This week has yet again shown that events and their effects can be viewed through the whole scale of human emotion; it all depends upon where the individual(s) observing sit in the world (both literally and figuratively). It would seem that after the first caucus, Donald Trump does still have a chance of winning the nomination to run for the 45th presidency of the United States of America. Is this a surprise? However unpalatable some of his views may seem to various tranches of society, a lot of people are thinking about voting for a man who actually says in public what a lot of people are thinking and saying in private.
Frank Bruno is talking about making a comeback. Come now; who-apart from Frank thinks that this is going to happen? Not only will he never get a licence form the BBBC (British Boxing Board of Control) but who in the media world is going to risk putting him in a fight where there is a strong possibility that he could get killed? It brings a whole new meaning to Brad Pitt’s utterance, “The first rule of Fight Club. You do not talk about Fight Club.” Take heed, Frank.
The WHO (the World Health Organisation, not Roger Daltrey’s lot), now want films that show people smoking to be given an 18 certificate. So Breakfast At Tiffany’s, 101 Dalmatians and Disney’s animated version of Alice in Wonderland would all have the same classification as The Exorcist and those foreign language films featuring athletic-looking ladies from Sweden…In my time, I have seen many films where the characters smoked, but I have never felt compelled as a result to go and buy a packet of Marlboro. I have though seen many works featuring our Scandinavian friends and as result, I have felt a need to… learn Swedish.
Oil prices have now returned to about $30 a barrel, which has led to many people in the oil business or with their money in oil producing countries to ‘get their money out’. It has been reported that $250 billion (yes, you did read that correctly, billion), has been taken out of Saudi Arabia in the past 3 months and has found a new piggy bank in London, where -amongst other things-it has been invested in property. Thus the lull in the London market (that would be viewed as a buying frenzy in every other postcode in the country), during late 2015 has been replaced with a rocketing trajectory as the oil money does its thing. This has now resulted in a new London ‘help-to-buy’ scheme to enable people with smaller deposits to buy properties in the Capital. Of course, a small deposit in London would buy in its entirety a rather nice house in Tonypandy. The residents of North Pontypool are awaiting the launch of the ‘Varteg help-to-buy scheme’.
Plans can and should always be made. Events then come along and put the kibosh on everything. Trying to slow down the growth of the property market by increasing stamp duty on second homes will have an effect on those whom one could describe as ordinary people. It will have absolutely no effect or prove to be any form of deterrent to the billionaire looking for a home for his money. And if you own more than 15 properties, then you will be exempt from the changes to stamp duty. It’s back to those billionaires again; it’s back to the man with an estimated net worth of $4 billion who is on course to be the first presidential candidate to make a profit from his campaigning, regardless of whether he gets to choose the new carpet for the Oval Office. There is a lesson to be learnt there.