Sunday, 19 December 2010

Greed is good for planners

the green shoots of recovery
You know, I was speaking to one of my friends in industry this week who told me that green shoots of recovery are beginning to show in his garden. I can tell you, it was so refreshing to hear people talking again about the way in which the market provides for the country, how big is good, how profit-making and profit-taking is a natural human instinct, yes - just like greed, and of the will of enterprise to fight communities who think it is their business to block development of any kind. Yes, I was literally quivering with excitement as you can imagine - so much so that I got out my personal copy of the Project Scotland Year Planner Wall Chart and wrote 'REMEMBER TO FIGHT THE LOCAL COMMUNITY' at the start of each week of 2011 to remind me of what was worthwhile and good.
a typical unemployed community activist
Here we have a typical unemployed community activist. Now don't get me wrong. I don't dislike the locals around here but I do hate all their talk about small things - a nice wee meeting room, a wee allotment, a wee bit of social enterprise, a wee hub with wifi - you know what I mean. Then there's all the green talk about cosying up to frogs and buttercups, creating habitats everywhere, damming streams and letting beavers run riot with bears and wolves across the countryside - a hazard to road users. It doesn't stop there of course - before you know it, top planners like me will have to get permission from the community to go to the toilet. Intolerable!

Well things are going to be different for the great unwashed in 2011 - believe me. First of all, 50% of them won't have a job as they will have been made redundant by the Council. Wee Fat Alex Salmond will probably repatriate the English so there won't be so many trouble makers around. But most important, developers will be able to buy off local Councils and community groups with offers of cash and inducements, including free pie suppers from the local chip shop. Some say that this marks a radical change in the way that the development industry operates - but does it really?
lap dancing is an integral part of the relationship between town planners and developers
Planning has always been corrupt - developers have always bunged councillors or officials a holiday, a wee trip or sexual favours for planning permission. That's what makes the world go round. Soon all this will be out in the open. It's been called the monetisation of planning. People get in the way - they get paid to clear off. A Council gets a bag of money for allowing development - a wee trip to MIPIM included. A local community get sunbeds and au pairs to shut up and smile as more fields are ploughed up for volume builder housing. It's great!
the Tory Vince Cable
It's a fantastically brilliant idea that comes from the Tories down south - aren't they just great at oiling the wheels of industry? Big is good. Greed is good. Small is ugly and green is uglier. The sooner these ideas take root in Scotland the better!

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