Mark Andrews: Johnny plumbs Depp of excess and why more council houses won't solve crisis

Broadcaster and columnist Jane Moore says Johnny Depp's close friends should warn him to cut back on his excess following reports he spent £50,000 on champagne and cocktails for his entourage at a bar in Birmingham.

Johnny Depp in Birmingham
Johnny Depp in Birmingham

Yeah, right. And if your "friend" offered to spend 50 grand on the finest booze money can buy, would you really be telling him to rein it in, and buy you a half of Skol instead?

Meanwhile, brewery bosses warn that rising CO2 costs could force up the price of a pint to the level that would make Johnny Depp seem positively frugal.

It's odd how one minute we are being told we must stop producing CO2 to avoid environmental cataclysm, then the next we are warned of impending disaster because we are short of stuff.

Anyhow, I won't be losing too much sleep. Carbon dioxide is used mainly in the production of keg beers, you know the nasty pressurised fizz that comes out of the gaudy illuminated taps. A world without Foster's or Tetley's Cream Flow would not necessarily be a bad thing.

Plans to make it easier for social housing tenants to buy their own homes will not solve the housing crisis, says retired civil servant Lord Kerslake.

Instead the Government should provide more funding for council and social housing, he says. Which, given that he is now the boss of a housing association, it what you would expect him to say.

Of course, the real problem has little to do with whether people buy or rent their homes, but rather is that we don't have enough homes full stop. Too many people, too few places to live, and not enough land to build on.

Yet there does seem to be a growing body of opinion, mainly among the affluent, ideological sections of society, that yearns for a return to the days when the masses relied on benevolent local authorities to meet their housing needs, gratefully tugging their forelocks as they patiently waited to learn what colour their front door would be. Similarly, there are a lot of town planners who are convinced the best way to revive failing town centres is to convert boarded-up shops into poky bedsits.

Something tells me, though, that if the Government were to invest billions in council housing, Lord Kerslake wouldn't be putting his name down.

Meanwhile, plans by Wolverhampton Homes for a £120 million renovation of the Heath Town estate, says the area has previously suffered problems with its "overhead walkways". Or bridges, as they used to be known.

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