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The Notion Of Britain As A Property-Owning Democracy Is In Tatters

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This was in the Guardian yesterday, sorry if it's already been posted.

It's not a great article, but she's on message with several things. I like the fact that the word "oligarchy" was used a few times.

However, one thing that astounded me was the complete blanking out from the article of the 13 years of Labour policies. According to this article the problems all started with Thatcher, took a break for 13 years in 1997, then have miraculously started up again. I'm no Tory, but this article's selective deafness is utterly astounding.

Honestly, all this partisan bickering is just distracting us from the big picture. She almost touches on it when she mentions the "30 year project" to turn the nation into a property owning democracy, but then places the finger firmly in the direction of the Tories.

Anyway, I'm being drawn into the partisan bickering myself now. Westminster politicians of all colours are completely and utterly useless as far as I can see.

Viva la revolution!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/31/tory-housing-idea-in-tatters

The notion of Britain as a property-owning democracy is in tatters

Deborah Orr, Wednesday 31 August 2011

Homelessness up. Housing benefit claims up. Housing waiting lists up. What happened to the Tory dream of home-ownership transforming the nation?

It would be funny if it were not so terrible. Britain is 30 years into the grand Conservative project that was to transform the nation into a "property-owning democracy". To mark this great anniversary, a government-sponsored organisation, UK Asset Resolution, is about to embark on the highly patronising and paternalistic task of telephoning 30,000 mortgage-holders and telling them to spend less on nights out, Sky television, gym membership and mobile phones, and more on servicing their mortgages. It's safe to say that this is not what Margaret Thatcher had in mind when she promised that her privatisation policies would remove the state from people's personal lives. It hardly chimes with David Cameron's rhetoric either.

{snip}

Britain has now been an oligarchy, not a democracy, for quite some time. It is utterly absurd that Cameron and his chancellor George Osborne are at odds with their coalition partners over this question of reorganising the banks, and instead are minded to give greater weight to the desires of the banks themselves, who are resisting the plan.

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However, one thing that astounded me was the complete blanking out from the article of the 13 years of Labour policies.

Its the Guardian. Its what they do.

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The comments are hilarious. Thatcher gets a bashing for flogging off social housing but virtaully no-one mentions that the scheme was alive and well post 1997. If it was such a bad idea, why wasn't it killed off?

Not replacing the sold stock was pretty daft, but again Governments of both colours share the blame for that.

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Its the Guardian. Its what they do.

Yeah, I know they're a Labour paper. But I mean, honestly, you'd think they'd be a little bit less obvious about it being a broadsheet. I mean this kind of selective deafness would make the worst of the Tory tabloids proud.

Anyway, I shouldn't get so worked up about it.

I think we need a Dylan Ratigan type of figure to get behind in this country! Someone who just says to the main parties "look, you f**ks, you're both complete c**nts, grow a pair and get some policies!" I know a lot of people on this site think that man is someone like Nigel Farage, but I think he's too divisive, and I personally can't stand him.

Would dearly love a figure to pop up that we can all get behind on the big picture, irrespective of our differing opinions of the side issues and pet hates.

Urghhh! Where is the passion in our politics!!?

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However, one thing that astounded me was the complete blanking out from the article of the 13 years of Labour policies. According to this article the problems all started with Thatcher, took a break for 13 years in 1997, then have miraculously started up again.

Yes - pretty embarrassing. I've posted a couple of comments on the rather glaring omission...

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Stuff like this just reminds me of why I hate the Guardian. At least the Telegraph tends to have a bit of debate over what conservatism really means - but the Grauniad lot are still blaming 'Fatcher' twenty years on! They really are like children.

People have also completely forgotten the Labour v Tory housebuilding race of the 1960s which resulted in a lot of substandard social housing. Wilson? Heath? Who are they - it was Fatcher I tell ya!

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One good thing in the article is describing folk not as home owners but as "home owners". Whenever I've put it to (non-HPC) people that having a mortgage only makes you a loan owner & that you only own the house once it's paid off, I've been met with a Largactil stare.

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Labour just continued the dogmatic neo-liberal policies of Thatcher and they were more in thrall to big-money.....

Ironic really as the property-owning democracy was a plank of Thatchers for genuine reasons. Perhaps she was too blinkered economically to join up the dots. Whole sale deregulation just results in a big win for the oligarchs and the banking elite as they have the economic muscle and are able to manipulate/lobby the political classes to do their bidding.

I read the other day that by the end of this decade the majority of households in London will be in some form of rented accomodation, that will take London back to the 1960's. Its amazing that the Tories and Labour have let this happen over time since the 1980's. Its going to be a big negative for the Tory vote there even some Tories are starting to get it though. On Newsnight last night was one who was talking about taxing the uber-wealthy class more, especially in respect of property taxation in London. Closing offshore loopholes and the like as its pricing out middle class households and a way of raising more revenue

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Stuff like this just reminds me of why I hate the Guardian. At least the Telegraph tends to have a bit of debate over what conservatism really means - but the Grauniad lot are still blaming 'Fatcher' twenty years on! They really are like children.

People have also completely forgotten the Labour v Tory housebuilding race of the 1960s which resulted in a lot of substandard social housing. Wilson? Heath? Who are they - it was Fatcher I tell ya!

I only know the London area but since those substandard 1960's flats and houses have been retro-fitted they are far better quality and size than the new-build private sector slave boxes built in the last decade. Their only problem is some of the residents... :unsure:

Edited by skomer

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Hopper165's comment today at 12:29PM is a good one.

Conservatives worldwide base their policies on a economic theory that is dysfunctional. The models of Smith, Friedman and others only work in "perfect markets" with "complete information" for everyone and an abundance of possible products on offer.

As a matter of fact markets are never perfect. They are always distorted. One of the main faults is that on the supply side too few are offering a comparable product. This is one of the reasons why fuel prices are where they are. The entry costs for that market are too high and therefore only a few companies that can afford the investments form an oligopoly and fix prices. Or ever wondered, why there are only 4 or 5 major phone companies, 4 or 5 utilities companies and so on. Entry costs and the very core of capitalism, mergers and acquisition, have the tendency to form oligopolies and only strict monitoring by the regulators can avoid that they abuse their position.

Then there is the vested interest that makes companies form alliances against customers. This happens daily in the housing market between sellers, estate agents and banks - all benefit from the highest possible price an object gets sold for. The buyer is left alone and has no lobby.

In addition you have the factor of misinformation (mostly intentionally). The media plays a key role here. Since the beginning of the housing bubble the reporting is about prices and how little they´ve change, which is surprising taken the 30% fall of the US market (and still falling). This is because the media is fed by think tanks, institutions, companies with vested interest. Instead of writing about the prices of objects, they could write about the volume of the market. Then the readers would realize that the housing market has come to a complete stand-still. A headline like "house prices to rise by 21% in coming years" shows how delusional it can get - it is clear who spreads those news, but why report wishful-thinking.

Hardly any deals are made, because sellers don´t want to sell below their purchase price, buyers don´t want to purchase at that price, buyers cannot mortgage property at the asking price, mortgages are not available as banks are unwinding their exposure to that market - so the housing market in the UK has stalled.

At the current inflation it will take a decade or even longer to unwind the difference in asking price and fair value, hence a generation will have to rent.

This is finally a good thing. Language can tell you a lot! Mortgage contains the latin word for death and 'gage' is in many languages 'the fee'. Real estate is known in other countries also as 'immobiliers', unmovables. You can´t move it, but you can also not get rid of it if you need to. There are whole areas in this country in which houses are in principle unsellable because those areas have external migration.

And then there are the building restrictions which artificially reduce what is on offer. This could in theory keep the prices up high, but if nobody other than rich people can buy those the effect will be that normal earners are pushed further and further out of the striving areas. The social shifts will be enormous and lead to further dissatisfaction.

The housing bubble has occured in the USA, the UK and Spain. The banks have spread it via their ingenious products (CFOs, CDOs) to the rest of the world. It seems though that some Western countries not only completely avoided the housing bubble, but also have very good growth and employment figures. Probably worth looking into what they do different in their state-set up, philosophy, regulations, society, industry politics, banking system, housing.

Is this someone from HPC?

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The BBC is in full swing, trying to reverse expectations on property owning. After all, in Europe everyone rents so why not here?.....etc.

This is on everything, from Newsnight to local radio.

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Stuff like this just reminds me of why I hate the Guardian. At least the Telegraph tends to have a bit of debate over what conservatism really means - but the Grauniad lot are still blaming 'Fatcher' twenty years on! They really are like children.

People have also completely forgotten the Labour v Tory housebuilding race of the 1960s which resulted in a lot of substandard social housing. Wilson? Heath? Who are they - it was Fatcher I tell ya!

+1

Another sad attempt at rewritting history. Thatcher and the Torries have played their parts in the game of RIP United Kingdom very well. However to eradicate the damage also inflicted by new and old labour over the last 40 odd years, just renders the whole article as biased trash.

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The BBC is in full swing, trying to reverse expectations on property owning. After all, in Europe everyone rents so why not here?.....etc.

This is on everything, from Newsnight to local radio.

Yep, and all the rent for ever loons on here are giving this a grateful helpful hand.

Sure people may be happy renting, however I suggest they're on the wrong forum.

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I only know the London area but since those substandard 1960's flats and houses have been retro-fitted they are far better quality and size than the new-build private sector slave boxes built in the last decade. Their only problem is some of the residents... :unsure:

True, but the retro-fitting involves enormous amounts of expensive work (usually on various PFI type fiddles) which wouldn't have been necessary if the original buildings were up to scratch. The only reason they're bigger is because they were built to the Parker-Norris minimum space standards which the Cons got rid of in the 80s. (So Guardianistas yes you may blame 'FATCHER' for that one... :rolleyes: )

As for the BBC changing tune, it doesn't surprise me. I've always said bad policies only change in the UK when the people who made them begin to be affected by them. BBC staff a few years ago would have been 'on the ladder' types who bought low and sold high, now the up and coming journos will be priced out renters starting to wonder why they live in a bedsit in Clapham when their parents had 3 bedroom semis on one income at the same age.

Edited by Austin Allegro

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Labour instigated the pathfinder program aswell. Demolishing homes with the intention of increasing property prices ph34r.gif

The RAF had pathfinders during WWII. The Mosquito aircraft would lead the way and drop flares on the targets, followed by the Lancaster bombers.

Only NuLabour would destroy their own cities!

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This was in the Guardian yesterday, sorry if it's already been posted.

It's not a great article, but she's on message with several things. I like the fact that the word "oligarchy" was used a few times.

However, one thing that astounded me was the complete blanking out from the article of the 13 years of Labour policies. According to this article the problems all started with Thatcher, took a break for 13 years in 1997, then have miraculously started up again. I'm no Tory, but this article's selective deafness is utterly astounding.

Honestly, all this partisan bickering is just distracting us from the big picture. She almost touches on it when she mentions the "30 year project" to turn the nation into a property owning democracy, but then places the finger firmly in the direction of the Tories.

Anyway, I'm being drawn into the partisan bickering myself now. Westminster politicians of all colours are completely and utterly useless as far as I can see.

Viva la revolution!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/31/tory-housing-idea-in-tatters

Guardian readers love to play down New Labia's dismal record and always go back to Thatcher tenure as "the start of it all". Personally I blame the electorate for voting in the government that promises the most gifts from the treasury and continues to vote for the same government until they trash the economy, then change colours.

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For the Record, posted 6 or 7 comments.

All mentioning the failures of Labour, or Brown.

Two made it through.

EDIT**. No, no, i take it back. Most of my copy and paste jobs, have now made it through.........I wonder if the Guardian has reviewed its policy on comment is free recently?

Or whether historically its just been a case of some individual biased moderators? Too early to say..........

Edited by Milton

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Labour just continued the dogmatic neo-liberal policies of Thatcher and they were more in thrall to big-money.....

Ironic really as the property-owning democracy was a plank of Thatchers for genuine reasons. Perhaps she was too blinkered economically to join up the dots. Whole sale deregulation just results in a big win for the oligarchs and the banking elite as they have the economic muscle and are able to manipulate/lobby the political classes to do their bidding.

I read the other day that by the end of this decade the majority of households in London will be in some form of rented accomodation, that will take London back to the 1960's. Its amazing that the Tories and Labour have let this happen over time since the 1980's. Its going to be a big negative for the Tory vote there even some Tories are starting to get it though. On Newsnight last night was one who was talking about taxing the uber-wealthy class more, especially in respect of property taxation in London. Closing offshore loopholes and the like as its pricing out middle class households and a way of raising more revenue

They even helpfully changed their name to New Labour to ensure it was plain to everybody that they were in fact nothing whatsoever to do with a socialist party.

For some inexplicable reason nobody seemed to notice.

It all came crashing down the moment Brown wrested temporary control away from Tory Blair.

I've no idea what Cameron is - I'm fairly certain neither does he.

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For the Record, posted 6 or 7 comments.

All mentioning the failures of Labour, or Brown.

Two made it through.

What name? - I've posted a few under 'tomandlu' (although, obviously, with a slightly different political viewpoint to yours)

EDIT Don't worry - I think I've spotted you ;)

Edited by tomandlu

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I read the other day that by the end of this decade the majority of households in London will be in some form of rented accomodation, that will take London back to the 1960's. [...] Its going to be a big negative for the Tory vote there even some Tories are starting to get it though. On Newsnight last night was one who was talking about taxing the uber-wealthy class more, especially in respect of property taxation in London

Its nice to hope that, but the current cabinet is too stuffed full of old etonians to even realise there is a problem

A few days ago someone opined that by 2020 priced out renters might form the majority of the voting public and then there might be some sort of government action

Bearing in mind the BoE willingness to keep interest rates at next to zero for the foreseeable future and the banks' refusal to address their problem loans....it is actually looking possible it could take that long for the political will forming to address house prices

Lets just hope the economics gets to them first...

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Yeah, I know they're a Labour paper. But I mean, honestly, you'd think they'd be a little bit less obvious about it being a broadsheet. I mean this kind of selective deafness would make the worst of the Tory tabloids proud.

Anyway, I shouldn't get so worked up about it.

I think we need a Dylan Ratigan type of figure to get behind in this country! Someone who just says to the main parties "look, you f**ks, you're both complete c**nts, grow a pair and get some policies!" I know a lot of people on this site think that man is someone like Nigel Farage, but I think he's too divisive, and I personally can't stand him.

Would dearly love a figure to pop up that we can all get behind on the big picture, irrespective of our differing opinions of the side issues and pet hates.

Urghhh! Where is the passion in our politics!!?

The charismatic leader has always been a wet dream of those inclined toward fascism. As a leader, Gaddaffi fitted the bill quite nicely.

I don't trust politicians at all. They are a venal, troughing, trousering, gravy train riding bunch of power crazies. Sadly, most people don't see this. The day when the people rule the government will probably never come, but it's nice to dream.

I overheard two local politicians saying how the new Libyan government would have problems with all those guns in civilian hands. They had no recognition of the fact that Libya wants to be a democracy, and it will be the people, not the government that will decide if they disarm.

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The charismatic leader has always been a wet dream of those inclined toward fascism. As a leader, Gaddaffi fitted the bill quite nicely.

I don't trust politicians at all. They are a venal, troughing, trousering, gravy train riding bunch of power crazies. Sadly, most people don't see this. The day when the people rule the government will probably never come, but it's nice to dream.

I overheard two local politicians saying how the new Libyan government would have problems with all those guns in civilian hands. They had no recognition of the fact that Libya wants to be a democracy, and it will be the people, not the government that will decide if they disarm.

Yup, it's true that in times of crisis there is the risk that you end up with a charismatic figure coming forward, but that they also unfortunately turn out to be a sociopath.

I'm thinking more FDR than Hitler obviously...!

I'd love to be into the whole "people run government" thing but alas I think it it, like you say, a dream. Politicians have got to media savvy in this day and age and that means charisma. I do believe that strong leadership is a good thing, but concede that it can go sour if you end up with a Gadaffi-type.

However, our crisis is getting so grave that I think it would be better to see a strong new force in politics emerge than go the other way and have the herd led by headless chickens (to use farmyard themed metaphors)...

HPC political party? Injin for Chancellor obviously.

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The idea of Britain as a democracy is in tatters. This nation's greatest times were always under a monarchy. Democracy is really just a form of anarchism.. even if we somehow voted in a capable leader, 5 years later the other party would win, and pursue a whole different set of policies.

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  • 284 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% +
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      • up 5%



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