I left the city by train for the Southern Moorlands today. The clouds and the light were breathtaking as I left Londres behind. Arrayed beneath were the fields and woodland in full summer green. I found myself dozing off within minutes, then waking half an hour later and happy to simply watch the countryside roll by.
While the natural world was calming, the housing with which it was interspersed was less so. I was reminded again how absurd it is that someone on an above-average salary and with savings in the bank should find it so hard to obtain property. As though there was some genuine scarcity, rather than the manufactured scarcity of a landlord’s market. Shelter is such a basic human need, has taken so many forms over the years, and is so simple compared to our more sophisticated technologies, yet one of the richest countries in the world is pretending it is difficult to do. I feel some anger at the people who have engineered our current plight, and I’m quite happy with that feeling.
Earlier this week I helped run a meeting for the renters project. It went more slowly than we had planned, and slightly changed direction from that intended. But the work done was useful, so afterwards I feel good about it. During the meeting I felt somewhat tense, watching the meeting move in ways I hadn’t considered. But I thought about how much easier it is for me to deal with collective working than it used to be. I used to see compromise as a bad thing, and often felt it personally. It took me a while to realise I needed to embrace compromise, not with the people above me but with the people around me. I often say this to people, and the response is often puzzlement, so I know my former confusion around it is common.