Monday, 20 August 2012

Slowly Coming Round The Houses

The social cleansing side is thoroughly pernicious, of course.

But yes, that really is Policy Exchange, the trading name of Michael Gove's office, proposing that money from the sale of council houses be used to build up to 170,000 new social homes per year, the largest programme for the construction of social housing since the 1970s, which in turn would create as many as a third of a million jobs.

The Coalition will never do it. It would entail the ultimate repudiation of Thatcherism, her assault on council housing being the one thing that her supporters still feel able to defend unconditionally. In reality, it created the Housing Benefit racket and it used the gigantic gifting of capital assets by the State to enable the beneficiaries to enter the property market ahead of private tenants, or people still living at home, who had in either case saved for their deposits. What, exactly, was or is conservative or Tory about that? Or about moving in the characters from Shameless either alongside, or even in place of, the respectable working class?

And now, the doubts are being expressed even in the belly of the New Right beast. If Labour promised to build 170,000 new council homes per year, the largest programme for the construction of social housing since the 1970s, thereby creating a third of a million jobs, then what would the New Right think tanks and their in house newspapers have to say? "Vote Labour"? If not, why not?

Ed Miliband, Jon Cruddas and Maurice Glasman, over to you.


  1. Kamm is at it again.

  2. Behind the Great Satan's paywall, who cares? They will all be behind actual walls for a very long time soon enough. Cash payments into a nice little high-interest investment account for whoever makes Kamm his bitch?

    On topic, please.

  3. Would that be Oliver Kamm of the Henry Jackson Society?

  4. The very same. And of the Euston Manifesto Group. Whatever happened to that?

    Even leaving aside the obvious, the stench of death hangs over Murdoch Towers, what with the demise of the HJS and the EMG, the ongoing nervous breakdown of Michael Gove, the conversion of Policy Exchange to the combination of council housing and Keynesian stimulus, and even The Sun forced to report tomorrow that Labour under Ed Miliband has a 10-point lead over the Heir to Blair.

  5. If I may quote one of yesterday's posts:

    Imagine a formation which, while welcoming Labour's present return to the historical norm set out above, was for that very reason fully aware that someone needed to keep Labour on that track or else stand ready to replace it. Properly organised and sufficiently funded, such a formation could, even in this first instance, expect to win a third of those seats, i.e., around 70. That would be enough to make a very significant difference indeed, even to hold the balance of power in a hung Parliament.

    Enough to demand the appointment of at least one of its grandees as one of the new Independent National Directors of Sky News. Maybe even chairman in the post-Murdoch rescue structure. Imagine that, Mr. L. Imagine that.

  6. Trends such as the one referred to in this post demonstrate how out of time the Times now is: Kamm, Finkelstein, Collins, Aaronovitch. Hugo Rifkind will rue the day he got mixed up with them. Maybe he does already. He won't be the only one.

    Meanwhile postliberalism sails on, with the Premiership soon to pass to a man heavily dependent on Lord Glasman, who himself professes his unbounded admiration for you among other deeply sound people.

    As you have picked up, that capture of Downing Street already has the implicit support of Peter Hitchens, a cogent critic of Thatcher's housing policy. How many other paleocon commentators will declare for Labour between now and 2015? Glasman endorsed your last book, Miliband and Hitchens have both read it and were deeply impressed. They are not the only ones.

    Whereas the Murdoch edifice is about to come crashing down. The prison doors are preparing to close behind eight of the old man's closest lieutenants. One of them is also consigliere to a PM whose supporters refer to Blair as "the great man", "the master" and "our real leader".

    By this time next year, the dominoes will fallen. Those who have laboured long in devising the political voice of the present age will be on the cusp of coming into their kingdom: you, Glasman, Neil Clark, John Milbank, David Goodhart, the overlapping circles around each of you. Great days lie just around the corner, Mr Lindsay. Very great days indeed.