Friday, April 04, 2008

Booting Ken

The big problem with Ken is, he has no excuse. He can rattle off the ills of capitalism till the cows come home; but all he has to offer is realpolitik of today.

Look at it this way, on housing, he says 50,000 affordable new homes over the next three years. Boris says 50,000 affordable new homes by 2011. the only difference is where they want to put them, with Ken's 50% quota imposing new build on Tory suburbs. Obviously, things like that do matter; but questions like, "Is that all?" and "What do you mean by 'affordable' anyway? Affordable to whom? How?" do spring to mind.

For instance, he cites the figure that there are 60,000 households with over 90,000 children in them, in temporary accomodation. This is an appalling scandal, and just the tip of the iceburg. 2.7 %, he says, of the housing stock is empty, because private owners are keeping them so.

On this he says
Policy has to be sensible and related to the real world. Boris Johnson’s 1 per cent target for empty homes is completely unachievable in practice: it couldn’t be achieved without stopping the private sale market from functioning.
Vile Trot that Ken is, he's protecting the housing market.

Indeed, his accomodation with the market is his hallmark. I've heard him discussing that jobs in industry just aren't coming back, and so we have to live with a nservice economy based London.

The bottom line is, his strategy is fatally flawed, he admits time and again that the power doesn't lie with him, and that he is doing little things here and there (some of which I'll discuss in coming posts) here and now.

We think that isn't enough, and the urgency of the situation is such that we need to mobilise to fundamentally change the system of society, and remove the burden of responsibility from people like Ken to ourselves.

Finally, Ken's constant reference to "Ordinary Londoners" would make Danny, our candidate, spit. Doubtless he'll tell you all about that himself soon.

No comments: