On the drivers of UK housing policy

At the Evening Standard today @amolrajan provides a pithy summary:

The only reasonable conclusion is that Britain’s housing policy is fuelled by hypocrisy, a platform for deceit, a vehicle for cynicism, a declaration of war by the old and the rich on the young and the poor, and it is about to get worse, not better.

Came across this again today. So acute. The genius of Bird & Fortune is irreplaceable. 

Benefit cuts and disabled people - some evidence

Earlier this week, on the UN Day of Disabled People, Habinteg published a report examining the impact of the Coalition’s benefit cuts on their tenants. There was a particular concern to investigate whether policy is undermining the possibility of independent living.

This evidence suggests that disabled people are being hit hardest by the cumulative impact of welfare reform. 

You can read the report here.

Pointless machismo from the Lib Dems?

In today’s Observer Andrew Rawnsley has an interesting piece about privatisation, in the wake of the Royal Mail sell off.

He notes that you can explain the Tories’ enthusiasm for the sell off as a bid to out-Thatcher Thatcher. But that clearly doesn’t carry over to the Liberal Democrats.

He then writes the following:

The enthusiasm of Vince Cable and the Lib Dems is harder to fathom. This will seem counterintuitive to anyone who is not a Lib Dem minister, but for them this was also a political virility test. They believe that they burnish their credentials as a party of government by doing things that most of the public say they hate.

If that is anywhere near the vicinity of the truth then that is one of the most dispiriting things I’ve read today.

And given that the political arm of the media at the moment is largely filled with news designed to drain you of any hope that enlightenment might one day return to politics, that is surely saying something.

Further observations on evidence and quack policy

I wrote a blogpost at The Conversation in response to Jamie Whyte’s IEA publication Quack Policy. Jamie responded in the comment thread with a series of questions. My response to his comments/questions turned out to be a bit longer than I’d anticipated, so I have posted it below.

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Nothing new under the sun …

I came across this again today:

Nothing is esteemed except money, nothing accounted except a banking account. Quality, education, civic distinction, public virtue, are valued less and less. We have in London an important section of people who go about preaching the gospel of Mammon advocating the 10 per cent commandments - who raise each day the inspiring prayer “Give cash in our time, O Lord”.

This is part of a political speech associated with the argument that people fear the Independent Labour Party when what they should really be fearing is the Independent Capitalist Party.

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Material overload

Earlier I was reading today’s speech by Nick Clegg and thinking about what I might blog in response. This evening I re-encountered the following quote, which seems apposite, not to Clegg particularly, but to the whole business of political blogging in general. It’s from the Acknowledgements (p.vi) in Constructing the political spectacle by Murray Edelman (1988):

As a student of political language and symbolism, I am indebted in a different way to the countless public officials and representatives of political causes who spend their time giving me more data than I want, much of it disturbing or outrageous.

c2c “Down the road” - The track works, and they’ve almost managed to make it not sound like Moby.

In and Around Ludlow, 27/10/12-28/10/12