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12 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Narcissistic, greedy and self centred rubbish, 12 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Estates: An Intimate History (Kindle Edition)
I want to state bluntly that I HATE what this author represents and the way she has expressed her views is weak.

I bought this book because the premise sounded interesting and living in a block of part buy flats surrounded by council flats I thought the book might open my eyes. The author spends a long time describing the Wood estate she grew up on. This is an interesting insight into the design of estates but she litters her book with her political views.

I work extremely hard earning a well above average wage, but I am not in the position to buy the HOUSE AND GARDEN that she thinks everyone has a right to. I'm sorry but is the author not aware of certain facts of life:
- In cities there is nothing wrong with living in a flat, in London you can buy flats worth millions without a garden that she thinks the government should grant everyone
- Whatever happened to earning your right to property? By either renting at market rates or mortgaging based only on what you can AFFORD.

She is completely deluded and undermines hard working people who scrimp and save to pay rent or buy a place this is within their means when she thinks they should be just dished out by the government.

She criticises the government for building the Wood estate, she asks why the government was so selfish and built a large estate where people didn't have gardens, where each house wasn't personalised and where there weren't pretty rows of corner shops.

Here's the truth to her ignorant attitude: those houses were handed to people for free and helped them escape slums, why should they be given some fairy tale house that the rest of the middle class can't even afford?

Her opinions are disturbing and she has no comprehension of simple economics. Where would that money come? Please could the author point to a map of any town or city to show where each person can have their own plot of land - me thinks she'd quickly run out of space. Absolutely deluded!

Although I disagree with her political views, the main reason I also want to rate the book so low is that it is badly written. There is no structure, it is just one long rant that the author keeps interrupting with apologies that this book is just a rant. Everything is centred around how she feels and how things must happen because of her / for her. Self centred, narcisstic, not good enough I'm afraid.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Jan 2013 16:02:05 GMT
E. Jones says:
I haven't read this book so can't comment on the author's writing style, but I wanted to point out that your "comprehension of simple economics", as you put it, is fundamentally flawed in this case.
Council housing is not "for free"- tenants pay rent! Unless you are assuming that every tenant is on housing benefits, which is a separate problem. Social housing was not supposed to be for anyone except "hard-working people", as you describe yourself- well, you were the intended tenant! Paying rent, and feeding money back into the pot that pays for ut. It makes total economic sense.
Many large estates or council houses were built up around mining towns and villages, or around factories and mills. Since these have been closed down, there is no longer a reason for people to live there. We now have unemployed and unskilled people living on benefits, which pay better than unskilled jobs, as they get housing benefit. It's madness- and it's also madness that house prices are so ridiculously inflated, even on an above-average wage you or I could not afford to buy property without either help (inheritance; parental hand-outs/loans) or a massive mortgage- a terrfiying amount of debt to get into.
The answer should be more social housing for all hard-working people, and more jobs so that people are not trapped in the JSA/ housing benefits/ social housing triangle.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2013 19:55:22 GMT
Lauren says:
As you have not read the book I think you have missed the point entirely!!

The author states her frustration that social housing is not designed with the tenant in mind to have pretty gardens where every house is unqiue, and god forbid someone should have to live in a flat!

That is what I was referring to as "simple economics" i.e. where does the deluded author expect the Government to a) find land for all these castles and b) find the cash for a property worth about £350k per tenant!!!

Also - the rents are clearly subsidised, or it wouldn't be social housing.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Apr 2014 15:09:16 BDT
Anthony says:
Brilliant comment. Made me want to purchase the book! As I am reading the reviews and comments to help me decide my purchase! Over the course of my life I lived on four council estates, plus one council house, so this is a subject area close to me!
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