Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the category “Housing”

Laziness and Populism

There is a strand in British politics – probably much approved of by the Pub Landlord – that says that by resorting to simplistic slogans, that have just a germ of truth to them, you can attract much approval and support.

Our Prime Minster seems to be especially good at this; I hope it is a character flaw rather than as a result of his expensive education.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Cameron said the push on language was “about building a more integrated, cohesive, one nation country where there’s genuine opportunity for people”.

He also said that while he accepted there was no “causal connection” between poor English and extremism, a better grasp would make communities “more resilient” to threats of radicalisation from so-called Islamic State – or Daesh.

“If you’re not able to speak English, you’re not able to integrate, you may find, therefore, that you have challenges understanding what your identity is and you could be more susceptible to the extremist message that comes from Daesh,” he said.

Lady Warsi – who was the first female Muslim cabinet minister – welcomed the new money for language teaching, but said: “This lazy and misguided linking, and what I saw once again as stereotyping of British Muslim communities, I felt took away from what was a positive announcement.”
BBC News Website, 18 January 2016 : David Cameron’s Muslim women policy ‘lazy and misguided’

We need to be more (academically) critical of some of these pronouncements. Read more…

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Gideon’s Dictionary: Spare Bedroom

Every emperor, or prospective emperor, has to give the appearance of having “the common touch”. In view of the restricted background of our potential new emperor, I offer him a dictionary in the hope that studying it will help him understand the people he wishes to rule.

Spare Bedroom

Read more…

Gideon’s Dictionary: Rent

Every emperor, or prospective emperor, has to give the appearance of having “the common touch”. In view of the restricted background of our potential new emperor, I offer him a dictionary in the hope that studying it will help him understand the people he wishes to rule.

Rent

Read more…

If it smells partisan, if it sounds partisan, then …

It probably is partisan.

Let’s look at the proposed exemption for “family homes” in the Chancellor’s proposals for “reforming” Inheritance tax. Read more…

What about the Elephants?

This (2015 UK) General Election seems to consist of lots of minor and pretty irrelevant skirmishes. The major issues seem to be un-addressed in the election.

So what are these elephants in the room? Read more…

Inheritance Tax and Family Homes

A Conservative government would end inheritance tax on family homes worth up to £1m, David Cameron is to announce.

It means most homeowners in the UK would be able to pass on money to their children without paying tax.
BBC Website 11 April 2015 : Election 2015: Tories would cut inheritance tax

This seems wrong on so many grounds Read more…

Property Prices, Gains and Taxation

Ed Miliband got “done over” by Myleene Klass in November concerning property taxes.

On ITV’s The Agenda … Ed Miliband hardly got a word in edgeways, blindsided by a sassy attack from a well-briefed pop star, far harder to tussle with than a mere politician.
The Guardian 19 November 2014 : Mansion tax: most voters are with Ed Miliband, not Myleene Klass

This has to be a policy area loaded with vested interests and self-interest.

Facts: Read more…

Is the country full?

Julian Ware-Lane’s blog often has some interesting data, sometimes enlightening, other times rather meaningless. The latest thought-provoking post questions whether the country is “full up”.

On the basis of the data he presents, he says no. But the data does not address what is meant by a country being “full up” in today’s global world. Read more…

Taxing security

The High Court will consider a judicial review challenge to what critics call the “bedroom tax” and supporters call “removing the spare room subsidy”.

The woman who has brought the case, known only as “A” for her own safety, has been raped, assaulted, harassed and stalked by an ex-partner.

As part of a sanctuary scheme, she and her son live in a three-bedroom home in which one room has been specially adapted as a safe and secure space by the police.

Under new rules, the woman and her son receive housing benefit for a two-bedroom property, which means a reduction in income of 14%.

BBC News Website 19 November 2014 : Court challenge to benefit changes for ‘secure’ housing

It is hard to know quite how to react to this story. “You couldn’t make it up” is true but trivialises a story that shows up this government as so totally insensitive.

So what has the government done? Read more…

Migration and the Greater South East

An infographic about migration into the Greater South East republished on Julian’s Musings Blog claims:

Polls show that on average people think there are far more immigrants than there really are. – 31%

Meaning?
– 31% of people polled thought there were far more immigrants, or
– on average people thought there were 31% more immigrants than there really were?
Presumably the latter, but that probably says something about people’s willingness to assume that someone who speaks with a foreign accent or who is not white is an immigrant.

These sort of facts provoke so many other questions. Read more…

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