‘Councils will be ordered to build thousands more homes’ blares the media. I immediately thought I’d missed the election of a Corbyn-led government who was implementing a basic socialist policy. No. It came from Sajid David, one of the more myopic ministers in a government whose eyes are fixed rigidly on the bottom line and whose hostility to council housing is only outdone by its hostility to trade unions.
I recall the denunciation of the Liverpool 47 in the 1980s: building council houses is ‘irresponsible’ screamed the Liverpool Echo; ‘Impossibilism’ thundered Baron Kinnock, as he grovelled before Murdoch and Maxwell. These were just a couple of the epithets which were hurled at Liverpool’s socialist council in response to our proud programme of, in our short period in office, building 5000 houses and bungalows, plus converting a further 2,000 uninhabitable flats into beautiful apartments. However, not surprisingly, there is no information on how cash-strapped councils would get the finance to translate Sajid’s fine words into reality. In short it’s yet another empty promise from a government committed to enriching its rich friends. If every council would have emulated the example of the Liverpool47 today’s housing crisis would not exist.