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buzzardo

Is It Time To Bring Pressure To Bear On Grant Shapps?

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I'm getting seriously p!ssed off with this muppet Shapps, and his pontifications about housing.

He's been trousering cash from developers, EA's and mortgage brokers for years but no-one seems to give a damn. Last time the MSM called it out was back in 2008, but not a sniff since then.

I can't be arsed emailing my MP any more, because every time I do I get another classic "Jeremy Rhyming Slang Standard Response from the Random Tory BS Generator" telling me to get back in my box. So I thought I'd try a different tack with the new Shadow Housing Minister Alison Seabeck (Ms Seabeck to me, of course...)

I'm intrigued to know what response I'll get to this - I strongly suspect they're all so up to their necks in it, that there's a good reason they aren't calling out his obvious vested interest, but I'm happy to give them a chance to at least write their own confession.

Subject: Latest nonsense from a heavily-compromised Grant Shapps - any chance you might raise a question in the House?

****************************************

Good afternoon Ms Seabeck.

I am contacting you in your capacity as the Shadow Minister for Housing, in the

hope that you can expose what looks like a distinct conflict of interest on the part of the Minister of State, Grant Shapps.

He has been banging on about the FSA review of mortgages for a while, but again

this morning he is being quoted in the mainstream media on the subject, spouting

arrant nonsense.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/minister-issues-wa

rning-on-mortgage-shakeup-2182510.html

You can see in the comments section what many in the real world think of his

views, but in simple terms it seems fairly obvious to most out here that the banking

crisis – both locally and globally – was caused in huge part by irresponsible

lending by the banks to fuel a property asset bubble. 125% LTV mortgages, Liar Loans (sorry, "self certification mortgages,") CDO's, MBS's etc.

In short, the banks have organised systemic and cynical theft from the nation

over recent years, and to put the icing on the cake David Cameron isn't even going to step in to limit their obscene bonuses off the back of that theft. (That's maybe one

for Mr Miliband to pick up on...)

But what is Grant Shapps' proposed solution? More of the same, and more people

given loans who can never repay them, and sometime soon we'll have another

Lehman-style collapse which the taxpayer will have to bail out.

Anyway, regardless of whether or not you agree with his views, I find it unfathomable that the Minister of State for Housing should put himself in a position where it looks like he has a strong Vested Interest in the continuation of over-priced housing in the UK. One quick look at his Register of Members' Interests makes horrible reading – the NHBC, Charcol Ltd, Douglas and Gordon, Sapcote Group etc; surely a Minister of State has to be free of even the faintest whiff of a conflict of interest, and I'm afraid to me this stinks.

It is a fact that he has taken donations from property developers, estate agents, and mortgage brokers. But now, rather than acting in the best economic interests of the whole country, and allowing a correction that would make housing more affordable for all, and improve UK PLC's ability to compete on the world

stage through greater economic efficiency, he seems to be advocating a continuation of the asset bubble that means the country can never properly recover.

It also means that millions of lower-income and young people, in this country,

can never aspire to that good old British dream of owning a roof over their head,

which means they could abandon this country forever, and seek another land where their aspirations are allowed to flourish. Surely the Labour Party doesn't want to

see this happen, along with the wealth of the nation becoming even more concentrated into a small number of (mainly Tory) wealthy hands…?

I'm amazed that the media, and you folks in opposition, don't seem to want

to call this out and ask questions. Surely Grant Shapps has to be called to account, and an explanation demanded in the house to clear this up

once and for all. Or he should step down.

There's a clear whiff of New Tory Sleaze here, but you guys don't seem to be

picking up on the opportunity….

I'm interested in your thoughts on this one, and hope that a suitable question

may appear very soon in the House to clear this up….

Best regards.

B.

Other commenters on the Indie article have also picked up on it, but it's only one small corner of the web.

Personally, I think it's worth a concerted campaign, in the comments sections of every newspaper where this muppet is quoted, to get the facts out in front of the general public who may not know about his little arrangements, or the Members' Register on TheyWorkForYou.com, so they can get a better sense of whose interests he's really looking out for.

Anyone else up for joining me in a little "recalibration" campaign, in all the online comments sections, over the next few weeks?

Happy New Year to all...

B

PS - the formatting on the original email was much better - I just really struggle to paste it into the HPC quotes box :)

Edited by buzzardo

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Good thinking, though a bit long and ranty...

I may do a shorter version and post it to her on high quality vellum paper, perfumed with the faint whiff of hope.

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I can understand the sentiment, but why have you written to a Labour MP?

Labour Ministers were being financed and sponsored with, literally, millions upon millions of pounds, from housebuilders their entire time in office. [it was a love affair] The same housebuilders who, [aherm] coincidentally got the building contracts.

Edited by Dan1

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Go and see your MP, at his local surgery or at the House of Commons. I did this years ago as a student protesting against Labours education cuts. I also met Barbara Castle, David Steel and various Labour lefties of the time (which will give some idea how long ago it was). Not many Tories as my MP was Labour MP for Northampton at the time. I was amazed how accessible everyone was. I dare say security is tighter but I'm sure its still possible. Much harder to spout random ******** in a face to face conversation, but seriously senior HPC types should get a lobbying group together, decide to say without sounding all ranty and looking like a bunch of end of the world nutters.

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Good luck with your email to Alison Seabeck.

Her register of member's interest is quite interesting for someone involved in housing. Lots of donations from the Institution of Structural Engineers and Mr Stef Stefanou, a family friend and Managing Director of John Doyle Construction.

http://www.theyworkf...r_view#register

http://www.theyworkf...regmem/?p=11760

In December 2010 she was under investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in relation to declaration of member's interests according to Wkipedia.

http://en.wikipedia..../Alison_Seabeck

Incidentally I emailed Grant Shapp's office recently about various housing matters and received this in reply:

Firstly, with respect to your main point that house prices are too high, the Government appreciates that it is challenging for some people to access a mortgage and buy a home in the current market. As I explained in my previous email, the Government is committed to establishing a market where house prices are stable. However, a sharp downward adjustment to house prices would improve affordability but would have severe wider consequences on the housing market and housing supply. We want to ensure that the housing market is able to meet demand and creditworthy borrowers are not left out in the cold.

You ask why someone who has an empty second property does not have to pay council tax on it. In England, properties which are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished can be exempt from council tax for up to six months. This is to allow someone a reasonable tax free period to occupy, let or sell the property. However, once the period of exemption has ended, local authorities may charge council tax. Local authorities may charge up to 100% council tax if the property is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished or up to 90% if it is unoccupied and substantially furnished. Both types of property benefit from services such as the police and fire services, street lighting and road maintenance and it is only fair that owners of such properties contribute towards these costs through council tax.

With respect to your query about the taxation that landlords are liable for, the Government wants to retain incentives to save and invest in capital assets, such as BTL properties through mortgage interest relief for landlords, at the same time as ensuring we have a fairer tax system. At the June 2010 Budget the Government introduced a top rate of Capital Gains Tax of 28 per cent on gains that fall above the basic rate band, so that those who gain significantly from the disposal of assets, such as buy-to-let properties for example, make a fair contribution. The Government believes that, taken together, these measures produce a fair and balanced system.

In relation to your question on the Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme, this scheme is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions and provides assistance with mortgage payments for out of work households. This is an important part of our support for out of work households and helps to prevent repossessions and homelessness.

Finally, with respect to the Financial Services Authority Responsible Lending proposals, mortgage regulation which allows creditworthy borrowers access to homeownership, while preventing repossessions, is essential to establishing a stable market. The Financial Services Authority proposals are therefore of great importance to the future of the housing market and they deserve wide debate based on the best possible evidence. The Financial Services Authority has made clear that they are in the middle of a process which involves engaging stakeholders through consultation papers to assess what changes should be made to improve the effectiveness of the mortgage market going forward.

The email did not have a confidentiality clause so I assume I am OK to mention the contents in public. As I mentioned Seabeck's register of interests perhaps I should mention Shapp's for balance?

May 2008

Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps admits taking donations from estate agent and four other firms connected with property industry

Tory shadow housing minister Grant Shapps has been using money from an estate agent and property firms to run his private parliamentary office, the MP has admitted.

In a letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner, Shapps said he had taken donations of more than £1,000 from five firms connected with the property industry to run his private office, despite the nature of his role.

Shapps has led the Conservative campaign against the introduction of Home Information Packs. Hips are also violently opposed by the Estate Agency industry.

The donations were from two online mortgage brokers, Charcol and Edeus Creators; Douglas & Gordon, a west London estate agent; the Sapcote Group, a commercial property developer; and Goldsmith Williams, a firm of solicitors that specialises in conveyancing and remortgaging.

The money came to Shapps via Conservative central office, with donors expressing a desire the money should be used to fund Shapps’ office.

http://www.building.co.uk/news/anti-hips-tory-funded-by-property-firms/3113864.article

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I'm getting seriously p!ssed off with this muppet Shapps, and his pontifications about housing.

He's been trousering cash from developers, EA's and mortgage brokers for years but no-one seems to give a damn. Last time the MSM called it out was back in 2008, but not a sniff since then.

I can't be arsed emailing my MP any more, because every time I do I get another classic "Jeremy Rhyming Slang Standard Response from the Random Tory BS Generator" telling me to get back in my box. So I thought I'd try a different tack with the new Shadow Housing Minister Alison Seabeck (Ms Seabeck to me, of course...)

I'm intrigued to know what response I'll get to this - I strongly suspect they're all so up to their necks in it, that there's a good reason they aren't calling out his obvious vested interest, but I'm happy to give them a chance to at least write their own confession.

Other commenters on the Indie article have also picked up on it, but it's only one small corner of the web.

Personally, I think it's worth a concerted campaign, in the comments sections of every newspaper where this muppet is quoted, to get the facts out in front of the general public who may not know about his little arrangements, or the Members' Register on TheyWorkForYou.com, so they can get a better sense of whose interests he's really looking out for.

Anyone else up for joining me in a little "recalibration" campaign, in all the online comments sections, over the next few weeks?

Happy New Year to all...

B

PS - the formatting on the original email was much better - I just really struggle to paste it into the HPC quotes box :)

Well done. I wrote to shappsy last year and like you say got the usual pre written mail merged ********

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I can understand the sentiment, but why have you written to a Labour MP?

Labour Ministers were being financed and sponsored with, literally, millions upon millions of pounds, from housebuilders their entire time in office. [it was a love affair] The same housebuilders who, [aherm] coincidentally got the building contracts.

Because my local Tory MP (Ye Minister for Running Races and Obscure Opera) is fecking useless, and (as I've previously recounted elsewhere) always emails me telling me that as an STR I'm clearly a loser, pointing out that his seat in Parliament depends solely on him protecting the interests of thousands of over-leveraged South Farnham home-owers, and cordially inviting me to STFU...

So, in the best traditions of Sun Tzu and the Art of War (good read, if you have a mo!!) I thought I'd go for some of that nice strategy known as "Killing with the Borrowed Dagger...." Also known as "get some other asshole to do your dirty work..."

I actually think the Labour party are shameless enough to be tempted by a bit of "Tory Sleaze" point-scoring, so thought I'd just enable that behaviour, by bringing some data to the attention of their Shadow Minister for the same brief.

If Ms Shadow Minister doesn't come up with something sensible, then rinse and repeat with the online education of the sheeple, and muller her reputation as well (she's got a dodgy-looking donation from a "family friend," who also happens to be in property as well, so there's maybe some squirm-factor to be had there too.) All in all, what's not to like - time to remind these f**kers that THEY work for US...

Alternatively, I could sit on my fat ar$e and do nothing....but that's not really my style, in any aspect of life... :D

B

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Go and see your MP, at his local surgery or at the House of Commons.

Bin there. Dun that. (Please see my later reply.)

He ain't known as "Jeremy Rhyming Slang" around here for nothing you know... :lol:

B

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Good luck with your email to Alison Seabeck.

Her register of member's interest is quite interesting for someone involved in housing.

I know. Sucks like Paris Hilton, doesn't it?!

Like I said a bit later on, there's some squirm-room here as well for her Ms-ship, so let's see where that lands.

If I get some mealy-mouthed sloblock back from her, then we go after both their reputations in the "re-educating the sheeple" process, to make it a bit more transparent who's side they could be interpreted as being on...

When Jim Royle comes out with "Opposition? My ar$e" in the 2011 Christmas special, we know the message has got through!!

B

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Good luck with your email to Alison Seabeck.

Her register of member's interest is quite interesting for someone involved in housing. Lots of donations from the Institution of Structural Engineers and Mr Stef Stefanou, a family friend and Managing Director of John Doyle Construction.

http://www.theyworkf...r_view#register

http://www.theyworkf...regmem/?p=11760

In December 2010 she was under investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in relation to declaration of member's interests according to Wkipedia.

http://en.wikipedia..../Alison_Seabeck

Incidentally I emailed Grant Shapp's office recently about various housing matters and received this in reply:

The email did not have a confidentiality clause so I assume I am OK to mention the contents in public. As I mentioned Seabeck's register of interests perhaps I should mention Shapp's for balance?

In relation to this bit.....

"However, a sharp downward adjustment to house prices would improve affordability but would have severe wider consequences on the housing market and housing supply"

Did you ask them to clarify or expand on what these sever wider consequences are , and why they are so severe ?

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Good luck with your email to Alison Seabeck.

Her register of member's interest is quite interesting for someone involved in housing. Lots of donations from the Institution of Structural Engineers and Mr Stef Stefanou, a family friend and Managing Director of John Doyle Construction.

http://www.theyworkf...r_view#register

http://www.theyworkf...regmem/?p=11760

In December 2010 she was under investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in relation to declaration of member's interests according to Wkipedia.

http://en.wikipedia..../Alison_Seabeck

Incidentally I emailed Grant Shapp's office recently about various housing matters and received this in reply:

The email did not have a confidentiality clause so I assume I am OK to mention the contents in public. As I mentioned Seabeck's register of interests perhaps I should mention Shapp's for balance?

They are all in it together. Pointless writing to any politician.

The only solution is for another Cromwell type of character to march into Parliament, round them up, and start fresh.

We need a revolution, break the Ponzi and have a government for the people by the People. 1776 and all that!

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In relation to this bit.....

"However, a sharp downward adjustment to house prices would improve affordability but would have severe wider consequences on the housing market and housing supply"

Did you ask them to clarify or expand on what these sever wider consequences are , and why they are so severe ?

No. I sent another email but haven't received a response. I took their argument to mean that if house prices fell housebuilders would not build as many houses. So in my reply I said:

"Lower house prices would mean housebuilders make less money per house - that would encourage them to build more houses to maintain profits which is what the country needs. If you support house prices so builders have higher profit margins then they don't need to build as many to make the same profits. We need our housebuilders to mass produce lower priced units - your policy will ultimately pay them as much profit per year for building just one house".

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The letter comes across as ranty, and imo is aimed at the wrong people. Telling labour that its all the banks fault in the hope that they will adopt this line is politically unlikely as we all know that banks will always do what the government of the day lets them get away with. An insult on the banks is an insult on labour.

On the other hand your letter has informed me. I didnt know about schapps' interests. Dirty politics in its truest form. I have written before about my first impressions of this guy when i met him. Thought he was a bit of a snake in the grass that would try to please everybody. This info suggests not everybody!

However i stick to original conclusion that no housing minister, whatever his political hue or interests, cannot delay the innevitable forever - and its already been delayed for a while!

The invisible hand ALWAYS wins. Its just a question of when and at what cost in the meantime.

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Re Shapp's response

With respect to your query about the taxation that landlords are liable for, the Government wants to retain incentives to save and invest in capital assets, such as BTL properties through mortgage interest relief for landlords, at the same time as ensuring we have a fairer tax system. At the June 2010 Budget the Government introduced a top rate of Capital Gains Tax of 28 per cent on gains that fall above the basic rate band, so that those who gain significantly from the disposal of assets, such as buy-to-let properties for example, make a fair contribution. The Government believes that, taken together, these measures produce a fair and balanced system.

In relation to your question on the Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme, this scheme is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions and provides assistance with mortgage payments for out of work households. This is an important part of our support for out of work households and helps to prevent repossessions and homelessness.

1. BTL isn't about saving and investing, it is about borrowing to invest. If BTL people had saved the money and then bought a house there would not be tax relief on the loan interest.

2. Repossessed houses don't get demolished. Someone else, who can afford it, moves in. No net increase in homelessness.

The frustrating thing is the MSM interviewers who actually subscribe to Shapp's view and don't ever challenge him with the facts of the property bubble or his own VI.

Y

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I'm afraid Seabecks is just as dodgy as Shapps and it's certain she won't go after him as she is dipping in the same pot.

I emailed her twice and got an identical response each time from her trained monkey sorry PA saying my mail was 'noted'.

When I asked 'noted by whom?' I got the exact same auto reply back saying my mail was 'noted'.

Useless, complete waste of space. Labour might as well not bother having anyone in the job.

Not tipped for the top (unless she rides the quotas bandwagon ... oh sorry she did already to get her seat - all woman shortlist according to wikipedia).

That's not the only thing she has been riding .. she's was formerly PA to Nick Raynsford and is now married to him (divorces all round prior to that).

Edited by montesquieu

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The letter comes across as ranty, and imo is aimed at the wrong people. Telling labour that its all the banks fault in the hope that they will adopt this line is politically unlikely as we all know that banks will always do what the government of the day lets them get away with. An insult on the banks is an insult on labour.

On the other hand your letter has informed me. I didnt know about schapps' interests. Dirty politics in its truest form. I have written before about my first impressions of this guy when i met him. Thought he was a bit of a snake in the grass that would try to please everybody. This info suggests not everybody!

However i stick to original conclusion that no housing minister, whatever his political hue or interests, cannot delay the innevitable forever - and its already been delayed for a while!

The invisible hand ALWAYS wins. Its just a question of when and at what cost in the meantime.

1. Yeah, I know. I could have spent days writing something very witty and satirical, but I'm not Mark Steel and I have a day job to do.

  • In fact, TBH honest if all I wrote was "hey dude, you're a bit of a c**t aren't you?" someone on here would accuse me of being too long, ranty, and unfocused, because they would have preferred a simple "Jesus wept..." (except, of course, no f**ker would know what they were on about..)

2. Thanks - that is actually the intention here. Lots of people you'd expect to know and care about this stuff don't. Hence the desire to educate (as in "get the information out there, but without being pompous and preachy..")

3. Indeed - and if we allow them (whether "they" are Shapps, or Ms Wotserface the Shadow Minister,) to let their interests remain invisible, then they will inevitably win. Let's get these b@st@rds and their grubby secrets out in the open, and make them squirm. They can't fight a whole web-full of micro-Julian Assanges,,,

I think we're broadly on the same page, even if my writing style is a bit clunky; but in a way, if Ms Seabeck can't be arsed to read even that length of letter, and give a decent response, then in fact I've got the other positive outcome, which is an opportunity to expose her either for having her own snout in the trough - OR not caring that Shapps has...

All a bit "no lose" from our perspective, if you ask me....

B

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The frustrating thing is the MSM interviewers who actually subscribe to Shapp's view and don't ever challenge him with the facts of the property bubble or his own VI.

Absolutely. Which is why we have to pick up cudgels, and take a little time every day to do it ourselves - on EVERY online forum, and on EVERY online newspaper comments section where they peddle their unchallenged bollux. Even if it's only clicking the green or red arrows on Wail comments....

We have the perfect mechanism, in the internet, to challenge every line of every lying utterance of these b@stards, and hold them to account in a way that no MSM trougher will.

Bugger, I used capitals and wrote more than one line. I'm being ranty again!! :lol:

B

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1. Yeah, I know. I could have spent days writing something very witty and satirical, but I'm not Mark Steel and I have a day job to do.

  • In fact, TBH honest if all I wrote was "hey dude, you're a bit of a c**t aren't you?" someone on here would accuse me of being too long, ranty, and unfocused, because they would have preferred a simple "Jesus wept..." (except, of course, no f**ker would know what they were on about..)

2. Thanks - that is actually the intention here. Lots of people you'd expect to know and care about this stuff don't. Hence the desire to educate (as in "get the information out there, but without being pompous and preachy..")

3. Indeed - and if we allow them (whether "they" are Shapps, or Ms Wotserface the Shadow Minister,) to let their interests remain invisible, then they will inevitably win. Let's get these b@st@rds and their grubby secrets out in the open, and make them squirm. They can't fight a whole web-full of micro-Julian Assanges,,,

I think we're broadly on the same page, even if my writing style is a bit clunky; but in a way, if Ms Seabeck can't be arsed to read even that length of letter, and give a decent response, then in fact I've got the other positive outcome, which is an opportunity to expose her either for having her own snout in the trough - OR not caring that Shapps has...

All a bit "no lose" from our perspective, if you ask me....

B

Yes we're on the same page. Sorry to sound insulting if thats how it came across. I will shall pass on the info about Schapps to conservative friends of mine that are less critical than myself :)

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Yes we're on the same page. Sorry to sound insulting if thats how it came across. I will shall pass on the info about Schapps to conservative friends of mine that are less critical than myself :)

Not at all - I took it completely in the spirit intended, and wasn't the least bit offended, but thanks for the follow-up note anyway...

TBH, I thought long and hard about even posting this up, because there are a lot of waaaay worse judgemental grammar Nazis on here than you - and no doubt they'll be along shortly to give me a proper kicking!!

But in the end I thought "sod it, just go for it...this is important." If I'd been a lot more eloquent, then I'd have used your own expression, which for me summed it up really nicely - "the invisible hand ALWAYS wins.."

That was a real eye-opener for me, and I loved it. And it was also a great reminder of why the internet will eventually change the world - like-minded people, sharing ideas and building on them, and educating each other along the way. Yeah, and sometimes p!ssing each other off - but that's at least half the fun, isn't it?!

Take care, and have a great evening.

B

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Not at all - I took it completely in the spirit intended, and wasn't the least bit offended, but thanks for the follow-up note anyway...

TBH, I thought long and hard about even posting this up, because there are a lot of waaaay worse judgemental grammar Nazis on here than you - and no doubt they'll be along shortly to give me a proper kicking!!

But in the end I thought "sod it, just go for it...this is important." If I'd been a lot more eloquent, then I'd have used your own expression, which for me summed it up really nicely - "the invisible hand ALWAYS wins.."

That was a real eye-opener for me, and I loved it. And it was also a great reminder of why the internet will eventually change the world - like-minded people, sharing ideas and building on them, and educating each other along the way. Yeah, and sometimes p!ssing each other off - but that's at least half the fun, isn't it?!

Take care, and have a great evening.

B

Feck the pedants Buzzardo; better to be illiterate than apathetic. Fair play to you.

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I've emailed Grant Shapps stating I was not happy about his change in attitude to lending regulation.

How about:

'Dear Mr Shapps,

I am disappointed about your change in attitude to lending regulation.

Not suprised, as you are in the pockets of the lenders and you are clearly their bitch.

But disappointed.

Yours, etc., '

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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