Finnish line not so strong
In John Bird’s opinion column [Issue 1584, October 2] he wrote you can’t compare Britain with Finland because of all the inequality, suffering and national guilt that is part of Britain’s history.
Do you think Finland doesn’t have any kind of problematic history?
If you read the novel White Hunger by Aki Ollikainen you will get an introduction to the kind of suffering and inequality that existed in 19th century Finland. It is set in the famine of 1867 where 15-20% of the population died in a disaster which was exacerbated by government austerity measures.
Finland was devastated by both the Soviets and the Nazis in WWII, and because they were on the German side for some of the war they had to pay reparations and lose territory. And it has to face up to the historically oppressive treatment of the Sámi people.
If one European country with a deeply problematic past can find a solution to homelessness, surely it’s a good idea if other countries also take a look?
Cash in now
Ken Costa wrote about the Great Wealth Transfer from the ‘Baby Boomers’ to the ‘Zennials’ over the next generation, in the context of ‘Good Money Week’ [Issue 1584, October 2]. But surely we can’t wait that long.
Wealth transfer is needed right now, from the 1% who own such a disproportionate share of the nation’s resources.
Tax Justice UK and Church Action for Tax Justice have lots of ideas as to how that transfer can start taking place right now.
They include taxing pensions and landlords, capital gains at the same level as income, a frequent flyer tax, windfall taxes on oil companies, and so on.
Our public services urgently require a transfer of wealth to provide what the Zennials need – do it now!
Revd David Haslam, Evesham
Rueful over renters
Gosh – that’s so worrying [Renters ‘age faster’, Issue 1586, October 16]. I guess this is a product of the current UK rental system and market, rather than renting per see.
Would be very interesting to see if there are any comparable international statistics and research.
Richard Wolfe, Margate
We have an excellent repair cafe in our area but it won’t be able to repair thousands of DAB radios that will no longer work once DAB+ comes in.
What a great idea [Community land trusts, Issue 1581, September 11]. Why wasn’t this done decades ago? What a great way giving people that opportunity to get on the housing ladder. I was homeless and there was nothing like this.
The manipulation of working-class grievances by racist, separatist and xenophobic rhetoric in order to keep the rich elite in power has been ruining this country for decades.
This is one of the most important issues for a Labour government to tackle.
New plans, same problems
Fifteen-minute cities [Issue 1585, October 9] are nothing new, they are exactly the way Attlee’s new towns were designed in the early 1950s – houses, parades of shops (each with a pub at the end), libraries, schools, clinics and almost all social housing.
Car ownership was the exception in those days. There would be a town centre, with supermarkets (a new idea), and buses to take you there.
It is a priority to get public transport improved. Social housing must also be a priority. It is quite unnecessary to own a house if you can rent at a reasonable rate from a council that looks after its properties.
Homeownership only came to the fore with Maggie Thatcher. There is nothing new under the sun.
Rose King, Cromer
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