The e-word

I’m in (snowy) Ireland where, according to the newspaper I’m reading, one in four mortgages is in trouble and yet the eviction rate is only 0.25%. In the UK, which is not going through a property crisis on anything like the same scale, the rate is 12 times higher. In the US it’s 5%. Something has to give.

But eviction (aka foreclosure) has terrible historical connotations in Ireland, much as the Highland clearances have for Scots. So on the one hand the current situation is unsustainable. On the other hand, it’s hard to see an Irish government condoning what ruthless English landlords used to do to their peasantry (aka my ancestors). Politics in Ireland is the art of the impossible. And meanwhile tomorrow is the start of the Cheltenham racing festival. Now there’s something really serious.