Do you like being called a consumer?

The body charged with responsibility to defend our rights as consumers in the cut-throat world of the marketplace, the National Consumer Agency (NCA), is probably justified to call us all consumers. But in their latest statement on protecting those who live in developments and apartment blocks from the results of bad management, they adhere to their policy maybe a little too tightly: "With more and more consumers living in multi-unit developments, we have long been aware of the need for regulation of the industry."

The NCA obviously has a policy of referring to the people they are trying to represent as "consumers", and that's fair enough. But there are parts of our lives that are not defined by the label and its associations, and I suppose the home is sort of on the threshold, as it were. We do buy (or rent) the bricks and mortar in a marketplace alright, but once it is bought it feels like something other than a product, I think; and once the door is closed we try to see ourselves as human beings ("people", maybe) again, I hope.

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