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20 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - ConservativeHome's new... · 0 replies · +1 points

Not really my place to do so and it would probably muck up the site's analytics if others used the link generated in the email sent to me.

20 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: "I've always se... · 1 reply · +1 points

The lack of any evidence of Williamson having had any publicly expressed professional or political opinion on anything to do with defence prior to having become Defence Secretary.

Perhaps I'm being unfair as I've liked what I've seen and heard of him since his appointment, but in the short period since his election when he's not been muted by his roles as PPS and Chief Whip, none of his interventions in Parliament had anything to do with defence matters as far as I can see.

20 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: "I've always se... · 3 replies · +1 points

Interesting new definition of "always" as meaning "in the last couple of weeks after probably never having given any serious thought to a brief I've suddenly had fall into my lap".

21 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - ConservativeHome's new... · 0 replies · +1 points

Given that we gave McDonnell's fantasy spreadsheet a pretty much free pass I think making a point about the disgusting treatment of the "ooooh Jeremy Corbyn" singing Momentum rentamobs was low down the priority list of terrible mistakes in the GE campaign.

21 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - ConservativeHome's new... · 3 replies · +1 points

No, it's in another one titled "NEW! Take the Conhome November Survey today" sent at 7am rather than "ConHome's new monthly survey is out" sent at 9.29.

21 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - ConservativeHome's new... · 7 replies · +1 points

You're not being thick - I couldn't find it either. The link is in an email from conhome so I think is only going to subscribers.

28 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The average age of Con... · 3 replies · +1 points

I know quite a lot of older people who are left wing but read the Telegraph or Times because they find the Guardian tedious. While their politics makes them pro-Unions, well funded public services, redistribution etc the relentless focus of the Guardian on identity issues is just a turn off. They're intelligent enough to be able to read a paper which sometimes challenges their politics which they know will do that but are tired of one that ought to be on their side but spends its time making them feel like rubbish for thinking that while they want say transgender people to be treated decently they don't think a transwoman is the same as a woman.

28 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Rosalind Beck: Helping... · 1 reply · +1 points

A credit squeeze on those who already struggle to buy helps them how? If you need a 90% mortgage at 4 times salary now, the price drop to make property affordable to you on an 80% mortgage at 3 times salary would be huge. It might bring demand down towards supply but the beneficiaries will be those who have higher incomes and they'll stop prices falling in the places where property is most expensive.

Perhaps significantly reducing the maximum amount that can be borrowed for Buy to Let mortgages and remortgages might help more, but again, in the most expensive areas there is insufficient supply of either rental or ownership properties so it would provide a bit more chance for the best off tenants to buy without reducing rents.

28 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Hammond warns of the p... · 0 replies · +1 points

With May's speech last Friday and Hammond's they're doing what they should have done back in May/June and start to remind people about the benefits of free market economics with appropriate regulation. It now sounds a little lost and pale, particularly as a reaction to Labour promising to dismantle the whole thing while offering all the stuff people remember fondly from the 70s.

But the thing is, Labour don't call any of their proposals a revival of the 70, they are things for a brighter future. The experience of the 70s is useful to say why they won't work, but we should focus on why they won't work now and in the future. What we should be offering on top of that critique is a set of policies which address the same concerns but which will work. Then Labour would have to say why our solutions won't work, and that is much harder for them. At the moment it is easy for them just to say we have no answers and our belief in the market doesn't work because, just look, see how unhappy people are about all these things which we are going to fix.

Chucking cash at Help to Buy, tinkering with student loans while doing nothing to address the deeper issue about the concept of requiring students to borrow, saying that nationalisations will just be a rerun of the 70s are not enough. So we need a bolder housing policy based around "the good that government can do" (remember that?) - maybe even involving spending £10bn on house building rather than just subsidising those who can already pretty much buy. We need to kill off the student loan system with a graduate tax . And we need to say that those renationalisationsand PFI terminations will cost many billions without delivering any more jobs, any more infrastructure, any price reductions or service improvements (all of which would need further spending). So instead of wasting money on the ideological commitment to public ownership, we could spend a smaller amount to deliver much greater actual benefits (eg by directly investing in alternative energy, building more railway capacity and lines, increasing the NHS budget etc).

Some of those things might require short term tax rises. But why should we tie our hands against them when it is not a hard job to persuade people that Labour's plans would require much higher ones coupled with the capital flight they are themselves expecting? And if we are optimistic about our post-Brexit future, it can be done on the basis that that bright future will provide us with the opportunity to go back to cutting taxes then, an opportunity which Labour couldn't take advantage of because their hostility to free market economics would stop us having that bright post-Brexit economy.

28 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Rosalind Beck: Helping... · 3 replies · +1 points

If our offer is to tell people they should just live with mum and dad into their 30s or in a shared house while subsidising those who are pretty much already there in saving for and buying a home we're not going to come anywhere near providing a credible and attractive policy.

We have to start from looking at what it is that people are concerned about. I think it is a very real belief among many that even with a decent job in much of the country they have no realistic prospect of buying even a very small home, they will have years of facing moving every 6 months because they have no more security of tenure than that and those rents will rise higher and higher. Being hard working and educated means that they haven't a hope in hell of getting on a council housing list so doing that and exercising RTB is no use to them.

The only way to solve this is to build a lot more homes, not just sweat the assets of the existing stock. If we're willing to spend £10bn to subsidise those who are already on the verge of being able to afford somewhere and could probably with a few more months saving get somewhere to buy anyway, why not spend that money to build homes ourselves? That could and should be combined with rethinking what social housing is for to move from life time tenancies to shorter term ones of 5 years based on housing need. Then there needs to be a path from social to private housing, either renting or buying (I suggested a possible approach to this 6 years ago ).

But just tinkering with the current system and saying "suck it up" is not a solution.