Sunday, 26 March 2017

BBC Three's housing crisis

From: Closed circuit

Here is what happened, but didn’t actually happen, in the BBC Three offices last week. “This housing stuff is really trending right now, Felix,” says content manager Jake, stroking his beard. “We need a hot take. Keep it light though, yeah? And relevant.”

Felix is 37. He had to pretend to be good at social media to survive the last round of redundancies at the Beeb. He doesn’t know what a hot take is. Thinking back to a training day about ‘listicles’, he writes “how to conquer the housing crisis” on his taxpayer-funded MacBook.

He quickly Googles the Housing White Paper. “God, it’s long,” he thinks. But the press release says the government has “committed to affordable housing” so he puts that in. “Affordable means cheap, right? Dirt cheap.” That’s what he calls it.

In the article, Felix suggests young people could “Netflix and chill” to save cash, because that just means relaxing by yourself with a box set. He’s still young, and he buys a lot of single malt whisky.

“Other young people could save money by cutting down on that,” he thinks. Didn’t his mate Jonas sublet his couch to a student once? He remembers a reference in The Guardian to “flatpack homes”. “Great idea,” he thinks. “Flatpacks are easy. And fun.”

Of course, Felix doesn’t exist.

But unfortunately the article actually does.

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New Charter Group must have been happy when Jeremy Corbyn came to visit, probably because they mixed him up with neighbouring chief executive Matthew Harrison (see Closed Circuit passim).

Anyway, after a day spent hearing the sector’s message, Mr Corbyn spoiled the party by confusing them with the local council. “A Labour Council supporting housebuilding the community so desperately needs,” he said, adding that he “met with staff and spoke with them about [the] importance of building council homes”.

“Of course we are a housing association,” New Charter politely responded. Great work, Jezza.

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