Why private finance deals make sense in the short term but not in the long run

I read this morning that the Ministry of Defence is looking to buy back 38,000 homes that it sold in 1996 and has since been renting from the private equity firm that now owns them. The National Audit Office has calculated that this arrangement has left the taxpayer between £2.2 and £4.2 billion worse off. Like many private finance deals, this deal probably made sense in the short term, but its long-term financial impact has been a disaster.

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Reclaiming the conversation

I was listening the other day to someone on a video online. He spoke about family. He spoke about personal responsibility. And he spoke about the need for a strong, resilient and just society. I can get behind all of these things. But he then segued into how abortion is evil and how anyone who thinks otherwise is going straight to hell.

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Early risers

We had an early-ish start this morning, so the dogs and I headed out for our walk just as the sun was coming up. The clear sky, the lingering frost and the emerging daylight made for a perfect start to the day.

Despite the still-just-about sub-zero temperature, the dogs seemed to enjoy themselves, too, alternating between sniffing everything intently and running around like hooligans.

It’s mornings like this that allow me to mull over my thoughts and to get ready for the day ahead. When we can enjoy the peace and quiet. Looking forward to coming back home, putting the kettle on and getting on with life.

On the passing of time

A few weeks back, one of the gizmos in my home’s heating system started to play up. It seemed like only recently that we’d replaced this particular widget, but a quick look at my ‘gas, water and electricity’ file (don’t judge me) confirmed that we’d in fact fitted a new one over six years ago. And we’d installed the previous one roughly six years before that. While the problem with the heating was, thankfully, easily fixed, it did get me thinking about the way we observe the passing of time.

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Seeds of growth

As we roll over into the new year and the days start to get that little bit longer, my thoughts turn to my plans for the vegetable garden. To the seeds, cuttings, trees and perennial plants that connect me to the soil and that will (fingers crossed) provide us with a tasty and nourishing harvest for much of the next twelve months.

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