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Links for 2021-05-06

  • Dr Rory Hearne: The Government does not want you to be able to afford to buy a home

    This nails the issue with housing in Ireland:

    The Government has been called on to do something to stop this. Even Fianna Fáil politicians have come out crying crocodile tears of outrage. But the truth is the investor purchase of housing in Ireland on a major scale is actually Government policy and has been for the last decade. The Government does not actually want you to be able to buy or rent an affordable home. They have created an unaffordable housing system that is focused on delivering housing as an investment asset, not a home.[…] This current crisis has been brewing for a long time. It goes back to the Celtic Tiger days of the late 1990s and early 2000s when the Fianna Fáil-PD Governments encouraged the shift from housing to be treated as a home, to people buying it up as an investment asset. They told people to speculate in the property market and gave tax breaks for landlords to buy a second, or third, home to rent out. These became the ‘buy-to-let’ investors. The banks lent out massively which added fuel to the fire of rising housing prices, and the inevitable crash happened in 2008 and 2009. As their response to the disaster they had created, Fianna Fáil turned to global ‘vulture’ funds to buy up the bad loans and failed housing projects. They set up the ‘bad bank’ NAMA, which went on, under the Fine Gael Government from 2011 to the current day, to sell off (at a discount) huge land banks and billions of euro worth of properties to vulture and real estate investment funds.

    (tags: reits real-estate ireland politics housing homes rory-hearne)

  • mjg59 | Exploring my doorbell

    Nice walkthrough of rooting and extending a bit of IOT hardware

    (tags: linux exploits security iot gadgets embedded u-boot)

  • Interviews with Loyalist kids

    It’s a depressing read, as ever. Ulster Unionism is a mess, is falling apart, and is vulnerable to being taken over by the paramilitaries:

    “Unionism is losing power and control. It needs leaders who have the skill to say, look, we have cards to play and if we are sensible we can save this place. Instead, Arlene said if there was a united Ireland she’d leave. People are left feeling unappeased but it is not a definite thing. It is more a kind of grief or sense they have lost something intangible. It is about shattered dreams.”

    (tags: ulster unionism loyalists northern-ireland politics brexit)