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Photo of Germaine Greer

98: Germaine Greer

More about Germaine Greer

Germaine Greer's subject is the British obsession with their houses, broadcast around 8.30am in Breakfast on 4th August. Or listen to it online right here the next working day.

Your thoughts

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stella east sussex
I agree with Germaine! I live on a boat which is only one way of living cheaply, interestingly and well. Tyre houses - why haven't we built lots? Pre-fabs are wonderful - why not more of them? What's wrong with yurts? They make wonderful homes. It seems our rigid thinking will go on producing ugly, ugly towns and suburbs when our little island could be so much more fun.And it takes an Australian to point it out to us.

Simon, Hertfordshire.
This was an appallingly superficial intervention. Greer is right to be concerned about people who find shopping exciting (although I struggle to see what she has against gardening). But how - in the same breath - can she describe Dubai as 'exciting'? The very purpose of the endless construction of those monstrous mega-structures is to produce a luxury-consumer paradise. It is a kind of sweat-shop city, in which migrant labourers work 12-hour shifts for terrible pay, while an army of maids attends to the luxury lifestyles of those visitors wealthy enough to travel there. Dubai is a grotesque monument to the imperatives of global capital which sustain inequality, wage-slavery, sexual exploitation and environmental devastation all around the world. I thought these were things Greer opposed. Cities don't have to be like Dubai, and offer extraordinary opportunities for ending all those forms of injustice; perhaps Greer would have done better to discuss ways in which this can happen.

Bill Major, Liverpool
It is a myth, promoted by those NIMBYs who would like to keep the city dwellers in their tight little spaces, that the UK is overcrowded. A current instance is the Andrew Marr trailer for his latest programme on BBC TV, he flies over and remarks upon a "crowded" England. Any one who travels in the English/Welsh/Scottish countryside as I am about to [by train and on foot]will pass through endless thousands of acres of empty flat countryside.It is the need to own a house or flat or whatever that is a particularly English problem [encouraged by you know who in the 1980s], we used to be quite capable of renting without the stigma. The massive landowners of England and Scotland [the Grosvenors and others) have plenty to spare, just as the NIMBYs in their little villages.Let us double the size of every village and small town and link with decent public transport.

Rebecca Roseff, Hereford
Living in apartments certainly would save a lot of countryside, but the housebuilders wouldnt like it, they couldnt make so much money. They are the ones selling the dream. Local authorities wouldnt like it either, they couldnt get so much money off the housebuilders.

J Brand, Sussex
There is a curious british obsession that accomodation equals houses but Ms Greers apparent suggestion of apartments for everyone also reflects the London centric attitude of much of the media. That's a solution for cities and suburbia, as soon as you have cause to live outside that city boundary then apartments are not a solution.

jason palmer,earth
I agree, so i live in a tent,houses are insane.

Hilarybaumberger Dorset
Where does Germaine live I wonder It is a few years since I could have a 1/4 acre and that was in NZ Returning to UK was probably not the best decision I made but think an apartment would be suffocating Having lived for some years on a 30 ft boat I do understand some of her views but there was no claustrophia there as the sea was pretty expansive between here and NZ However it is hard to see what is the alternative - a long boat - where does one moor. A tent? where does one launder. However, she is right we in the western world are in a sad state , but I suspect she is rather priveleged in spite of her radical ideas

Peter Wildman - Stirling
Such a refreshing and challenging thought for a Monday morning. Ms Greer is to be congratulated on her perception and clear thinking. It is good to hear someone express a view that is their own original thought and not just a repetition of what has been said before.Please pass on my thanks to Ms Greer for making my day.

Jean Abbott, Bedfordshire
I thought this was much the best talk so far, largely because Ms Greer didn't try to say too much in the time available & she was therefore much clearer & easier to follow than her predecessors, who merely gabbled unintelligibly.

Margaret Powell, Oban
I wonder where and how Ms Greer lives. If she so wishes, she is more than welcome to do a swap with me for a week or two: I moved to this flat in a former council block three months ago. At most I have had one week of nights without major disruption because of dogs barking, people having parties or visitors all night, doors slammed, couples having noisy sex or fighting. If all people living in poorly insulated flats behave as though they lived in their own castles, i.e. in complete and utter disregard of those living nearby, then I'm not surprised everyone wants to have their own house.

jason palmer
the british are mad, the smart ones leave, often to australia, for better weather

A festival of ideas in Liverpool Friday 31st October - Sunday 2nd November 2008, on radio and online.

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