Tuesday 29 June 2010

More Kneejerk Knockabout

When I first began studying economics in the 1950s it was a commonplace that the British labourforce was relatively geographically immobile, and that one of the obstacles to greater mobility was the problem of council house tenants finding another house in the areas where the work was. In those days there was a shortage of council houses and councils had long waiting lists which normally gave priority to local people.

The shortage of social housing, as it is now called, still persists, the shortage still acts as an obstacle to mobility, and Ian Duncan Smith has now realised this and decided to do something to help. I haven't yet had time to find out exactly what he proposes to do, but the instant reaction of labour leadership candidate Ed Balls that it is a return to the days of Norman Tebbit and "get on your bike" is really rather silly.

Respect for politics and politicians will not increase until we put a stop to this type of knockabout, subject proposals from any source to reasoned scrutiny and debate, and are prepared to welcome a sensible proposal even if it comes from another party.

Maybe we should abandon the present confrontational House of Commons chamber, turn in into a museum, and build another semi-circular one somewhere near York.

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