Top 10 posts of 2015

Before everyone’s attention turns to 2016 there’s still just time to reflect on the year that’s gone. Here are my top 10 posts of 2015 on this blog.

It’s the time of year that everyone with a WordPress blog gets their stats for the year (full report here if you’re interested). My best read posts were:

  1. 10 things you may not know about the Beveridge report
  2. Work hard, do the right thing – and get screwed
  3. Revealing the real Rachman
  4. Have the Tories lost the plot?
  5. The bedroom tax: only fair to private tenants?
  6. The man with a plan who won’t tell us what it is
  7. Rachman, rogues and renting
  8. ‘Here’s how to build a home owning Britain’
  9. Reconstructing Speenhamland
  10. The final countdown.

Read the rest of this entry »

Top posts of 2014

So it turns out that two of the most read posts on my blog in 2014 were written in… er… 2012.

This is the time when anyone with a WordPress blog gets sent their stats for the year.  It’s a chance to take stock of what you’re doing and who’s paying attention to it.

If you’re interested, you can see the complete report here. My ten best read posts of 2014 were:

  1. 10 things you may not know about the Beveridge report
  2. Property and the political elite
  3. Revealing the real Rachman?  
  4. Benefits Street, The Spongers and welfare reality
  5. Appearance and reality in the 2014 housing market
  6. The bedroom tax: only fair to private tenants?
  7. What do Power Lists say about who really has power?
  8. Minding the gap or moving the government?
  9. Rachman, rogues and renting
  10. The West London question

Read the rest of this entry »

What do Power Lists say about who really has power?

Love them or hate them but it’s hard to ignore them. There are lists for everything from the greatest films to the richest people and the housing world is no exception.

For the second year running, housing has two alternative lists. The Power Players Top 50 was first published by 24 Housing in 2012 and Paul Taylor compiled the Digital Power Players list in 2013. This year the magazine published both: the official list in April and the digital list in the latest (June) issue.

Cover73_380 Cover71-380

The lists, and the differences between them, got me thinking about power and who has it in housing. Or rather who other people think has it, since the results are inevitably influenced by the way they are compiled.

Read the rest of this entry »

A blog about blogging

I’m giving another talk about blogging and twitter today for a social media conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing (#socmed12 on twitter).

The whole process got me thinking about what I’m trying to do when I blog and also about the other blogs I follow. So for anyone interested and especially for anyone in Birmingham, here are some links to the blogs I’ll be mentioning, with some brief explanation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Popular posts Q3

These were the most viewed posts on my blog in the third quarter (July to Sept):

1) Victorian values – reflections on the legacy of Octavia Hill for housing, welfare and planning on the centenary of her death.

2) My criminal past – squatting, my own housing history and how what I did in London in the early 1980s would make me a criminal 30 years on.

3) More trouble with troubled families – a John Humphrys interview with Louise Casey got my goat but the problems with a programme based on unreliable and heroic assumptions had not gone away.

4) A lot of quid, not much quo – the continuing mystery of why the government has given housebuilders a multi-billion pound bail-out and asked so little in return.

5) Our dysfunctional housing market – or rather a non-market that is pricing out the young, undermining the welfare system and damaging the political system.

Interesting that the top three are the ones I enjoyed writing the most. Thanks very much for reading and also for commenting.


Five-year stretch

Five years ago this month I started my blog for Inside Housing wondering how I would ever find enough interesting things to say. I needn’t have worried.

Fortunately for me (bad news is always good news for bloggers and journalists) and unfortunately for everyone else, the week before I wrote my first post a small bank called Northern Rock went bust. The consequences of that still dominate my blogging five years later (and hopefully that makes it interesting enough to keep reading).

Read the rest of this post at Inside Edge, my blog for Inside Housing

CIH social media conference talk

Just a quick post with the links to my talk on blogging and twitter for the CIH social media conference today (#socmed12 on twitter).

The talk is in four sections – the what, why, who and how of blogging – ending up with the impact of twitter and some practical tips.

Here are the links to the blogs I’ll be mentioning if anyone out there wants to follow them up.

Read the rest of this entry »