Archive for February, 2016|Monthly archive page

Another attack on public housing

Pay to StDSCF1131ay seems to be the latest attack on tenants of public housing in the UK. Proposals by David Cameron (left) and his Conservative Government to force tenants who earn more than £30K to pay market rents is the latest attack on ordinary people. The effect is thought to result in many more people being priced out of accommodation, particularly in London and other increasingly expensive urban centres. This comes on top of the forced sale of the most valuable council houses, right to buy against housing associations, and the end of permanent tenancies.

Let us unpick the argument. According to advocates of this proposal, people earning over £30K are being subsidised by the poorer tenants. The Department for Communities and Local Government has argued that in some cases these so-called high earners are being subsidised to the tune of £3,500 per year (the difference between what they pay in social housing vis-a-vis private-sector rents). Essentially those under the threshold have nothing to fear.

£30K can rarely be seen as high earning. For example, the sum may be a household aggregate. Two people  may be working full-time togoogle make the £30K. If they are additionally parents, I suspect, £30K does not go far. To have the ‘aspiration’ (a word we heard a lot of from David Cameron and his campaign guru, Lynton Crosby) during the election campaign) to earn more than £30K may be punished by homelessness. People paying different sums depending on their incomes is fairer, goes the Government argument. Fairer to the extent that these people will then end up subsidising Google.

Model of David Cameron: Holly MacDonald

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More explicit street advertising in Germany

20160206_192103Street advertisers are currently obsessed with selling online dating sites. The most in-your-face is c.date (left). It is clear enough without the strapline “sensual encounters make you  happy”. What’s more, it is award winning (Testsieger, top right of poster). The awarding body is, of course, that fearsome tester, ‘singles comparisons market’. 5 Stars, no less. c.date has gone for the blanket approach. This example was found on a main route into the centre of Munich with smaller versions positioned every 50 metres, or so, next to the entrance to supermarkets, fuel stations and pharmacies!

Another dating site has taken a different visual approach, but equally blanketing in terms of positioning the posters (right). Parsh20160206_192021ip.de posts pictures of handsome people informing commuters that every 11 minutes a single falls in love through Parship! That is quite a claim if true. It does not seem to be award winning. But maybe the stat speaks for itself? If you are a man without perfect bone structures, straight teeth and a bit of facial hair, the stat goes down to every 11 years. Probably.

Yet another fatalist Pall Mall couple

20160206_191109The couples Pall Mall campaign persists across one of only two European  tobacco-friendly advertising countries, Germany (the other being Bulgaria, it seems). The latest example is compelling (left). Bearded man holding cigarette, woman with an eye partially closed tugging his hair with the tagline translating as ‘good moments savoured for longer’ (because the sticks themselves are longer than normal). She is really saying, I sense, “stop smoking and shave otherwise…” Before you know it, he’s in the cancer clinic.