Wastefulness and perspective

house bricks

Post election pain

Today was a really strange mood in central London, the morning of reckoning after the general election kept the Conservatives in power. And on the train there and back too; sombre, reflective, less bustling and brash perhaps.

It felt a bit like those who voted for more capitalism, in the city where it’s spoils are so vivid in contrast, were keeping their heads down, while the other half were silent in grief. The waves of anger not yet gathered.

Shifting perspectives

I went down today to oversee collection of a used kitchen and furniture we’ve bought for the house. Its coming out of an incredibly luxurious flat- a second home rarely used – and was otherwise, most of it, going to be tipped because it was ‘less hassle’ that way.

Today turned out to be a shit show I won’t go into here (contractors / misinformation / people throwing their weight around) but what struck me again as it often does was how compassion doesn’t work in the abstract.

The sofa we’d paid for was too big to fit through the door. I was told I could either pay for a winch to get it out of the window (£1000 please) or cut it to get it down the stairs. Asking for a proportional refund to reflect that I couldn’t get the item I had paid for out of the flat I was told to ‘take it or leave it’. They were only prepared to refund the entire amount, in which case all of it would just be thrown away; Cut up so that it would fit in a skip for easiest transport. It wasn’t worth the hassle to sort it I’m told, and the home full of furniture and carpets and curtains -enough for two homes and carpet for several – would just be taken to the tip. Clearly they didn’t need the significant amount £ id already paid to take it along with the kitchen. This was no idle threat.

Priorities

About to argue back; ‘surely they remembered having to winch in this large piece of furniture through the fourth floor window when they bought it?’ I quickly realised that to be a pointless line of challenge. The owners clearly had no clue, and less care how it got there or at what cost. I guess when you have got that level of wealth you just say ‘I want that and I want it there’ and you leave someone else to sort out the detail and you just pay the astonishing bill.

To be clear those carpets and furnishings have already been allocated to local charitable organisations who will gift them on to people who are vulnerably housed in Warwickshire. The kitchen and some furniture we plan to use ourselves.

Time is Money

Time really is money isn’t it? And damn the precious earth resource and real value to others of the items we are prepared to throw away because it’s too much hassle to bother about and because we just fancy something new. The contractors, it won’t be a surprise to hear, confirmed that they have cleared many a luxurious hotel or apartment. Highest quality furnishings unceremoniously ripped out and just taken for rubbish.

That really does make me angry. People have wept at the thought of finally having a bit of carpet over the bare concrete floor in their home. Here In the U.K. A ‘bit of healthy competition, market economy, greed, in order to get the economy going right? Disparities as wide as this are not healthy or reasonable or proportionate.

One upside to this election environment is that I feel as though I have a tiny bit more insight into human behaviour, the kind of insight that makes life easier for me to navigate. It’s not insight that fills me with any hope or comfort though. It’s replacing Naïveté with fear.

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