Tory Minister blaming problems on migrants – same old Nasty Party

December 1, 2012 2:21 pm

Every now and then my jaw drops when reading or hearing something someone says. It tends to be a reaction that is, thankfully, reserved to hearing things from the extremes of politics. You know the types of things. Like when BNP leader Nick Griffin tweeted the address of a gay couple who reported an instance of discrimination and promised some “British justice” would come their way.

But it seems we can now count on members of our Government to come out with things so shocking and beyond the political pale.

Nick Boles, the Tory MP for Grantham and Stamford, has said that Labour’s immigration policy is to blame for the lack of housing in Britain and that, “We need to have less immigration and more house-building and we might then have a civilised country.” Jaw-dropping.

Boles is right to speak about the housing shortage in Britain. But nowhere does he mention how the last Tory government we had was responsible for depletion in the housing stock through a right-to-buy policy that did not back up the laudable growth of homeownership with house-building to fill the gap left behind.

Instead, he blames immigrants.

Boles scarily informs us that, “The population of England has gone up by two million in the last ten years.” Well, the population of England (weird to use “England” in 2012, but we’ll work with it…) has form in this area. From 1951 to 1961 it went up by two million. From 1961 to 1971 it went up by two million. Hell, from 1841 to 1851 the population went up by two million. From 1851 to 1861 the population went up by two million. From 1861 to 1871 the population went up by two million.

Tying such a figure, with no perspective, into a statement about how immigration is depleting our housing stock is the sort of disingenuous nonsense that most of us would only expect from the aforementioned Griffin.

Boles goes on, after that staggering “two million” bombshell, to say that, “These people now live here, these people are now British and they need homes just like other British people.”

Read that: “These people”. It is careful, manipulative language. Despite saying “these people are now British”, it is a clear attempt to create a difference; these new Brits, and you real Brits. Us and them. Divide and rule. Classic Tory.

43% of new households that want a home, we’re told by Boles, “…is accounted for by immigration.” So are they British? Or are they immigrants? I’m confused by what Boles is telling us “these people” are. Or is he saying that despite them now, grudgingly, needing to be accepted as “British”, they are a legacy of immigration? If so, then I’m afraid to tell Mr. Boles that a hell of a lot more than 43% of us are a legacy of immigration in Great Britain.

Boles’ comments are a clear attempt to widen the coalition against immigrants and immigration. The Tories have their stronghold of people they know who will agree, now they are targeting a demographic that they see as ripe for the turning. In saying that immigrants will force house building on green belt land, Boles is creating a victim of himself, the poor Minister forced to build on treasured green belt land by immigrants, whilst spreading the net of right-wing disliking of immigrants over the heads of those who hold green belt land dear.

It is nasty politics from a nasty Tory.

In actual fact, net migration, like it was after Labour’s policy toward the end of its time in government, is down. The amount of people coming to Britain from abroad is also down. Between March 2011 and March 2012 there was a net flow of 183,000 people migrating to the UK. Sadly, there was also a 10,000 drop in the number of international students due to the current Government’s desire to cut access to one of our great global products.

What’s even worse is that people do not want to come to this country anymore because we have stopped offering opportunity. A global magnet for those aspiring to a better life during the last 2 decades, Britain is now becoming less and less attractive, with a significant drop in people coming here to work – from nearly 500,000 in the year to December 2005 to 355,000 in the year to March 2012.

Maybe Boles and his colleagues in the Government should start looking at that – the lack of growth, the lack of jobs, the lack of opportunity – before scaremongering about how immigrants are the source of this country’s problems.

  • TomFairfax

    Is this the Lynton Crosby effect in action?

    The problem for the Tories is that they keep finding people to blame who wouldn’t necessarily have voted for their opponents but have now been given a reason to do so.

    I think somebody pointed out last week that there already brown field sites for 1.5 million homes. The reason they aren’t being built is because people can’t afford them and there is no social building programme to mitigate this until the affordability issue is resolved.

  • TomFairfax

    Is this the Lynton Crosby effect in action?

    The problem for the Tories is that they keep finding people to blame who wouldn’t necessarily have voted for their opponents but have now been given a reason to do so.

    I think somebody pointed out last week that there already brown field sites for 1.5 million homes. The reason they aren’t being built is because people can’t afford them and there is no social building programme to mitigate this until the affordability issue is resolved.

  • TomFairfax

    Is this the Lynton Crosby effect in action?

    The problem for the Tories is that they keep finding people to blame who wouldn’t necessarily have voted for their opponents but have now been given a reason to do so.

    I think somebody pointed out last week that there already brown field sites for 1.5 million homes. The reason they aren’t being built is because people can’t afford them and there is no social building programme to mitigate this until the affordability issue is resolved.

  • JoeDM

    Seems to me that the Tory MP is quite right on this. With the lack of new build housing there is far less housing to go around for a rapidly increasing population under the Labour Government.

    What is there to complain about? Or is it that someone dare try to discuss the impact of uncontrolled immigration and immediately gets the standard lefty response.

    • Tubby_Isaacs

      Er look what he says. He says “civilised”.

      Note also the sly reference to “England”- that’s not the country he’s governing.

      What do you mean “uncontrolled immigration” anyway? What’s Boles’ lot done differently apart from have a recession and cut student numbers?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

      But there isn’t ‘uncontrolled’ immigration. Hasn’t been for many years.

    • Visual

      Just remember who put social housing on the market, and didn’t bother to encourage building either for the private market, or to replace the sold social housing – tweren’t the Labour Party……

      V Seddon

    • aracataca

      JoeDM has recently commented on the Independent site -here’s what he said:

      JoeDM • 19 hours ago

      Why don’t Cameron and Osborne just join the Limp Demoprats? They are no longer Tories.

      Enough said?

      Actually Mark is it really right that we allow right wing Tories like this open season on a Labour site?

    • aracataca

      JoeDM has recently commented on the Independent site -here’s what he said:

      JoeDM • 19 hours ago

      Why don’t Cameron and Osborne just join the Limp Demoprats? They are no longer Tories.

      Enough said?

      Actually Mark is it really right that we allow right wing Tories like this open season on a Labour site?

    • aracataca

      JoeDM has recently commented on the Independent site -here’s what he said:

      JoeDM • 19 hours ago

      Why don’t Cameron and Osborne just join the Limp Demoprats? They are no longer Tories.

      Enough said?

      Actually Mark is it really right that we allow right wing Tories like this open season on a Labour site?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

        I agree – always have done

        • aracataca

          Mike not sure what you agree with that he should or shouldn’t be allowed open season,

  • NT86

    While I wouldn’t use the word “civilised” in a similar manner as Nick Boles, his message about Labour’s immigration policy is spot on. Most of us on here are Labour inclined readers/voters, but I’d like to think not tribalistic. Plus what did Labour do in 13 years to address the social housing shortage? It is time to face up to the fact that this small island can’t carry more people anymore. With population predictions of 70 million in the coming decades, policies on immigration need to be hugely controlled. This is nothing like Nick Griffin or the BNP, it’s reality.

    Building on brownfield sites as well as refurbishing abandoned or derelict housing in a sustainable manner could be start.

    The Tories like to talk tough but I don’t see them solving any of these problems though either.

  • http://joelpearce.wordpress.com/ Joel Pearce

    No one seems to acknowledge that British emigration outnumbers immigration… should we be banned from moving abroad?

  • billbat

    The Tories are losing votes to UKIP and the BNP, so will start using language to get their voters back. Just like Cameron rejecting Leveson the Tories will now do anything to win the next Election.I gather that they are even negotiating with the Nationalists to have an English only Parliament and perpetual Tory Rule in England. After a few years they would probably be forced to give Independence to everywhere North of Watfotrd and form a new Country called Southern England, eventually just shrinking into the City of London to hang on to power.

  • https://mikestallard.virtualgallery.com/ Mike Stallard

    This is for the moderator, of course.
    Look, in London, immigration works really well. The immigrants either live in selected parts of the metropolis well away from the white Liberal Intelligensia or else they appear as servants to the metropolitans who can afford to use their services. So of course you can afford to be “non racist” and “shocked” and to raise your upper lips in scorn.
    Commonwealth immigration is very different out here in the sticks.
    The new people cannot very often cope at all. A Nigerian who comes to our Church told me that, when he told off his eldest daughter, she reported him to Childline and the Social Workers came round. They never left and he feels very lucky not to have lost his family.
    I do not know if you know anything at all about Islam, but the Muslims in my own family (yes really) get very hot under the collar if they are treated like Christians. They are revolted by non halal food. They tolerate drink – some of them. Otherwise, you have to hide it when they are coming round. Anything like gays, sex outside marriage, the Prophet, even al Bukhari are met with embarrassed silence and a reproving look.
    How do you expect Muslims to settle in a Christian country?
    Of course, there are some who will. Most will not.
    If you will not listen, then there are a lot of people – who you hate – who will. EDL, BNP. PS You got the wrong target with UKIP – they are disaffected Conservatives, not disaffected Labour.

    If you will not listen, then there are a lot of people who will leave Labour and your turn out will be severely limited in places like Rochdale – as you notice.

  • Serbitar

    British Soldier killed in Afghanistan: 438.

    Sick and disabled who died within weeks of being found “fit for work” by Atos: 1,700.

    (So you could argue that Atos are nearly four times more deadly than the Taliban.)

    The Labour Party rightly morns the nation’s war dead while remaining disgracefully aloof and oblivious to the dead and dying sick and disabled. Difficult to know these days who’s nice and nasty isn’t it?

    • trotters1957

      I see another homeless man died of hypothermia in Totnes last week . That’s the fourth in Totnes in the last 12 months, Totnes has a population of 7,000.
      There will be more and more in the coming years.

    • Monkey_Bach

      The Atos Work Capability Test, which is so easy to pass that even the terminally ill and dying pass with flying colours and are found supposedly fit for work, has only been in operation since 2008 (thanks to James Purnell and Yvette Cooper). On the other hand British armed forces have been fighting an unwinable war in Afghanistan for over a decade. So you could say that Atos are at least ten times more deadly than the Taliban when it comes to precipitating the premature deaths of British citizens! Eeek.

    • Monkey_Bach

      The Atos Work Capability Test, which even the terminally ill and dying can pass with flying colours and found supposedly fit for work, has only been in operation since 2008 (thanks to the sterling efforts of James Purnell and Yvette Cooper). On the other hand British armed forces have been fighting an unwinable war in Afghanistan for over a decade. So you could say that Atos are at least TEN TIMES more deadly than the Taliban at precipitating the premature deaths of British citizens! Us monkeys find it impossible to understand how you humans seek can cull the sick and disabled, while pretending to have their interests at heart, in such an underhand fashion: to us such actions would be considered unspeakable and beyond cowardly. Eeek.

  • Quiet_Sceptic

    So what’s Labour’s response to this issue?

    We know Labour when in government did not plan for such a significant level of net migration from the new EU countries, we know that a rising population requires more homes unless we are to have a shortages and high prices and we know Labour did not deliver those homes while in office.

    Frankly I think the responsibility now lies with Labour to come up with some policies which address the nation’s housing problems.

    There’s nothing left-wing about championing freedom of movement and then failing to ensure sufficient supply of housing, watching those at the bottom of society suffer because of housing shortages.

    • Visual

      We certainly cannot rely on current Government coming up with ideas! Apart from building on green belts!

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    I am not an apologist for the tories, but did not the last tory government, while selling off lots of council houses, build more new houses every year of their office than the Labour party did in every year of their 13 years in power? Also, keeping the net levels of migration lower in each and every year than the Labour 13 years? It seems odd to write an article to attack the tories on these issues when those two inconvenient facts are so recent.

    In essence, if the Labour party wish to credibly attack the tories on house-building and on immigration, it would be useful if the last Labour government had actually built lots of houses, or actively constrained immigration. But they did not.

    Building or selling X council houses per year as a statistic is neither good nor bad by itself, nor are the net levels of immigration. A broader context is needed.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    I am not an apologist for the tories, but did not the last tory government, while selling off lots of council houses, build more new houses every year of their office than the Labour party did in every year of their 13 years in power? Also, keeping the net levels of migration lower in each and every year than the Labour 13 years? It seems odd to write an article to attack the tories on these issues when those two inconvenient facts are so recent.

    In essence, if the Labour party wish to credibly attack the tories on house-building and on immigration, it would be useful if the last Labour government had actually built lots of houses, or actively constrained immigration. But they did not.

    Building or selling X council houses per year as a statistic is neither good nor bad by itself, nor are the net levels of immigration. A broader context is needed.

    • PeterBarnard

      That’s not good enough, Jaime. You really should provide data to support your (Labour knocking) assertions.

      On a crude ratio (population vs houses available), in 1997 there was a UK housing stock of 24.1 million dwellings for a population of 58.3 million – 2.42 persons/dwelling. In 2009, there was a UK housing stock of 26.4 million dwellings for a population of 61.8 million – 2.34 persons/dwelling. In other words, on a crude ratio, there were more houses available in 2009 than there were in 1997.

      What did change was the ownership mix, ie owner occupied/private rented/social housing. Private rented, in England, increased from 10.3% in 1997 to 16.4% in 2009 ; owner occupied decreased from 68.4% to 66.1%, and social housing decreased from 21.3% to 17.5%.

    • PeterBarnard

      That’s not good enough, Jaime. You really should provide data to support your (Labour knocking) assertions.

      On a crude ratio (population vs houses available), in 1997 there was a UK housing stock of 24.1 million dwellings for a population of 58.3 million – 2.42 persons/dwelling. In 2009, there was a UK housing stock of 26.4 million dwellings for a population of 61.8 million – 2.34 persons/dwelling. In other words, on a crude ratio, there were more houses available in 2009 than there were in 1997.

      What did change was the ownership mix, ie owner occupied/private rented/social housing. Private rented, in England, increased from 10.3% in 1997 to 16.4% in 2009 ; owner occupied decreased from 68.4% to 66.1%, and social housing decreased from 21.3% to 17.5%.

    • PeterBarnard

      That’s not good enough, Jaime. You really should provide data to support your (Labour knocking) assertions.

      On a crude ratio (population vs houses available), in 1997 there was a UK housing stock of 24.1 million dwellings for a population of 58.3 million – 2.42 persons/dwelling. In 2009, there was a UK housing stock of 26.4 million dwellings for a population of 61.8 million – 2.34 persons/dwelling. In other words, on a crude ratio, there were more houses available in 2009 than there were in 1997.

      What did change was the ownership mix, ie owner occupied/private rented/social housing. Private rented, in England, increased from 10.3% in 1997 to 16.4% in 2009 ; owner occupied decreased from 68.4% to 66.1%, and social housing decreased from 21.3% to 17.5%.

    • PeterBarnard

      That’s not good enough, Jaime. You really should provide data to support your (Labour knocking) assertions.

      On a crude ratio (population vs houses available), in 1997 there was a UK housing stock of 24.1 million dwellings for a population of 58.3 million – 2.42 persons/dwelling. In 2009, there was a UK housing stock of 26.4 million dwellings for a population of 61.8 million – 2.34 persons/dwelling. In other words, on a crude ratio, there were more houses available in 2009 than there were in 1997.

      What did change was the ownership mix, ie owner occupied/private rented/social housing. Private rented, in England, increased from 10.3% in 1997 to 16.4% in 2009 ; owner occupied decreased from 68.4% to 66.1%, and social housing decreased from 21.3% to 17.5%.

    • PeterBarnard

      That’s not good enough, Jaime. You really should provide data to support your (Labour knocking) assertions.

      On a crude ratio (population vs houses available), in 1997 there was a UK housing stock of 24.1 million dwellings for a population of 58.3 million – 2.42 persons/dwelling. In 2009, there was a UK housing stock of 26.4 million dwellings for a population of 61.8 million – 2.34 persons/dwelling. In other words, on a crude ratio, there were more houses available in 2009 than there were in 1997.

      What did change was the ownership mix, ie owner occupied/private rented/social housing. Private rented, in England, increased from 10.3% in 1997 to 16.4% in 2009 ; owner occupied decreased from 68.4% to 66.1%, and social housing decreased from 21.3% to 17.5%.

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        That is ridiculous, Peter, when I am explicitly stating the last tory government (1979-1997) against the last Labour government (1997-2010), and you choose to state the number of houses in 1997 and in 2010. That is statistical dissemblance. All of the facts are at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/hub/people-places/housing-and-households/housing-stock

        Goodness, have you not heard of a rate over time, or even a rate of change over time? All your figures show is that the last Labour government in 13 years managed to increase the housing stock by 3.4188%. You do not mention the shamefully low increase of 7.6582% over the 1979-1997 period.

        If I thought you were unpracticed with basic arithmetic and making the “apples with apples” comparisons, I would draw a conclusion. But as I know you to be practiced with numbers, I draw another. It is not good to try to deploy the “sleight of hand” to make a purely partisan point. That is what the back bench MPs try to do, and often the front benches, on both sides.

        I am glad that you do not try a similar little trick with the immigration numbers. Either way, the intellectual premise of the leading article by Stewart Owadally is fundamentally flawed, pure tribal nonsense, and it is noticeable that no-one is defending it.

        Presumably whoever voted you “up” is still struggling with being able to count all of their digits without the mouth moving, and cares not for facts.

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        That is ridiculous, Peter, when I am explicitly stating the last tory government (1979-1997) against the last Labour government (1997-2010), and you choose to state the number of houses in 1997 and in 2010. That is statistical dissemblance. All of the facts are at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/hub/people-places/housing-and-households/housing-stock

        Goodness, have you not heard of a rate over time, or even a rate of change over time? All your figures show is that the last Labour government in 13 years managed to increase the housing stock by 3.4188%. You do not mention the shamefully low increase of 7.6582% over the 1979-1997 period.

        If I thought you were unpracticed with basic arithmetic and making the “apples with apples” comparisons, I would draw a conclusion. But as I know you to be practiced with numbers, I draw another. It is not good to try to deploy the “sleight of hand” to make a purely partisan point. That is what the back bench MPs try to do, and often the front benches, on both sides.

        I am glad that you do not try a similar little trick with the immigration numbers. Either way, the intellectual premise of the leading article by Stewart Owadally is fundamentally flawed, pure tribal nonsense, and it is noticeable that no-one is defending it.

        Presumably whoever voted you “up” is still struggling with being able to count all of their digits without the mouth moving, and cares not for facts.

        • PeterBarnard

          Don’t patronise me with your meaningless mathematical terms, Jaime. I ws merely pointing out that, at a crude level, the demographic pressure on housing was less in 2010 than it was in 1997. In that respect, if we had a “housing shortage” in 2010, we also by definition must have had one in 1997.

          The problem lies in the supply of low-rental social housing, and it is in this that both Labour (1997-2010) and the Conservatives (1979-1997) failed. Between 1981 and 1997, there was a loss of 800,000 dwellings in this sector, so that the proportion of social housing reduced from 29.1% of the housing stock to 21.3% in 1997. The trend continued under Labour ; there was a further loss of 420,000 dwellings in the sector, with just 17.5% of the housing stock classed as “social.”

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Good morning Peter, my words were somewhat confrontational, which should not have been so.

            (I do not find those terms meaningless – measuring and controlling rates of change over time is fundamental to achieving stabilisation, and the only simple way of benchmarking different numbers over different periods of time)

            Where I think we can both easily agree is that there is not enough housing, and specifically not enough that those on lower incomes can afford.

            The biggest problem to me is the sheer price. If the average wage is about £25,000 a year, even a couple both working full time will be unlikely to easily afford the average house of about £200,000, and it must be nearly impossible for single people or those working part-time.

            So I do support increased social house building funded by the government which can control the price of rent by taking out long term debt (say 50-75 years), and which does not have either the profit motive of private landlords or the need to cover costs over a short period of 25 years.

          • PeterBarnard

            Thanks, Jaime.

            In past comments on these pages, I have been critical of Labour’s housing record vis a vis (i) provision of housing for those on low incomes, (ii) the actual price of housing, and (iii) the rise of the private landlords. I recall saying that it was a strange sort of Labour government that increased the private landlord class (something on those lines, anyway).

            However, the fact remains that crude demographic pressure, immigration an’ all, was not responsible for our present sorry situation. Rather, it was the changing composition of the housing market and this was due to a lack of effective management by Labour between 1997 and 2010.

            And yes – the Conservative average of houses built per annum was higher than Labour’s average (rounded, 206,000 houses annually vs 189,000 houses annually), but the Conservatives did not build more houses every year. However, both are shamed by the increase in the stock of housing between 1953 and 1977, when more than 300,000 houses were built every year (excepting 1957 and 1958) and the years 1964-68 (inclusive) saw more than 200,000 private sector houses completed each year. Not many people know that Harold Wilson was a “property owning democrat.”

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Peter, I do not especially approve of social housing as a political principle (in fact towards the opposite: in general, I think people have a responsibility to provide their own shelter), but in the specific circumstances we have in the UK, social housing is the only way in which we can begin to rebalance a “housing system” that is completely out of balance (in terms of supply, demand, average costs and average wages).

            So we have two recent long term governments both getting it wrong, and those days of the 1960s and before exemplars of a better approach (as they are also for all sorts of other things!)

            Only governments can take out the long term debt necessary to reduce yearly costs of rent.

            As for the planning system, it surely needs a change. As an example, there is an area on the edge of my little town that is “earmarked” for development (I think about 500 houses, plus I think also a GP surgery and a primary school). Tesco have already built a large supermarket there, which seems full of people coming from the closer villages as well as the town. There is a plan for a town centre relief route for traffic around the edge of the town. The farmer wishes to sell the land (which is nothing special, nor particularly beautiful), there are many thousands of people in East Anglia needing houses that are affordable – it all seems a very good idea. But there are “objections” from some local people, and so the plans are to be reviewed. This is taking many months, and nothing is done very quickly.

          • Monkey_Bach

            “… in general, I think people have a responsibility to provide their own shelter…”

            Like those plucky Brazilians do in the slums of Rio, eh? Eeek.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            What is your alternative? That no one has any responsibility? You may wish to live in a nation where everyone is given the place to live by the state, and their lives fully controlled. This is like in the Soviet Union or Eastern Germany in the 1950s. But normal people do not.

            You will notice that I wrote “in general”, and therefore allow for those who cannot meet this responsibility to have a different resolution. Perhaps you cannot understand that.

          • rekrab

            What would the extraordinary Keith Moon say?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I don’t have any music for you tonight Derek, at least not yet. However, I came across this in a journalistic article about professional bicycle racing in the 1990’s. The toughest sport in the world in physical terms, the one most assailed by allegations of cheating, and this from the one world champion before Bradley Wiggins never to be accused of cheating, but of winning clean:

            “It never gets easier. You just go faster” (Greg LeMond)

            If you think about it, that is a very good motto for individuals in the imperfect world we all live in. It certainly resonates with me.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I don’t have any music for you tonight Derek, at least not yet. However, I came across this in a journalistic article about professional bicycle racing in the 1990’s. The toughest sport in the world in physical terms, the one most assailed by allegations of cheating, and this from the one world champion before Bradley Wiggins never to be accused of cheating, but of winning clean:

            “It never gets easier. You just go faster” (Greg LeMond)

            If you think about it, that is a very good motto for individuals in the imperfect world we all live in.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I don’t have any music for you tonight Derek, at least not yet. However, I came across this in a journalistic article about professional bicycle racing in the 1990’s. The toughest sport in the world in physical terms, the one most assailed by allegations of cheating, and this from the one world champion before Bradley Wiggins never to be accused of cheating, but of winning clean:

            “It never gets easier. You just go faster” (Greg LeMond)

            If you think about it, that is a very good motto for individuals in the imperfect world we all live in.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I don’t have any music for you tonight Derek, at least not yet. However, I came across this in a journalistic article about professional bicycle racing in the 1990’s. The toughest sport in the world in physical terms, the one most assailed by allegations of cheating, and this from the one world champion before Bradley Wiggins never to be accused of cheating, but of winning clean:

            “It never gets easier. You just go faster” (Greg LeMond)

            If you think about it, that is a very good motto for individuals in the imperfect world we all live in.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I don’t have any music for you tonight Derek, at least not yet. However, I came across this in a journalistic article about professional bicycle racing in the 1990’s. The toughest sport in the world in physical terms, the one most assailed by allegations of cheating, and this from the one world champion before Bradley Wiggins never to be accused of cheating, but of winning clean:

            “It never gets easier. You just go faster” (Greg LeMond)

            If you think about it, that is a very good motto for individuals in the imperfect world we all live in.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I don’t have any music for you tonight Derek, at least not yet. However, I came across this in a journalistic article about professional bicycle racing in the 1990’s. The toughest sport in the world in physical terms, the one most assailed by allegations of cheating, and this from the one world champion before Bradley Wiggins never to be accused of cheating, but of winning clean:

            “It never gets easier. You just go faster” (Greg LeMond)

            If you think about it, that is a very good motto for individuals in the imperfect world we all live in.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I don’t have any music for you tonight Derek, at least not yet. However, I came across this in a journalistic article about professional bicycle racing in the 1990’s. The toughest sport in the world in physical terms, the one most assailed by allegations of cheating, and this from the one world champion before Bradley Wiggins never to be accused of cheating, but of winning clean:

            “It never gets easier. You just go faster” (Greg LeMond)

            If you think about it, that is a very good motto for individuals in the imperfect world we all live in.

          • Dave Postles

            … and to my son, Animal Muppet, I leave my best drumsticks (?)

    • PeterBarnard

      That’s not good enough, Jaime. You really should provide data to support your (Labour knocking) assertions.

      On a crude ratio (population vs houses available), in 1997 there was a UK housing stock of 24.1 million dwellings for a population of 58.3 million – 2.42 persons/dwelling. In 2009, there was a UK housing stock of 26.4 million dwellings for a population of 61.8 million – 2.34 persons/dwelling. In other words, on a crude ratio, there were more houses available in 2009 than there were in 1997.

      What did change was the ownership mix, ie owner occupied/private rented/social housing. Private rented, in England, increased from 10.3% in 1997 to 16.4% in 2009 ; owner occupied decreased from 68.4% to 66.1%, and social housing decreased from 21.3% to 17.5%.

    • PaulHalsall

      Jaime,

      I will agree the both parties in power have not done enough to build new housing since Thatcher’s massive hit on social housing.

      Given the large number of people who now choose to live alone, it should surely be possible in the UK to develop a culture of medium rise apartment buildings (as in say Barcelona or parts of New York city) that, with employment for concierges and proper maintenance would be desirable places to live and make good use of land.

      Tower blocks never worked for families, and some really ugly social housing was built in London, but since other cities and countries can build high density housing successfully we need to try that again here.

  • David B

    I see we have returned to the cry of “RACIST” every time someone mentions immigration. We need to have a grown up political debate in which views can be aired rather than articles like this where anyone who thinks housing is under pressure due to immigration is a “nasty” Tory and a closet member of the BNP.

    I note you don’t even have a link to the speech so that we can judge for ourselves. Have you learned nothing from the “just a bigoted woman” moment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

    There was always going to be a number of people coming here from the new ascendants – its probably best it happened when it did.
    And we do need a major housebuilding programme.
    But this is just the Tories playing the race card again

  • Gabrielle

    It’s rather hypocritical of Boles when his own partner is an immigrant – http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/08/10/tory-mp-nick-boles-claims-expenses-to-learn-his-civil-partners-language/

  • http://twitter.com/kevinhall7 Kevin Hall

    What’s laudable about home ownership?

  • ClearBell

    Suggesting immigration is in anyway responsible for lack of housing is surely to deflect attention away from the need for legislation to establish something like fair-rent tribunals up and down the land (if we don’t want social housing run by local authorities anymore), the need to lower/abolish VAT on the cost of refurbishing property (so buildings are not left empty and/or rotting); new kitemarking to counter the abjectedly poor standards of design which means new-build housing is aimed at hobbits rather than people (of any kind); the need to perhaps seize private properties that have been empty for a defined period so that they may be lived in…I could go on.

    But our obsession with ownership and our inability to tackle weird kinds of tenure (does anywhere else in Europe have leaseholds?) means we aren’t facing up to some fundamental problems that lie at the heart of why some do and some don’t have somewhere they can call home.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robbieshorrock Rob Shorrock

    This is also Tory terror of votes going to UKIP who are better at bleating this nonsense.

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