So many housing ministers, so many policies . . .

Posted on 5 Dec

I’m not sure if it’s a function of age but I’m totally fed up with the short-term nature of our political system. Getting older dampens the effect but decades of experience gives an understanding of what the longer term effects are of some politically driven housing policies, and it’s very wearing.

Young people - unless slightly odd, politically aware and prone to giving speeches at the Tory conference in 1977 at 16 – have no idea what most politicians are on about despite the fact that they’ll be most affected. I only have to listen to my kids’ friends, who are still convinced Corbyn is going to wipe off all their debt, to understand that they simply don’t give a toss. I didn’t back then and didn’t until the onset of early middle age – or maybe that’s what brought it on. The lack of a voice means the young won’t get a look in when meaningful policies that will affect them directly are made.

To hear Sajid Javid sagely telling us that now is the best time to borrow, apparently £100bn [no doubt Hammond will shoot that down anyway – oh, he has already] beggars belief almost ten years after this low-interest rate paradigm started, and just as the Bank is telling us they’re about to start raising rates -seriously.

God knows how many Housing Ministers [is it 16 in 20 years] – the latest one seems almost invisible – not one of them in Cabinet, the same tawdry rhetoric from Sajid Javid about how we need to build more homes [WE KNOW SAJID], the lack of ANY meaningful interaction with, or listening to, those who know how housing works and an eye on winning the next election, means no policy ever lasts more than one Parliament, it’s paralysing and profoundly depressing.

It is surely time to have a group formed of objective voices, NOT just from QANGOS and local Government, including estate and lettings agencies, asset managers, developers, building companies and employers. An outfit like that, who’s advice is required by Government, would go a long way to winning over the Industry itself – as long as they were listened to.

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