It has been a week that has had something in the news to appeal to every demographic and sensibility; from the de facto game changing on a global scale to the less cataclysmic B-list celebrity comings and goings (including to the opening of an envelope or the eating of a marsupial’s testicles). One’s interest in the subject matter will over the past seven days have ranged from engrossed to quote (a saying from my military days), ‘doesn’t give a flicker on a the give-a-f$ckometer’. From all the tumult and agitation, many questions have been asked-and left unanswered-and many (to quote any politician/spokesman from an NHS Trust afer a damning report has been published), ‘lessons have been learnt’. First up, always watch Question Time after a massive Commons’ debate. After the arguments to bomb or not to bomb and the very public Geoffrey Howe-esque skewering of his leader by Benn Junior it was interesting to watch the reaction of the panellists, who must really have drawn the shortest of short straws/seriously p’d off their Chief Whip to have to appear as their party’s representative. The Tory MP did everything possible to avoid giving a straight answer as to whether, ‘Call Me Dave’ should apologise for calling those who were anti launching a bombing campaign,” terrorist sympathisers”. Diane Abbott, yes, she who rode pillion (stop with the sniggering), with Jezza said that people constantly referring to his ardour for the IRA et al were merely dragging up ‘old slurs’ and that we should all move on. We have, to 2015, where what Jezza said in the 1980’s he still holds true. The age of the statement has absolutely no relevance to its verisimilitude. I do wonder if Cameron’s statement regarding the 70,000 troops is his El Tone’s WMD in 45 minutes moment that has brought a whole new meaning to the phrase, ‘act in haste, repent at leisure’. Speaking of telling porkies and manipulating data, we may move from the gothic towers of the Palace of Westminster to the not-so-gothic but equally tremor inducing NP44 postcode. I learnt this week that a fellow estate agent is setting his alarm for 2am to doctor Rightmove figures and then in addition he uploads photos of properties that his agency lost to another estate agent who achieved a sale, thus manipulating the Rightmove data to misrepresent to those searching Rightmove/those to whom he shows the dossier in an effort to convince them to give him their instruction, that the sale had been achieved by his agency. Life changing? No. Deceitful, disingenuous and easily disproven? Yes and thrice yes. As politicians continue to demonstrate, you can fool all the people but only some of the time.
Interesting interpretation of data coupled with misguided and wilfully obdurate opinion yet again made an appearance in several articles devoted to the demise of the buy to let market. The rise in stamp duty for buy to let properties will apparently deprive the ‘explosion’ in house prices of the oxygen that it needs to sustain its upward trajectory. Not in our beloved NP44 it won’t. If buyers are spending £100k to get a 7% yield, then a further £3k on the purchase price is not going to dampen their enthusiasm. At Cheshire & Co we are seeing no let up whatsoever in the demand for rental properties be it as purchaser, or prospective tenant. I did note that many of the articles were penned by the same journalists who predicted that the ‘bedroom tax’ would cost the Conservative Party the last election. Who mentions the bedroom tax now?
One final question: Who in the name of all things holy-forget their being leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition-wears a shell suit? Words fail me.