot for 10,000pa are we all gone mad ????? , 40 per sq foot !!!! New York rents in Fingal !!!!!!, now add rates (the highest in Europe), insurance, water and no business can survive.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFa0LpT2OHU

    • Deco

      If businesses don’t like rents in Grafton Street, then move out and find somewhere cheaper. It is massively overrated anyway.

  6. pauloriain

    Why & how did Ireland ever get to have a property boom. Only 5 million people on the island compared to our nearest neighbours, who have 12 to 15 times our population. Property prices in Dublin, a city of less than 1.5 million people, which was similar to prices in London, a city with 15 million people….nonesense. Their population, across the water, grew hugely in the last century so of course there were going to be supply & demand problems, but supply & demand would suggest we have plenty of land for the population, just go to the Docks area of Dublin and see the vacant lots, some of which have been like that for 30-40 years.

    In the boom, enough land was zoned for development to last decades, but what is now happening is de-zoning to once again create a shortage or perception of shortage.

    Long-term Ireland needs to look at how it wants to compete. We need to decide if property is a real basis for economic growth and core to the way the country earns its keep. If we are smart we will recognise the need to be producing something the world wants and leveraging our low population density to ensure that our cost base allows us the flexibility to compete and win. If our cost of occommodation for people and business is lower that’s a real competitive advantage and a real bonus for the population.

    Government policy, it looks like, hopefully, is going in that direction and it is the right idea.

    • ArtVandelay

      There are 6.3 million on the island, but your point still holds.

    • Eireannach

      Also, there are 8 million people in London, not 15 million. But your point still holds.

      • Colin

        London Metropolitan Population Area is 15 million. Boundary Lines on a map are not the be all and end all. People on one side of a line are no less a Londoner than someone 100m up the road inside the Boundary.

  7. But will they listen to you this time David, ten years on from The Popes Children?
    Will they hell, because the same prophets of greed who have by and large floated above the bust can smell another killing.

    @Locutus – Delta Quadrant, I like it. We’re all DQ’s now.

  8. Reality Check

    Mises correct here, to paraphrase: Whenever you have bank lending in excess of people’s voluntary savings – an artificial boom followed by a bust results.
    Would you not agree David that this is the real reason behind the cycle of housing booms and busts?

  9. redriversix

    Their is no insolvency act or any other act pertaining to protect or help homeowners or anyone else in debt.

    Its all hot air..I have seen these “acts” in Action and they are a waste of time.

    AIB losses 3.8 Billion

    PTSB losses 1.4 Billion

    BOI Losses 2.2 Billion

    With all their highly paid advisers,actuaries,accountants & their spread sheets.they couldn’t get it right…..and still fail on a massive scale,if they were any other business they would have receivers appointed or they would be liquidated.

    But you…you, the consumer are supposed to be as “bright” and well advised as these guys..?

    Estate agents lie for a living so believe half of what they show you & none of what they tell you.

    If you bought a House and your in difficulty with your lenders,do not bury your head in the sand.do a budget….open your post….know were you stand..contact them..outline your situation,warts & all…make a offer…start low..its easy to go up…very hard to come down.

    If you are doing the best you can and its not good enough..do not be afraid to go to Court..once your paperwork’s in order and the Judge recognises you are trying your best..their is not much they can do except to tell you & your Bank to “go outside and try to come to some arrangement…unless you are very unlucky or you haven’t tried your best.

    Shit happens..do not be afraid.if you do not face up to this crisis…the Banks & the Courts will crucify you…play their game.you do not need a “insolvency act” to do that…Banks paperwork is sloppy at best of times so make sure yours is first class…..keep a dairy of your contacts with the Bank.register any post you send & keep copies…always know who you are talking to ,ask their name…! DO A BUDGET…KEEP EXCELLENT RECORDS.

    Maybe consider cutting & slashing all unsecured debt..put your family first…know where you stand.

    Their is plenty of real,viable,practical help out here..but you have to be brutally honest & face facts.
    Scrap fear,anxiety,stress and being a victim..go to your GP ask for help.
    Don’t say “I haven’t got the 50/60 euro for GP…tell him/her you are broke..they will not turn you away.

    Today can be the start of the rest of your life bit you MUST begin to stand up for yourself & take action…..

    If you have a “buy to let” investment and its in arrears..FACE UP..hand it back.. don’t worry about shortfall if bank sell it below what outstanding mortgage is..if you cannot pay it..YOU CANNOT PAY IT…

    if you want the fear of a Judgement against you to ruin your life… go ahead…knock yourself out..! again ..do the best you can..Banks KNOW When someone is “taking the piss” and so do the Courts..so don’t “fuck around” …leave that to Banks & their solicitors……..

    If you think it has to be more complicated than what I have posted…contact me at redriversix8@gmail.com

    Take your life back…Do not wait for permission to do the right thing…get on with the rest of your life….or don’t

    your decision……?

    Have a nice day

    Barry

    • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

      Thanks man !!!

    • Deco

      The Irish banks are still bleeding profusely.

      At this stage they will do anything to convince people that the real estate market in Dublin will turnaround. Anything. It is their only hope of arresting the bad statistics from the real estate market.

      • Colin

        Let’s ask Bouchier what he does with his own money. Is he investing in Dublin property because it has now bottomed out and he’s ready to make a killing in 5 years time?

        • Reality Check

          About two years ago I saw Austin Hughes in a Dublin steak house Restaurant, I should have given him a titty twister.

          • Deco

            Austin Hughes is one of the biggest jokers in the business of providing economic forecasts.

            He had his own space, to provide his wisdom to the masses for ages, in the Irish Times.

            Just shows what gets thrown about as mainstream opinion in this country.

  10. Grey Fox

    I doubt we can ever break the property mindset of Irish people, I agree with Pauloriain above, if we are to defeat the property issue we need to replace it with something else, with something all Irish people can have ownership off, a sense of achievement and some return no matter how small.
    I am sick to my back teeth of hearing about the sell off of Irish state assets, Oil, Gas, Forestry, Wind & Wave Power, only yesterday I listened to Tom McQuirk speak passionately on radio about big business and plans to site up to 2,500 wind turbines in the midlands, why tthe hell do we need big business to do this, why do we need Shell to extract our gas, surely our Government can retain 100% Ownership and hire in the expertise to Management these projects, Shell and the Wind Power people have to hire expertise! why can’t we do it directly!
    instead of giving it away free in order to extract / generate, if we cannot retain ownership of the lot then I say leave it where it is!
    100% ownership means 100% revenue, 100% Irish Jobs, 100% Irish Benefit and I am certain that this would lead to a pride in the Irish people we have never had and sorely require if we are to develop as a nation.
    It’s time for REAL Leadership, people who lead by example, these people are out there, I know they are but they cannot get heard! The Banking Sector is too strong and no element of society should have that much power, this is evident in this article and the re-surrgence of the property monster.

    • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

      Slay this property monster.

      How ?

      Some ideas (from A Clockwork Orange) we may try –

      More RTE and DUNCAN (is that a brick I see before me).
      More property programs and more buy my lovely home programs.
      More home makeover programs.
      Much thicker property supplements in the newspapers.
      Forced property adoration courses for cynics like me.
      Internet sensorship, internet limited to daft.ie and myHome.ie
      More home taxes (but NEVER a property tax).
      Public humilitation of all who don’t buy way beyond their means.
      No pay for workers , just loans.
      A new language completely designed by auctioneers.

      • bonbon

        You are forgetting the banks again, amazing. Slay the banking monster with the shears, splitting them by function. Then you will deall with the bubbles.

        It is incredible to see the blind drift, stumbleing, qith a financial crash in full swing!

        Property porn, and its pimps, really banksters doing nixers, is intended to bedazzle subjects. It works for some all the time, for all some of the time but not for all all the time!

  11. Eireannach

    The only city and region in Ireland that experienced the industrial revolution of C19th was Belfast and the Linen Triangle just south of Belfast (Lisburn, Banridge, Armagh area).

    The rest of Ireland remained agrarian until independence, then DeValera actually wanted to keep us locked into this agrarian culture and economy, to protect Ireland from ‘the filth of industrialism’, dancing at the crossroads, etc.

    That’s why the Irish mindset, particularly down the country, is divided into relatively rich landowners, who use land values to pay for everything such as farm machinery and large luxury cars or SUVs, even though they often have the handwriting of a young child, they drink heavily, the curse profusely, and basically are not highly educated and are certainly not products of modern , industrial and/or post-industrial urban cosmopolitan life.

    The ‘professions’ in Ireland – teacher, lawyer, solicitor, banker, doctor, vet, politician – are all classic pre-industrial bourgeois professions.

    Without industrial careers, without a tradition of apprenticeship other than at the low-skilled level in the construction industry, we will always be tempted to rise in wealth by piggy-backing on the soufflé economy of house price rises.

    It’s the lazy option for a pre-industrial agrarian economy such as ….hmmm, in Europe, let’s see…. such as…..Ireland! That’s it, the most agrarian of them all. Not Northern Ireland, that was an industrial centre. No – Southern Ireland, you know, the part with the postcards of the donkeys and the chap in the flat cap playing the fiddle.

    • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

      Agree

    • bonbon

      That is why Britain split the country, no other reason. Now the banks are reinforcing this with housing porn, a well known imperial method. Which should make it clear to even the most stubborn, that it is still the British Empire, a succubus straddling the Atlantic, that is the problem.

      Thinking strategically, not something the Tiger’s are very good at, is not expected of subjects!

    • Original-Ed

      You’re on the bull’s eye – Economic behaviour is very much related to the exposure to market possibilities and in Southern Ireland that has been primarily confined to agriculture and property. We never had an industrial revolution and so there is no collective experience out there to push the economy in that direction, we simply leave it to the Americans who use us as a type of final packaging base for the European Market.
      Each time they up and leave, nothing of any truly industrial experience is left behind as they keep all their creative skills back at their home base – so, the an ad says “when they’re gone, they’re gone”

      You’re on the bull’s eye – Economic behaviour is very much related to exposure to market possibilities and in Southern Ireland that has been primarily confined to agriculture and property. We never had an industrial revolution and so there is no collective experience out there to push the economy in that direction, we simply leave that to the Americans who use us as a type of final packaging base for the European Market.
      Each time the they up and leave, nothing of a truly skilled industrial experience is left behind as they keep all their creative skills back at their home base – so, the an ad says “when they’re gone, they’re gone”

      In the absence of other significant sectors, property is the only possibility available to the majority. After all, everybody lives in a house and have first hand experience of what’s involved in buying, renting and possibly selling.

  12. Reality Check

    David; a new coin-able phrase for you; “The Invisible Bitch slap”
    -courtesy of Ben Bernanke.
    http://pjmedia.com/vodkapundit/2013/03/27/the-invisible-bitch-slap/

    • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

      That’s a very good link , as I say above , house prices in Ireland are still (today) at about twice their economic value.

  13. 5Fingers

    The Website configuration is bug ridden. Maybe it is deliberate. WordPress should not be giving these issues.

    1) Comments should not vanish completely when submitted – forcing a reopen of comments
    2) Not clear where one is commenting. I find comments can appear as replies when not intended.
    3) If a web link is clicked, it should by rights open another page, not change the existing page – forcing a reload when you want to return.

    Looking at average response levels on the blog, I see a reduction by 40% over the previous site indicating user difficulty. Yet, I think the articles are getting better and read more easily.

    • Correct. Usability can make or break a site. Done properly it can bring in maximum revenue and done badly it can be a disaster on the bottom line. Bottom line here is that the site looks great but sucks on usability

      I flagged these issues previously but felt I was wasting breath.

      • Adam Byrne

        Veterans who have already read the article just want to jump to the comments and you have to scroll down the page and click before you can do that, and then it refreshes every time, not necessary.

        Do you see this bit Paul, at the top:

        Posted in Irish Independent · 80 comments · SHARE d e h

        The word comments should be hyperlinked.

        • No because it is in grey

          As I said before. The link ‘xxx comments’ should be in green like all the other links for consistency.

          Look if you work with a web dev who can’t sort these things out in an hour flat then you are working with the wrong people.

          It’s that simple. Or at least it should be and anything else is not good enough

          If you start a job you have to finish it

    • dwalsh

      I agree with all the above points.
      I dont like the new design.
      More difficult to read…and akward to use.
      Not user-friendly…at all.

  14. Reality Check

    Also the need to wear sunglasses before I decide to read an article is proving to be a right pain in the derriere.

    • The background could be light gray because white is too severe especially after a few chocolate stouts. Light gray would look nice and I’ve tried it and it looks good within the existing colour scheme

      Using a plugin called firebug for the Firefox browser it is possible to experiment with colours and fonts on any web site and change the look of a page in two minutes flat

      You can tweak the topography and colours and improve it before taking a screenshot to submit to the site owner for approval. It’s all done in the style sheet. Problem is most people don’t know about topography and effective use of colour. Both alone can change a bland design into an extraordinary one that kicks

      In my opinion the design could be refined and the usability improved to make this the great site it was before the upgrade
      It takes the same amount of time to tweak a style sheet and make the changes permanent and likewise it takes the same time to revert if you don’t like the changes

      It takes just two minutes to do this but years to learn what to change

      My point is this. If you hire a designer / developer then make sure they are on the ball and ready to respond to your requests for change right away even if you offer to pay them for their time. If they can’t be arsed then find someone who can

      The back end of this site is powered by WordPress and they have bolted on a user interface library called ‘Foundation’ that powers what you see on the screen

      It’s quite a feat of engineering but on MobileOk it scores 0% whereas my photo site scores in the 80s and beats this site hands down in every important online quality test. My site is blinding fast as I don’t like to keep my visitors waiting. It’s hand coded. Craft and quality are the most important things in my armoury especially now that mobile internet is forcing desingers to change their thinking and pull up their socks

      Lazy designers use frameworks and real designers hand code. One does it for the money and the other does it because he likes it

      It’s easy to blow a customer away with frameworks and charge them handsomely. It’s so easy that you don’t have to think about it. So easy that they think they can ignore colour, typography and the X factor.

      • Reality Check

        And the address of your site is?

        • It’s here and thanks for showing an interest. Happy Easter.

          http://www.sligolandscapephotography.com/

          I don’t profess to be a usability expert (yet) but I have a couple of points that ought to be obvious to most users of the site.

          I entered the site from the email link sent days ago. Looking to see what you guys were saying before the next article comes out tomorrow. Here is the workflow and effort involved …

          Came to the article page looking for the comments but ‘xxx comments’ is grayed out and is not a hyperlink. If if ‘xxx comments’ was a link then I would be in business but I am not because I am in stuck in the wrong context.

          I am forced to scroll all the way down and look for the ‘Show xxx comments’ link at the bottom of the article

          So far I had have to overcome two barriers.

          I click on the ‘xxx comments’ link and the comments appear and I am at the very top of the list. Usually I greeted by the ubiquitous first comment from Anal Adam. I have to start vertically scrolling looking for you as I know you asked me a question. Barrier number three – forced vertical scrolling. I am in the forum now but all these barriers are making me consider not using the site. I am wasting far too much time and feel like I am being taken for a ride either through design or ignorance

          I press CTRL + F and type in ‘Reality Check’. Good not I can see your post and reply box open right beneath it.

          I post the message …

          • and end up at, yep you guess it, the top of article page with the grayed out comments link at the top. Here we not only have yet another barrier but another context switch. A double whammy that sends us into outer Siberia

            It’s as if they are deliberately trying to annoy me and I think ‘amateurs’

            Oh I forgot to mention something and want to add another comment (this one) below our conversation and to do that I need to follow the long road (again) and I am asking myself … FFS is it really worth all this effort ???

            Ps you could apply the same criticisms to my photo site as I know it’s not perfect but the difference is I have a list of prioritised actions ready for the next time I feel like working on it

            Discount Usability Engineering can improve a web site massively with max bang for buck. It’s all very simple and pretty obvious

            Guerrilla HCI: Using Discount Usability Engineering to Penetrate the Intimidation Barrier

            http://www.nngroup.com/articles/guerrilla-hci/

            As you can guess some people charge a fortune for this sort of talent. I am in the wrong job!

    • bonbon

      Hey come on! Anyone knows that you can completely control the web display with themes in any browser. It is really easy to add a theme. Chrome, Firefox and even IE are all flexible.

      There is one common mistake – a book page is a reflector, a web display page is an emitter of photons! The very attempt to model a book is insane! Modern screens can generate enough light to compete with the headlamps of the now arriving Reich-Euro’s train wreck!

      Blinding the senses can hide a real catastrophe!

      • Not quite true. Yes a computer screen is an emitter of photons but most people don’t think of photons when they are reading the page. They don’t need to know

        You can’t control the web any more than you can control users. So many devices. So many browsers. Yeah?

        What’s the point?
        Better to relax and be flexible. Look for a silver bullet

        Create a mobile experience first and then deliver bells and whistles if the device and the browser can handle it.

        Browser themes have nowt to do with how a site looks. They are unrelated.

        What you can do it be flexible and go with the flow. Make sure one design looks good on all devices and in all browsers and make it flow like magic

        It’s possible if you break away from rigid fixed layouts and instead design in the browser for fluid layouts.

        Then you can cover all bases and whip up prototypes much faster than the Photoshop kiddies who think that serious web sites are designed and created using a graphic design package. They are designed using pencil and paper!

        These kids will need to up their game a bit if they are to take advantage of all the work that’s coming when most businesses realise that their sites suck on smartphones and tablets

        It’s embarrasing for them and they will glady spend the money to look and appear professional

  15. Deco

    Good call David. An article on the current Irish property market was needed. Too many voices in the media are trying to talk it up. And there is a hardsell in action again.

    The biggest difference between Dublin, and other counties now is that the banks are financing property purchasing in Dublin. Outside Dublin mortgages are harder to get. In effect the banks are concentrating their resources on Dublin.

    The second difference is the income availability. There is still a lot of income available in Dublin, thanks to a combination of factors including the state and private investment.

    And thirdly, the media has more influence on consumer behaviour in suburbia than it has in small towns. The lemming effect is far more noticeable. People tend to move in a more crowdlike manner in the larger city, with the large critical mass of adherents to the suburban middle class lifestyle. (forget income, this is about lifestyle loyalty).

    • Reality Check

      Austin Hughes was on the wireless yesterday getting giddy about rising house prices in Dublin.
      Of course the interviewer (lapdog) didn’t go through for a shortcut.
      Predictably pathetic – kinda like the voters of Meath today.

      • Colin

        Did Austin tell the lapdog how many properties he’s gonna buy next week? I mean, if he believes what he is saying, surely he wants to make some dosh?

        • Reality Check

          About two years ago I saw Austin Hughes in a Dublin steak house Restaurant, I should have given him a titty twister.

    • Bamboo

      The banks are only interested in new sales. They are not interested in people trading up. They are waiting for you to die and leave your property to come up on the market. The grieving family inheriting the house will be taxed so much that they will eventually sell up. Once they are at that stage the banks will be happy. They are not interested in young people buying any property or trading up as we all know nobody has a job secure to satisfy a mortgage for a life time.

  16. Deco

    Maybe, with vested interests trying to re-establish a ponzi scheme again in the Dublin property market, all they will do is drive investment elsewhere.

    The boom itself drove a lot of investment, and people into the mid Leinster region. And even to places like Galway.

    The vested interests in Dublin are trying to drive up the cost of living in Dublin (gombeens trying to increase their cut) whilst claiming that this is good news for ordinary folk.

  17. Deco

    Life in an expensive, stylish, overrated, superficiality dominated city is not fun. It is not spontaneous. And it tends to be riven with divisions that exist beneath the surface.

    Is this what Dublin wants ?

    • Eireannach

      Deco,

      It is now absolutely inevitable that Dublin will develop a multi-speed property market, with the Old Edwardian South City Centre houses of Ballsbridge, Sandymount, Donnybrook, Ranelagh, etc. as the top tier, then other houses and apts. on the DART and Luas lines in the second tier, then the car-dependent sprawl outside the M50 as the third tier of desirability.

      The reason it is inevitable is the end of the era of cheap oil.

      People will want to live closer to the city centre in the coming decades, because the price of running a car, or heaven help us two cars, is going to slip increasingly out of the grasp of most couples. Younger people don’t have cars, they ride everywhere on bikes, and this trend will continue.

      The age of cheap oil, and the built environment expression of cheap oil – suburban sprawl – is not coming back in the coming decades.

      Once everyone realises that this is the way the future will be, there will be a scramble to get out of the suburbs. The area outside the M50 will drop in desirability and hence price. The far-flung dormitary towns like Enfield or Rochfortbridge are in even deeper trouble.

      The rise in property prices in South Dublin is simply the effect you have when too many people try to sramble onto a small lifeboat at the same time.

      The rise in property prices in South Dublin is an indicator of the collapse of the suburban sprawl further out, and the densification of the core of the city’s urban fabric, rather than middle class aspiration.

      So you see, Deco, it’s a mad scramble to get out of the car-dependent suburbs that is driving this change. Those living in D4 and D6 are just sitting in desirable lifeboats, that’s all.

    • Colin

      Altogether now, one, two, three, ‘Expensive Property Good, Cheap Property Baaaahd’

  18. Eireannach

    In time, the property porn people will sell city centre living as ‘lifeboat living’, with bicycle rentals, parks, theatres, density of shops, etc. as desirable.

    Urban – truly urban living – will become fashionable for the first time since independence.

    Country people who moved to Dublin, bought in the suburban sprawl, will either move into the urban core and become true blue Dubs, or remain stranded in the ruins of the end of the car age, or emigrate.

  19. MidasMoney

    HI David,

    Lending against the average property price over the last thirty years is an excellent idea. Alongside that, I would suggest obligatory non-recourse mortgages, together with max lending of 80% to value. If the Banksters stand to lose in the event a mortgagor hands the property back, the risk will fall where it belongs. Also, it is important that the borrower has enough skin in the game to make them act responsibly too.

    Of course in the present situation this is really locking the stable door after the horse has bolted, but if we can set ourselves up to ensure that we learn from experience and prevent this same old cycle from recurring again, we will have achieved something positive.

  20. lff12

    You’re so right here. Its extremely negative for property prices to rise.

    But I think its about 2 things:
    1. People who bought (for whatever reason) at the peak years, who’ve had a significant portion of what they will pay for their homes essentially wiped away. I can’t totally blame them for wanting prices to restore so they get “value” (for want of a better word) for their money.
    2. The more common reason which is easy money. Its lazy mans economics. Renting or buying/selling property is an easy job. I’ve been a tenant for the guts of 14 years and I’ve never come across a single Irish landlord who bothered their holes doing anything other than collect the rent, except under duress. Even extreme things like not having hot water or electricity seemed to be an urgent matter, in one case I had to phone an agent repeatedly over 2 days to get somebody out to fix a smouldering alarm. Too many people want easy street, and unfortunately, not everybody can have it. Sure, there are probably landlords out there who actually work for their money but the only ones I’ve met are those who are so wealthy from their property investments that they can afford to employ full time staff to manage their properties full time while they sit on their holes.

    Property in Ireland is vampiric. It sucks the blood out of the economy leaving nothing. The case of Bewleys and the upward only rent reviews is a commercial case, but the same thing – we want more money from you for no reason other than that we know we can extract it. Its parasitic, and the last thing we need.

    Ironically, if property taxation couples itself more closely to actual home values, it *might* help undermine this ugly trend from returning. But like the FF bogeyman in the corner, I fear it hasn’t gone away, you know . . .

    • Bamboo

      BTW: I had no phone and internet connection for two months. It took two months for Eircom to fix the line but still I had to pay up. The unfortunate thing is that the old cable had to be replaced and all sort of licenses had to be arranged to open up the road. So be aware if this happens to you this is how long it takes.

      • Adam Byrne

        Why on earth would you pay it? You are paying for a service and they are not providing it. I would have screamed blue murder and not paid it. They are ripping you off. The Insiders milking people again.

        • Bamboo

          Sometimes you need to take a deep breath and make out a balance between your health and your rights. Have you ever tried to get any money from eircom before.

          Well my advice is to pay up because it is not worth your health. I pay my TV license for the last 23 years and I haven’t been able to get Irish TV for the last ten years or so. The reason was that there is a church in the way of my areal to get any worthwhile signal. Then I bought a digital box in lidl and that provided me with sat TV except RTE. So in other words I can get all foreign TV but no national TV. I don’t even bother with Saorview anymore as it is not worth the hazzle. I watched RTE on the internet now. Although RTE site is riddled with problems it is something. They blamed it on my computer and my internet connection. The funny thing is that I can easily get foreign TV on the internet. So it is a RTE problem. RTE player used to have the word “beta” on the player to cover any hiccups but that is now gone.
          It is not worth it anyway.

          • Adam Byrne

            Fair enough. I got rid of eircom as they were useless. UPC are slightly better but I guess you don’t have the option. I have also noticed the bugs on the RTE site. The mantra around here seems to be ‘if you can do something arseways, why do it right?’.

  21. Adam Byrne

    Plonkers vote Fine Gael first in Meath East.

    Ireland is the only country in the world where Turkeys DO vote for Christmas.

    Lambs to the slaughter is probably a better metaphor.

    Fianna Fail second – you couldn’t make it up.

    Mindless idiots get what they deserve, now pass me the remote – X-Factor is on.

    Pathetic.

    • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

      God , that’s terrible , but at least the Oceania forces from Air-Strip One overcame Eurasia and Eastasia. And now I see that Goldstein and McWilliams have been banned by Big Brother.
      Sure I’ll be meeting up with Winston Smith in the Chestnut Tree Café for a beer, that’s if he finishes in the Ministry of Property(NAMA). I have a good mind to report Julia , she didn’t bow when she heard NAMA/RTE, now she’ll experience what’s in room 101, it’s life in a ghost estate in Cavan Town FOR EVER.

    • redriversix

      agreed Adam

      people clearly now deserve whatever is thrown at them…!!!!

      shocking

  22. joe sod

    we are all fond of blaming the bankers and developers for the building bust, but the biggest culprit is the planning system. If we had a proper planning system which prevented the sprawl that happened during the boom and confined the development to the main urban areas we would not be in this mess. It seems that a pick up in property prices will only happen in dublin and the big towns and cities where people really want to live in the long run. As for the mansions that were built all over the country they will end up as modern ruins with ivy growing on them like the mansions left by the landlords but with zero history. The ghost estates will also be left to rot because to demolish them will mean that local authorities will have to admit their mistakes. There are still too many planners in jobs in there for that to happen

    • Deco

      The planning system is corrupt. Filthy with corruption.

    • Eireannach

      Joe,

      In most cases, the planners themselves are quite well-educated and have good values, they don’t want sprawl, etc.

      Unfortunately, we had a planning system in Ireland where local councillors could vote down the proposals of planners. For instance, Lucan-Clondalkin was supposed to grow into one conurbation with a town centre, but instead developers (Frank Dunlop) and local councillors voted down the planners’ proposals for a town centre in favour of Quarryvale, now known as the Liffey Valley shopping centre.

      This is a famous case, but the same was repeated throughout the country.

      It’s very important that we heed An Taisce’s advice about changing the power structure of planning. Councillors taking back-handers from developers and builders should not have the power to vote down plans.

      If that sounds undemocratic, then it’s because it is. Planning should be done by planners, not bribed elected local officials. The second path led to total chaos.

  23. Deco

    RTE’s debate on the Meath East by-election left out the new party to contest the election, Direct Democracy Ireland.

    In the context of power concentrated in an unaccountable, wasteful, cronyism riddled institutional state, they were probably the real alternative. Thought the leader is not a Grillo type figure. And the establishment media do not want any Grillo type figure.

    However, we must give credit to DDI, for starting a debate concerning the concentration and centraliaztion of power, and the fact that democracy is greatly compromised by the political gangs running democracy.

    Well, maybe this might represent some improvement. And maybe it might represent a debate. It will be interesting to get the age profile of the DDI voters. The DDI barely existed as of Christmas. Three months later and they have overtaken the second partner in the government. The fact that the movement’s main spokesman came from the same county, is a factor in faster recognition.

    Maybe the quality of the public debate might now improve.

    The FF result represents a momentary lapse by some people. Pining for the Ahern years. Those days are never coming back. That was all pie in the sky. Unfortunately, we are not having a proper debate about the non-viability of what went on in the Ahern years. We need that urgently, so as to prevent relapses.

    • Adam Byrne

      Momentary lapse Deco? I wouldn’t be so sure. Never underestimate the stupidity of the electorate in this country.

    • bonbon

      As long as parties avoid the banks, they are doomed. The concentration of toxic paper in banks actually makes Glass-Steagall splitting easier. Never mind the hand-waving “complexity” blabber. It is in fact a simple idea – with a Preamble. Every Constitution mist have a Preamble.

      So do not take the eye off the ball!

    • DDI picked up more votes than Labour and were not far behind Sinn Fein so they have made an impact even if the MSM ignore them. However the gulf between Sinn Fein and the Two Tribes says it all. What it tells me is that Adam Byrne correct when he says that this country is full of spineless clowns. They are a bunch of Tories

      Like I said it’s a very sad day and you are better off keeping your mouth shut in this country because they are never going to change the world

  24. Adam Byrne

    21,000 votes for FF and FG in Meath East, and the young lady (good luck to her personally) who got elected is only there in dynastic fashion because her Dad was the TD before. She’s patently not experienced enough to know anything about life. Speaks volumes of the intellectual capacity of the Irish electorate.

  25. Adam Byrne

    Why are we being seduced by [property porn] again?

    David’s next article should be more psychology-based and entitled:

    Why are we being seduced by [lying w**kner politicians] again?

    And directed at the people of East Meath first, Ireland second.

    I excuse myself from the collective ‘we’ on this occasion.

    There’s no hope through the ballot box here – too many dopes.

    • I saw the percentages for each party Adam and am speechless.
      It is depressing and a really sad day for Ireland.
      Fucking idiots.

    • molly

      When FG where out in Ashbourne on the canvas trail they called to a friend of mine and he open the door,after he got the party clap trap,he said see that car in the drive my tax is way out ,I need it for work but can’t afford to,your party wants me to pay a property tax,on top of the large amount I payed on stamp duty,now the best thing you can do is get lost.
      The FG the party of the people ,I don’t think so.

      • Adam Byrne

        Yeah, and then he probably went and voted for them regardless. Just kidding but 20,000 muppets DID!

        • molly

          20,000 did and what does that tell you ,you are what you vote and things will never change .
          Labour done so badly because people took there frustration out on them why did the voters take there frustration out on fine gale after all FG are calling the shots,you could not make it up ,it’s a circus and we are the clowns,some people have ring fenced FG grip over the clowns.

        • Harper66

          The result in the by election should be put in context.

          There was a huge amount of sympathy for Ms. McEntee due to the manner in which her father died. Also the majority of seasoned FG supporters are very happy with the current government polices.This says alot about FG supporters.

          Labour are facing utter wipeout.They do not have the tribal unquestioning support of FF/FG.

          If you look at the recent Red C poll it put FG on 28%. This is misleading because the dont knows were taken out which was also about 28%. So basic math (and the assumption that the RED C is any way accurate ) would put FG support about 19%.

          I think the base support for both parties is around the 15% mark. I figure this from taking FF support at its lowest after their whipping in the last election.

          So put in context FG are on thin ice skirting 4% above their base support and labour now have no mandate to remain in power.

          What I found most unpalatable was Kennys cynical comment this morning that the result of this by election was a sign of approval by the silent majority for the government. Clearly it was not. It was a community extending solidarity to a young woman who has been through a very painful and difficult time. Kenny showed a distinct lack of class making such comments.However I’m not surprised it what I have come to expect from him.

          • Adam Byrne

            It should be totally irrelevant what happened to the young lady’s father – nothing to do with what the work of the forthcoming TD will, or should entail.

            She’s too young to know anything and will just go along with everything the useless government does.

          • Adam Byrne

            Another yes man (woman) in place for Kenny and his criminal cronies.

            And the sympathetic and ignorant fools in East Meath put her there.

          • Harper66

            “It should be totally irrelevant what happened to the young lady’s father..”

            It should be irrelevant Adam, but it is not.Human nature will kick in and influence peoples decision making.

            It does show how weak and precarious the political system is in Ireland. As the poster “5fingers” points out in the comment above this one we are now down to grass roots support for fg/ff and labours support is gone.The final turnout for the election was embarrassing.

            If ever there was time for a new party to step up the time is now.

    • 5Fingers

      +1 But am not surprised

      • 5Fingers

        We had 30% turnout. Grassroots support in action here. Nothing else. People need to PARTICIPATE if they want representation. Crying and saying “what is the point?” is endemic.

  26. bonbon

    Porn is sensation so let’s have a look again at Adam Smith’s decree for subjects. Now West Brits should be well aware of this and not really be surprised. This is basic economics 101 at most institutions of “learning” in Laputa, as Johnathan Swift well knew.

    “To man is allotted a much humbler department …. Nature has directed us to the greater part of these by original and immediate instincts. Hunger, thirst,the passion which unites the two sexes, the love of pleasure,and the dread of pain, prompt us to apply those means for their own sakes, and without any consideration of their tendency to those beneficent ends which the great Director of nature intended to produce by them.”

    —Adam Smith Theory of Moral Sentiments —1759

    So add in the passion for glossies, imposing houses and we have the jolly British East Indie Company decree- do not concern yourselves, do not worry your humble heads about Glass-Steagall, splitting the banks and rebuilding the economy with Credit and commitment. Let others deal with that, and deal they will – with your very lives.

    So West Brits, are ye up to it? How about poking Adam Smith in the eye? Faking surprise is cool, is’nt it?

  27. Good Stuff David and I agree with the poster who said the articles are getting better. Since new year you have been playing a blinder. The usability can be sorted out later and the articles are the most important thing right now

    There is a leaden atmosphere in here today mainly thanks to the result of the Meath East By Election. It feels like the wise people of Meath East want the rest of the country to feel as lumpen and defeated as themselves. There is no other explanation for it

    What reasons do people have for voting for the two old tribes?
    Can anyone explain this without resorting to the usual Irish parochial nastiness and bitterness?

    I’ve heard of Stockholm syndrome but this is getting ridiculous

    By voting for a government party that is means testing people out in the cold and the ones who fucked things up in the property porn days they are doing the people of Ireland huge disservice. And the reason?

    Because no good will come from it and it sends out the message that they can carrying on fucking us

    Disgraceful. I used to feel sympathy for these middle class pricks stuck in satellite ghost towns but you know what?

    I could not give a fuck about them now!

    Feels Like Heaven by Fiction Factory
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhHG337phTM

  28. Dedicated to the people of Meath East

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDLDzpPQ4tc

    Where the hell is Meath East anyway?

  29. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Couldn’t agree more with the comments about the by-election result from Meath East. I’d say more than likely that it was just a ‘sympathy vote’ from the FG voters. A ‘sympathy’ vote means absolutely nothing in the times we’re living in, but what can you expect from 20,000 muppets!!

    • molly

      Yes we need to get serious In this country if you look at the elected ones in the dail,how many of them get themselves bogged down with matters of low priority instead of tackling the important matters for example the Garda points saga ,there’s much more pressing things to be sorted out ,for example providing food and heat and being able to survive in this banana republic.
      Why o why.

    • paddythepig

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Your country needs you.

  30. michaelcoughlan

    Well it didn’t take long for the old David McWilliams housing Nazi to reassert him self did it? Aghast I read this article which stands in complete contrast to the excellent work produced in recent times. It really and truly is such a pile of sh%t. Let me once and for all McWilliams help you to rid yourself of your housing prejudice.

    “Why do we allow ourselves to be taken in by this nonsense? Every spring since the crash, the estate agents and the property industry have tried to re-launch the property market with puff pieces, hard selling and gimmicks”

    I’m not taken in at all McWilliams. I listen to you and others and KNOW full well that estate agents are a lower form of life than the chartered accountants and bankers who have destroyed the place.

    Housing starts David are a measure of economic performance. If the statisticians think this element of activity is worth recording what’s your beef?

    “Property destroys economies, good money chases unproductive investments and banks revert to type”

    Property David is an inanimate object. It never destroyed anything. Chartered accountants destroy things. Estate agents destroy things. Bank managers destroy things. Misinformed well intentioned economists destroy things.

    Let’s take a house as an investment over the last 10 years. 50% collapse in value. Bank shares 99%. Soon to be worthless cash infinity (shortly). 40 years ago 5k would buy you a house now 250k. Gold is worthless from a productive perspective and its now $1600 an oz. 1 oz of gold today (2013) would buy you a fine bespoke suit of clothes and under garments. 1 oz of gold in the time of Jesus would buy you a fine bespoke suit of clothes and under garments.

    As for you point about Houses being unproductive well your wrong there boyo. The PC you are reading this article on was made in a factory. So is everything else around you. You drove to soccer training in a car made in a factory. Not a dickie about how unproductive and capital destroying an investment in a car is. Guess what gets produced in a house David? Children. Children born to parents make a family. Families build nations and great republics. Houses are the most productive of all buildings.

    Time to slay a prejudice don’t you think?

    • cooldude

      Property is indeed an inanimate object. The only reason we experienced a boom bust in this inanimate object was through the loose and eventually reckless behaviour of the commercial banks which was fully endorsed and led by the central bank and the ECB. This was not just the result of property porn but was mainly the result of our system of banking and monetary creation which promotes and encourages these asset bubbles which cause endless hardship to people. It is not an Irish problem but a problem of all modern economies who rely on fractional reserve banks and unbacked easily produced money.

      The FG result was a shame but not unexpected. Ben Gilroy did very well and can win in the future. The real ramifications of the Cyprus mess have yet to be fully discussed never mind understood. Deposit holders in banks do NOT own the money banks do. They never did but somehow they were under the false impression they did. The truth is they are unsecured creditors of the bank and lose control of their money as soon as it goes on deposit. This realization will be BIG news and as the EU finance minister has clearly stated the Cypriot model WILL be the template for any future bank failures. This means that the hugely heralded ESM mechanism is not going to be used and if there is any trouble in ANY European bank in the future bank deposits will be grabbed and capital controls will be put in place. And forget about this 100,000 bullshit which is just a red herring. No depositor in a Cypriot bank was allowed to take out over 300 euro no matter how small their deposit is. This is supposed to be temporary but who really knows or cares. The bank has your money but you are not allowed to access it. The only rule is the house always wins. This WILL happen here at some stage in this mess. Be prepared.

    • paddythepig

      Ever consider becoming an estate agent?

      • cooldude

        I don’t think I am really cut out for it Paddy.

        • Colin

          Cooldude, I think the question was aimed at Mr Michael Coughlan, defender of the brick and mortar.

          For the record, I’m all for bricks and mortar too, as long as the average house is no more than 4 times the annual salary of the average industrial worker.

  31. LKSteve

    As someone who resisted buying a house for a long, long time I finally caved in after moving to Brisbane in 2011. This was just a few months after the floods which ruined much of the rental stock in the city. What was left was of low quality & very expensive to rent. Buying was actually easier than securing a rental & luckily we had enough of a deposit to get into the house with a reasonable mortgage and still have a few bob in the bank for a rainy day. I know the house we bought is not worth what we paid, it’s a post-war wooden crate built on crumbling concrete posts with a lick of paint and a covered deck to make it look good. What can you do? average house prices here in Brisbane are supposed to be $430,000 but you wouldn’t get much for that within 10KM of the CBD. I agree with David about property porn, it’s peddled by the real estate crowd but the real culprits are the banks who underwrite the whole industry. It’s highly lucrative for the banks to have their customers up to their eyeballs in debt – I know, we’ve been paying our mortgage for 19 months now at about $2K per month ($38K) but we’ve only knocked about $10K off the mortgage. A good chunk of the difference goes straight to the banks bottom line. We had a visitor the other day, a young woman who came to see our new puppy. We got talking about her living situation & how she and her husband were struggling to find a place that they could afford to buy – they’d just made an offer of $465K on a house & had it knocked back. The mortgage they were taking on would require servicing by two salaries but she also wanted to have a baby in a year or so. What will happen when they have the baby? After her paid maternity leave expires the baby will be stuck in day-care along with thousands of others every day as the child’s parents struggle to keep a roof over their heads. All so the banks can make their obscene profits. Commonwealth Bank recently reported half-year net profits of A$3.66 billion. Banks rule the world. They are more powerful than governments and our modern society is totally beholden to them.

    • Bamboo

      LKSteve, thanks for your input. Wishing you and your precious family all the best.
      You are absolutely correct. The banks are funding these practices and it is in their own interest to have this up and running again. Property pornography is a crucial part of the bank. Even their own employers are victims to the system. Banks can hide their faces behind a system and an institute.

    • Adam Byrne

      Exactly LKSteve, that’s why I wouldn’t have any truck with banks whatsoever, apart from having to accept cheques from clients and getting the money out as soon as it clears.

      Good luck to you mate.

    • bonbon

      The banks are totally bankrupt, behold the truth.

      Being awed by such large bank profit porn, leads to housing porn as DMcW points out.

      Being shattered by the real accounting books of these zombie banks leads to the shears, Glass-Steagall bank splitting.

    • joe sod

      david had an article on the australian economy some months ago, it seems to be in bubble territory, very similar to ireland from 2000-2006. The predictions are that any trouble in the australian economy will be reflected in the currency so maybe property prices in nominal terms might not fall like they did in ireland but the currency could fall by upto 50%, afterall the currency was 50% lower against the major currencies 8 years ago. Also you are in a major city, so thats another advantage. I know australia is full of property hucksters just like ireland was during the boom. Also australia is looking like a one trick pony the mining boom but they have one big advantage over ireland which is an independent currency

  32. dwalsh

    Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.

    The Cyprus event is the bell tolling for us all.

    Anyone who imagines Cyprus is an exceptional case is deluded.

    Cyprus is the first case; others will soon follow.

    The ECB and the ESM were set-up to be completely above and beyond the law.

    The ECB headquarters has the status and privileges of an embassy of a foreign power.

    The writing is on the wall; and the wall is accelerating towards us.

    • paddythepig

      Didn’t see the same outrage from you when 2 per cent was whipped out of private pensions in Ireland in 2011. How come?

      • bonbon

        That was stealth theft. Now it is daylight robbery. And it will not stop there.

        Glass-Steagall, the shears, now. Outrage is one thing, the shears is better.

      • dwalsh

        You missrepresent me paddythepig. I didnt and dont approve of the measure you refference.

        Now be honest paddythepig; what exactly in my comment on Cyprus and the ECB etc is disagreeable to you?

        • paddythepig

          I never said you approved of taking 2% from Irish private pensions. What I found strange was you state Cyprus is the first case, and is the bell tolling for us all. Whereas I think Ireland was the first case, and the bell tolled then. There’s no difference between taking money from depositors and private pensions, it’s just people’s money.

          All I am saying really is that I would like to have seen the same disapproval at the measure taken in Ireland, but I don’t remember seeing it.

          • bonbon

            There is a difference, a phase shift to total desperation. It is a Rubicon line that was crossed. The pilfering is now out in the open. See the G-SIFI post below.

            All part of the Triple Curve typical commapse function.

            And now even more urgent to pass Glass-Steagall, as their desperation opens up gaps in their “wall of authority”.

          • bonbon

            Collapse function.

            It is a bit daft to argue about the type of theft, though. The collapse phase shifts and the economy ratchets further down to disaster.

            Take the whole systemic approach – that’s Glass-Steagall – split the banking system now. Interrupt their game!

      • dwalsh

        Hey paddythepig….where is the outrgae in my comment?
        I simply state a few facts.
        Which fact is disagreeable to you?

        • paddythepig

          Another strange thing is you seem to blame the ecb for depositors losses. You should be blaming the Cypriot government, as it was their choice and theirs alone. They could have raised the 5.6 billion any way they wanted, it was their choice. Also one has to marvel at yet another country who thinks its ok to live beyond their means, not to mention the free rein given to their dumb bankers to compound the problem by their investment in the bonds of that basket case Greece.

          It amazes me to hear people saying we should burn the bondholders, and simultaneously say we should save depositors, because in the Cypriot case this is clearly logically inconsistent.

          Still, when did logic ever intervene in the ramblings of the looney left?

          • bonbon

            You are either lying or totally ignorant. An eye witness account, not on RTE, of what actually went on is here :
            Maltese Finance Minister: Cyprus “Agreed” with a Pistol To Their Head

            Drop lunatic Tiger “innocence” and read if you dare!

          • paddythepig

            Hey dickhead, the only thing your article proves is that the Cypriots were too chicken to cut their cloth in some different way, in order to make a contribution to the money required. So they went for the bondholders and large depositors. Ultimately they made their own bed, and their own choices.

            You seem to think they should contribute nothing, why am I not surprised at that.

  33. Lord Jimbo

    Online comment: While Kenny spins a by-election (just look at the turnout), using Nixon’s old term to justify the unjustifiable, I spent most of last night in one of the country’s main A & E’s with my 82 year old aunt. She had spent hours on a trolley in a corridor, located next to one of the main entrances and one of the toilets. The cold night air came in every time patients were brought in on trollies by the ambulance crews. When I asked for a pillow for her I was told they were like ‘gold dust’, eventually after the third time of asking a pillow was found. I eventually got her moved away from the drafty entrance to the intersection of two corridors. The place was like a war zone. My grandfather played a small role in his local brigade in the war of independence, stopped on several occasions by British soldiers, had his house raided etc, last night I wondered what he would have made of how his daughter was being failed by HSE management and politicians and that pitiful A & E with its corridors filled with people on trollies, most of whom seemed quite elderly. I spoke to a couple who just said it was a ‘national disgrace’. If this is as good as we can do it in 2013 then we clearly have failed utterly as a people, as a state and as a Republic. Celebrating 1916 in a few years seems like a cruel joke.

    • bonbon

      Generation pass away, the next may forget the very reason they themselves even had a chance. When you speak to the post independence generation you must have noticed the utter and complete avoidance of any principle. This is rampant. The second post independence generation became Tigers.
      They who had a very clear idea of what empire means, that it must be ejected to survive, with no wiggle room, noticed that the really big problem was the proto-Tiger “go along to get along to hell” crowd.
      Now this neo-Tiger crowd is at it again.

      The edict from British Imperial icon Adam Smith hold sway :
      “To man is allotted a much humbler department …. Nature has directed us to the greater part of these by original and immediate instincts. Hunger, thirst,the passion which unites the two sexes, the love of pleasure,and the dread of pain, prompt us to apply those means for their own sakes, and without any consideration of their tendency to those beneficent ends which the great Director of nature intended to produce by them.”
      —Adam Smith Theory of Moral Sentiments —1759

      The generation who ejected empire rejected this edict. The hapless HSE is going in the direction of the British NHS – there you will find very quickly the Liverpool Life Pathway to clear the corridors. Do not leave your relatives unattended!!!

    • Adam Byrne

      It does and I won’t be partaking in any of those celebrations. It IS a disgrace and this place needs to start again from 2016. Even change the name of the country or something – some sort of renewal and try to do it right. But will it happen? Unlikely. The Insiders have too much of a grip here – milking everyone else for all they’ve got. I’ve lived in banana republics that have been run better and fairer than the so-called Republic of Ireland.

  34. Harper66

    The result in the by election should be put in context.

    There was a huge amount of sympathy for Ms. McEntee due to the manner in which her father died. Also the majority of seasoned FG supporters are very happy with the current government polices.This says alot about FG supporters.

    Labour are facing utter wipeout.They do not have the tribal unquestioning support of FF/FG.

    If you look at the recent Red C poll it put FG on 28%. This is misleading because the dont knows were taken out which was also about 28%. So basic math (and the assumption that the RED C is any way accurate ) would put FG support about 19%.

    I think the base support for both parties is around the 15% mark. I figure this from taking FF support at its lowest after their whipping in the last election.

    So put in context FG are on thin ice skirting 4% above their base support and labour now have no mandate to remain in power.

    What I found most unpalatable was Kennys cynical comment this morning that the result of this by election was a sign of approval by the silent majority for the government. Clearly it was not. It was a community extending solidarity to a young woman who has been through a very painful and difficult time. Kenny showed a distinct lack of class making such comments.However I’m not surprised it what I have come to expect from him

    • Harper66

      double post (some how?) apologies.

    • 5Fingers

      30% turnout by Grassroots. If people want change – participate. Stop waiting and hoping for the best.

    • paddythepig

      You should apply your ‘don’t know’ weighting of the percentages to all parties and participants, and not just the winning parties.

      So with your readjustment, where would Sinn Fein, and DDI stand percentage wise?

  35. Bamboo

    Your title “Why are we being seduced by property porn again?” is the crucial question in this article and fair play to your editor.

    Besides the daily stream of commercials and adds, we are all receiving phone calls from India telling you they are calling on behalf of Microsoft Security and asking you to give all sort of private security details over the phone.

    We all get phone calls from a well-known window glazer asking you if you are interested in replacing your windows or other repairs.

    We all get phone calls from telecom companies offering you all sort of nice services designed to make life so much easier.
    Apart from the Indians – If they can’t phone you they will come to your door.
    Junk mail is a phenomenon that we all have to live with. We are now living in a culture of the food snobs and their cookery programs. Food has to be the just the right texture, colour, flavour and the right design and presentation, etc. Young people are not aware of this but if you are my age you know this is a new phenomenon from only the last ten years or so and to be applied globally.

    Proof there are still individuals out there who KNOWS there are plenty of stupid and ignorant people in the world to target.
    “Ireland’s property pornographers” are not doing it on an individual basis but are targeting a nationwide audience. In other words “Ireland’s property pornographers” KNOWS there are sufficient numbers of stupid people to make it worthwhile spending their efforts and money on this practice.

    Property pornographers have been at it for as long as I live in Ireland (from the early 90s). It was never seen as “pornography”. In another article you mentioned “spruikers”. The Ozzies are trying to use a term that doesn’t sound as bad. But it is a term that we should all be familiar with.

    Especially young innocent families trying to eke a living from whatever they have. Young innocent people who are brainwashed with these types of practices. The way they get sex education from an early age, this term should be educated as well. We all think that we have a government that will tackle these practices. We should be aware there is no such government that can control this.

    • Eireannach

      If you look at a pornography website, can you blame the makers of the website?

      If you buy property because you think it’ll make you happy, secure and/or better off, can you blame the property pornographers?

      People need to grow up.

      If you watch porno, it’s because you want to.

      If you buy property, it’s because you thought, at the time, it was a good idea.

      It is fashionable on this DMcW blog for posters to blame the porno website, blame the banks, blame the estate agents.

      If you’re over 18, and you bought property and it went sour, you are responsible for your actions.

      • bonbon

        If your children go that site, do you blame them too?

        Pimps always use your argument.

        People need houses for their children. For a Pimp to prey on this means he has access to bank low-interest rates again.

        Pimping for the banks should be legislated, and a legallly required Red Light on every add, like the cigarette packs now. Pimping is really the oldest profession, so why not the red light?

        • Colin

          More Bullshit bonbon.

          You can control the internet in the house. You can have the computer in an open area of the house. You can choose not to have wifi connection. You can buy software to screen out porn. If there’s a will there’s a way.

          Or you can choose to do nothing and disengage the brain, the same way people disengaged their brains when the property porn got the better of them and they took the plunge into overpriced shoeboxes.

          Life is all about free will. Be free!

          • bonbon

            And banksters with their pimps can roam freely in the white-collar compound twice a day.

            Glass-Steagall to guarantee freedom for 7 billion being put under the yoke of catastrophic unpayable debt.

            Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is not possible without Glass-Steagall.

  36. Harper66

    Would it surprise you to know that Europe’s taxpayers have provided as much financial support to Germany as they have to Greece? An examination of European money flows and central-bank balance sheets suggests this is so

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-23/merkel-should-know-her-country-has-been-bailed-out-too.html

  37. Wills

    You ask why..

    Perhaps its because the economic system is rigged and through ponzi property deals makes the most money for free.

  38. Adam Byrne

    You put in your comment and it jumps right back to the top with the comments hidden and you have to start all over again. It just doesn’t make sense and it is a total time waster. Please amend.

    • bonbon

      Have you tried to google your comment ? I think the “hide” yoke, is to limit web indexing.

      Would’nt be surprised with some of the stuff posted.

      • Adam Byrne

        Fair enough Mr. bonbon, makes sense (if that’s what’s happening).

        Still very awkward though.

        I haven’t tried to google my comments – I generally keep it clean and have nothing to worry about.

        You might have the men in white coats knocking at 4am though if they read you, so I guess the ‘hide yoke’ is helpful from your perspective!

        • bonbon

          You do keep it squeeky clean, neutral, rather like lukewarm British tea, or was that British coffee, not sure.

          The Reichs-Euro’s train wreck trundling down on us now will not concern itself with the squeeky clean.

          • Adam Byrne

            Squeaky clean on here Mr. bonbon. Not worth disagreeing with people or throwing insults – not even at you.

            What I do in my personal / business life is a different matter altogether.

          • bonbon

            Very quick to damn the Republic of Ireland
            though. A rather imperial condescension is evident. At the moment a squeeky-popular oh-so correct theme, but reminiscent of Lloyd George’s attitude.

            Throw off the yoke of empire, kiss not that squeeky clean shiny boot.

          • Adam Byrne

            You’ve lost me Mr. bonbon.

            Way over my head.

          • bonbon

            That’s the Beppo line, quite popular at the moment. It’s the same line Enda et al use.

            Yer in with the winners!

        • bonbon

          And the “hide yoke” is a real pain.

    • You are the 4th person to complain and this is good. If we the users don’t ask then we won’t get. Think of it as a form of Direct Democracy. If we get what we want then David could sell more books. Win win

      We are all annoyed with constant vertical scrolling and unexpected switches of context. You scroll and click and end up in a context that makes you wonder ‘where am I now?’

      I’ve not tried it on a mobile and would like to know what it’s like but I predict it will look fine but suffer the same usability problems

      It’s always wise to give people what they expect.

      People have expectations and rely on conventional patterns of design and interactivity. In this case the interactivity is out of sequence, that’s all and should be a doddle to fix. It looks like the wordpress codes are in the wrong order and or point to the wrong function calls

      All the feeback David has been getting is worth it’s weight in gold and I am sure he is aware of the issues and writing up a prioritised list of corrective actions as we speak

      Welcome to Agile Design

      First you build it and let it loose and wait for feedback. It’s good but not perfect.

      You use the feedback to improve it. Constant refinement and early focus on users needs. The old site had this nailed but the functionality has gone

      If it turns out bad you turn to plan B and make sure you can do it in an afternoon. Agile means working fast and being to change course at will

      You have to be in a position to move fast and have the freedom to do it without any lock-in

      Always take charge of your own software!

  39. redriversix

    How much will the D.I.R.T Tax be increased in Budget2013 in October..?

    Budget is in October…I suggest people try and prepare….know where you stand

    • molly

      You know FG is running the show and labour are asleep or in a coma ,this government have cut there pound of flesh and there’s only bone left ,they now will want your marrow.
      We can try to protect our own ,but we can’t protect against the rise in the cost of living.
      Every time I go out I seam to spend money ,its getting to the stage where one should not go out,cheeper to stay at home.
      Everything outside seams to be climbing in price.!.?

  40. bonbon

    Truck of Reichs-Euro’s photographed arriving in Nicosia, with full capital controls in force. Scenes of Weimar in 1923 when trucks full of worthless Reichsmarks rolled. Are these bills specially marked – a two-tier Reichs-Euro?

    The only transactions over 100,000Euros allowed are payrols, everything else will now get suddenly expensive because of scarcity and trade costs.

    The tyrants of Brussels strangled Cyprus and now asphyxiates it.

    And DMcW mentions the Irish housing glossy porn – is this the reason it is being pushed? To take attention off Enda’s Reichs-Euro’s Plan?

  41. bonbon

    Commerzbank chief on Handelsblatt calls for a 15% levy on ITALIAN deposits, private wealth. The Great Italian Train Robbery has begun!

    That train is headed to Dublin, a massive train wreck is coming!

    Now for something Enda and Noonan to clownishly repeat on RTE :

    Speaking to Turkish TV, Beppe Grillo said that
    “in the next five years, Italians will be poorer but happy.”
    Grillo’s statements were posted on the internet, but then Grillo
    removed them.

  42. crazy cat

    Fairly shocked with the new tax the British have invented, the ‘ bedroom tax ‘.
    Here’s the article from George Monbiot

    http://www.monbiot.com/2013/03/25/line-of-battle/

  43. joe hack

    Why are we being seduced by property porn again?
    WE!

    David were you not advocating growth mantra a while back…

    For a new more vicarious ponzi scheme.

    Just add Minoxidil to the loan accounts then sit back and watch debt money grow towards a bigger and better crisis.

    The money system is flawed and David want write about it

  44. Thank you Grey fox for this video.

    When will David address the issue of the current money system?

    http://awakenlongford.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/if-you-want-an-objective-view-you-have-to-see-all-sides/

  45. molly

    I sent labour a message (thank god labour is finished) this is there reply.

    Thank you for your message to the Labour Party. Obviously we do not share your analysis and it is noteworthy that in the By-Election people by and large voted for right wing Parties. however we do take on board the many comments made to us and will reflect on them over coming weeks.
    Dermot Lacey

    • Dorothy Jones

      Hi molly; Brian Lucey just tweeted that he might do a blogpost on the Labour leaflets which are being handed out in Kildare. He says that they are ‘kinda full of kinda wrongies’. http://brianmlucey.wordpress.com/ check it out later in the day for a read if he does. Best D

      • molly

        The more I think about how this country is run its a farce.
        Maybe the country should be run in some way like the vhi people pay in and the ones that need help receive it.

  46. [...] Why are we being seduced by property porn again? | David … [...]

  47. molly

    Politicians are so detached from the real world ,the prime example of this is you only see them when there’s an election coming up,I firmly believe even then they make believe they are interested in any points put to them.
    They just want your vote and will tell lies to to get it!
    Irish people can’t seam to grasp this or certainly not enough to hit them where it hurts the ballot box.

  48. joe hack

    The fundamentalism of our lack of basic understandings of our failures – that is we follow the like a herd of wildebeest, we allow deference to run our world without taking personal responsibility.

    Even those who are employed to know do nothing and then there are those that know only too well that people follow the herd and they with this competence to lead, lead us towards the “expert” opinion – they must know what-they the “expert” must know what that are talking about after all they have a degree in economics etc. but the emperor has been seen to be naked again.

    We are been bullied without knowing it and the bully does not know that they are a bully.

  49. Deco – March 28, 2013 at 4:11 pm –
    The planning system is corrupt. Filthy with corruption.

    From personal experience in a nutshell:

    a) “You have to go to the local priest, pay him 20 or so, he will print some for you!”

    Arriving at the priests place, a somewhat old looking Compaq computer was in standby mode, when woken up, the ubiquitous WORD was already loaded up, with a template.

    He asked for my full name, and replaced another with it. Printed it and I handed 20 to him, nodding and thanking me he handed me the print.

    Apparently we were aquaintances since many years, even went fishing together on a regular basis, and I was, quote: ” A pillar of the local church!”

    This faith forged document had to be presented together with the planning application to the local county council, it was an unwritten law, but embossed into the process, you have to have that “document”, or get lost.

    I am atheist, never met this priest before in my life.

    The entire experience with the local planning process I went through is worth a 150 pager, filled with stories like the above. From the planning officer, over the estate agents, to the architects, down to the local priest and the TD, believe you me, it was a “fascinating” experience. Took only 3.5 years to get what I wanted. During this time I was told many stories from locals who experienced the same and worse. Taking these into account, it would easily turn into a 300 pager.

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