I have been reading in Private Eye 1388 an article entitled “London’s laundry”. The article reports that according to Transparency International, https://www.transparency.org/ , there are 40,000 properties owned by foreign companies, 36,000 of them via tax havens. It is suggested that many are bought with dirty money. If we look deeper maybe we would find that as a Parisian or if you are a New Yorker or from any big city around the world trying to buy a property you may not able to because of a similar problem. The article in Private Eye goes on to say that our Met Police has been able to look at just 120 of these in the last ten years.
David v Goliath might be the next Hollywood blockbuster, they must be making it after having made Noah etc, but in the real world Goliath Inc, Goliath Corp and Goliath PLC kill and trample all over David the good guy. And here is just another tale of the little guys losing out to the corporate monsters. So let’s start with a couple of photos to illustrate who the good guys are. This is the canal boat, Word on the Water, a floating bookshop and poetry venue. And this is the cat that lives on the boat. The photos were taken near one entrance of Paddington station on the Grand Union Canal. In an article titled, “Paddington bare”, Private Eye explains that the Canal and River Trust have selected British Land to take two new permanent trade moorings and you can guess where :-). They plan to open a floating coffee shop and “Welcome centre” in the two moorings. The article adds that there are already more than a dozen coffee outlets in the area including one on a canal boat. So huge evil corporation that has spent £470 million (how much of that is debt?) buying up the local area versus a small independent business and cultural space. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the ending and it isn’t a Hollywood one. Story copyright of Private Eye. Buy it, you will be amazed.
As is usual with Private Eye a great mix of visual gags and serious comment guaranteed to please some and annoy others. It is such an important journal in exposing those who are trying to take the rest of us for a ride. If you haven’t tried it yet then pick up a copy. It is very compact and the only celebrities in it are those they make fun of. Need we say more?