Coffee House

Andrew Marr: London is being hollowed out by global investors

14 December 2013

11:39 AM

14 December 2013

11:39 AM

During this year of recovery, I have enjoyed the turn of the seasons more than ever before. This has been a spectacularly beautiful autumn, with brighter colours going on for longer. London is brimming with beauty and magic: there’s the new bridge by Thomas Heatherwick coming — a kind of Hanging Gardens of Battersea — and a new indoor Jacobean theatre by the Globe, lit only by wax candles, for the long winter nights. But this is also a city being hollowed out by global investors. The pumping-up of house prices by clouds of foreign money is making central London completely unliveable-in for anyone on an ordinary salary. The term ‘residential’ is now a misnomer. I was talking to a developer who had been in Shanghai selling north London apartments. He was worried about empty buildings and asked some purchasers what they intended to do with their new multi-million-pound apartment. They wanted their son to have his education in London. He would come and live in the flat and then they would sell it to pay the fees. Interesting, replied my man. And how old is your son? Nearly six months, they replied.

This kind of behaviour is distorting life in all sorts of unexpected ways. A recent victim is Cork Street, for generations the heart of the commercial British art world. But as Spectator readers may know, it is ceasing to beat. Seven art galleries are going after Christmas, mostly to make way for flats for billionaires. Another four are to go next year. In a few years’ time there will still be galleries here but they will be run by international fashion houses who have the money. A unique part of London life, which grew by accident, will be destroyed by speculative investment.

This is an extract from Andrew Marr’s notebook in the latest issue of the Spectator. Click here to read the full article.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
  • Toxteth O’Grady

    As a lifelong Londoner, I’m more put out by being culturally enriched by every sodding waif and stray from Islamabad to Mogadishu cluttering the place up, spitting all over the bus stops, spawning dead-eyed children and imposing conspicuously foreign architecture on the rest of us than I am the Arabs and Russians in Mayfair.

    I’m off to the Home Counties to fight a rearguard action against multi culturalism and diversity, who else is in? It’ll be a bit like Dad’s Army as written by the Daily Mail!

  • foxoles

    But, Andrew, I thought you and your friends were ‘intensely relaxed’ about people becoming ‘filthy rich’?

  • Clive Mather

    This is a symptom of a more general policy failure.

    The greatest problem that bedevils the British economy is the lack of recognition that inflating property prices are a liability not an asset. There are a number of unfortunate consequences of property-price inflation. One is the diversion of capital away from genuinely productive industry; a second is the large and ever-increasing chunk of people’s salaries spent on a basic necessity of life (shelter); a third is the economic instability caused by using property as collateral for loans. A fourth, and perhaps only recently significant problem, is that an unregulated property market gives an opportunity for all sorts of speculators, spivs, criminals and even foreign governments (or their front organisations) to park their possibly ill-gotten gains in a safe haven. A large proportion of sales of property in London in recent years have been for cash, which tends to support the notion that it is not predominantly ‘ordinary’ buyers driving up prices. To add insult to injury, the soaring rents Londoners will have to pay will often go overseas, syphoning spending power out of the British economy.

    We really need to get a grip on this, perhaps by taxing property instead of income. Tax the owners of residential property, based on the price they paid for it or the value when passed on to them as part of a deceased person’s estate (this method avoids having to use snoopers to assess the value of a property). This arrangement would tend to favour those who regard a home as a place to live in over those who use houses as a form of currency.

    Give all persons resident in Britain a payment from the tax collected based on a modest space allowance in averagely-priced accommodation (so for example a family of five with a five bedroom house in Leeds might end up paying little net property tax whereas a yuppie couple in a five-bedroom house in inner London would be stung). Non-doms would receive nothing, nor would landlords (apart from their own personal entitlement if they themselves were living in Britain).

    The property tax could be phased in over a number of years in tandem with a raising of the threshold for paying income tax. The property tax level could perhaps be set with the aim of abolishing income tax for anyone on or below the national average wage.

    • Baron

      The UK housing market is worth around four trillion pounds, the dozen £35mn mansions, the hundreds of other expensive houses in London bought by foreigners are but a pinprick on the aggregate.

      What has screwed the property market is the capital gains tax. It’s the only asset class that escapes it, people would rather starve than sell their house, invest in other assets that attract the CGT.

      Baron also reckons it’s more likely he wakes up one morning, sees pigs fly than reads that a government, any government, abandoned income tax in favour of your property tax.

    • serialluncher

      I agree we should change the tax mix so it falls less on corporations and individuals and more on land. We also need to allow building in demand locations by putting a halt to the rent seeking and tyranny of the Nimbys stopping our development as a nation..

      • Clive Mather

        To clarify: I am not on about the LIbDems dopey ‘mansion tax’ but a more general tax on residential property (instead of income tax). Just as most people have to pay income tax I see property tax as pretty general and not aimed particularly at “the rich” or those living in “mansions”. The aim would be to shift British society’s obsession with ‘bricks and mortar’ to investing in productive industry instead.

        • Daniel Maris

          I agree. We need a more general property tax, and for the reasons you state. Part of the tax could of course be fed into developing cheap but good quality housing (particularly for young single people) which will have the effect of reducing demand.

  • Tom Tom

    Everything in London is for trading, it is nothing more than a marketplace where people and buildings can be sold alongside bonds and equities. London belongs to foreigners and should become like Macao with casinos and separate from the rest of the country. There is no longer any role for London in England or the UK – it is now a zone for Arabs, Americans, Russians and Chinese with nothing to offer the English

    • Clive Mather

      I think you have the germ of a good idea there, Tom Tom. London and it’s commuter belt (say up to 30 miles radius centred on the City) could be hived off as a separate state, with a different government and currency from the rest of the UK, free to negotiate its own relations with other countries, and free to become a ‘world capital’ with a ‘cosmopolitan culture’ (or alternatively ‘moral cesspit for the world’s criminals and scumbags, and for lawyers, city slickers and similar parasites’). The rest of the UK, freed from pernicious London-centric,lawyer-infested and financial-services-‘industry’- orientated governance, could then develop an economy and education system more on northern European lines, becoming over time more like Germany, say.

    • Kennybhoy

      Who do you shill for?

  • sarahsmith232

    Which politician is the most virulently, to his v.core, most convinced of the view that unfettered, unrestricted immigration is having a catastrophically corrosive effect on London? Some extremely old and extremely white right-wing one, you might presume?
    Miliband believes that mass, unrestricted, the more the merrier immigration can only be a ‘blessing’ (as a Lib Dem said). . . . that would just be providing it’s 3rd world immigration. If, on the other hand, it’s rich world immigration then suddenly he’s foaming w/ all of the usual arguments used – they’re responsible for causing housing problems/they’re values and culture are damaging – they drive orange and purple Ferrari’s and their women dress in ways w/ aggravate us, flashy designer stuff w/ v.obvious fake chests on display/their arrival en mass is causing a ‘hollowing out’ of English culture and a replacement w/ a far less appealing one.
    THE LEFT IN THIS COUNTRY IS A JOKE.

    • sarahsmith232

      Which politician in ’96 attacked her local NHS hospital for employing nurses that she considered unsuitable due to their ethnicity? She believed these nurses ethnicity was different from the local populace, that this would cause problems due to their unfamiliarity.
      She was aggressively attacked as a racist and was forced to backtrack by her party. She went about this by saying ‘The issue is not one of colour.The issue is that people should not be recruited from overseas in an area of mass unemployment.’
      A person would presume this was a Tory politician, but no, it was Diane Abbot. Protesting about ‘blonde blue-eyed nurses’ from Finland being recruited to her local hospital. She added ‘I’m sure these women are charming. But they are basically here to improve their English and are unlikely to give the British health service a lifetime’s commitment’. She believed they wouldn’t fit in culturally because they were Finnish and the local community was a ‘multi-cultural community’. She objected that they’d prob’ never met ‘let alone touched’ a black person.
      All the usual arguments but apparently ok when it’s a type of immigration that they personally don’t approve of.

      • Kennybhoy

        By her own standards she should have been prosecuted for this.

        • sarahsmith232

          She’s had to answer for her hypocrisy w/ the private school statements but no interviewer has ever pulled her on this. When is Andrew Neil going to pull her on the fact that apparently, when the effects of immigration added to her local white middle-class populace immigration was unacceptable because of the effects on local employment chances. But if it’s non-white or low-income white then the objectors are clearly racists/fascists/xenophobes.
          She doesn’t have a leg to stand on w/ this. She isn’t pro immigration, she’s just pro increasing London’s non-white population. The white E.European are just about acceptable to her because they’re more likely to produce more Labour voters, otherwise, they’d also be seen as a menace by her.
          Then there’s the fact that she was protesting on the grounds that their culture was at odds w/ her local Black one and the belief that this diversity would result in local cultural damage.
          The Left in this country is absolutely pointless and is dominated by nothing but worst kind of hypocrite Champagne Socialists.

        • sarahsmith232

          She’s had to answer for her hypocrisy w/ the private school statements but no interviewer has ever pulled her on this. When is Andrew Neil going to pull her on the fact that apparently, when the effects of immigration added to her local white middle-class populace immigration was unacceptable because of the effects on local employment chances. But if it’s non-white or low-income white then the objectors are clearly racists/fascists/xenophobes.
          She doesn’t have a leg to stand on w/ this. She isn’t pro immigration, she’s just pro increasing London’s non-white population. The white E.European are just about acceptable to her because they’re more likely to produce more Labour voters, otherwise, they’d also be seen as a menace by her.
          Then there’s the fact that she was protesting on the grounds that their culture was at odds w/ her local Black one and the belief that this diversity would result in local cultural damage.
          hypocrite, just like the rest of the Left

  • dalai guevara

    Andrew, you mention art galleries – let’s have a brief look at NY and the Meatpacking District.

    This is what London is emulating – 30 storey buildings with thousands of new apartments per unit, yet no pedestrian traffic on street level to warrant such densities. Where are all those people supposedly living in NY? They simply do not exist as you hinted at with your example from Singapore.

    What has happend there and is now happening here is the *inversion of shrinking cities* like Detroit. The centres now do not implode due to business and people leaving, the centres implode due to people investing in assets with no value to functional urban life.

    The entire affair will result in the same phenomenon, the centres will be unlived-in. Do we really want that here? Why?

  • Noa

    “… Seven art galleries are going after Christmas, mostly to make way for
    flats for billionaires. Another four are to go next year…”
    You obviously haven’t noticed but the retail decimation of non metropolitan high streets has been happening for years.
    Let the rest of us either move to internet retailing or solicit the ‘expert’ help of Mary Portas.

  • David_Hope

    This is of course the natural result of the current financial system. Highly unstable currencies and interest rates make a fortune for speculators. Super low rates around the world benefit financial services and anyone with assets to leverage. Moreover, low interest rates totally distort people’s investments and have lead to housing in capital cities being seen both as a safe hedge against inflation and actually as offering huge returns as everyone piles into the same area.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Your precious Labour party is mainly responsible for this Mr Marr. If non-English speaking immigrants can turn up and claim benefits on day one because Labour wanted to ‘rub the right’s nose in diversity’ you can’t complain when foreigners buy property legally, speculatively or otherwise. This country is being colonised and the rot began in 1997. The marriage of cultural marxism and rampant corporate greed is pernicious but perfectly reflected in the new China. Governments since 1997 appear to wish to emulate that peculiar combination.

    A succession of governments have simply done nothing to protect the English people, their common law or their way of life. The politicians responsible, Labour and Tory, deserve to be hanged for treason.

    • telemachus

      Spoken like Andy
      *
      2 points Mustard
      One…. Marr works for the BBC and therefore has to be of the right not the left
      Second…Protect the English?
      In case you had not noticed the international designation of our great nation is UK
      Salmond is about to lose all credibility for trying to change this
      I will not rehearse the sources of British greatness save to say it began 1,970 years ago
      On January 1st we will see the consolidation of the latest phase of rejuvenation
      We look forward to the unfolding of a new great chapter in our glorious history

      • Colonel Mustard

        Oh, do fuck off you communist cretin. I’m not interested in your drivel. You and your comrades are the biggest part of the problem and the only “solutions” you offer are to make the problem bigger and to ensure it makes every aspect of our lives miserable.

        And yes, England. I am English and live in England. It is my country and the country of my ancestors, who lie buried in its soil, and nothing you or any other Euro-communist shitehawk says will ever change that.

        • telemachus

          Worry not
          Dalai has just checked in

          • dalai guevara

            Indeed I have.
            What do you think of my brief analysis of contemporary townplanning issues?
            We are having what we want, because we want it now – but we are not thinking things through, again. Then, in about a decade or so, you will recall the Dalai having predicted the future you now live in.

            • Colonel Mustard

              For once I could see what you are driving at. But don’t blame all of us. Some of us are just passengers on the bus, paying the inflated fares and not yet angry enough to turf off the driver and conductor.

              • dalai guevara

                I am not blaming anyone, that is your game, only very occasionally mine. I am merely explaining what we face, then we (or those in charge to make decisions on our behalf) continue in our ways, hoping for the best but not anticipating the worst.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Should those who have wronged this country escape blame then? Is delivering blame somehow worse than the deeds that attract it? Of course if the deeds are socialist the answer is always yes and the blame must be directed elsewhere.

                • dalai guevara

                  I explained this before. I am not interested in blame. I am interested in solutions based on proper analysis of the situation. There are no easy answers, there is only ever one thing: cause and effect.
                  Evidently you have no desire to explore causality, none of you do.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  But you are interested in blame. And it is weasel worded to try to separate causality from blame, a recent trick. I have seen it in operation. It goes together with “time to move on”, always an eager urging of those who are to blame. How can causality be explored without identifying the catalysts and imperatives involved. And if those were wrong or motivated by criminal impulse then why should blame be overlooked.

                  Isn’t that what this whole furore about whistle blowing is about? Don’t you lot still lay the blame at Thatcher’s door every chance you get?

                • dalai guevara

                  No, I don’t. MT is gone. I rarely care about looking back, perhaps I do when looking at 1993 and the privatisation of rail (that would have been Major), whilst in comparison other nations chose a different path and now run HS4 throughout. So all that is relevant here is historic data and facts to establish what delivered and what did not.
                  Others (and the lawyers) can do blame, that does not interest me.

        • Baron

          Colonel, you too hard on the poor telemachus. Not everyone is born with a functioning brain, some unfortunates like him get stuck with a chunk of corpolite, and it shows.

          • telemachus

            Was that Vicar approved?

            • Noa

              Window licking again, comrade?

              • telemachus

                No son
                I post there weekly
                *
                Getting a bit fed up of Joany

                • Noa

                  Not noticed you, even though I advocated letting you post there.
                  If joany offends thee, let your eyes pass seamlessly by…

                • telemachus

                  Of course I do not post as tele

                • telemachus

                  Tell tale

                  Baron
                  Noa’s clog dancers will come to the aid of Baron’s hordes, should they be needed.
                  Interestingly Comrade Telemachus claims he posts weekly on the Wall. Prizes for guessing who, if true?
                  Jumpin’ Jehosephat Burns, anyone?

                • Noa

                  Stalk is cheap..

                • telemachus

                  Fine folks you take as bedfellows

                  “I might say that I might be prepared to undergo five, say, lashes in return for a bottle of Chateau Latour provided they were administered by a suitably clad woman of the islamic faith.”
                  Malfleur

                • Noa

                  You’re quite right comrade, a total waste of Latour, the going rate is only half a dozen bottles of Lindemans(i’m told).

            • Baron

              Would it matter?

              What does matter is what is to become of us. Are we to bow to the ones you welcome, do as they tell us, or are we to be governed by consent.

              Just have a look:

              http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2523658/Muslim-campaigners-protest-sale-alcohol-popular-East-London-area.html

              • telemachus

                Given the evils of alcohol and the damage to people’s lives Inthink they may have a point

                • Baron

                  You’ve missed the point again, telemachus, it’s not that they demonstrate against alcohol, that’s fine with Baron, it’s that they threaten people with lashes if they, the people selling alcohol, do not obey. The police should have arrested those carrying the threatening placards. It’s an incitement to violence.

                  Why is it so hard for you to grasp that?

                • telemachus

                  Look Baron
                  If we thrashed the drunken bums that beat up kids in town centres then mebbe they would think twice

                • Colonel Mustard

                  So in addition to your left wing extremism you now embrace Islamic extremism. Mark it well. This is the true face of the puritan left. This is the 21st Century Matthew Hopkins.

                • telemachus

                  But who are the witches?
                  Do not remember any of influence these last twenty two years

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Who are the witches? Pretty much anyone who does not conform to your orthodoxy I should say. Actually, that’s a good theme. The Labour party really does exist by little more than denouncing witches and burning them in public. Be they the Tories, or Thatcher (Ding Dong!), or the “Bankers”, and now the Utility Companies (Boo! Hiss!).

                  Then on your personal level there are the Home Counties retired Colonels with gun dogs, revanchists, makhnovists, little englanders, the Polish officer class, the racists of that extreme party UKIP which deserves to be the target of “trumped up charges”, those with the temerity to criticises Messrs Balls and Burnham, oh, a whole host of dissidents who disagree with the Great Belled and Bejewelled Panjandrum, the Lord High Representative of Commie Cnutism, the one, the only, the unfortunately here and now, Wee Telemachus, Hero of the Left.

                • telemachus

                  Worry not we will pardon you

                  *

                  “Three women hanged for witchcraft could be pardoned under a petition backed by a Labour MP.”

                  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10127246/Hanged-witches-could-be-pardoned-four-centuries-later.html

                • Andy

                  There will be no reprieve for you though.

                • Noa

                  In a Parliament where MPs have less and less work to occupy them the Devil will find work for their idle hands.
                  So it is not surprising that they wil seek to amuse themselves by forgiving the dead whilst persecuting the living.

                • Jambo25

                  I think merely arresting them and giving them long enough sentences is sufficient. That and getting our useless police ‘service’ to do the job we pay it for. If I want to get peacefully and lawfully tanked up (As I do most Thursday nights.) then no niqab’;d up or bearded religious nutter is going to tell me to do otherwise.

                • telemachus

                  You pose a fine example to our youth

                • Jambo25

                  I actually do. On retiring from teaching I was assailed by almost universal plaudits from colleagues, present and former pupils. I’m very popular in my local area and get on fabulously well with my family and friends. I’m also extremely modest and humble. I still don’t want to be told what to do by some Dark Ages religious nutjob.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Well said. The freedom to drink to oblivion, especially to escape even momentarily the shithole that various politicians have made of this country, is a cultural tradition of long standing. I am deeply offended that foreigners should attempt to interfere with that.

                • Jambo25

                  I fear we are living in a more and more censorious age. Over the past week or so we’ve had the case of the teenager in North Ayrshire who was arrested for posting unpleasant things on-line over the Clutha pub deaths and the chap in Rugely who was arrested, fingerprinted and DNA swabbed over a slightly off-colour joke about Saint Mandela. Both were unpleasant but neither were arrestable offences. Getting tanked up occasionally seems to fit into the same pattern.

                • Jambo25

                  Sorry to put this reply to you so late but I think you’ll find this interesting. To see a perfect example of the kind of dishonest, censorious moralising we now get flung at us look to a disgraceful article in today’s Guardian on line, in it’s CiF section, attacking the late Peter O’Toole and his lifestyle. It’s by a particularly nasty piece of work called Sophie Heywood and tries to damn O’Toole, Richard Harris and Richard Burton by making sly comparisons with the murderous Phil Spector and the lovely Jimmy Savile. So bad that even the bulk of the guardianistas have attacked the article.

        • telemachus

          Now that you have added a second paragraph:
          I will tell you that your ancestors were proud to embrace the ideas and energy of the successive waves of immigration
          We exported some of this mongrelised new race to North America such that when the Hun twice in the last century tried to destroy our great nation we were able to call on the diaspora and prevail
          We punch over our weight today because we are an outward looking people willing to embrace the free flow of people ideas and culture
          little englandism must be crushed

          • Colonel Mustard

            Please refer to my first paragraph, which stands and don’t try to tell me what my ancestors, many of whom died to defend England from foreign threat, were proud of.

            I wish also to refer you to the recent letter of David Morris MP to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and to advise you, with respect, that as a person of English ethnicity I find your continuous use of terms to describe my birthright of ethnic and national identity and my wish to retain it as “mongrel nation”, “mongrelised new race” “little englanders” and “little englandism”, er, “deeply offensive”.

            And then proclaiming that my ethnicity needs to be “crushed” sounds very much like incitement to racial hatred.

            • telemachus

              Not sure what you mean
              I have thru the good offices of my wife traced my family to the sixteenth century
              If you have ever done this you can follow the antecedents of both your parents and both their parents and both their parents until you get stuck
              There are so many strands
              Most of my antecedents are grouped in Yorkshire but there is a branch whose graves I have visited in Cornwall
              In the family we suspect that the Yorkshire branch is of Scandinavian origin and the Cornish branch Celts
              One of my direct Yorkshire ancestors married a Hugenot
              *
              So what am I
              I consider myself English but am proud of my genetic Scandinavian and French associations
              *
              I will not be lectured by the small minded

              • Colonel Mustard

                You should know better than to use offensive terms towards the English then. And you are not being lectured, sonny, you are being told.

            • Kennybhoy

              Forget “sounds very much like” it IS incitement to racial hatred and violence.

              • telemachus

                telemachus is a man of peace
                It is the philosophy that must not be tolerated
                The philosophy that motivates those who actually have been accused of violence such as the EDL
                Do not lecture telemachus

                • Colonel Mustard

                  If you do not wish to be lectured, you little man, then don’t presume to lecture others.

        • Bert3000

          And now you’re determined to destroy England from your seat in the goff club bar.

          • Colonel Mustard

            I don’t belong to a goff club, Bert, or even a golf club, but I fail to see how my comments express a determination to destroy England. Quite the opposite I would have thought.

            Check your prejudices, Bert. There are very few of the blue blazer brigade about these days and I was never part of that movement.

      • Baron

        In the battle of wits, my sparring partner, you seem to be charmingly unarmed. You must have adopted not only the thinking, but the style of the deluded idol of the Left Karl Marx. Give it up, it’s the 21st century, the proletariat has moved on.

        • Noa

          As well as uncle Karl’s prose style I wonder if he also suffers from boils on his bum?
          It would account for much of the biliousness in both of them.

        • telemachus

          I am flattered
          However I am not worthy to shine his boots
          *
          PS traditionally immigration was thought to be a tool of the right

          Karl Marx: to give an example, one of the commonest forms of the movement for emancipation is that of strikes. Formerly when a strike took place in one country it was defeated by the importation of workmen from another. The International has nearly stopped all that. It receieves information of the intended strike, it spreads that information amongst its members, who at once see that for them the seat of the struggle must be forbidden ground. The masters are thus left alone to reckon with their men. In most cases the men require no other aid than that. Their own subscriptions or those of the societies to which they are more immediately affiliated supply them with funds, but should the pressure upon them become too heavy and the strike be one of which the association approves, their necessities are supplied out of the common purse. By these means a strike of the cigar makers of Barcelon was brought to a victorious issue the other day. It cannot possibly gain by them in a pecuniary point of view, but it may easily lose. Let us some it all up in a word. The working classes remain poor amid the increase of wealth, wretched amid the increase of luxury. Their material privation dwarfs their moral as well as their physical stature. They cannot rely on others for a remedy. It has become then with them an imperative necessity to take their own case in mind. They must revise the relations between themselves and the capitalists and landlords and that means they must transform society. This is the general end of every known workmens organisation – land and labour leagues, trade and friendly societies, cooperative stores and cooperative production are but means toward it. TO establish perfect solidarity between these organisations is the business of the International Association. Its influence is beginning to be felt everywhere. Two papers spread its views in Spain, three in Germany, the same number in Austria and in Holland, six in Belgium and six in Switzerland. And now that I have told you what the International is, you may perhaps be in a position to form your own opinion as to its pretended plots.

          • Noa

            “…However I am not worthy to shine his boots…”

            That has never stopped you from licking them.

            • telemachus

              Happy to do that
              Some of his wisdom will rub off as I bow to his knee to do so

              • Colonel Mustard

                A slavering marxist in the Labour party. You would have thunk it? I hope the readers of this blog mark well the revelation of the communist face behind the Labour mask.

                • telemachus

                  You heard Ed at Conference
                  We are all socialists now

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Thanks for the confirmation that socialists and communists are synonymous. Mark it well folks.

                • telemachus

                  Words words words
                  All folks need to do is care

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Yes, you do a lot of manipulating and misrepresenting words. Your pretension to care is arrogant and belied by much of what you write here.

          • Baron

            On style, the quote only confirms what Baron said, it’s deadly, just like yours. Pity, you haven’t chosen one where one sentence runs for half a page. He was a master of such sentences.

            And on the content: Baron hates to repeat himself, it ain’t 1948, it’s nine generations since, life has moved on, today even the unemployed have better standard of living than many of the ‘oppressing’ class when Karl penned this nonsense.

            Baron always thought he would have been better off impregnating housekeepers, breaking gas lamps than writing. What about you? Any good at impregnating?

            • telemachus

              …even the unemployed have better standard of living than many of the ‘oppressing’ class when Karl penned..
              *
              But the principles of to each according to their needs are at the heart of our christian society

              • Baron

                The principle’s fine, Christian or not, it’s how you get there that matters. Since no successful societal construct has yet succeeded in boosting noticeably the share the less able get out of the GDP cake, the best way to improve their live is to grow the cake. A fifth of a hundred is delivers more than a fifth of twenty. That’s exact science talking.

                The Marx inspired school of thought preaches just the opposite. Sharing the cake equally. It ain’t a smart way of slicing it, hundreds of millions tried, and not only the Slavs, millions of Germans were at it, too, so were the Chinese before they figured it was no good. I

                Nope, telemachus, the future you and the like of Marrs are aiming for doesn’t work. Trust Baron, he knows, he lived in it.

                • telemachus

                  Tell me Baron
                  What are your thoughts on the success of China?

                • Baron

                  When the Chinese leadership followed the teachings of the bearded wonder whose boots you’d like to lick, 1.5bn peasants grazed to survive. Since they switched to a model we used to run in the past, the number of grazing peasants has gone down to half a billion.

                  Clear for you?

                  Look, the famous ‘to everyone according to his needs’ doesn’t imply equality anyway. It simply says that each of us has enough to live on. The best way to get there is to go for wealth creation, the distribution of it is secondary for you cannot grow wealth by sharing it.

                • Noa

                  Controlling ‘the means of production’, is not the same as providing for each according to his needs. The Controllers, well, they contol, everything, absolutely.

          • Jambo25

            Traditional left/right class analysis of the Marxist type went out of the window years ago. The world is now run by a super class of extremely wealthy people supported by a wealthy managerial/professional group. They have few, if any, national/cultural loyalties left and the move towards globalisation has made life easy for them. Read Christopher Lasch’s book, ‘The Revolt Of The Elites’ to get some idea of what I mean.

            Are you a Russian oligarch whose got oodles of dodgy cash?then relocate to London or Istanbul. Do you own a huge advertising agency based in London but don’t like paying UK tax? Relocate to Dublin. Are you a very busy, cash rich but time poor married couple? Simply import cheap nannies and other domestic help from Ukraine. Own an engineering company but want to cut your training budget? Import skilled engineers from Slovakia.

            What’s even better; if any of the local proles object to seeing their living standards, job opportunities and the very tax base of their state being destroyed by all these things then you can accuse them of being horrid racists and the UK left (Idiots that they are.) will support you.

            • telemachus

              Correct

              We start here and then revive Comintern

              http://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/

              • Jambo25

                I read all the Marxist dross, for years, at University. Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Engels, Lenin and the more modern commentators such as Lichtheim Lukacs, Avinieri et al. None of it has much to say about modern economic conditions in the West.

              • Colonel Mustard

                I don’t think it entirely helps the cause of the Labour party to be quite so blatant in embracing and promoting marxism and the Comintern. One might ask why, if you are not engaged in subterfuge there, to reveal your true self only in anonymity here, that you are not a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain?

                http://www.cpgb.org.uk/

                But then we well understand that honesty is not a quality one associates with the writing of telemachus. Mark these revelations well when it comes to the General Election.

            • Colonel Mustard

              I find myself having to radically revise my former opinion of you.

              • Jambo25

                To be honest, Colonel, I think that you and I probably have similar diagnoses of what’s gone wrong in the UK but, probably, different prescriptions as to how to put it right.I suspect that is because I am much less optimistic that the UK has any real future in anything like it’s present form.

      • MichtyMe

        The UK is not a great nation, it is system of governance, like the EU.

        • telemachus

          The difference between Telemachus and the revanchists gathered here is that telemachus is a true patriot and believes in the historic destiny of this great country
          Like all patriots telemachus wants what is best for the great country in which we live

          • Noa

            You cannot be a patriot, for socialism despises the nation state and espouses one world equality of outcome and the destruction of individualism.

            • telemachus

              telemachus cares deeply about his fellow man
              telemachus values families and particularly the family that lives in these isles
              That does not mean those beyond our shores are foes, it is simply a manifestation of loyalty that is the mark of the caring

          • Colonel Mustard

            If arrogance was patriotism you would be a true patriot indeed. Do not presume to know what is best for me or others you nasty little man.

            • telemachus

              The essence of politics is that the majority of the people must exert their will
              I have told you before that Bolshevik means majority

              • Colonel Mustard

                The majority of people in England voted Conservative in 2010. I don’t think the majority of them care much for bolsheviks.

                • telemachus

                  Do they need re-education?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  No. They need liberation from the threat of plutobolsheviks like you.

                • telemachus

                  I every system that applies fairness the former folks with disproportionate wealth will protest
                  They need education

                • Colonel Mustard

                  But it doesn’t “apply fairness”. It only creates more angst and misery. Your creed is fatally flawed but you are too dogmatic to see it and will continue pounding that very small head with its pea-sized brain against the wall in failed experiments that continue to cause more problems than they solve.

          • Andy

            telemachus is a traitor.

    • Kennybhoy

      Indeed. Marr’s hypocrisy or maybe lack of self-awareness is breathtaking here. But the rot goes back way before 1997 man.

      • telemachus

        Decline from 79

    • Makroon

      Translation of Marr:
      “We Labour luvvies are all in favour of cheap Polish immigrants to clean up after us, but we draw the line when upstart immigrants start buying up properties, in areas where WE live and making property unaffordable for us – the self-appointed ‘new elites'”.
      Just piss-off Marr, you were “hollowed out” decades ago !

      • Daniel Maris

        Yep, you got it one! 🙂

        I always said that effective opposition to mass immigration would start when it began to hurt the upper middle classes. Clearly that has started. Now they realise their darling children can’t buy a big house, can’t get into medical school and can’t get into Oxbridge.

        They are beginning to change their tune aren’t they?

        • telemachus

          But society as a whole as it evolves is infinitely better
          The wealth they bring us benefits rich and poor
          Without them we cannot support our ageing population

          • Jambo25

            I very much doubt this. Certain migrants benefit the country. I suspect that the vast majority of Polish, Czech, Slovak, Russian and Baltic migrants have. I’m not at all sure that the 15,000 Somalis who ended up in Leicester have. It’s also worth noting that migrants also age. You’re simply kicking any demographic problems down the road.

            • telemachus

              Migrants contribute £25bn to UK economy, study finds

              http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/05/migration-target-useless-experts

              • Tom Tom

                £25 bn in a £1.5 trillion economy is peanuts considering the numbers….and those figures are based on Consumption which requires more Imports

                • telemachus

                  Les and less indigenous youg are in work as a % of the population
                  It cannot be challenged that without an influx of vigorous working young all of our futures is food banks as we reach our 90’s

                • Neotelemachus

                  I don’t know who Les or less are; perhaps they are related to fewer, you illiterate Oxon PhD Idiot #1.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Do you actually understand the difference between hypothesis and dogma? I simply don’t believe it is possible to quantify the benefit(s) (or damage) of immigration other than by fudging statistics to support a specific agenda.

              • Jambo25

                I was about to print the same as Tom Tom. The UK economy is worth about $2,411,000,000 which approximates to £i,500,000,000. Immigrants bring a benefit to the UK economy of £25,000,000. That’s if you believe the quoted figures from the Guardian. Some people don’t. Even if the figures are true, though, that amounts to about 40P per capita per annum for the population and that is assuming that all the benefits are evenly spread. They won’t be, of course. See my further posting below.

  • Baron

    Only to a point are the foreign investors ‘hollowing out’ London. Mr. Marr, the trend is reversible, and turn it will at some point when the economy recovers. By far greater danger not only to London, but the whole country is the hollowing out of Britain of common sense, genuine freedoms, sovereignty by those of your phylum, the statist backers who tell lies, pretend, ignore talking about the stuff that truly worries the great unwashed.

    Here’s Russell Taylor, who makes the point much better:

    http://bogpaper.com/russell-taylor-a-cathedral-of-lies/

    • Noa

      And who really should be approached, cap in hand, by Fraser Nelson, to provide a regular blog on the Spectator site giving a genuinely Burkean viewpoint.
      Now then, I have my own, but liberal pseud candidates for eviction from the Big Brother Coffee House anyone?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …”liberal pseud bloggers” at the Speccie? Well you’re not narrowing it down much, are you.

        • Kennybhoy

          lol

      • Kennybhoy

        Never saw you as a Burkean Maister Z…?

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Oh yes, he’s one of the evil breed. Stubborn. Absolutely incorrigible. Impossible to reckon with. Iconoclastic from birth.

          I love to see it in a guy. Where would we be without these qualities? I shudder to think of it.

          Burke. Always Burke. Always whispering to us. But I wish he’d bellow more.

          • Kennybhoy

            Definitely didnae think of you as Burkean auld yin!

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …you may not think very well, lad.

            • Noa

              We’re all burkeans now, or as Mrs Z often says, berks.

        • Noa

          …Z? Where does that come from?

          • Kennybhoy

            Zrk?

            • Noa

              BOSMKL!

            • Noa

              Amazed you remember, respec’ K Bhoy!

    • Jambo25

      I doubt ti will reverse anytime soon. It’s my understanding that a very large percentage, possibly a majority of the shares traded on the London Ex are now in foreign owned companies. Put simply, Britis no longer own the productive economy.

  • Magnolia

    This is the dilemma for those who want globalisation to take the nation state along with it rather than the converse which is to force the home born (of what ever colour, class, race or religion) on to the defensive, backed in to a corner, such as the North or Scotland, as they lose their place and their chances and their national silver.
    A very nasty dilemma which needs a peaceful and consensual solution.

  • In2minds

    But this is the recovery and we are supposed to rejoice!

  • telemachus

    Find some way to tax these greedy foreign b*ggers out of existence

    • PT

      And basically undermine the property market and house prices growth. Boris Johnson warned we can’t interfere for these very reasons.

      • itdoesntaddup

        The advantage is in capturing foreign money by crashing prices and forcing foreigners to sell up. Otherwise we are simply progressively selling up ourselves, forcing prices to levels where we have to borrow abroad to finance them. That does nothing for our economy at all, as we end up paying mortgage interest abroad, alongside the capital repayments for our foolish over-borrowing.

      • Denis_Cooper

        Oh, if BORIS JOHNSON said that he must be right.

      • telemachus

        I would be very pleased to burst the London And South East Bubble

        • Noa

          But you have already said you want to tax them extortionately, make up your mind comrade windbag, taxes for mad socialist projects or a property slump.
          You can’t have both.

          • telemachus

            Either or both
            Get back to real folk living in London

            • Noa

              If the zillionaires go there will be no reason for their imported serving peasantry to continue living in their garages.
              They can follow their masters to the new tax haven and the indigenees can have their capital back.
              A win win situation.
              You’ll no doubt loose a good few of your own free lunches though. Ever been on the dole?

              • telemachus

                And the Capital will be free again for us ordinary folk
                Agree win win
                You should resign from the Farage Loons and join us

                • Noa

                  We duly note that you favour the mass removal of the non indigenous half of London, namely Labour’s voter base.
                  That should work very well in hastening the end of Labour.

                • Kennybhoy

                  Glad to see you two in agreement!

                  What do you get when you cross a Socialist with a Nationalist?

                • Noa

                  LOL!

                • HY

                  Alex Salmond?

                • Jambo25

                  He’s actually more of a European style Christian Democrat. That probably till makes him a bit further left than most mainstream UK pols.

                • Kennybhoy

                  Glad to see you two in agreement!

                  What do you get when you cross a Nationalist with a Socialist?

                • Jambo25

                  Some of the people who comment on here by the sound of it.

                • Noa

                  You’re a Sco Nat aren’t you, Jambo?

  • Jambo25

    This has been going on for a long time. Those of us from non-London bits of the UK have known, for years, that London is now a foreign city with which most of the rest of us have no more in common than we do with Berlin, Munich, Amsterdam, Copenhagen etc. In fact, I feel rather more at home in Munich or Amsterdam than I do in London.

  • PT

    If it were not for this global investment, house prices in Greater London and the South East would not be rising as strongly as they currently are. This is in turn spurring consumer confidence and economic growth. Even the Northern regions are beginning to enjoy rising house values – again helping our economy gather momentum.

    • David_Hope

      Consumer confidence has nothing to do with economic growth. You can only buy if you sell, i.e. produce things (be they services or goods that other countries will pay for)

    • Jambo25

      It is extremely doubtful that there is much of a recovery going on outside London. In Scotland certainly but I’m not sure what’s happening Scotland and London and the South East.

  • Two Bob

    Invaders….

Close