[diggers350] George Monbiot calls for massive housebuilding programme

inti ananda intiananda at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Dec 3 18:17:29 GMT 2007

It would be interesting to here more about "Ecological Socialism" ---- Socialism often cares for people but not nature and Ecologists often care for nature and not people and somehow we need to learn to care for all life. 
  In latin America in the South of Chile multi millionaire "Ecologists" such as Douglas Tompkins, ex owner of Esprit clothing (California) of the "deep Ecology" philosophy buy up thousands of hectares of land with the supposed aim of conserving and protecting it from the destructive "hordes" .. that land is traditionally Mapuche land, the Mapuches know very well how to live on the land without damaging it and many other peoples now included in the masses of poor also knew how to live on the land without destroying it but now they are not allowed on the land and are forced to live in slums on the edge of huge cities... massive problem in LAtin America, increasing problem in all the world. Meanwhile in the UK if you are poor and homeless you are not allowed to build your own place with whatever materials you can improvise from among the piles of refuse left by the "haves" --- (at least in Latin America you can build as you wish and there is no such thing as planning
 permission.. thanks for small mercies)
  House building programs?? Come on Mr Monbiot. Yes we need more houses but as Simon implies it is a problem of distribution and not of lack of spaces... if we could know how much unused, derelict space there is and how many greedy bastards are using more space than they need we could house everybody, not to mention give space for cultivation of food and other basics but the politicians are blind and don't see further than the end of their little noses.
  Britains problem is to be too distracted by high tech industry, one day the bubble is gonna burst.. the immigration "problem" exists precisely because Capitalism and Neo Liberal policies have made life hell in Asia, Africa etc and the people as is their right want to go to the country that supposedly "civilized them" and reclaim their share of the "COMMONWEALTH" (HAHAHA) --- Unfortuantely for those slightly more awake and caring citizens of the UK we are faced with a big problem.. maybe we can see many solutions HOW CAN WE HAVE A MEANINGFUL EFFECT ON OUR SOCIETY.. that is the question that bothers me because as time goes on the gap between rich and poor grows and the ecology is in more and more danger and in the UK if the shit hits the fan WHAT ARE THE PEOPLE GOING TO EAT??? Each other??? after all we don't grow anything anymore.
  THe backlash on our country is going to be huge due to what we have done all over the world (and continue to do) the majority of the people do NOTHING to stop the things -- the situation is a little desperate don't you think? As for Mr Monbiot, for all his good work, is he not in danger of losing his perspective? Get back to Mother Earth George, you won't regret it.
  Best wishes to all, Inti

Simon Fairlie <chapter7 at tlio.org.uk> wrote:

  I agree with Peter that this response to George Monbiot is a pretty poxy article, and if I were moderator I would have had doubts about posting it— after all its already up on Indymedia. But that's the moderator's prerogative. The reason why the diggers site is moderated is the same reason why a magazine is edited, so that it's not full of shite. There are tons of unedited interactive blogs like that and hardly any are worth going to. Obviously one never agrees with everything an editor selects or rejects, but, on the whole,  I think the moderator of Diggers 350 does a pretty good job.

  As for George's article, its not one of his best either. Can this be the same G Monbiot who two weeks ago was so eloquently arguing on the BBC World Service why we should have zero economic growth? George doesn't seem to have grasped that the way capitalism pursues growth is to create a wide difference between rich and poor and then get the socially concerned to argue that the poor should have what the rich have — whereas ecological socialism works out what's sustainable and shares it out.

  Between the second homes, and the empty office blocks, and the homes that are being demolished up north, and the stately mansions, and the oversized homes for greedy bastards, and the family homes that are currently occupied by one person, and the numbers of people who would happily live in a self-built shack if they only were allowed to, there is plenty of available accommodation in the UK, and no need for anything like 3 million new Barratt homes. Anyway, even if they are built, it won't solve the problem. The rich will snaffle them all up. 



    On 30 Nov 2007, at 12:42, Peter Hack wrote:

          i support the call for more housing and find this
contribution poor; the brutal fact is that UK
population is growing and so has immigration but no
one knows by how much... but all you have to do is
walk down the street and know that its a lot.People
are getting older and also single people are living in
larger units which before might have housed a whole
family..the waiting list for social housing stands at
over one and a half million while Global population is
growing and a lot of people are on the move.

Hardly any houses are being built by past standards. 
House building will of course cause GHG emissions to
rise but whats the alternative increased wealth
division through a shortage of housing?

it would seem from this that the convenor of this list
is content with homeslessness and overcrowding for the
UK working class and wealth division(for that take a
whole generation): that is the inescapable conclusion
from this posting.

facts are the bais of debate and if you dispute the
Office of National Statistics or the 9/11 then facts
or some critique not opinion are the basis of

Anyway why does this list have to be moderated? Why
are ones views filtered? it smacks of control and i
for one am not happy with this. 

Peter Hack 

--- Gerrard Winstanley <office at evnuk.org.uk> wrote:

> We build 3 million homes - or leave these families
> in Dickensian misery
> (full article copied below)
> But could this mean the destruction of much of the
> rural environment
> and urban open space George holds so dear, and an
> unacceptable
> increase in greenhouse gas emmissions?
> Unrestrained Globalism-Monbiot agrees to 3 million
> new homes
> http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/11/386717.html
> Unlimited immigration-Who benefits?
> Having been feted and promoted by the SWP Monbiot is
> clearly placing
> his views with Big Business. As with 9/11 where he
> defended the Bush
> line unconditionally years after almost everyone
> makes fun of it he
> has now come up with why Britain needs unrestrained
> building.
> At the same time the next day an article appeared
> whereby the
> population of the UK will allegedly reach 108
> million. If anyone can
> believe official figures then one must take the
> lates figure with a
> pinch of salt and probably reduce the timescale of
> 75 years to a third
> of that and add another half to the figure they
> quote. Only 13,000
> allegedly were predicted to arrive when EU borders
> opened up. Now they
> are talking of the entrance of Turkey and the
> Ukraine another 110
> million added to the EU population!
> In other words the Japanesation of Britain whereby
> millions will live
> in even more cramped conditions and travel will
> become even more
> intolerably as investments in infrastructure grind
> to a halt after the
> collapse of PFI schemes like Metronet with billions
> in debts.
> Morissey of the Smiths summed up it appears what
> many already feel is
> happening but are unable to say anything due to the
> unrestrained
> globalism of the so-called 'anti-racist' left. 
> Morrissey vs NME: Mozgate Part II
> We build 3 million homes - or leave these families
> in Dickensian misery
> George Monbiot
> Tuesday November 27, 2007
> The Guardian
> It sounds preposterous: 3 million new homes in
> England alone by 2020.
> My instinct is to fight this project. It threatens
> Britain's
> countryside, the character of our towns, our water
> supplies and carbon
> targets. Today the housing and regeneration bill,
> which will help to
> implement this building programme, has its second
> reading in the House
> of Commons.
> Where should we stand? Is the housing crisis as
> acute as some people
> have claimed? Or has it been whipped up by the House
> Builders
> Federation, hoping to get its claws into the
> countryside? To find out
> whether these homes are really needed, I asked the
> charity Shelter to
> take me to meet some of the people it works with in
> London. I had no
> idea. I simply had no idea.
> Article continues
> Wendy Castle moved into her flat in Trellick Tower,
> in west London,
> when her eldest child was a baby. He's now 16, and
> she has three
> others between 13 and two. But her flat has only two
> bedrooms. She
> sleeps in one of them with her two youngest
> children. The room is
> completely filled by beds. On one side they are
> jammed against the
> window, which no longer shuts properly. On the other
> they are pressed
> against the heater, which can't be used because of
> the fire risk. Her
> two oldest boys share an even smaller room.
> She keeps her flat in a state of Japanese
> minimalism, but in the tiny
> living room the children were sitting on each
> other's laps to watch
> the television. Like all the women I met that day,
> Wendy, tough as she
> has become, cried when she told me how this crowding
> was affecting her
> children. Her oldest boy is falling behind at school
> because "he
> physically does not have space to do his homework.
> He can't do
> anything till the other kids go to bed".
> But the real shock came when she explained why she
> was stuck.
> Kensington and Chelsea, like several London
> boroughs, operates a
> points system, reflecting people's level of
> deprivation. Every Monday
> morning it posts up the flats available for social
> tenants (those who
> pay less than the market rate). People with enough
> points can bid for
> them. Wendy has 40. She has been able to bid on only
> one occasion.
> Though her family is officially "severely
> overcrowded", her bid came
> 87th out of 92. Eighty-six households, bidding for
> the same flat, were
> deemed to be in greater need than hers. "I've tried
> everything. But
> when I ring them they say: 'I don't know why you
> bother. You ain't got
> the points'."
> In a block across the road from the tower I visited
> Aisha and Abdul
> Omarzaiy. They have 280 points, but they have also
> been told they are
> wasting their time. Aisha and Abdul received asylum
> from Afghanistan
> in 1992. They were given this flat five months after
> they arrived in
> Britain, and were promised that after six months
> they would be moved
> to a bigger place. They now have four children, aged
> between two and
> 19, in a tiny two-bedroom flat. (Remember this, next
> time someone
> claims that people granted asylum get priority). The
> oldest boy and
> girl have to share a room, a desk and a homework
> rota. The youngest
> girl sleeps in bed with her mother. Abdul and the
> 10-year-old sleep on
> the living room floor. The 19-year-old has dyslexia
> and needs peace to
> concentrate: he is now re-sitting his A-levels for
> the second time. He
> can't bring friends home, as there is nowhere for
> them to speak
> privately, and he's embarrassed about sharing a room
> with his sister.
> Like Wendy, Aisha keeps the flat neat and sparse.
> But prison cells are
> more spacious.
> Now suffering severe depression, Aisha has lobbied
> the council and
> written to her member of parliament. "When I had
> three children they
> told me I'd be moved straight away if I had another
> one. I didn't want
> another one. But after seven years the fourth came
> along. They still
> won't move us." The council did offer a solution: to
> put the oldest
> boy in a hostel. "They told us straight," Abdul
> said. "They don't have
> big properties."
> Kensington and Chelsea, as the diligent councillor
> Emma Dent Coad told
> me, has a poor record on social housing - a kind of
> economic cleansing
> seems to be taking place. But there are similar
> backlogs all over
> London. Shelter took me to meet Jacqueline Pennant,
> who 
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