Thursday, 29 January 2009

Second Homes Are Killing Cornwall

As Dorothea explains:

Cornwall is one of the poorest areas in the European Union. Wages are very low. House prices are very high. The very beauty of Cornwall has proved a curse because it has attracted huge numbers of tourists, emmets as they are locally known, providing mainly low-paid, very skewed and seasonal employment. It has also brought the second-home-owners, colonisers with wealth and privilege far beyond the average Cornish who they are shoving aside.

As Truro & St Austell MP Matthew Taylor has said:“It’s not just rocketing house prices that are driving local people out of Cornwall, but also the fact that thousands and thousands of homes have been bought up by holiday-makers who may only visit the area a few weeks out of every year. For the rest of the time what would be perfectly good homes for people from Cornwall are left unoccupied, despite many young families having to move elsewhere to find somewhere to live."

This conflict is coming to a particularly poignant head in the Lizard village of Helford, a place now blighted by 70% of homes being owned by well-heeled absentees.

Chris Bean is a local fisherman. When he gets back from a day's fishing he’s “not surprised the village he returns to is empty.

"They disappear off to Milton Keynes or London - don't think about it anymore," he said.

The problem he faces is Helford village has no working jetty. So, still at sea, he has to load his catch on to a dingy to get it ashore. It makes his work harder and more dangerous.” BBC.

But the incomers are determined that Chris and the other fishermen will not get their jetty, and they are using the full sledgehammer force that plenty of cash, time, professional consultants and know-how can apply.

“David Muirhead, a solicitor and part-time fisherman, said that he hoped a compromise between industry and beauty could be reached but urged villagers to show greater understanding.

"They are using all their resources to try to stop this by hiring London solicitors as well as environmental consultants and a town planner," he said.

"They are saying, 'We have all the money to oppose this'. Instead, they should consider it a privilege to be living here and be prepared to work with a group of very hard-working local fishermen."…”

With this recession / depression / slump developing rapidly the social climate is changing. If I were these second-home-owners I’d be thinking hard and changing my position as quick as can be. They might find Cornwall becoming much less welcoming.

Sunshiner reckons that “soon the second homers will no longer be able to afford the luxury of a rural retreat and real people will once again live in these villages. The sooner the better.”

Futeffla rages: “... Shame. Shame on you, you awful, awful selfish bastards. You people are the enemy of everything good. I mean, how dare anyone try and eke out a living in view of your saintly second homes? Curse those filthy local peasants and their sincere desire to feed their families! Hate. Hate you all, you smug emmet tossers.”

The comments in the local paper are none too friendly either. Patience seems to be wearing distinctly thin.

Such, both in Cornwall and elsewhere, are the fruits of the Left's historically illiterate abandonment of the countryside, where people have to make do with the Lib Dems, a silly yet nasty party overall but with many individuals who try their best on certain causes or on local issues. Matthew Taylor is or was supposed to an adviser to Gordon Brown. What advice has he given on this?


  1. This may sound odd, but I have a feeling a great swathe of people in this country are going to find they actually prefer the recession to the boom.

    I count myself as one of them; I think it's because my mother taught me what austerity was. We're the ones who "saw it coming" years ago.

  2. Indeed so.

    A new phone costing thirty per cent of what I thought it would, beer that used to three or a fiver but is now four for £5:50...

    Shame about the buses, but I think the Poers That Be assume that only the pensioners catch them.