Responding to the Convention backlash


10:00 am - February 18th 2009

by James Graham    


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The backlash to the Convention on Modern Liberty, as exemplified by David Semple yesterday, seems not about anything the Convention is trying to achieve but because it is being supported by the Countryside Alliance and there are too many Tories (and even a UKIP!) on the panels.

Let’s start with the Countryside Alliance. The CA is about a lot more than fox hunting, and in recent years, played a pivotal role in ensuring the success of the Sustainable Communities Act. The infamous John Jackson, the former chair, is a man I have got to know quite well. Far from being a tweed-jacketed toff, Jackson is a progressive, a solicitor and perhaps one of the best constitutional experts I know. Just read his columns on OurKingdom or his masterful chapter about the rule of law in Unlocking Democracy: 20 Years of Charter 88.

But since we’re on the subject of fox hunting, it has to be said that you can find no better example of Labour’s skewed sense of priorities.

Reeling from letting Tony Blair have his war in the Middle East, the Labour back benchers demanded a token so they could prove they were still somehow progressive. And what did they choose? To reverse the sinister dissolution on our civil liberties? To step up the fight against child poverty? Relax the restrictions on abortion? No, it chose to pass a poorly drafted law designed to prevent the poor cute wiffle foxes from being killed by the nasty-wasty toffs.

All this angst about a few rightwingers sitting on panels is absurd. It reminds me of the left’s reaction over David Davis’ decision to force a by-election over 42 days. Instead of viewing this as an opportunity to highlight the issue, most of the left instead chose to collectively shuffle its feet and find excuses. Davis isn’t a pure enough civil libertarian, they whinged. He isn’t, but in the grand scheme of things so what?

One of the anti-Conventioners objects on the grounds that the Tories are ‘The Enemy’. And Labour isn’t at the moment? What is it that Jacqui Smith has been doing recently that qualifies her as a fellow traveler? The generous redistribution of her housing allowance? Free advertising, at public expense, for Geert Wilders’ Fitna? Did politics really end with the miner’s strike?

It isn’t the Tories’ strong record of civil liberties which earns a number of their MPs a seat in the Convention, but precisely their lack of it. As Henry Porter has pointed out, it seems that only a Tory old guard actually care about these issues. David Cameron’s mealy-mouthed support for Davis when won his by-election was one of the most entertaining things in 2008.

The Tory Establishment are itching to take over and continue the “transformational government” agenda when Labour leaves in 2010. Anyone who professes to care about civil liberties should be determined to prevent them from doing so as much as possible.

Making civil liberties a mainstream issue and co-opting the Tories to the cause is a zero risk strategy. You won’t get the death penalty or even the abolition of the Human Rights Act by bigging up Davis; you will only make it harder for him to push these forwards. I suspect he realises this but unlike the Labour backbenchers I was talking about earlier, has a strong sense of priorities.

Conservatives (and Liberals) are often accused of being individualistic, yet I can’t help but feel that at the heart of all this moaning is vanity and the idea that an individual’s personal misgivings will always trump the wider issue. Is listening to the odd panelist you might not agree with so intolerable? I have no time for this exaggerated sense of self-regard; the stakes are far too high at the moment. The liberal-left should have little truck with it too.

Disclosure: James Graham is the Campaigns and Communications Manager of Unlock Democracy and a member of the Convention on Modern Liberty steering group. He writes in a personal capacity.

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About the author
James is an occasional contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He blogs at: Quaequam Blog!
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Reader comments


Well said…why has this article been buried?

Ignore that comment, it appears the scheduling monkeys inputted a wrong date…

I’m surprised this got let through, as many people round here seem to thing the SCA was a miserable failure.

James you mention various poltical objectives , the “fight agajnst child poverty”soi disant , the continued absence of the death penalty and the human rights act. These have nothing to do with Liberty which concerns the state contolling you via taxation welfare observation and so on. Liberal Conspiracy could not even defend the Pub from the smoking bann.
To me it looks as if the left is scared at the growing hatred for the imposition of state controls and wishes to pretend they are somehow concerned for freedom which they are not .This is actually a an Orwellian misues of language andI really do not think genuine Libertarians should be fooled .

You have nothing to do with the issue of Liberty and you cannot unitl you tell; us what you mean. The Liberty to be taxed and controlled ?

Newmania, you make me laugh heartily.

I’m not that happy about some of the positions of the Muslim Safety Forum but this issue is too important to start taking exception to individual participants unless there is an absolutely clear cut case…

7. Chris Baldwin

“Did politics really end with the miner’s strike?”

Sort of.

8. Mike Killingworth

The reason Labour made such an issue of fox-hunting is simple: gender politics. The ban was, and I imagine still is, massively popular with women, particularly in rural areas. Labour saw it as a way to reach out beyond its heartland vote.

Actually, if a fox is a pest, the farmer will shoot it: hunting is a very ineffective way of keeping down vermin.

“It reminds me of the left’s reaction over David Davis’ decision to force a by-election over 42 days.”

Indeed. There were similar arguments about how it was really, really important for civil liberties that we all put aside partisan feeling and got active in the campaign to support Davis. And, it turned out that it wasn’t that important and it didn’t make a difference.

I hope the convention is a success, and I’m sure there will be plenty of people there. Personally, I think there are more useful and enjoyable ways of spending a Saturday, however.

Good post.

As far as I can see, there are 133 speakers at the London event. I wonder if anyone claiming that “there are “too many Tories” has actually bothered to count them – I suspect not, which means that they are making an instinctive call rather than a considered judgement.

Unless of course one Tory is one too many, which some people may well think – I’m not sure that’s very helpful though.

“There were similar arguments about how it was really, really important for civil liberties that we all put aside partisan feeling and got active in the campaign to support Davis. And, it turned out that it wasn’t that important and it didn’t make a difference.”

Well the media generated granted the slimmest of victories for Labour while meaning that after the Lords struck 42 days off the government didn’t contest it. So I’d hardly say that it wasn’t important, given that it was part of a whole narrative that DID make a difference.

Didn’t stop certain people twiddling their thumbs and undermining the whole thing to lessen that impact from what it could be though, t’is a shame that there are people that do such partisan things in the liberty movement, they’re a hindrance more than a help I feel.

I loathe foxhunting, consider it barbaric and am glad it was banned (though I think it should have been *much* further down the list of priorities – the issue’s just not that important). I also consider ‘Tory’ to be one of the more extreme terms of abuse in my vocabulary.

Nonetheless, much as I hate Tory foxhunters, I hate people being imprisoned for a month without charge, people being arrested not having the right to speak to a duty lawyer, forcible ‘treatment’ of people with personality disorders who have committed no crime in psychiatric hospitals, and government collusion with torturers slashing at people’s genitals, a little more. I think it only right to work with David Davis against people who want to do those things, just as I would support working with Labour against Davis bringing back the death penalty, were he ever to get into a position to do so.

Hear hear. The last word on this sectarian nonsense, I hope.

I long for the day where we only really have to fight the government on even just one infringement of our liberties, rather than a dozen or more.

I’d also much rather fight a government on issues of inequality on poverty that can be tempered and aided by the good work of charitable souls around the UK rather than fight a government predominantly on civil liberties where if you try and get the good souls to do anything about it they become criminals and terrorists in the eyes of the state.

I of course would prefer I never have to fight, but if I have to choose I know which fight I would rather have to face.

Andrew – so you are happy to ban things with which you disagree.

You see that’s the argument of the government on all the things you don’t want to see banned.

“You see that’s the argument of the government on all the things you don’t want to see banned.”

Well, fox hunting is a slightly different case. Smoking, drinking and having sex affects nobody but the persons involved, whereas most people agree that animals should be granted some rights under the law.

Ben

*EVERYONE* is happy with banning *some* things with which they disagree. I would imagine that fairly few of the people here are unhappy with prohibitions on serial killing, for example.
In my case, I think people should be allowed to do anything to themselves or to informed, consenting adult others. I don’t think people should be allowed to deliberately set dogs on wild animals to tear them apart, and don’t see any moral difference between foxhunting and, say, dog fighting or cock fighting, both of which most people are very happy to have banned.
Other things with which I disagree (for example voting Conservative, listening to Coldplay records or petitioning the Government to legalise foxhunting again) I don’t want to see banned. It’s a matter of the harm done versus the restriction on liberty…

I dunno, Coldplay are pretty bad. I don’t think we should rule anything out…

I didn’t say anything about not banning *making* Coldplay records. I just think we need to attack the producers and dealers of this filth rather than criminalising the users. I’m a moderate.

But if you don’t allow production to be legal it’ll just get cut with more dangerous sounds like 30 Seconds to Mars and The Jonas Brothers…do you want to take that kind of risk with our children?

don’t think people should be allowed to deliberately set dogs on wild animals to tear them apart, and don’t see any moral difference between foxhunting and, say, dog fighting or cock fighting, both of which most people are very happy to have banned.

‘set dogs on wild animals to tear them apart,’ Oh how dreadful !What do you think happens to animals in the wild , a bible reading at the bedside surrounded by weeping relatives ? Basically urban blood sports were banned but rural ones were not because it appeared ridiculous to export Beatrix Potter to the slaughterhouse. Urban man was left with fishing which he continues to enjoy vastly , why do you not ban that ? Context is all .
The truth is it hurts no-one offends no-one unless they actively wish to be offended and was an act of class spite visited on the rural communities Labour cannot forgive for voting Conservative and who hate their guts right back.
Why not bann eating meat altogether ? Personally if I was told I was a going to be eaten or culled the news that I had been spared a run through the countryside and a quick end would not cause me to vote for the nut with a dog on string at his side .
The list of things you could construct logical reasons to prescribe is endless , already the commitment to Liberty on the left is shown to be a marriage of convenience as I suspected.

Ben , smoking drinking and having sex do affect others . I don’t care. You see how people like you are never going to be any use . You have no… “Give me my money back and fuck off “about you, (and you never will. )

…tough on Cold Play tough on the Causes of Cold Play , thats the way forward .

“But if you don’t allow production to be legal it’ll just get cut with more dangerous sounds like 30 Seconds to Mars and The Jonas Brothers…do you want to take that kind of risk with our children?”

I think we should rely upon the harm principle. Those songs that actually inspire the listener to commit harm against the artist should be prohibited.

“You see how people like you are never going to be any use .”

Oh, ta, Nu-Mania, drive me further into the arms of self-loathing why don’t you.

“You have no… “Give me my money back and fuck off “about you,”

Well, nobody’s taken my money so that would be unlikely. I do have a “fuck off” about me, though…

“(and you never will. )”

…when people try to predict my future.

“I’d also much rather fight a government on issues of inequality on poverty that can be tempered and aided by the good work of charitable souls around the UK rather than fight a government predominantly on civil liberties.”

That explains a lot. I’m the complete opposite.

“That explains a lot. I’m the complete opposite.”

It explains fuck all except that that I think that those suffering from poverty and inequality are a) actually able to be helped, unlike victims of rights removals who have one pretty specific avenue that no-one but their legal team can redress and b) already pretty fucking shoddy under our current government that is also screwing us on point a.

If you think that suffering this government is better than one that we can at least do something about on a practical level while keeping up the fight, then you’re an absolute moron.

Touched a nerve there I think Tim F .

I think we should rely upon the harm principle. Those songs that actually inspire the listener to commit harm against the artist should be prohibited.

Yeah, but is listening to them more dangerous than going horse riding?

I think Newmania should run for the Parliament under the slogan ‘Give me my money back and fuck off’. I can’t imagine a clearer expression of a Tory tax policy and I think Newmania might even agree.

29. david brough (member of the landed gentry)

“This is actually a an Orwellian misues of language andI really do not think genuine Libertarians should be fooled .”

Who the fuck are you to complain about misuse of language when you can’t spell simple words, you illiterate div?

I’m surprised this got let through, as many people round here seem to thing the SCA was a miserable failure.

Eh? At the start of our dissemination campaign we set ourselves a target of getting 75 councils to agree to use the Act by the end of July 2009. As of now, we have 74 councils undertaking to use it with at least a dozen currently actively considering it (that we know of). We’ve even managed to persuade councils such as Cornwall who are currently in the process of going unitary and thus were tempted to sit the process out during the first round.

We had to turn away more than 100 people from our meeting in Parliament last week because, despite the fact we had almost no budget to promote the event, people turned up in swathes to attend.

We are starting to hear back from councils now actively drawing up their plans with local people; meanwhile the LGA is gearing up to play its role at the end of the process.

Everything is going better than we had planned. How do you quantify “miserable failure”?

““I’d also much rather fight a government on issues of inequality on poverty that can be tempered and aided by the good work of charitable souls around the UK rather than fight a government predominantly on civil liberties.”

That explains a lot. I’m the complete opposite.”

If you vote in successive governments that fail to protect civil liberties, their commitment to tackle equality won’t really mean much. Basic civil liberties are the sine qua non of having an operational democracy, the pre-requisite for developing any other programme. It is a shame that so many governments (left and right) think that they can solve problems like poverty just so long as they aggregate more powers to the state and remove checks on how they are exerted. They want just want more legislative, executive and judicial efficiency, especially when they have a big social engineering project to roll out. But as soon as you lose those checks and balances, the ability of marginalised people to challenge government decisions diminishes, and with that the hope that their interests could really be served.

You would have thought that all egalitarians would realise this by now.

32. douglas clark

Nick,

You made me think about an old idea about government.

That we live in UK plc.

That it does not really matter whether the Board of Directors are replaced by Conservatives, because the dynamic is similar. Neither Labour nor Tories are capable of letting go of the power that they wield when in office. Whichever monster occupies the boardroom they are seduced by the need to ‘do something’. Which, inevitably means legislate. Which is increasingly restrictive.

On the civil liberties front it seems to me that the broadest possible coalition is required to counteract that.

Sadly, I am not holding my breath.

Agree with Nick: without civil liberties such as free speech, the right to free assembly and transparancy in the law making process we have no means of challenging the government and ensuring they do fight poverty, etc.

No government, no matter how benign, can be trusted with the powers ours has.

I think Nick has hit the nail nicely on the head there… a govt that doesnt listen and restricts civil liberties especially so it can make it difficult for ppl to make their voice heard, is as bad on civil liberties as it is on tackling inequality. A good example, for me, would be the govt’s current attempts to shut down criticism and activism by environmental groups… and attempts to brand a wide spectrum of Muslims as ‘extremists’.

Lee: then you’re an absolute moron.
Nice way to convince others of your argument, Lee

“Nice way to convince others of your argument, Lee”

I’m not trying to convince anyone, I’m just stating the fact. Nick did a good job on the convincing front though, his thoughts echo mine almost exactly.

36. douglas clark

Yes, Nicks post was excellent. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the arguement put as succinctly as that.

Douglas, agreed. Well said Nick.

Thanks guys, but bear in mind I am cribbing from Dominic Raab’s “Assault on Liberty” here. His point, which in turns was taken from Isaiah Berlin, is basically that liberty should not be inflated with any additional concepts in order to encompass all good things (and that includes substantive notions of equality). The basic liberties are simply those that restrict the procedures that government can legitimately carry out – not the ones that specifically enable or require government action. Once those have been settled, then the amount of damage a government could do to people, whatever project it undertakes, will be limited. Yet it is these very basic things that are frequently so much in contention.

#32 – that applies when you’re talking about things like everyone being able to vote. But even the government’s most ardent critics would not suggest the government is trying to take away the provision to vote. When we’re in a position where we have a relatively large amount of freedom under the law priorities are different from a pre-1918 situation.

In fact, if you’re going to make the analogy so extreme, the opposite is also true. Civil liberties mean nothing if you’re starving to death.

Freedom and equality needn’t be mutually exclusive (unless you have the kind of worldview that Newmania has), and most of us would probably see them as interlinked. There’s no reason why we can’t campaign for both ideals. But if we’re talking about which is the most important battle right now, for me it has to be the fight against poverty, and a Labour government is always a better condition for that struggle than a Tory government.

oh and Lee’s idea that people on tax credits that the Tories would probably abolish can hopefully survive off sporadic charity just makes me think “fuck civil liberties campaigners; they’re just middle-class liberals”. Thankfully that reaction doesn’t last for long, but it is an incredibly fast way to get people to switch off.

And in what way do you assume that the Tories are going to roll back poverty to pre-1997 levels, may I ask? What initiatives are they going to put in place that is going to put millions back in the position they were before Labour…taking in to account the effects this recession will have for the years to come? Obviously we can’t reliably say without manifesto’s, but it’s surprising you think backing Labour is going to help anyone given how they are essentially adopting Tory arguments on things such as welfare reform and rights to social housing, etc. In fact…

The Tories are talking about getting empty housing back on the market, Labour are disgustingly quiet on the issue…mostly because they and their councils have spent a lot of money buying up old houses and taking them out of the market so that they can renovate and make money on them later. So much for the needy first, right?

What about the amount of money that Labour siphons out of socially housed people to pump in to central funds, and not in to the housing they live in?

I’m not even going to go in to the critcisms that are frequently levied against the tax credit system and the abject failure of any child support service they have introduced.

10p tax rate abolition, anyone? Stuffing the most vulnerable right in to issues, and only addressing it when the opposition parties made enough of a fuss A YEAR AFTER they announced it originally?

Increasing the cost of civil proceedings, as noted in a blog post not far from the top now?

Increasing the cost of taxation on cars retrospectively, a tax that is unlikely to affect the middle classes that can simply upgrade their car, but WILL affect the poor who are not in a position to upgrade and have to lump the increase.

Labour having done nothing to a) ensure that Ofgem or other such companies actually manage the effective monopoly that several companies have over consumers and b) are still painfully silent on the issue of pre-payment meters while the Tories at least have and do stood against them.

Perhaps most tellingly the fact Labour have done nothing to stop the increase of the divide between the rich and the poor with the poorest relatively poorer than they were under the Tories.

Not to mention all the BILLIONS of pounds that could be spent on welfare and poverty that are instead going in to these civil liberty infringing measures.

If you honestly think Labour are the best people to tackle poverty going forward then I am surprised, and repeat my earlier assertion.

On the gap between the rich and the poor – as we all knows it depends whether you look at the gap between the poorest and the rich (which has narrowed) or the gap between the poor and the super-rich (which has expanded). I’ve no doubt both would expand under the Tories.

I’ve no doubt also that the Tories will stop increasing the minimum wage by above inflation and let its real value decline. (But we saw in the other thread that you’d be happy with an opt-out to the minimum wage, for reasons thought unduly optimistic by others including myself.)

They are very likely to abolish or reduce the real value of many forms of tax credits (replacing them with reactionary measures benefiting mainly middle class couples like marriage allowances, just as they have said they would reduce SureStart provision and increase health visitors instead). I agree that they’re not an ideal way of getting money to people but they have helped hundreds of thousands of people

Tory posturing on bringing empty houses back into use doesn’t disguise the fact that the places where there are no empty houses are the places with the biggest need for more housing. It might have a small effect, but it won’t have as big an effect as the massive (I’d like it to be even bigger) house-building programme Labour has started. And where the Tories have got into power in London they’ve abolished quotas to build affordable housing!

Oh, and I don’t know where you got the idea that the 10p rate abolition issue was finally dealt with because Tories raised it as an issue. It was a backbench rebellion that forced the government to provide some redress.

Could Labour have done much more? Yes. Could what has been achieved have been achieved less cack-handedly? Quite possibly. But please let’s not buy into the Tories’ attempt at brand detoxification.

“On the gap between the rich and the poor – as we all knows it depends whether you look at the gap between the poorest and the rich (which has narrowed) or the gap between the poor and the super-rich (which has expanded). I’ve no doubt both would expand under the Tories.”

If only we could see an alternate reality. Perhaps we could see one without such an economic boom as has happened during Labour’s tenure and see just how much it really did to deal with poverty on it’s own terms.

“I’ve no doubt also that the Tories will stop increasing the minimum wage by above inflation and let its real value decline.”

It’s interesting that while you pick up on this and other things the Tories are “likely” to do (and it is indeed much more likely if we all do as you do and just sit back sulking and cheering your team on regardless) while ignoring the points I’ve raised regarding Labour’s own assault on the income of the poor.

As I will no doubt say again to you, I’m not defending the Tories, I know there is a whole load of shit they’ll bring to the table…but at least it is likely to be less shit than Labour have left there.

“Tory posturing on bringing empty houses back into use”

Posturing? Interesting. At least they’re saying something other than to simply build houses which they also acknowledge needs to happen

“doesn’t disguise the fact that the places where there are no empty houses are the places with the biggest need for more housing. It might have a small effect, but it won’t have as big an effect as the massive (I’d like it to be even bigger) house-building programme Labour has started. ”

Why not do both? That’s what the Tories want to do it would seem (as, of course, the Lib Dem’s do), Labour would rather limit their scope and do nothing in the time being.

And since you’re so against the poorer classes being screwed over (as am I), what do you think to the atrocious situation of help going mainly to the SE and London with the “Homestart” or “Surestart” scheme (whichever it is)? It’s never like Labour to do something that helps the middle classes but not the poor like that is it? Only things like a shifty 10p tax scandal here…top-up fee’s to bleed money out of the poor after the fact where previously they were better off for the future…How about more subtle things like locking up the more likely to be poor parents for their kids truancy, while also increasing truancy and thus decreasing the likelihood of breaking out of that stagnation? Or, I’ll repeat, the making of courts more inaccessible disproportionately to the poor?

So let’s not sit here throwing around accusations at the Tories for screwing over the poor, Labour is perfectly capable of playing that game itself too.

“And where the Tories have got into power in London they’ve abolished quotas to build affordable housing!”

They’ve also built too much housing, as it happens, so it would seem that individual councils and their own inefficiencies and prejudices are the issue…as tends to be the case on such areas.

“Oh, and I don’t know where you got the idea that the 10p rate abolition issue was finally dealt with because Tories raised it as an issue. It was a backbench rebellion that forced the government to provide some redress.”

After both the Tories and Lib Dem’s made a stink about it that actually brought it to media attention. I guess Labour back benchers just don’t read the stuff their leaders bring out, otherwise I wonder why the rebellion didn’t happen a year earlier (when I believe the Lib Dem’s commented on the tax increase then too, though I may be wrong). Maybe because politically they didn’t need to prove themselves as being for the working class a year before?

“Could Labour have done much more? Yes. Could what has been achieved have been achieved less cack-handedly? Quite possibly. But please let’s not buy into the Tories’ attempt at brand detoxification.”

I’m not buying in to the Tories, I’m buying OUT of the Labour party. This whole argument is not about the Tories being better, it’s about your argument of Labour supposedly being better…patently untrue. You can’t sit here and say “well yeah, Labour could be better” while stating “No, the Tories can’t possibly be different from a decade or more ago!”

“In fact, if you’re going to make the analogy so extreme, the opposite is also true. Civil liberties mean nothing if you’re starving to death.”

No one is starving to death for economic reasons in the UK. But if you are cared to make it easier for the poor to eat, the answer is trade liberalisation (food being one of the few commodities that we still have a policy on keeping the price high).

And it is more than the ability to vote. If you can detain people for several weeks, you can tactically shut them up at the time when is the most convenient. When you introduce speech codes, you can arrest public speakers and shut down websites. When there are enough laws such that everyone is a criminal of some sort, you can instruct the police or the CPS to aim a charge in order to discredit someone, seize their assets or shut down their organisation. Of course, these powers are rarely used like that right now. But all the more reason to get rid of them before the Government gets used to what it can do.

“Labour are disgustingly quiet on the issue…mostly because they and their councils have spent a lot of money buying up old houses and taking them out of the market so that they can renovate and make money on them later. So much for the needy first, right?”

?

Never heard of this, could you give a link or explain a bit more? It sounds like a very garbled reference to Decent Home Standard, but maybe you mean something else?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3313642/MPs-condemn-disastrous-pathfinder-scheme.html

I wasn’t quite accurate (memory fuzzy) they take them out of the market, demolish them (or wait to demolish them), and then wait for a developer to come along at the right price to build new housing (which wasn’t even necessarily affordable for the local residents). So we see councils, (also including Lib Dem councils, and no doubt Tory councils, money talks after all) displacing communities for something that is completely ill judged and actually takes away an affordable option for those less well off, while keeping the homes empty,

Ah, I see. This is something rather different, though, Pathfinder was an attempt to help regenerate areas where people didn’t want to live. This is certainly a problem, but is separate from the housing crisis in areas where demand massively exceeds supply. The only real solution for that is building more homes, as tim f said.

If we’re discussing social housing policy more generally, it is worth mentioning the Decent Home Standard, which has transformed the quality of social housing for millions of people.

“This is certainly a problem, but is separate from the housing crisis in areas where demand massively exceeds supply. The only real solution for that is building more homes, as tim f said.”

Tell that to the people displaced in Anfield, Liverpool, where rows of streets were bought up by councils through the pathfinder scheme and (to my knowledge) remain empty waiting for “new housing” investment to needlessly demolish them and build new more expensive housing on the plot.

The pathfinder projects flaw was that in these areas where “people don’t want to live” it’s because of the poor quality of housing, not because of the area. That doesn’t require houses to be taken off the market and demolished, only to be renovated properly.


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    The Left’s self regard over modern liberty. Get over yourselves! http://tinyurl.com/cwonxh

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