Tuesday 15 November 2005

Gavin Strang MP doesn't quite get it

Amazingly enough, the word "affordable" only makes one appearance in this article, but we get the same tired old arguments in favour of the status quo in council housing:
EDINBURGH East Labour MP Gavin Strang has launched a scathing attack against the city's controversial stock transfer plan, branding it "privatisation" of the Capital's council houses.
Mr Strang seems to think that Edinburgh's council housing "belong(s) to all its citizens." Really? When something "belongs" to me I am able to dispose of that asset however and whenever I see fit. Is that the case with council housing, or even with my "share" of it? Hardly, and Mr Strang wants to keep things just that way. In fact the nature of my "ownership" of these houses is bizarre in the extreme. There's to be a vote on their future status not by the real owners - we the council taxpayers of Edinburgh - but by the tenants, many of whom have their council tax subsidised by the non-tenants. It's also amusing to note the concern that these houses might come under the control of a "huge business empire". The City Council itself is by far the largest employer in Edinburgh, although I concede that it wouldn't be quite right to call it a "business".

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

The intoxication of power...thus anarchical revolutionaries are either characterized by self-abnegation or self-delusion.

18 November 2005, 16:55:47 GMT
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Proof surely, that within every revolutionary lives a policeman?

16 November 2005, 17:15:19 GMT
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This is not about bettering the lot of the people (or allowing them to better themselves by giving them transferrable title and thus an incentive to develop and improve their housing) but rather about fostering dependency and maintaining the utility of the bloated bureaucracy. The party so apt to decry 'feudalism' in land usage and class consciousness is itself perpetuating a new feudalism in which the state acts as the patriarchal landlord who provisions health care, affords housing and fulfills any number of necessary functions but insists that the beneficiary understand that all are at the whim and under the control of the Scottish Executive.

16 November 2005, 14:53:10 GMT
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Kenny McCormack
"He said throughout the last century, hundreds of thousands of Edinburgh citizens had benefited from council housing and thousands of families continued to do so today." 
Once upon a time council housing was necessary, for my grandparent’s generation it was necessary. Ditto for Trade Unions. 
But we are living in a different era now, we are living in a time of massive prosperity, and money changes everything, and I for one am glad that it has. 
Whenever the Gavin Strangs of the world bring up the past they merely demonstrate their inability to function in the world as it is.  
The days when the majority of Scots relied upon the capriciousness of a self serving cabal of coocillors for their housing is thankfully over - gaudeamus igitur.

15 November 2005, 22:17:22 GMT
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I saw a report today that certain Highland council tenants have had their property rights revoked today, as Malcolm Chisolm put a 5 year hiatus on the Right-To-Buy scheme. 
Shelter Spokesman Gavin Corbett said: "Shelter carried out research over the summer which showed that 82% of councillors in Scotland wanted to see a major overhaul of the right-to-buy policy, so the move by Highland Council is not surprising.  
"The right-to-buy policy in Scotland continues to drain housing stock of about 11,000 homes a year, with over 440,000 lost in the 25 years since it was introduced."  
So let's get this right: Councillors, most of them deluded Labourites, want power over a former asset - no shock there then. It's the stupidity of the last paragraph which particularly stuns and dismays me though. 440,000 "lost" homes? Where have they gone? Oh, that's right - they're still there, occupied by people who have invested in an appreciating asset as opposed to giving their housing expenditure away to a monolithic municipality for no return or equity. 
If there is a lack of council housing it's down to their own non-investment and their archaic and labyrinthine planning laws - not to mention that no-one with any choice in the matter would live in their design-phobic, facilities-free Cooncilgrad estates. 
Third party right of appeal will send planning applications down the drain, and property values will escalate enormously (witness recent cases involving the new road bridge over the River Clyde which saw costs rise from £10m to £20m, and also the two-year delay and subsequent cost rises of the M74 extension). 
Of course, if property values do escalate further then all but the lucky and the very, very rich will have to live in Cooncilgrad...

15 November 2005, 22:14:47 GMT