Rachman is not dead.

I have often wondered how I can make a few quid, legally. The obvious answer is to ‘flog my bottom’ to the highest bidder, to someone who promises to take good care of my buttocks and the associated orifice which, I should hasten to add, I would not include in the contract. Being a ‘man of means by no means’, I am open to selling my labour without access being granted to the aforementioned anatomical structure, which I like to refer to as “This precious hole set in the hairy sea, which serves it as the orifice of a wall”. The fact that I have the option to sell or not to sell my labour or ring, is a blessing of the magnitude that certain Jihadi terrorists must feel when contemplating their virginal welcome in Jannah upon pressing the button to send one testicle into orbit and the other into crow fodder.

There is a long and proud (?) tradition in this country of selling bits of one’s body, or the whole of it, to men of power, wealth and vulgarity. To men whose wives are bored, worn out or have discovered the joy of lesbianism; to men who have spent too much time at sea; to men late at night within the Palace of Westminster bars and to men who like to take a risk while wanking. There is an equally long tradition of men who like to use their positions of wealth and power to gain entry into the lost lives of young boys and girls, especially those whose relationship to the ‘means of production, distribution and exchange’ is one characterised by an imbalance of power. These unfortunates are born into a world in which not only are silver spoons missing, but so is the complete canteen of cutlery, the box it came in and the whole panoply of love and security. Not for them cosseted entry into ‘good schools’ and the opportunity to listen to old Dons in Oxbridge pontificating on about what some entitled thinker such as Thomas Hobbes in the 17th century thought about poor people’s lives while he dined on Quail gizzard and a decent Claret served in the hollowed out skull of a local peasant who died of a nasty, brutish and short infection.

During the last few centuries in civilised nations such as Great Britain, extracting rent literally from the bodies of the poor has been a defining feature. In this endeavour we have been an ‘equal opportunity’ employer. Babies, toddlers, children, teenagers (if they got that far) as well as women, men of all colours and none, have been in ready supply to offer all manner of services. All of them need a roof over their heads and so owning little in the way of receptacles in which to piss, when inheritance means passing on a genetic defect and poor personal hygiene, they have to come to the ‘market’ in order to offer anything at all. Anything.

Spare babies were sold off as food for the foxhounds, toddlers were sent into small dark cramped places which needed cleaning…that included u bends in toilets, cottage chimneys and the underpants of the local land owner, often while he still wore them. Children and teenagers kept the Royal Navy afloat by working in the gundecks supplying gunpowder to gun crews; they kept the spinning jenny’s, er, spinning and with their bare hands picked up the dung deposited by pit ponies in Welsh coal mines while all of the time singing in close harmony “All things bright and beautiful” in an attempt to keep their spirits up. They were glad of the work, for without it their grandparents (at this time aged about 32) would die slow lingering deaths of black tooth rot, syphilis and fear.

Adults knew that the five giant evils stalked the land. Squalor, Ignorance, Want, Idleness and Disease, all 5 of them embodied in the local magistrates, land and factory owners, and Members of Parliament who all could extract any amount or type of rent they required due to the festering desperation of the smelly, diseased, emaciated huddled masses. If you happened to be blessed with the ‘fat gene’ as a dairy maid and thus avoided the emaciating ravages of hunger, you could find yourself a nice little sideline in the local town plying your ‘wares’ for gentlemen of leisure. In return for a penny, after dark one could offer exotic services behind the stables at the local inn, the ‘Cock and Spanker’, in such diverse places as Whitby and Chislehurst or under the pier in Wigan. A Gentleman could also buy services in quaint country villages such as ‘Little Bottom, Big Bottom’ and ‘Much Probing’.

In the 1950s the practice was updated a little. Exploitative renting out was given a new twist by such landlords as Peter Rachman, whose practices were so deplorable that his name was used to describe them. ‘Rachmanism‘ was born, although in truth it had existed for centuries. This ‘enlightened philanthropist’ owned dilapidated and slum property in Notting Hill, London, and used intimidation to drive out any sitting tenants that had a low rent. He embodied ‘laissez faire’ capitalism in all of its glorious guises – little regulation, no rent controls, absent inspection, no recourse for appeal. Rachman subdivided properties and let them out for prostitution. No doubt certain MPs cheered him on based on the theory that regulating the housing market would remove properties from availability, pointing to Rachman’s subdivisions being an example of increasing the number of rental accommodation.

circa 1960: Peter Rachman, a London property owner who made a fortune as a slum landlord of West Indian immigrants in West London, pictured at his desk. (Photo by Paul Popper/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

It is an argument not unlike having a systematic programme of killing old people in care homes during a shortage of funeral directors in order to entice new entrants into the market. The alternative of course is to provide more positive incentives for trainee undertakers so that your Gran doesn’t fear a knock at her door at midnight by a black hooded scythe wielder.

Well it seems the ghost of Rachman is back.

The housing charity Shelter polled 4,000 private renters. They concluded that private renting is making millions of people ill with almost half of England’s 8.5 million renters experiencing stress or anxiety and a quarter made physically sick as a result of their housing. This is being put down to unaffordable rents, poor living conditions and the risk of eviction. About 2.7 million people feel hopeless while more than 2 million have been made physically ill. The Health Foundation estimated in 2017, that 1 in 5 houses doesn’t meet decent standards in England. Hovels have a place of course, they act as incentives for ‘Top Cornflakes‘ to rise, and if people are too stupid to get on in life, well that is just Darwinism in action. “Hitler was not wrong about everything” said Sir Edward, Charles, Alexander Boris deCuntface Avarice-Coming of Fuckemall Castle, “cleansing the gene pool is of course desirable, but we just have to be careful of the methods”.

Perhaps if more selling of one’s bottom was encouraged (other bodly entrances are available upon request) and was undertaken by the poor, then they would be able to afford a decent property. They have only themselves to blame. Many are the ‘worse idlers in the world’ or lack aspiration and drive , they are ‘drunk, criminal and feckless‘, ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate‘. “And that is just their good points” said a billionaires’ flaxen haired spokesperson while sipping piña coladas in Mustique.

Published by Lance Goodman

Freelance writer, bon vivant and all-round good oeuf.

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