Monday, November 17, 2008

Guest post : Lifestyles

Below is a guest post from Mod on housing.

Lifestyles? What a trendy name. You can barely pick up a newspaper without the word, lifestyle, hitting you in the face But what does lifestyle mean to the British ? A nice TV? Good holidays? Trendy clothes? Plenty of free money? Or does it come down to something a bit more basic?

Housing? Housing is a very British concern, as an island there is little room for expansion and limited land.Housing is a favourite topic of conversation at middle-class dinner parties, from boasting about the size of the new extension to griping about negative equity, the British middle classes are intimately acquainted with the topic of housing. But they are not alone, the preoccupation for shelter, warmth, companionship and food have long dominated human culture, and understandably so.We can all sympathise with someone when they lose their home from natural disaster, flooding or fire.

So, given the above, the latest proposals from the Labour government are more inextricable and perverse.Basically, they remove security of tenure from Council tenants and introduce a degree of coercion related to the occupants' income and work situation.Many Council properties may be rubbish, but when you got one, you knew what you had, as a Council tenant, that was it, you had it for life, as long as you paid the rent, etc.

Now New Labour seeks to introduce the worst forms of social engineering and coerce Council tenants to do what Council bureaucrats and the government want. The Green Paper proposals were outlined recently:

"Whitehall officials said that ministers were looking at proposals from the Chartered Institute for Housing, which represents housing officials. It has proposed fixed-term tenancies in which anyone granted a council home would have it initially for three or four years before a review. Those whose circumstances had improved would no longer be able to remain on subsidised rents. A spokesman for the institute said that no one would be evicted under its plan, but that they could face higher rents. At present, social housing rents rise each year by the retail price index plus half a per cent. Under the new plan higher-tax payers could pay nearer the market rate."

Rather than improve the number and quality of Council houses, the New Labour proposal would introduce a higher degree of intransigence, instability and worry for Council tenants.It would not improve the lives of Council tenants one iota, but this proposal would assist in creating a larger underclass, completely disenfranchised from the political process and society.So in one fell swoop the New Labour government will have managed to do what even Margaret Thatcher could not do:destroy social housing in Britain.

But there is a bigger political picture to this nasty proposal, aside from the very obvious social effects, there is a political consequence, the growth of the BNP in Britain.There are some 2.8 million Council properties affected by this proposal, which probably extends down to 4-8 million people, who would, in all probability, have mostly voted for the Labour Party.It's a fair assumption that if Council tenants are going to vote they probably, by and large, would have voted for Labour. That's not going to be the case after this proposal goes through. Council tenants will feel stressed, ever under the watchful eye of a bureaucrat and insecure. They won't be voting for the Tories in large numbers, not the Liberals, either, no, they won't.

So unless there is a miraculous conversion, a sizable chunk of those Council tenant votes would land in the lap of the BNP.New Labour will have provided the BNP with all the propaganda that it needs.So the Left must take up this issue, not only because it is socially wrong, a direct attack on the working classes, but politically it is a gift to the BNP and will only assist their growth.And in putting forward this proposal New Labour has almost guaranteed that it will lose the next election as million of Council tenants vote elsewhere.Great job, New Labour, you've done the Tories job for them. Bastards!

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