My report on housing, land and rent out now

[updated 7 July] A year ago I was commissioned to contribute a report on housing to the Government Office for Science’s Foresight programme on the future of cities in the UK.  I did it, referees commented, I revised it, then it was (along with other papers in the series) held over until after the UK parliamentary election. Now the GOScience has released it and you can download it and read more on societycould.wordpress.com

UK – German housing exchanges

9 December 2013:  This message has come in today from Grischa in Berlin:

Dear international friends,

on November 21st we had an event in Berlin with Eileen Short from Defend Council Housing / Anti bedroom tax campaign and Paul Watt from Birkbeck University, both situated in London.

They told us about the housing crisis in England and the biggest anti-cut protests since many years against the bedroom tax. We have documented the event in both English and German, find the links below: Continue reading “UK – German housing exchanges”

At last: a manifesto for progressive planning

***London launch 5 February 1330 for 1400 at TCPA. Second launch soon in Sheffield. Details at http:pnuk.org.uk***
After a lot of drafting and re-drafting we now have a usable draft of this great document, aimed at people working in and around planning in the UK (especially England, so far as the detail goes) from PNUK Planners Network UK. We hope it will rally dispirited souls who have been sucked or seduced into market-led orthodoxy or just feeling lonely in their scattered resistance. The team has been Bob Colenutt, Tim Marshall, Andy Inch and me + some others at earlier stages and with a feed-in on housing from Duncan Bowie. All white males so far. Please read, comment, discuss. Some meetings in various parts of the country coming up. The draft is here as a PDF: http://bit.ly/Vduhe6

Frustrating, busy, stimulating, unproductive…

…week or two. Lots of stimulating things which it would have been good to write about, but then on to the next so there was no time. And than a really bad cold which made it hard to play a full part in an INURA meeting. Still here are a few jottings for the record. Skip this post if you are just looking for serious essays. Continue reading “Frustrating, busy, stimulating, unproductive…”

christmas, eating, reading

Usual fine orgy of eating and drinking and playing games with words. Two good big fat books came as presents: Osssie gave me Hobsbawm’s How to Change the World: tales of Marx and Marxism and Gavin gave me David Graeber’s Debt: the first 5,000 years. I have started on Hobsbawm, though I struggled with the first chapter—on the pre- and post-Marx history of socialism—because I just don’t know enough history to follow it all. But then Continue reading “christmas, eating, reading”

Catch-up: deck chairs moving around

Life has been busy, what with capitalism melting in Europe, the Occupation in London and elsewhere, plus domestic life and UCL. I seem to be more active on Twitter these days, where there is more interaction and immediacy. And 140 characters suits me. Immediacy is gripping at the moment and I had some cheering (actual) visits to the Occupation. Continue reading “Catch-up: deck chairs moving around”