Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Unacceptable behaviour

From: Closed circuit

James Pargeter, head of residential at consultancy Drivers Jonas Deloitte, lost his rag last week.

But what could have infuriated the normally urbane Mr Pargeter? Could it be the current state of the housing market or perhaps rising homelessness?

The answer, as it turns out, was multiple award-winning singer Adele having her acceptance speech cut short at last Wednesday’s Brit Awards to make way for a set by veterans Blur.

Mr Pargeter immediately took to Twitter to vent his frustrations. ‘ITV shambles - letting Damon [Albarn, Blur’s lead singer] bore everyone to death with his tedious list, then cutting off Adele’s big moment. Sexist disgrace,’ he wrote.

A day later and the pain still hadn’t faded. When the Chartered Institute of Housing tweeted encouragement for people to sign up to ‘the housing equivalent of the Brit Awards’ [the UK Housing Awards, for those in the know] Mr Pargeter immediately shot back ‘Hope it’s not on ITV’.

While Mr Pargeter had Adele on his mind, MP Austin Mitchell was more concerned with Austin Powers.

Mr Mitchell adapted the film character’s most notorious catchphrase in his speech at the launch of a new campaign - Housing Emergency - at the House of Commons on Tuesday.

As his speech built to a roaring crescendo Mr Mitchell implored: ‘Our chant has got to be “build baby, build baby, build baby, build”.’

Members of Housing Emergency are currently looking to arrange a meeting with the housing minister. Closed Circuit hopes they stick with the slogan just to see the look on Grant Shapps’ face when they present him with their demands. Closed Circuit imagines Mr Shapps has been called many things in his career but ‘baby’ probably isn’t one of them.

To the National Housing Federation’s annual leaders’ conference in London where, appropriately, Tony Stacey was concerned with the issue of, er, leadership.

‘How long should a housing minister be in post?’ wondered the chief executive of South Yorkshire Housing Association. ‘Labour changed ministers too often and the current lot don’t change them often enough.’ A rhetorical question, clearly.

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