OK, I admit that I watch quite a lot of films. I hadn’t seen the adaptation of “The Lorax” by Dr Seuss and frankly, its been a while – I don’t ever remember reading it (a book for children). The film happened to be on… despite being an adult and supposedly beyond cartoons.. you will of course be aware that cartoons have become rather more sophisticated… or perhaps us adults have become a little more simplistic… either way (perhaps both) its a film that anyone can watch. You may have come across the story – essentially one of self-interest, fear, family dysfunction, the need to prove oneself, faith and rather more. Long story short, plundering the earth of its resources without any concern for sustainability has a disastrous impact on our planet. This is a theme taken up in many “adult” (scrap that – “grown up”) films ranging from Avatar, to  World War Z,  taking in The Happening, After Earth and many more besides all are generally based around the notion that we humans don’t seem to learn to leave much on the plate.

Dr Seuss challenges us with a single word… “unless” suggesting that the world will become bleak unless… so whilst I was reading various work-related stuff, one article caught my eye. It first appeared in Money Week and was essentially about the unsustainable property market here in the UK. This is something that concerns me and has done for many years. I admit to being consistently very wrong about property prices. Over the last ten years or so, they have mushroomed out of proportion to incomes and affordability. The only thing keeping the property market afloat is the low rate of interest, one might say a deliberate political policy. To me the prospect of owning a home for those currently under the age of 35 is very bleak…. unless…. unless there is a systemic change, in either income (earnings) or property prices (or both). It concerns me that some use the value of their home as a significant part of their pension planning and that many have attempted to build up property portfolios, which have required seriously large sums of debt. I have given up making predictions, but I remain concerned about this flaw in our “system” and a Government that seems keen simply to underwrite mortgages for those that don’t have a suitably large deposit. Banks need to be lending money to businesses to create wealth by creating goods, services and jobs – a mortgage on a property does not create wealth, it is illusory and merely plays into the economy of vested interests. Oh, and for those that think Dr Seuss is just kids play, 220 million books sold is a fairly significant number as an author. Unless….

The Once-ler: Now, you listen to me, Pop, while I blow my top! Trees? Ha! You speak for the trees? Well I speak for men, and human opportunities! For your information, you Lorax, I’m figgering on biggering and biggering, and biggering, and BIGGERING, turning MORE truffula trees into thneeds! Which everyone, everyone, EVERYONE NEEDS!

The Lorax: First published in 1971. ISBN: 0394823370


Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA