Wednesday Whinge: Think of a number
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government
Wednesday Whinge: Think of a numberImage: Housing via Shutterstock
Wednesday’s child may well be full of woe, but 24housing’s Brian Church is full of something very different. Here, the delicate deputy releases yet another jet of jumbled invective.
During my time in the sector, as part of a longstanding community service order, I've met just one person with a complete command of housing statistics. That would be the rather wonderful (and shy-ish) George Marshall of the National Housing Federation.
George's then boss, Gavin Smart, now second in command at the CIH, was one hell of a numberbluffer - I mean numbercruncher - but Marshall is my stats hero. And he likes his bluegrass. Stop those sniggers, we're talking music.
I thought of George this morning when today's housing minister, Brandon Whatshisface, announced yet another government scheme. As the German tourist really did say on entering the worst public toilets in the Balkans: "MEIN GOTT!" We've had too many launches, too many funds, too many announcements. Cynics like me think it's all playing with numbers anyway.
The minister's release said the £3 million scheme would speed up the start of work on up to 85 new housing sites and that this could help "accelerate as many as 25,000 new homes".
I'm sure he's right but there you have the play of the day: That's 3,000,000 divided by 25,000 which is £120 pounds a house. What a bargain!
Totally unconnected, but worth a whinge, the Homes and Communities Agency has outrageously downgraded Tuntum Housing Association for its appalling logo (Ed: @churchiechat is confused, see story on 24dash.com).
If you get time, send an email to my colleague firstname.lastname@example.org for one of the classiest out-of-office messages you'll ever read.
If only all triple Os were like that. Normally, they're passive-aggressive and deeply defensive – boasting about achievements or outlining an exhaustive workload in a desperate attempt to convince people that work never stops.
The irony is that to be even the teeniest bit 'off-message', you actually have to be very confident, extremely good at your job and well respected by your peers. For the record: Max Salsbury never leaves an out-of-office message.
Kris was fired last week and I will miss him. Of course not. I'm pleased to say he's still very much with us. As is Max.
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