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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Perec “Peter” Rachman (16 August 1919 – 29 November 1962) was a Polish-born landlord who operated in Notting Hill, London, England in the 1950s and early 1960s. He became notorious for his exploitation of his tenants, with the word “Rachmanism” entering the Oxford English Dictionary as a synonym for the exploitation and intimidation of tenants.

Canal & River Trust don’t like the idea or the definition but to many liveaboard boaters they are effectively a landlord.

It’s a concept they really work hard at avoiding, just ask the National Bargee Traveller Association about their ‘Boats Are Homes’ campaign. As far as CRT are concerned our boats are not homes they are merely possessions and as such have a very different place in law. Thanks to CRT boaters have been evicted from their homes, had their homes confiscated and removed from CRT’s waters and in some cases these ‘homes’ have been broken up, scrapped and even sold to pay outstanding licence fees (water rents effectively) thereby making the boat owners homeless.

Oh I’ll admit that they don’t behave like a landlord in many ways but they do like to present themselves as the ‘owners’ of the canals and waterways, and despite the legal definition, many boaters do regard their boat as their home and to them CRT are effectively their landlord whether they like it or not.

So perhaps it isn’t very surprising to find a culture of Rachmanism to be so embedded into CRT’s approach when dealing with liveaboard boaters whether on an individual basis or when dictating ‘non negotiable’ policy and pricing such as the very recent extortionate price increases and unwarranted surcharges which they plan on inflicting upon us all !

As I and others have already stated on this site, this recent price increase policy of Mr Parry’s will be seriously detrimental to a minority group of continuous cruising liveaboard boaters many of whom are already finding themselves in financial difficulties due to the current cost of living crisis before we even think about factoring into our budgets the extortionate increases being proposed.

Our fuel prices have pretty much doubled in the last couple of years, our bottled gas, our diesel and coal have all undergone huge price hikes. Our insurance costs are up, our maintenance costs are up, food prices are up, and while we fully expected our licence costs to increase the proposal by CRT to increase licence fees at above inflation rates for the next five years will have an enormous effect. Add it all together and you can clearly see the more than probable collapse of boat ownership among continuous cruisers and liveaboards !

Many of those affected already exist on minimal incomes, many are pensioners, many disabled, many struggling with mental health issues in short we are a community of vulnerable and fragile ageing people. Let’s face it, if they could afford a life of luxury in a mansion somewhere do you really think they would choose a small boat on a canal ? Personally, I would choose my boat every time but that isn’t the way for many.

They may have  chosen this itinerant life for a number of reasons but let me assure you, one of the main factors was the fact that it provided a low cost living solution which is really important when all you have is your pension !

When boaters start leaving the canals in droves because the financial burden of staying becomes too great who will want to buy their boats ? More people who are on low incomes looking for a low cost solution ? Doubtful, because it will no longer be a low cost solution, the most likely outcome will be a glut of boats on the market, prices will plummet, and the brokerage business will go down the pan fast as the value of ‘previously loved’ boats drops like a lead balloon.

So, here we are, Mr Parry and Canal River Trust are attempting to force upon us a huge increase in costs, their decision is non-negotiable, it is a done deal as far as they are concerned. They have absolutely no interest in the hardships it may cause to our community, they care not about our futures, only their own, nor do they care about our ‘Wellbeing’, they only care about the cash bonanza which they believe it will generate and they will pursue it until such time as we are paying large sums to be either in marinas, on their moorings or until we are hounded off the canals altogether which in my opinion is the most likely eventuality given CRT’s ongoing ‘gentrification agenda’ !

I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that this is a deliberate, targeted attack against our community, it smacks of bullying and exploitation, it is nothing less than #Rachmanism from Mr Parry, his executives, accountants, senior management and by association the employees at #Canal & River Trust.

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