As a voluntaryist, you tend to find yourself outside the mainstream on most political issues of the day, but every now and again, a tiny ray of light appears. So it is with this report
which makes the modest and sensible suggestion that if a council or housing association owns a house in a very high value area and it becomes vacant, it could be sold off and the revenue used to buy or build more homes in cheaper areas.
I take the view that there should be no state provided housing at all. If you want something expensive, rationed and crap, get the state to provide it and hey presto. You can see this with current state healthcare or polish bread queues or roads, no effective price system means resources are allocated by the queue. But such is the modesty of this one that you would have thought it more or less unarguable as well as being wildly popular politically with voters. Oh no.
Shadow housing minister Jack Dromey said: “Councils and housing associations should make effective use of their housing stock but the government should not force them to arbitrarily sell off social homes, breaking up mixed communities and driving out hard-working families on low wages from whole neighbourhoods.”
Now I don’t think of this all-female shortlist bloke as an intellectual giant but he must surely know that loads of social housing tenants are not hard-working because they don’t er…work.
Well at least the tories will welcome this with open arms right… Er, no.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “This is something that councils can choose to do already.
Can you hear the sound of the buck being passed to councils? Nothing to do with us. I cannot see why they are not jumping on this one even to the extent of passing legislation compelling it. Labour would oppose it and yet I reckon any half decent politician could say to voters “You should not be forced to pay for the unemployed to live in Notting Hill, an area you can never even aspire to live in because of how much we tax you. Why should you get the 6.45am from Milton Keynes to Kings Cross every day because you can’t afford to live in London while the Jeremy Kyle generation are still in bed in Chelsea?”
Incompetent and not even politically aware within their own grubby parameters. The Westminster bubble seems impenetrable sometimes.