Grand Designs 48


I just watched an episode of Grand Designs, about a man with MS converting a cave home, which was the most uplifting piece of television I have seen for a long time – and thus naturally not on the BBC. I was particularly pleased as recent episodes had concentrated on rather unpleasant stinking rich people building luxury palaces, to the extent I was thinking of giving up on the series.

The connection is a stretch, but on the subject of homes, I am not surprised by the media witch-hunt against Michelle Thomson, an extremely effective new MP. The Police have confirmed that Michelle herself is not under investigation. As always, those who challenge the British establishment will come under every angle of attack that can be contrived. Michelle should resist the pressure being placed upon her by hypocritical unionist politicians and media, and everyone should calm down while the police inquiry into the other people involved is concluded.


48 thoughts on “Grand Designs

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  • Alex

    yes, I just watched the same. great episode, and he made a lovely home out of the cave, with his own water source! Unfortunately, Newsnight has brought me back down to earth due to the fact that the BBC simply do not comprehend why someone (Corbyn) would say he would not press the Nuke button. FFS, do you have to agree to be willing to murder millions of people to be considered ‘mainstream’!?!

  • Ishmael

    I noted the folk’s watching this. I was saying that’s not for us (though I do like good design, used to watch it) like the rail isn’t for us, see prices vs Ireland, something like £14 for 3 hour trip.

    I thought Rally ? £14 pounds…This country isn’t for most people is it. It would cost me this to travel 20 odd miles. More actually, with astronomical local buss fares (sold to private German company I think).

    My business would have much more viable with affordable transport costs.

    ahh yes, ‘off topic’ I only lodged back on to re Snowden twitter comment ‘Citizen’ though may be seen and be progressive in places,, not really no #labels is it. Minor niggle.

    “Citizens Not Subjects” guess if Mr Smith (Robert) endorses it’s ok for now.

  • glenn

    …recent episodes had concentrated on rather unpleasant stinking rich people building luxury palaces…

    This is just joining the ranks of “Hello!” magazine, and an entire shelf-full of similar material found in every newsagent, particularly in poorer areas.

    And what more do you want? This is what passes for suitable viewing for the heaving masses now, giving them a chance to gawp in slack-jawed wonder at the greatness of the monied classes, and they should consider themselves duly entertained. All they need to do now is shut up, work hard at their minimum wage job (should they be lucky enough to get one), learn the value of thrift and become “aspirational”, and one day it could be theirs too.

    Makes sense that we don’t want high taxes (maybe none at all!) for those “job creators”, because we certainly won’t want to pay taxes ourselves, when we get there.

    Better also play the lottery in the meantime, as a sensible hedge against your not being made CEO of whatever corporation you’re slaving away for. Oh, and don’t forget to vote Tory!

  • Tony M

    Afraid I can’t enlarge on ‘Grand Designs’, television is something I gave up many years ago, it, with the rest of the controlled media, being a factor, as are computer games in turning people into reality disconnected vegetables. One person I know refers to ‘Grand Designs’ as ‘More Money Than Sense’ so it seems you’re not alone in seeing a squalid undertone. Like the idea of a cave. Appalled by the design of public housing since at least the 1960s as it incorporates from the outset ‘Passive Surveillance’ in the designs and street layouts, any notion of privacy is seen as something which the plebs should not expect or be allowed. Privacy is something which can only be bought, a preserve only of an over-privileged few, born to condescend, for the rest, it’s the pan-opticon principle. Provision, space, cable ducts etc. have probably been incorporated for quick and easy retro-fit of automatic machine-guns, razor wire, floodlights and guard towers. If the UN are going to to something about the Britnat propensity to go around murdering foreigners by the million, then said Britnats: Red Tories, Blue Tories, might be forced to turn their murderous rages towards and onto on our own internal ‘others’, the default punchbag – the poor – for a bit of visceral amusement when the rising blood-lust overcomes their mostly absent moral control. It’s selective breeding you see.

    Seems there’s a story on the other matter on WoS: http://wingsoverscotland.com/selective-association/ The best thing that could possibly happen is the collapse of property prices to something close to the reality of their value, or better still, far less, the media again play a large part in this keeping this gross speculative bubble aloft.

    You do at times Craig rather make the assumption that readers are 24-hr devotees of Twitter and Social Media type sites or the mainstream media, and refer to matters obliquely and expect people to have lived through every twist and turn of matters quite off-the-radar of those off-the-radar. I can happily say I’ve never owned and have no wish to ever own a mobile-phone. The technology in newer cars too is disturbing, distracting, dangerous, it’ll all end in tears, mark my words. Turn off, turn off, turn off. But keep writing. One day you might learn to love Russia or at least deal fairly.

    And Jon, do I urge -stop being so damned REASONABLE all the time. Let rip now and again or it’ll all come at once in a glorious torrent.

  • Tony M

    Public housing was perhaps narrowing things too much to the most egregious examples, but mandatory consideration and implementation of Passive Surveillance measures applied and applies really to all new build non-trivial development (more than 2 or 3 houses) under local authority planning control, including of course private development too, houses built primarily for sale rather than rent and as all new builds for at least the last 30 or more have been over-whelmingly not public-sector, no-one should think they’re outside the all seeing pairs of self-policing eyes. The results are uniformly dismal in aspect and claustrophobic in feel.

  • giyane

    One of the things the BBC does well is links. Serendipity. There are many cave/dwellings in the soft Jurassic/Triassic sandstone of Shropshire, Staffordshire. One of my favourite places on this beautiful earth is a quarry near Kilpeck’s Anglo-Norman carvings in Herefordshire. It has several layers of slabs of pink sandstone topped by green woodland.
    Stone presents humans with opportunities for creativity such as the old Mughal palaces you mention in your book on Burnes. The prophet Muhammad SAW, took refuge in a cave from pursuit by his enemies the worshippers of idols.

    Owning a house in a safe place is a wonderful privelege. But not owning more than the necessity leaves the human imagination to wander freely. That freedom of spirit has no place in the New World Order’s new dictator: the mad mullahs of political Islam. It’s always one rule for them. another for the rest of us with them.that reminds me of the tyrannies of both capitalism and communism. The new dictators will hopefully get their mental palaces demolished by Russian bombing soon and Syria will be returned to its rightful owners again.

  • Jemand

    Grand Designs is a great show, if you don’t suffer from class envy. The UK will need to use some of those grand design smarts to provide not just accomodation but liveable habitats for the many hundreds of thousands of poor people currently attempting to enter the country.

    Advocates of high rates of immigration are often silent or sanguinously dishonest about the impacts of rapid population growth on the pre-existing working poor who cannot afford their own homes. Squeezed into ever smaller, ever more expensive rental units, these people have no hope of ever getting a leg up to purchasing their own tiny slice of grand design.

    But those architects of the chugging consumer-industrial juggernaut don’t suffer. They own several properties, enjoying the unproductive income from rents and the high inflation of lazy assets — both of which are pushed up by immigration and population growth.

    Nicola Sturgeon was recently outed as a crass hypocrite for failing to make good on her promise to accomodate Syrian refugees in her home. I think Craig made a similar commitment — any news on that?

  • vronsky

    Thomson’s solicitor was struck off for a series of deals in which it was deemed ‘had the potential’ to be fraudulent. Clearly the SRA thought that there was a lot more than just ‘potential’ when they wound up the business – their most extreme sanction.

    Hale’s crime appears to have been valuation fraud: he conspired with a buyer (Thomson) and probably others,to misrepresent the value of a property, obtain a loan far in excess of the value, then pay a kick-back to the buyer. If the facts are as reported then Thomson is either an accomplice to fraud or much too stupid to be an MP (and that’s pretty stupid).

    I do hope, Craig, that this isn’t a belated attempt on your part to demonstrate unswerving loyalty to the party in the teeth of all the evidence.

  • YouKnowMyName

    I liked also the wide range of dwellings shown in Matera, it was a pleasure to see the Italian architect berating Kevin about bad designs.

    at the end, the UK cave did have a pleasantly paleo feel to it, with shower & flushing loo

    MS is likely to be one of those diseases modulated by exposure to sunlight in the antecedent generation; as all UK citizens north of approximately Birmingham are severely Vitamin D deficient, there should be a program to have oily-fish burgers, or ensure daily 15 minutes of as much sunshine as possible on exposed skin, throughout the year. there’s probably a viral co-factor, and genetic factors too but I have lost family members to it.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    On the other matter raised (no television, no comment on the programme) R4 this morning carried a report on Corbyn’s intention to visit Scotland and woo back Scottish voters. I’d been wondering for a while which the BBC hated more, the SNP or Corbyn, and formed the clear impression that it’s Corbyn. Understandable, I suppose: the SNP shows encouraging signs of becoming a standard-issue machine party, some of whose members, apart from their strange desire for independence, could be Tories, and which recognises the importance of being open to bribery by lobbyists. While, although Nu Labour is exerting its malign influence already, Corbyn is still the new Stalin.

    Incidentally, I see Blair has roped in Matteo Renzi, his Italian clone, and the former Chilean finance minister, Andres Velasco, to add their two lira/peso’s worth in damnation of Corbyn. The latter, and Tony, have released venomous pieces to Project Syndicate this week. I don’t know where they originally appeared – but someone’s pumping up their Google rank. There will, I think, be a continuous campaign of this kind of sponsored sniping from the fringes of the debate, by Tony’s and Mandelson’s mates, from now on.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    No, I’m not seeing the connection, however tenuous, between German media giant Bertelsmann and any issue raised by Craig’s post. I am, however, seeing the by now familiar crash-landing on a post of mine, within minutes. Mary is returning to Habbabroken status. And I think I’ll let Habba out for a bit. I’m sure the jailer isn’t giving him enough exercise.

  • G H Graham

    That the above inflation, rising price of the most expensive purchase one is likely to ever make is treated as good news by the media flies in the face of all logic.

    Unless of course one broadens the examination of our post world war 2 war economy, from whence the connection between promissory notes (currency) & money (gold) was permanently severed.

    Thus was heralded the beginning of a new system where debt (banks prefer to call it by the more friendly sounding name, “credit”), was magically created for & on behalf of banks by The Treasury with which they could then sell at a healthy premium to gullible members of the public on the pretence that they could eventually swap this debt for a nice house, just in time for retirement.

    Assuming of course that the purchaser of said debt kept up the payments & didn’t mind paying 3 or 4 times more in real cash terms what the value of the house was originally worth.

    But to make this scam more palatable, the idea of promoting inflation busting house price increases was germinated. The logic was, that as long as the house “value” kept rising, your expensive debt purchase didn’t look quite as ludicrous.

    Then, new financial products emerged such as equity release; a nice earner for the bank in which the debtor, having already paid over the odds in the first place, was then invited to take out yet another loan to fund critical to life, metallic silver lease vehicles from Germany, flat panel TVs for the bathroom & a summer gazebos decorated with limited edition gloss paint made by quaint brands that sounded like they also made bread.

    To maintain momentum, consecutive governments have deliberately chosen to minimise the availability of social housing, adhered to restrictive planning laws while blaming the private sector for their relative lack of activity. Consequently, cheap parcels of land no longer exist & in the bubble around London, houses now cost 12 times or more than average earnings. Meanwhile, remaining rental properties have enjoyed huge attention from buy to let landlords pushing their prices up & forcing long term tenants out towards sink estates & ghettos.

    This is the duopoly of housing in Great Britain today. Grand Designs then is simply a reflection of this market from which it prefers to narrate the gritty determination of plucky debtors, sorry I mean home owners, as they aspire to build ever larger & quirkier monoliths in their own image.

  • Ishmael

    Tony M

    “television is something I gave up many years ago”

    Yay. me too. I mean there is the sky, THE SKY ffs…And all these miracles that surround us. So sitting in front of a box if lights? + It’s gives peoples body’s a sofa shape, and effects spirit with is inseparable from it (though some seem to try hard)…

    “To create a little flower is the labour of ages”

    ‘Have you seen green?’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ciIGloRvW8

    Prefect song for this thread if I do say so myself.

  • nevermind

    Now and then the presenter is able to squeeze a green cave into his portfolio of unsustainable high energy/ high material building projects.
    I believe he’s a Green party member since last year and would like to do different, but……

    Re Corbyn being drilled by the media, Baal, why the heck does he say yes and amen to every request to drag him on to our screens?

    I’m beginning to get sceptical of his drive to be too nice to everyone, except the voters who, although ripping their gills out in this fervent Corbyn love in, are still enveloped in political darkness like the subjected mushrooms they are.
    No fair proportional vote means that the perpetual darkness and electoral fraud will continue.

    However many houses he wants to build, however many jobs he wants to create, he does not want us to have the same fair vote that elected him.
    I’m not impressed….

  • craig Post author

    Vronsky,

    The party leadership is showing very little support for Michelle, so I am most certainly not trying to ingratiate myself.

    I regard the fight for independence as a real fight. We have to show solidarity with one another. An independent Scotland like any other nation will not consist of perfect people. But for now we need to stick together with those on or side like Michelle, Tommy Sheridan and Mhairi Black who come under attack.

    As you say, as reported (and Michelle is not under investigation) the purpose of any fraud was to obtain a larger mortgage by misrepresenting the value of the property. It was not to rip off distressed buyers – it was the mortgage company which was allegedly defrauded, and even then only into making a bigger loan – they didn’t actually lose any money. So not incredibly morally heinous even by those who (allegedly) did it.

  • Ken2

    Thry were gunning for Michelle from the start. The MSM like to bully attractive women. It’s in their DNA. How many of them have benefitted from the property market, including the partner’s brother. They were originally reporting the SNP Business spokesperson had no company and no business experience. The Non Dom tax evading Press owners live on private island and country estates in the UK. They use their ownership to set the right wing political agenda. To illegally increase their wealth by Non Dom status and tax evasion but making £Billions of business profits in the UK. They can’t take it with them. Even Ashcroft is going to give it all away.

    Thatcher illegally handedc over the MSM to the right wing with her illegal support for Murdoch ownership. She broke the Ministerial Code of impartiality and denied involvement. One of the former Time’s editor, Harold Evans, wrote an article about the episode, The UK has no balanced Press or Media. It is controlled by Westminster with ‘D’ notices, to follow the official line.

    The Press is out of control with no redress for individuals. The Leveson verdict was not enforced because the Press have a right wing agenda and no impartiality. They will not govern themselves or abide by any guideline to ensure a fair and balanced Press. Without a balanced Press there is no Democracy. The Scottish Gov should enforce the Leveson recommendations.

  • Ishmael

    mmm, some nice quotes, but this..

    “I have a recurring nightmare that I wake up in a gutter with nothing. I’ve had it all my life. That’s why I work, I think.”

    Pathology among the greedy classes is why there is a ‘gutter’…

    Maybe he should try it and thus experience the real finer things in life, alas people such as this will never know much freedom. Fame being the first sin etc.

    Speaking of this, though I considered it important to post under my real name, I may change my profile soon as I find even this publicity way to much for me… Sure you’ll all still know it’s me. Though i’d really like to post much less in the future…Or sit in front of this computer.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Re Corbyn being drilled by the media, Baal, why the heck does he say yes and amen to every request to drag him on to our screens? (Nevermind)

    He’s damned if he does (Corbyn is Media Whore) and damned if he doesn’t (Corbyb Snubs Press)…however, he’s going to have to make a LOT of compromises with the PLP in order even to be able to function, and this is the party conference season. At least he gets the opportunity to state his position.

    You and I are, I think, agreed that parliamentary ‘democracy’ UK-style isn’t fit for purpose. I share your reservations about Corbyn to some extent too, but he’s got to use the system we’ve got.

  • Ishmael

    Good post Ba’al Zevul 9:20

    We have a mass media unfortunately, such things as fame and celebrity…

    Im sure it can be played a bit, but I don’t envy his position. It’s no doubt good to consider him as a person…Though it’s really why he is a good example or person to have in this position, Ie reluctant.

    People who obviously want these things? It’s never good is it.

  • Ken2

    The Company still have to pay back any loans with interest. Michelle could have been a sleeping partner for tax reasons. Company rules state their must be two Directors. Many people do that in the UK. Have an interest but no involvement in the day to day operation. Private and institutional shareholders. Business operates like that in the UK, husband/wife’s/partners/relatives. Many small businesses operate in that manner.

    Before the Unionists start crowing they should take a look at themselves. Their MP’s operate in the same manner, especially the Tories. Most of the Tory MP’s at Westminster have other business interests. The Labour Party corruption at local and higher level is legendary. Ruinig the landscape in dubious operations/schemes against the majority interest and the public interest. No fit for public office.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The background to the Michelle Thomson story is detailed here, for those who have just joined us.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13791520.SNP_MP_Michelle_Thomson_suspended_from_party_as_police_launch_inquiry_into_property_deals/

    As the ex-director of Business for Scotland, and operating a buy-to let outfit, it seems highly unlikely she was unaware of what was going on, at least in general terms if not individual transactions. That’s very sticky mud being thrown, if it is mud.

    It is also rather convenient mud. It takes the spotlight off the likes of this:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11875463/Why-do-politicians-think-its-ok-to-influence-policy-under-the-radar.html

    And this:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ex-tory-lord-hanningfield-charged-6545370

  • Wile E Coyote

    Laura Kuennsberg has reluctantly agreed that she can be forced to kneel on a big red nuclear button and suck off a BBC, in public at Westminster, if the labour membership increase (now approx 80k) after Corbyns election exceeds the entire tory party membership of circa 200k.

  • nevermind

    Oh whileyCoyote, so naughhty so early? her innuendo interview technique is now shining like a halo, you can see her before sh’e round the corner, and soon she will be propelled to establishment first gatekeeper, then she can have any BBC she likes.

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