I think by now that it’s well known and accepted that Britain’s ex-Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is a vampire. Questions remain as to what magic he was using to enable him to go outside during the day – was it fairy blood, or the souls of Iraqi children? Alchemists across the multiverse want to know his secret. But beyond the arcane details, the facts are pretty clear: the working class people of Britain made a kind of unholy pact with their vampire overlord – in return for allowing him to do whatever unspeakable things he wanted to do to them, he would deliver unto the poor of Britain a ponzi scheme unlike any other through the magical ritual of “the housing market,” and they would be rich forever – the “end of boom and bust” as his blind necromancer-eunuch described it. In exchange for a little of their blood, they thought they would have it good forever. I don’t think they understood, though, just how depraved he was.
I guess that’s the inevitable consequence of giving too many rights to vampires. Especially vampires so old and powerful that they can work their hypnotic magic on a whole nation. He should have been staked back in the 1990s when he was first beginning to whisper his sibilant lies into the ears of the weaker minds in the labour party, and enslaving Brit Pop bards to his ferocious will.
However, the really sad thing about the Faustian pact that the working people of Britain signed with the vampire is that they never got their side of the deal, and it’s now becoming patently clear that they have been sold up the river, their hopes and dreams destroyed elegantly and completely by their undead ally. The truth is clearly laid out in this article from the Guardian, which reveals that the proportion of people in Britain who own their own home has declined from 43% in 1993 to 35% now; and is expected to drop lower, possibly to as low as 27%, if the economy remains stagnant. Furthermore, the second fruit of the unholy deal, ever-increasing wealth, has not been delivered. The Guardian reports that working Britons are suffering poverty at astounding rates:
these 3.6m British households have little or no savings, nor equity in their homes, and struggle at the end of each month to feed themselves and their children adequately. They say they are unable to cope on their current incomes and have no assets to fall back on, leaving them vulnerable to something as simple as an unexpectedly large fuel bill.
But hang on, I hear you say – didn’t Britain recently have a so-called “housing boom” during which huge amounts of investment poured into the private housing market? How can it be that there was a housing boom but less people now own their own homes than before the boom started? It’s as if – shocking! – the boom served to cement ownership of property amongst the wealthiest sections of society, and concentrated land ownership away from the hands of the poorer half of society – and we’re not talking about the bottom of society here, or the so-called “undeserving poor.” The Experian research specifically excluded the most deprived parts of society and the unemployed – there are 3.6 million households in the UK who are working full time but have “no assets to fall back on” and have likely been squeezed permanently out of the home-buying market.
This is not what that vampire promised. Not at all. The vampire promised those 3.6 million households that they would be able to buy a home and gain a little financial security, and maybe some wealth. Instead, they’ve been locked out permanently. It hasn’t been remarked upon in the discussion of this new phenomenon of “generation rent,” but I think an important point needs to be recognized: this is the single biggest increase in inequality in a generation. In Britain, owning a home is a very important financial goal. It protects you in retirement, gives you secure capital, and ensures that your children have some form of endowment to protect them if (as easily happens in societies as unequal as Britain) they find themselves sliding down the income scale compared to you. Furthermore, over one’s lifetime it is meant to be cheaper than renting. Now, it doesn’t have to be this way – there are other ways to prevent inequality than ensuring home ownership – but this is the way it is in Britain. And the so-called “housing boom” has ensured that the number of people who are able to access this security has declined by 20% in just 20 years. That is a huge increase in inequality, and it all happened under the stewardship of the Labour Party, who were in power from 1997 to 2010. The Labour Party and their apparatchiks in the Guardian make much of their efforts to lift children out of poverty through tax credits, but what does that matter if at the same time they have stripped away a fundamental economic goal for 8% of the population? Those children who have been saved from poverty by tax credits will simply slide back into it in adulthood, in the depressing and sad way the Experian report describes: working hard, and not even treading water. For those 2.2 million children in the Experian report, their adult experience of the housing market will likely be a series of long, arduous lessons in that most British of sayings: free to those who can afford it, very expensive to those who can’t.
Furthermore, much of this inequality is likely to be generational: the people who have concentrated their ownership of the housing wealth will be baby boomers from the middle and upper classes, and as the reports note, the main losers in this massive land grab have been young families. You will hear conservatives talk a lot about “generational equity” when they are worried about government debt (“leaving it to the next generation to foot the bill,” etc blah blah) but where were they during the housing boom, while a small slice of the richest generation in history were stealing land from generation X and Y? I don’t recall ever hearing anything from the ‘Tories that might have any resemblance to a warning that the “housing boom” was going to lead to a huge increase in generational inequity. But I bet you can find all sorts of that kind of lazy and shiftless argument about government debt and bailout funds.
So where does that leave Britain? It has a stagnating economy, with a population of some 7 million working poor (2.2 million children!) who are on the brink of financial disaster, a whole generation squeezed out of the financial security of home ownership, and yet simultaneously a rental market that is suffering a lack of housing supply – so rents are skyrocketing. At the same time, private superannuation funds have been losing money for the last 10 years, making home ownership more valuable than ever, yet the “housing boom” has shaken a huge number of people out of that market – permanently.
Which just goes to show that the people of Britain should never have cut any kind of deal with that vampire – they should have staked it, and locked its cabal of necromantic followers into a dungeon somewhere, then thrown away the key. It also makes me think that the Reign of the Vampire saw a greater increase in inequality than ever happened under his supposedly satanic predecessor, Margaret Thatcher. I wonder if many people in the British left agree with me? Let’s consider, as a salutary example, this chap: Dennis Skinner, 80 year old Labour stalwart who was “formed in the pits and the war” and has a strong dislike of toffs and Thatcherites. He refused to take a cabinet position under Blair because he might speak out against government policy, and then be exiled from the party. Dennis, mate, allow me to let you in on a secret: your boss was a vampire. Honour, decency, and any kind of morality worth having demanded that you speak out against him and his stupid ponzi scheme. But you expressly avoided putting yourself in a position where you would be able to do that effectively. Or, could it be that you just missed the important facts here? You went to dinner with Tony Blair and were somehow looking the other way when he grabbed one of the waiters, snapped his neck and drained him of his life’s blood? And you were just, kind of, you know, having a senior moment when he was telling you all about his glorious ponzi scheme that would see everyone in Britain get rich forever from borrowing money to buy each other’s houses. You may be a labour stalwart, but there’s something else you are too: an immoral fuckwit. And the next generation of kids to grow up in your area – who will never have to go down the pits because Margaret Thatcher closed them – will never be able to afford to buy a home because of people like you and their slavish devotion to a vampire. But you and your mates will continue to whinge about how Thatcher destroyed the country and made it less equal.
As I mentioned, none of this lets the Tories off the hook – they were cheerleaders for the vampire’s stupid ponzi scheme from its very inception. But idiots like this, who are so profoundly incapable of sensible policy-making that they drop hints about returning to the gold standard, don’t have a vampire for a boss. Their claim to infamy is that they could have done better – basically a badge of pride for your average Tory. But unlike the Skinners of this world, it’s not sitting on the lapel of their coat next to a badge that says “I allowed a vampire to arse-fuck my country,” which is what most members of the Labour Party should be wearing.
And for the record, it was obvious to me that the vampire was evil from the moment I set eyes on it. That hideous fixed grin, the soulless eyes, the voodoo carefully disguised as an economic policy … the only question that remains unanswered for me is – how does it manage to walk around in sunlight without bursting into flames?