Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Duke of Wellington, the Prince of Wales, and Me

I can't understand why so many people want to live in England. For starters, it's always raining. On top of the foul weather, England is expensive and the NHS isn't exactly all it is cracked up to be. Last time I went to the hospital the "doctor" treating me had to look everything up in a book. I went in with an ear ache and left with an eye infection.

But apparently people come here because the benefits are good. I wouldn't know. I don't benefit from the govmint. I pay them. And what do I get in return? Nasty bus drivers, too many indistinguishable roundabouts and badly named roads and highways. As far as I can tell every single road in England is called the ABC123.

Nevertheless, we still love England. We love windy country lanes, tea and scones, the English gentleman of course, and his handsome kit. Who doesn't find a clever well dressed fella attractive? Let us not forget their sense of humor. The English are quite funny when they are not quite serious and quite distant.

They are smart too these Englishmen, I tell ya. Not only in dress but in intellect. Though I wonder sometimes how so many smart guys who debate things so eloquently as they do in the Houses of Parliament manage to muck things up so royally. They do things that just don't make any sense. I mentioned the naming of roads, didn't I?

And now, well, apparently they have a housing crisis. Which of course needs fixing. By way of solving the problem and creating more housing despite the admission many houses lie empty, the govmint is attempting to increase the number of available homes.

For example, they are ordering the county of Hart where I live to build five thousand new homes. Effectively, this means destroying the countryside to put up thousands upon thousands of indistinguishable semi-detached brick buildings where there would otherwise be an unspoiled wood, park, or farmland.

I recently went to my local council meeting with my father-in-law because some ghastly developers are attempting to put these 5000 new homes two miles down the road from us. This would probably also involve a new school, a new road, a new shopping center and god knows what else in place of a wilderness that is already surrounded by charmless developments.

The meeting was interesting, albeit a bit civilized. Most people including all of the councilmen were against it, but as the orders come from London there doesn't seem to be much anyone can do about it unless another area of land in the county can host the new settlement. The government is unlikely to overturn the mandate.

One of the councilmen suggested the Duke of Wellington had a much more suitable piece of land for the project because it was well connected to Reading and a few of the ABC123s. I went up there yesterday near the Duke's estate and all I could see were horrible developments. But wouldn't it be nice if the Duke could fork over some land, make a nice buck in the process and save Winchfield from the third estate?

And then, in an infuriating announcement on the eve of his 66th birthday the outspoken but powerless Prince of Wales says the English are out of touch with the land. He believes the countryside is not valued highly enough.

I am inclined to agree with him.

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