Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today. “Nuance” is not a word that you often hear in political debate. Particularly now.That you advocate one policy does not necessarily mean that you automatically support methods used to obtain it. Or that you might disapprove of an action but understand the motives behind it. The mainstream media just wants you to pigeon hole you into a set of views and that’s it.
When I was much younger, less left wing and more politically neutral. I still looked at a map of Ireland and knew then by sheer geography that it should be one nation. That did not mean however I supported IRA bombings. Nuance you see.
Now I say all this because I’ve read an article in the Daily Post which suggests a rise in second homes in Wales bought by English people who (I presume) are unable to buy such homes in [insert EU country here] because of Brexit.
The consequences to the local communities of people from England coming down for the holiday seasons and then leaving homes otherwise empty would be immense. Young people in particular would be unable to start on the property ladder as prices rise.The Welsh language could in some places also suffer.
Here again let me point out that there is a fundamental difference between those people who move to Wales and those who buy a second home here (as I mentioned in an earlier post). If you move into a community then your intention is to be there for life not just for Christmas (Easter, Summer etc).
Now the article has an estate agent giving the contrary argument. Stating that bars etc spring up specifically because of the money the second home dwellers could provide. Point is however that’s only during the holiday season. Outside the holiday season what then? Have you ever seen a seaside town in the off season? I rest my case.
Clearly what is needed is a combination of higher council tax for holiday homes (which some councils are doing) coupled with the replenishment of the housing stock for local people. Unless this happens there will be a social timebomb awaiting Wales.
Which brings me to the seventies and eighties. When faced with a similar issue some Welsh nationalists set fire to (uninhabited – that fact cannot be stressed enough) English owned second homes. Which led to the rather amusing joke “Come home to a real fire….Buy a holiday home in Wales”.
Should no action be taken for the local communities affected then I can see history repeating itself. I personally wouldn’t approve (Violence will not help and the mainstream media would smear the whole nationalist movement with a “violent” brush) I find myself remembering the words of then Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs on being asked to condemn a pitch invasion during the game by Hibs fans celebrating their likely (and eventual) victory in the 2016 Scottish Cup.
The Hibernian manager said he did not condone….but he understood.
Now there’s a man who understands nuance.
Until the next time.