Almost exactly a year ago Ming told his party spokesman to stop reaching for knee-jerk statist responses to problems:
“Whitehall and Westminster must regulate less, legislate less and tax less. Fewer ministers, fewer MPs, fewer special advisers, fewer civil servants, fewer departments, fewer quangos”.
Sounded good, liberal even. So how does he apply that logic to the problem of housing shortages? Does he advocate de-regulating planning restrictions? No. He advocates the virtual expropriation of property. Councils he says should refuse planning permissions to landowners, forcing them to sell to the council as the buyer of last resort. Councils would then sell on or develop the land. How illiberal, unjust and tantamount to regulatory blackmail is that?
This is also a recipe for corruption, forcing landowners to sell to the council, who then sell it on to favoured developers after backhanders party donations have changed hands. It is not as if LibDem councillors haven’t been implicated in corruption cases often enough in the past.