Saturday, June 02, 2007

Housing Need According to Cruddas

Basildon and Billericay Constituency Labour Party has nominated John Cruddas for Labour deputy leader. This is interesting because he was a contributor to a furore around the the local election campaign here in Basildon. What happened was this: Basildon Council under its Conservative administration runs a policy whereby one of the criteria for obtaining a council house is having a local connection. This is very popular and features in Conservative election material, but during the campaign the Times newspaper picked up on this and tried to spin it as some sort of racist policy. It was an appalling article that used single and two word quotes taken out of context, they were actually from part of a leaflet on defending the Green Belt and nothing to do with housing policy, but it also contains a quote from one John Cruddas MP. At the time this caused a bit of head-scratching among local Tories, why would he be sticking his nose in when it's not his portfolio or constituency? Subsequent events suggest that the article and the nomination may not be unconnected. He's warmed to the subject since after trade minister Margaret Hodge suggested that UK nationals should have priority over immigrants for social housing, saying that "Housing is allocated according to need and it is disingenuous for Margaret Hodge to suggest otherwise". So, in Cruddasworld people don't 'need' to live in their own community or near their own family and such things should count for absolutely nothing when considering social housing allocation.

Thank God it looks like Benn

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