What do you call a country where the government can seize legally acquired private property? (I’ll entertain no obscene replies.)
Fascist? Totalitarian? Lawless? Communist? Correct. Or else you can call it Britain after the next general election.
Considering the criminal ineptitude and irresponsibility of the Tories and the disintegration of UKIP, it’s likely that Comrade Corbyn will form the next government. And he doesn’t even bother to conceal his intention of turning Britain into a BSSR.
The latest instalment came in an interview the other day, when Corbyn promised to house all homeless people by seizing luxury flats ‘deliberately kept vacant’:
“There is something grossly insulting about the idea you would build a luxury block… deliberately keep it empty knowing that with property price inflation the investor is going to make 10 per cent or 12 per cent a year…”
I find Corbyn himself ‘grossly insulting’, but I don’t propose he should be killed to spare my feelings. Yet this is precisely what he’s proposing to do to property rights, which more or less define our post-Christian civilisation.
His concern for the 5,000 people known to be sleeping rough is touching. This is indeed a problem, but one that could be largely solved by tightening immigration controls and deporting illegal aliens.
Just walking around London it’s hard not to notice that most rough sleepers don’t really belong in Britain. Those few who do must be helped (many of them psychiatrically) – but not at the cost of blowing up the very foundations of our commonwealth.
It’s indeed regrettable that hundreds of luxury residential highrises going up in London aren’t fully occupied. And it’s true that many of them are bought by foreign absentee owners specifically for the purpose that vexes Corbyn so.
This undeniably has a deleterious effect on the infrastructure in the whole area. If most flats stay empty, so will most shops, restaurants and drycleaners. But their plight doesn’t strike me as sufficient justification for converting Britain into a communist hell.
Yet this is precisely what will happen if Corbyn has his way. How does he see the practicalities involved? Has he at least done his sums?
A whole city of luxury highrises has grown up on the Thames, mostly its south bank, from Putney to Vauxhall. Flats there start at £1,000,000, but they certainly don’t end there.
Now will Corbyn seize 5,000 flats with no compensation or will he pay the absentee owners off? As a free tip, his Bolshevik role models favoured the former option, typically accompanied by the summary execution of the bloodsucking capitalist.
Killing the rich may be a step too far in the next parliament, but robbing them seems to be on the cards – especially since the second option will involve finding a few loose billion to compensate the acquisitive Johnny Foreigner.
And supposing the owner doesn’t want to sell? Barring the sanguinary possibilities, will Corbyn’s stormtroopers kick the door in and claim squatting rights? I can’t help thinking the owners will sue – provided we still have independent courts, which is far from certain. If we do, there may be billions’ worth of settlements against the government.
But even the first option isn’t free. For flats like those carry a five-digit service charge. Multiply 5,000 by £12,000 a year and you get a helluvalot. Will Comrade Corbyn force the building freeholders to forgo the charge?
Then there’s the small matter of local and property taxes, which the erstwhile homeless will probably be unable to pay. And the lawsuits will multiply…
There’s also the problem of those owners who do live in their expensive flats. How will they like seeing a homeless Romanian move in next door? Call me a snob, but those chaps are slightly deficient in sanitary and hygienic practices. Their approach to fire safety may also be less rigorous than what’s expected in such buildings.
It doesn’t take many such occupants to make property prices plunge. But I’m sure the present residents will be happy to eat those losses. A few hundred thousand is a small price to pay to see social justice done.
In addition to this massive raid on the cornerstone of British legality, Corbyn is promising to build 8,000 houses to accommodate the 5,000 homeless. Coupled with the luxury flats he’ll expropriate for the same purpose, this will turn the poor wretches into absentee landlords themselves – they’ll each have several properties.
But never mind the sums – this isn’t about arithmetic. It’s not even about the homeless. When socialists talk about helping the less fortunate, what they really want is to punish the more fortunate, those who work hard their whole lives to make sure they don’t end up sleeping in the street.
The very idea of money making money is abhorrent to socialists. They’ll just about tolerate a chap who makes a good living by running a grocery – but they won’t let him invest the surplus into non-productive areas.
That, incidentally, partly explains the congenital anti-Semitism of socialists, manifestly including today’s Labour. Following their patron saint Marx, who used the words ‘Jew’ and ‘capitalist’ interchangeably, they identify non-productive investment with Jews. Of course Marx was only marginally better disposed towards even productive private investment, but that’s the second order of the day.
This whole thing brings back fond memories of my Moscow youth. There most accommodation was owned by the state, and the state decided who was entitled to what and how much.
The maximum space allowed was nine square meters (about 90 square feet) per person. Hence a family of four could luxuriate in 36 square meters. ‘Maximum’ is the operative word because most families didn’t have that, but that’s a separate matter.
Now what happened when Grandpa died, turning it into a family of three and creating a surplus? That inequity called for restitution, and the family could be ‘densified’, meaning forced to share their space with at least one stranger.
Corbyn’s evident hatred of property rights means there’s every chance the word ‘densification’ will enter the English vocabulary, along with other lexical contributions made by Russia, such as ‘nihilism’, ‘vodka’, ‘pogrom’, ‘bolshevism’, ‘Soviet’, ‘Cheka’, ‘zek’, ‘gulag’, ‘disinformation’, ‘resident’ (spy handler), ‘collectivisation’, ‘sputnik’, ‘glasnost’, ‘perestroika’ and so forth.
All you have to do is wait until the next general election and then tick ‘Labour’ on your ballot paper. The BSSR will be just round the corner.