They have spoken.
"Look what a wonderful job we're doing"
They really are proud of themselves. Declan Boyle's properties do indeed meet building standards. It is perfectly legal to demolish a family house and cram sixteen students into the flats you build in it's place. One would expect no less given the enormous amount of taxpayers' money doled out to him in grants. They are, legally, not slums. They are dry. They are warm if you can afford the enormous gas consumption such inefficient housing requires. He's not like Dermott Laird, property manager to countless anonymous slumlords. Michael McMahon, who owns more properties than Declan, most of them Dunderin' Inns, was obviously too ugly to feature in this photograph. Declan's smug smile is wonderful. Sammy's thinking,
"Why am I here, and who is this cheesy cunt???"
The cheesy cunt in question boasts that,
"We're not trying to pull the Holyland apart."
This is like Thatcher's chilling,
"The NHS is safe in my hands."
or the truly sinister claim buy Blair that,
"I didn't get into politics to make the poor and vulnerable poorer"
They have raped the Holyland to death. In the latest edition of the South Belfast News Declan claims that,
"Families do not want to live in or move into a student area"
Therefore the cap on HMO's should be scrapped to enable people to sell up to a landlord and leave. This belies his claim the previous week that they want to work with residents. They have this in common with their allies, the universities. It's a bit like the rapist who says to the victim,
"We're in this together here. It's easier if you work with me."
Now they, and the universities, have more targets in mind. Stranmillis, Lisburn Road, Lower Malone and Ballynafeigh will all become part of their extended private campus. The HMO cap of 30% guarantees the destabilisation of these areas. Only 8 or 9% is sustainable. While these areas are demolished and 2 bed flats crammed onto the cleared sites we will hear the call ever louder that "Regeneration" requires the lifting of the HMO cap. Thus residential areas become "student areas", their populations driven out by noise, sleep deprivation and threats. These communities must not co-operate with those determined to destroy them, the universities and their landlords. Do not go the way of the Holylands. There can be no partnership with the oppressor.