60 Seconds: Oh Jeremy Corbyn!




We were delighted to have Katie Perrior as our guest speaker at our annual House of Lords bash on Tuesday. As you all know, or should know, she was Mrs May’s Director of Communications until April when she wisely decided to resign.

Among the many insights she gave us was that of life at Number 10 and particularly on housing and the ‘ongoing crisis’.

When I landed in Liverpool in 1974 in a battered Ford Escort, with a wife and a beautiful daughter, it was everything I had in the world. I had a job in London but nowhere to live. (This is pre Airbnb days). But my kind cousin Mary put me up and I eventually found a place to rent.

Now this wasn’t easy as there were rent controls in place which meant I could go to a tribunal and have my rent halved.

Naturally this led to a large number of landlords taking their properties off the market and a dearth of privately rented properties. I didn’t go to the tribunal as the flat was owned by a friend of a friend.

My salary was £2,500 – about £23,000 in today’s money and my wife did not work.

8229ac1e-d0fc-4051-be39-aa63fa98fb1dAfter three or so years my salary had risen to £4,000 – not much of a rise really as we had 30 per cent inflation and a pay freeze thanks to that great socialist Jim Callaghan.

These were rough times – the IMF were trying to save the economy, the telly was on at 10.30 (which for a young couple was a sort of blessing), everyone was on strike.

And that is what ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ is offering us again.

And people are buying it. But why? Because nobody remembers the 70s (anyone who remembered the 60s definitely missed the party).

By 1977 I was on a salary of £4,000 and I decided it was time to try and own a property. So I went off to the building society and met the manager (the sort of chap who wore a bowler hat).

“How do I stand for a mortgage,” I asked.

“Mr Curtin,” he said “you don’t stand, you kneel. What you need is to save with us for a year and build up a 10 percent deposit. Then we will consider a mortgage for you.”

So for a year we scrimped and saved – I didn’t have one take-away meal in that year and discovered more than 50 recipes for minced meat.

And the building society was true to its word – a year later I was offered me a 90 per cent mortgage on a lovely two bedroom maisonette with a nice back garden in Harrow. All at the outrageous price of £9,950.

But just before I exchanged, I was offered a dream job in Dublin, so I walked away.

Two questions for you:

1. How much is it worth now? I daren’t think

2. Could you envisage the same scenario today?

So when young people sing: “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” you can understand why.

He is offering that most precious of gifts: hope.

And in the 1970s – despite the economic disaster- there was hope not fear

Have a good weekend,


Housing stock falls
Number of homes on the market falls to a new low with housing market ‘stifled’ by uncertainty, says Rics

London house prices keep falling
No let-up in falling London house prices, say chartered surveyors

Legalised extortion? 
One MPs verdict on house builders who sell houses but keep the freehold

Met fights cuts with £1bn property sales
Met police sold £1bn of property to soften blow of budget cuts

Building for the future 
Sadiq Khan announces £1.7bn deal to build 50,000 affordable homes across London

Too expensive to have fun?
Samsung rejects London over Berlin for new HQ because ‘it’s not fun unless you’re really rich’

Housing the homeless 
Housing people fast is five times cheaper than homelessness – here’s why

Barratt keeps building
Barratt to build more houses as profits move higher

And finally…

French army band plays Daft Punk to Trump and Macron

This week at Curtin&Co

Curtin&Co was delighted to be part of the project team which gained consent for two planning applications this week for Parsons Construction in Eastleigh. The first was a detail consent for 27 new homes while the second, hybrid application was an outline consent for 34 homes and detailed consent for four office buildings

Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Helen Barrett on 0207 399 2288