The Ayatollah of the Airwaves, James O’Brien, is still raging at the radio ether. His current demons: pensioner investors and... buy-to-let. “It’s not the politics of envy to say they need their wings clipped,” he declared last week. In fact, if you hit the numbers and can’t get through it’s probably because he’s still banging on about landlords and second-home ownership. Time to take a peek then at the former landlord-turned-gamekeeper’s own dirty “deeds“. A BIGRETORT EXCLUSIVE
Raised by Benedictine Monks of Ampelforth College - motto, Dieu le ward. God is the one true landlord. [I think.] Saint James, when he launched himself into buy-to-let, set himself on the path to a wealth beyond that of a monk‘s wildest imaginings. [The Ampelforth monks were subject to The Rule of St Benedict who wrote in the Sixth Century AD a doctrine for fellow monks. Amongst the text: humility; silence; obedience. It was the last two which allowed some monks to ignore certain traits amongst their Catholic brotherhood: who systematically saw vulnerable boys targeted by truly sick “abbots”. Though “homosexual mafia” as one monk reported is not, in my humble opinion, an appropriate tag for a coven of paedophilic priests.]
Laughing All The Way
Every time he collected the rent on his buy-to-let, former Ampleforth pupil James O’Brien must have felt the weight of Saint Benedict on his shoulders. If he did, this did not stop him squeezing his buy-to-let 'asset' further. O’Brien commenced making several improvements - thereby driving up the price beyond the reaches of many generations to come.
He assured listeners that he had only “briefly” thrown off the scapula of his former faith and entered into O’Brien Economics: Okay for me; but not for you.
The creation of his former home as a buy-to-let investment had obviously percolated in the tortured mind of Brother O‘Brien - the quasi radio monk - for some time.
Like a secret from his dark past, after moving to Chiswick in 2007 - a year after his wife wrote that shameless glowing tribute in the Evening Standard about their former property (thereby inflating the price beyond ordinary buyers’ pockets for ever) O’Brien, caving in under the weight of his tenants' meagre earnings, sold the property in 2013 - one year before he had a go at the Archbishop of Canterbury about God being a buy-to-let landlord. Having offloaded his own buy-to-let, twelve mortgage payments later James O'Brien was free to lambaste others for what he himself had done - including the Almighty!
Chapters 54 and 55 of the Rule of St Benedict taught at his former school advised that the goods of the community should be ‘shared‘. One wise monk explained: “Quite clearly the vice St Benedict wants us to avoid is the all too human trait of acquisitiveness: how easy it is to ensure that our cell is fitted out with all available creature comforts and in so doing create a situation in which covetousness among the monks who possess little flourishes. There is a real need for each of us to watch carefully over what we have in our cell: to ask whether we are really in need this or that item, whether we really need this or that gift.”
And for gift read “guilt”.
James "buy to let" O’Brien’s (apparent) guilt regarding two "cell" ownership may be due to his monastic education. However, truth to say... Saint James, who had lived under a vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience, experienced an epiphany in a cell of his own making. He had simply sought to profit: and that did not sit well under the shadow of St Benedict.
At this point the former landlord may comfort himself with old parable on property ownership…
Jesus on the Cross
Peter’s is getting really pissed off now... He’s lost an arm and a leg, is in a lot of pain; and his new clothes are covered in blood. Nevertheless, he hears his messiah call again: “Peeeter… come thee… hither!”
But this time the guard lets the sword fall to the ground.