I live in a 3 bed semi. Downstairs is one main room that is the lounge and the dining room in open plan and a small kitchen. I have a wife, three children, a dog, a cat and three chickens. We are rather cramped.
When we moved in there was wifey, me, three dogs and a cat. The house met our needs fully. We then got married and had children and all the paraphernalia that comes with them. We grew. We have now reached a point where we have outgrown the house. We need more space. Yet to buy a bigger house in the village is a huge financial jump. We can extend which would be cheaper but we are not so in love with the house to want to stay there forever. Either way, if we want more space then we need to secure funding for money we don’t have. We have reached capacity. To that end we will not have any more children because;
a) we want to claw some of our lives back
b) we don’t have any room
c) we can’t afford it
If we win the lottery then maybe things would be different but for now that is our bag and we are happy.
I listened to the news this morning on the Today programme on BBC radio 4. There was some chap on from BAA talking about a third runway at Heathrow. He talked of basically steamrollering the local residents in favour of the greater good of the rest of the country. He talked about Heathrow being at capacity. He admitted there were plenty of other hubs long distance flyers could go to, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt etc. “But what if they wanted to come to London” he said. “I have to turn flight operators away. How can we grow if we cannot expand?”
There is also talk lately of the new high speed railway line. There is much opposition but it is getting the green light in the name of growth. So we can rush more and more people faster than before into and out of an already overcrowded capitol.
I’m no expert. I’m no economy observer and critic with a wealth of knowledge and letters after my name. That said does it not seem to you that continual growth is just a vicious circle that just keeps self perpetuating?
As an example. The primary school in our village is full. There are no spaces. The local amenities are at capacity. Yet property developers stalk our village trying to pick off fields as farms struggle with a view to building more houses as they “grow” their business. As a result the school will eventually have to expand. The doctors surgery will need to be larger and we’ll need a bigger Coop. As these expansions go ahead property developers will exploit the free capacity to build more houses. The school gets full……
When do we stop building houses? When do we put proper controls on immigration. When the country is wall to wall houses from Lands End to John o Groats we will mourn the loss of our green and pleasant land but we can sit back looking on and think “my we did have exceptional growth though didn’t we.”
The only people who truly seem to benefit from growth, Growth, GROWTH are the top end fat cats who continually push us through this vicious circle as their greed runs riot. Yet its sold to us as job creation and will bring revenue to the economy. Maybe it’s time to look at sustainability. Maybe it’s time to look to consolidating what we have. Maybe it’s time to accept that we have a wonderful country that needs protection and we should stop despoiling it for the sake of profit.… maybe.