An Unnecessary Role

embracing false choices

Archive for the ‘Housing’ Category

Clever people saying clever things part two

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Tony Clements:

Process aside, the most remarkable thing about the interview was his breezy reaction to the figures. Imagine if he was a health minister announcing a 97% fall in cancer survival rates, or an education minister admitting to a 97% drop in GCSE passes, or a Home Secretary announcing that 97% of all passports were not being checked at our borders? He’d at the very least get a harder time from John Humphrys.

The point of a housing minister is to build houses for people. What is the point of one whose ‘reforms’ cause a collapse in house building within a year of taking over?

Dan Hodges:

Nor, despite efforts by ministers to hang next Wednesday’s action around Ed Miliband’s neck, is this essentially a political dispute. It’s a good old fashioned dust up about pay and conditions. Or specifically what the TUC is calling the “Triple Squeeze” on public sector pensions; namely the shift in calculating uprating from RPI to CPI, the increase in individual contributions and the proposed increase in the retirement ceiling.

Some may see these as perfectly sensible changes, which reflect modern economic and social realities. That’s a matter for debate. But what’s not debatable is they mean an erosion of the existing pension entitlements of public sector workers. And however moderate or far sighted, trade union general secretaries get paid to improve their members conditions, not sit idly by as they decline. Again, some may question why trade unionists should expect better pension provision than the rest of the population. But that’s the whole point of collective bargaining; to obtain better terms collectively than you can individually.

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Written by samelliot

November 28, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Posted in Employment, Housing, Labour

Speaking of Lib Dems, here’s a bar chart for you

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Written by samelliot

November 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Posted in Housing

“We have to bear in mind that people just don’t give a toss”

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A paragraph (or two) I wish I’d written:

Ed Miliband has recently tried to start “a national conversation”. As part of this the general public have been invited to a day of Party Conference. Definitely not because they want to bulk up numbers at a conference no one wants to go to, but because huge conference halls are ideal locations for conversations on a grand scale.

To make this work, we all need to remember that people don’t care. We have to bear in mind that people just don’t give a toss; it’s the key to success.

Conor’s a funny man, but not even he could have invented the sheer absurdity of the latest Shapps ‘policy’ ‘proposal’, nicely explained by the clever-clogs at Red Brick:

There has been a ground breaking housing policy development that Red Brick readers may just have missed. It’s the government’s Houseboat Strategy.

In genuinely out of the box, beyond the blue-sky thinking, the government plans to help more people live on boats.

In a new bout of press release-based policy making Grant Shapps has said that:

“new moorings could be eligible for the New Homes Bonus, which sees the government match council tax from new-build homes.”

The politician responsible for the nation’s strategic housing needs has just announced that he thinks narrowboats are “basically a pretty good idea” (NB: may not be an actual quote) and what is the Labour Party doing? We’re having a national conversation about nexi of power and flirting with the idea of attacking David Cameron for being simply beastly.

Which I think is what Conor is getting at. Labour (or certainly many of those currently wielding influence in the party) is extremely comfortable with ‘politics’, the business of process, inquiries and strategy, but far less comfortable with the stuff of people’s every day experience. When the Tories are drawing upon Rosie and Jim as housing policy inspiration, that’s something of a missed opportunity.

Written by samelliot

August 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Posted in Cynicism, Housing, Labour

London’s emerging housing crisis

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While you were watching the other channel, you’ll almost certainly have missed this story behind the dead-girl-bothering Murdoch paywall about London’s emerging housing crisis.

London is on the brink of a significant housing crisis with a £32 billion funding gap for new homes, while homelessness is rising for the first time in more than six years and the average first-time-buyer’s deposit now costs £56,000.

That is the grim analysis of the leaders of the capital’s 33 councils, who argue that welfare reforms could be about to make the situation worse.

The report is based on this report from London Councils, which is a summary of the sheer scale of the task facing London’s boroughs as they seek to ensure everyone has a decent home to call their own. Worth remembering as we gasp at the latest developments from Wapping.

Written by samelliot

July 18, 2011 at 8:00 am

Posted in Housing, London