Thursday, April 03, 2008

Booting Boris

An anonymous commentator says of the last post:
Sorry I must disagree. You're clearly well out of your depth.

Boris has come up with a range of policy proposals - I advise you to look at his policies on

Manifesto's galore (just a small one for you, Ken's Housing Manifesto was 11 pages long, Paddick's 1 page long...Boris' 38 pages). He's the only candidate with new ideas and the only one capable of leading this city at a time where corruption in City Hall is rife.
Now, I did actually check out Boris' policy pages before posting (the clue to that, anonymous, was that I linked to his webpage), and all I saw on housing was a vague commitment to work in partnership with councils to raise more affordable homes (note his objection to a quota, what that means is Tory suburban strongholds not wanting to develop affordable housing on their patch, which is what the current situation does). Likewise his promise to protect "historic views".

I've now looked in vain for his epic housing manifesto online at his site, and can't find it, after a good deal of searching. Now, maybe I'm a eejit, or maybe he's just not being very forthright about putting his policies forward.

But, lets look at what specifics I could find:

  • Release GLA-owned land and £130 million from the Regional Housing Pot to launch a new 'FirstSteps Housing Scheme', which will be open to first-time buyers frozen out of Government schemes

  • Work with the boroughs to build 50,000 more affordable homes by 2011

  • Invest £60 million from the Regional Housing Pot to start renovating the capital's 84,205 empty properties to help low-income Londoners off waiting

  • Incentivise the boroughs to release dormant housing to those stuck in bed and breakfast accommodation, by returning the Mayor's precept to them

    These are all driven by free market privatising dogma - as if lowering the precept (tax cuts! tax cuts! screameth the Dalek) is not itself going to be used by boroughs (esp. Liberal and Tory boroughs) to cut their own taxes (tax cuts! tax cuts! screameth the Dalek), even if strings are attached, money is fungible, and the boroughs would just reallocate the budgets elsewhere. Likewise, "releasing GLA land" is just more state shrinking.

    As for the pittances outlined above, that renovation scheme amounts to about £700 per property, might do for a lick of paint, I suppose.

    Like I said, Johnson is going to actively and as a matter of principle do nothing but channel the interests of the wealthy. The rest is bluster, blather and distraction from the reality of an exploited working class whose needs and interests always come in second place to the interests of profit and capital. A beautiful home is worthless if you can't afford to buy it.

  • No comments: