Daily Archives: January 1, 2009

Jim Pickard

If there’s one thing less popular with C1/C2 voters than an open borders immigration policy it would be the idea of taking in foreign terror suspects. But what if it helps the UK win favour with the new American president?

It remains to be seen whether Gordon Brown will acquiesce to the US call to provide homes for some of the 50 or 60 detainees of Guantanamo Bay who are not considered a threat but cannot safely return to their native countries. Read more

Jim Pickard

It’s taken months and years for anyone in Labour to admit that the government’s housing policy has been based on false assumptions. Time after time, ministers claimed that there was a desperate under-supply of housing in the UK; ignoring the role of speculation and cheap debt in the housing boom.*

But Ed Balls came close on this morning’s Today programme.

Here is what the education secretary said:

“There was a pretty strong view that we had a growing demand for housing in this country and a rising population, but we had much lower levels of house building than we’ve seen in previous generations in the private and the public sector.

“Therefore, there was a pretty strong view, which may still in part be true, that the real level of house prices had gone up, because there was more demand and less supply.”

In politician speak this is code for: we are distancing ourselves from the old line. Maybe 2009 will be year when the government drops its target of 3m new homes by 2020. Read more