Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Earned Equity

Following on from Boris’ idea ofearned citizenship, Iain Duncan Smith is pushing the idea that council tenants who seek work and “keep their families in good order… could earn a share of the equity in their homes… Social housing often acts as a block against people getting back to work, with lifetime tenure and lack of mobility” he told the Today show this morning.
Equity should be offered to: “those paying rent on time, keeping their families in good order, being part of the community… Estates have become ghettos of the most broken families and there are incentives for them to stay like that…”

70% paying rent aspired to owning their own home according to research by the Centre for Social Justice. Isn’t this something sensible that New Labour could support? Helping decent hard working low income families to become homeowners? It isn’t something for nothing, it isn’t privatisation, it is nudging with rewards. If the most difficult and troublesome households saw their neighbours being rewarded for good housekeeping it would incentivise them to literally put their own house in order. The workless underclass in public sector housing is disproportionately the source of most crime and social problems. Labour’s inability to make progress in this area despite huge expenditures is one of the biggest tragedies of the Blair years.

Report Summary download (pdf).

Monday, December 1, 2008

Harman Attempting to Nobble Speaker

A weak Speaker is a terrible blight on parliament. In Speaker Martin we have the weakest Speaker in modern times. Harriet Harman is trying to push him around:Dale has the scoop, Harriet Harman is convening a meeting of government, party and civil service figures, Jacqui Smith and Jack Straw, as well as Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell, Jill Pay, the Serjeant at Arms and the Parliamentary Clerk, Malcolm Jack and a representative from the Speaker’s Office. Clearly they are trying to agree a fix. If it was a genuine attempt to resolve the situation honestly opposition parliamentarians would have been invited. Appropriately it leaked out.

Another Downing Street Aide Quits

Ben Brogan reports that Gordon Brown’s newly appointed “Strategic Communications Adviser” Nick Stace has lasted nine months. That long, eh?

He is off to Australia to get as far away as possible from the Prime Mentalist to take up a new job. The Downing Street bunker is returning to the hardcore plus Mandelson. Not a happy place is it?

+++ Pound Crashes Below $1.50 +++

And dropping… think this constitutes, as predicted by Osborne, a run on the pound.

+++ Press Association – Haringey Council Leader Resigns +++

Haringey Council leader George Meehan and cabinet member for children and young people Liz Santry have resigned in the wake of the Baby P scandal.

Stat-Porn : 763,7387 from 578,089 Visits by 131,053 Visitors

Traffic is up some 80% year-on-year, the absolute visitor count jumped this month because of foreign traffic, mainly after Yahoo and The National Review’s Corner blog featured stories from this blog.

The top three stories this month were in order:

  1. Brown Confesses to “Procuring Misconduct in Public Office”
  2. Home Secretary’s Biometric Data Compromised
  3. Guys Arrested, Searched, and Ticketed
Many thanks to advertisers this month including the Adam Smith Institute, Chandila Fenando, the Drinkers Alliance, eFoodies, Help the Aged, HSBC, Kirsty Williams, Microsoft, the Orwell Trust, Progressive Vision, the Save the Pub campaign, The Stationery Office, Total Politics magazine, Standpoint magazine and last, but not least, the brothers at the TUC blog. Cheers!

Zimbabwean Central Bank Endorses UK Policies on Banking

Some people got upset when Guido compared Britain to Zimbabwe, in defence it should be borne in mind that making the comparison does not belittle the suffering of the Zimbabweans. It seems Zimbabweans too are making the comparison; no doubt Gordon (and Vince Cable) will be cheered by this endorsement from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe:
As Monetary Authorities, we have been humbled and have taken heart in the realization that some leading Central Banks, including those in the USA and the UK, are now not just talking of, but also actually implementing flexible and pragmatic central bank support programmes where these are deemed necessary in their National interests.

That is precisely the path that we began over 4 years ago in pursuit of our own national interest and we have not wavered on that critical path despite the untold misunderstanding, vilification and demonization we have endured from across the political divide.

….leading central banks in the global economy are bailing out troubled economic sectors to achieve macroeconomic and financial stability….the Bank of England… providing a £50 billion lifeline to the UK’s banking sector.

Here in Zimbabwe we had our near-bank failures a few years ago and we responded by providing the affected Banks with the Troubled Bank Fund (TBF) for which we were heavily criticized even by some multi-lateral institutions who today are silent when the Central Banks of UK and USA are going the same way and doing the same thing under very similar circumstances thereby continuing the unfortunate hypocrisy that what’s good for goose is not good for the gander….

As Monetary Authorities, we commend those of our peers, the world over, who have now seen the light on the need for the adoption of flexible and practical interventions and support to key sectors of the economy when faced with unusual circumstances.

They seem to think that Gordon, far from leading the world, is copying Mugabonomics. They may have a point

Via : Naked Capitalism

Bad News, Good News

With a load of economic data out this morning the pound is off 1% against the euro, the Purchasing Managers Index is down sharply, mortgage lending is down 70% year on year, credit card borrowing is up, PWC have research out saying Briton’s are now personally £1.5 trillion in debt – yet Gordon wants them to spend, spend, spend more.

It is not all bad news though, Guido is short the FTSE….

+++ London Scottish Bank Bust +++

Official Stock Exchange announcement that after 100 years of trading it is in administration here. Metaphorical allegory in there somewhere.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View


Seen Elsewhere

How Avoidable Scandals Destroy Stupid Politicians | Alex Wickham
UKIP Mosque Confusion | The Week
Let’s Ban the Word Internet | Padraig Reidy
Are the Broadcasters Ready For the Election? | Specccie
Moral Bankruptcy of the BBC | David Keighley
UKIP’s ‘Starsky and Hutch’ | Total Politics
Innocent Sun Journo Just Doing Her Job | Sun
Boris Sent Up North | Times
The Only Way to Mend the EU | Leo McKinstry
Northern Labour Tearing Party Apart | David Aaronovitch
Osborne is Son of Brown | Peter Oborne


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Tony Blair threatens Ed:

“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority…  If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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