Winning Wedge Issue

Browsing Labourhome it seems clear that Labour activists have not got a clue just how out of touch they are from voters on Right-to-Buy, or as Dave has renamed and revamped it, Rent-to-Mortgage.
The Labourhomies attack it for ideological reasons, they despise the policy as nasty and Thatcherite. Extending home ownership has been a central tenet of Tory belief since the time of Macmillan, especially since a property owning democracy favours them politically, giving people a capital asset, bolstering independence and enhancing social mobility. State provided housing favours Labour politically, helps keep voters tethered to the public sector, increases dependency and inhibits social mobility. Labour activists think of council estates as helping those in need, Tories see them as keeping people in need.It is a fantastic wedge issue. Labour activists talk about RTB/RTM in terms like “selling off the housing stock” and “reducing the supply of social housing”, voting council tenants see it as moving up, owning their own home and getting a start on the property ladder. If council tenants under the new scheme can buy their homes at a good discounts to market value because of the length of time spent renting, the scheme will be a vote winner. Labour activists don’t seem to understand there are no votes in keeping people trapped renting in the public sector.

New Labour strategists will be triangulating carefully, weighing further upsetting the activists versus thwarting the aspirational strivers known in New Labourspeak as “decent hard working families”?



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