You are buying a house and the seller presses a Home Information Pack into your hot little hand. Do you a: treat the information contained therein like the revealed word of God, or b: nod and smile and then turn away muttering 'caveat bloody emptor'. Unless you would like to buy a bridge from me, I suspect that the answer is b. The whole HIP thing was one of Prescott's wheezes to supposedly help in the housing market but basically no-one supports the idea any more. For some reason Brown has not taken the opportunity of his accession to ditch this particular policy. Casinos are out, but somehow HIPs survive.
So, we have a policy that everyone thinks is useless and which local Councils don't have the cash to enforce. It is a farce that can only breed contempt for the law, but which obviously appeals to the Labour Party's general control freakery. Let us hope that farce does not turn to tragedy if the housing market turns down.