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This is a spare 'blog in case my main 'blog at markwadsworth.blogspot.com isn't working
A list of people’s most hatedest Americanisms, complete with 1,267 commentations.
My favourite: 14. I caught myself saying “shopping cart” instead of “shopping trolley” today and was thoroughly disgusted with myself. Graham Nicholson, Glasgow
The BBC has been criticised by some for misleading reporting, but this is beyond the pale:
But overall, self-build saves money, supporters argue. The average new build home costs £189,940 compared to a self-build cost of £84,000 if you do the work yourself or £146,000 if you employ tradesmen to do it for you.
The difference between £189,940 and £84,000 is largely the cost of a plot of land with planning permission (minus a bit for builder’s profit margin and the value of your own labour). The difference between £189,940 and £146,000 is because a speculative builder takes risks and has to make a profit margin on top of his actual costs.
In any event, it’s not clear whether the £146,000 figure includes the land cost, as it seems wildly over-stated. My next-door neighbour had himself a massive semi-detached house built (in his side garden) with all mod cons. He told me it cost about £120,000 all-in; a basic house would have been about £80,000 but he got a bit carried away.
Lynda Williams was given a plot of land in mid Wales by her father. She didn’t have the money to hire a project manager so ended up building it herself from a timber frame. It took eight months and meant putting it together in the evening after work. The main motivation was getting value for money. Her mortgage was £110,000 but it is now valued at £260,000.
Let’s assume that the mortgage paid for the construction costs, the balancing figure of £150,000 is the (largely artificial) scarcity value of a plot of land with planning permission.
As I said a while back, “… under the Lib-Cons fakeprivatecompanies and industry-lobby-groups-masquerading-as-charities (‘ILGMACs’) will take the place of the much loved fakecharities in setting the agenda (i.e. dictating ‘regulation and legislation’) and/or directing how taxpayers’ money is to be spent.”
Adam Collyer describes the machinations of a specific ILGMAC here. Worth reading in full.
The government has been urged to improve support for the “heartbroken” families of people who go missing.
The UK’s first parliamentary inquiry into the issue… will also consider calls to make it easier to register the death of a missing person whose body has not been found, in order to sort out their financial and legal affairs.
Courts can be asked to declare someone dead after seven years, although in England and Wales it is not statutory. Ms Elias, whose brother Richey Edwards went missing in a high-profile case in 1995, says getting a missing person declared dead is too complicated…
Two women have admitted failing to bury their dead relative, whose body was found at their family home on Merseyside months after she died.
Olive Hazel Maddock, 61, pleaded guilty to preventing the burial of her 95-year-old mother, also called Olive, between January and August 2010. Her daughter Jasmine – the dead woman’s granddaughter – admitted the same charge at Liverpool Crown Court.
Olive Maddock also admitted dishonestly claiming her mother’s benefits…