Thursday, 28 October 2010

Quote of the day...

...goes to Boris Johnson;
The last thing we want to have in our city is a situation such as Paris where the less well-off are pushed out to the suburbs. I'll emphatically resist any attempt to recreate a London where the rich and poor cannot live together.

We will not accept any kind of Kosovo-style social cleansing of London. On my watch, you are not going to see thousands of families evicted from the place where they have been living and have put down roots.
The statement was immediately rebuked by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, whom Charlie Brooker aptly describes as the "sad-eyed defender of the new reality."

Clegg had to emphasise virtually every other word as he said "disagree with what Boris Johnson has said on the policy and I certainly and very strongly disagree with the way in which he has expressed his views." Just in case we weren't aware of how strongly and passionately he felt about this.

But then, "point a camera in his direction, and Clegg will construct an earnest argument in favour of virtually any unappealing concept you can throw at him." Because Boris was quite right in what he was saying, and though it may not neccesarily be "Kosovo style" (since we as yet lack an armed struggle and a genocide), what is going on is absolutely "social cleansing."

As I've pointed out before, housing benefit levels are not high because of the claimants, but because of the landlords. The signs stating "no DSS" disappear once the money goes up, and the cap on payouts does nothing to address this. The practice continues, and more people are made homeless.

Some people, such as Libertarian / mentalist Old Holborn;
Why should an ordinary bloke, struggling to pay the mortgage on his two bed house in South Croydon, skint from the season ticket be forced to pay for anyone unemployed to live in an area he himself could never afford? Is that fair?

Why do those who work live in the suburbs? Choice? Of course not. It is the nearest place to their workplace they can afford. All of us would live off the Kings Road or in Covent Garden if someone else was paying the rent. Alas, they are not.
But the "ordinary blokes" of this world can only not afford it precisely because of private landlords, not the people who happen to be renting their properties. The problem arises because, due to "rents on artificial scarcity, as a result of the state’s enforcement of artificial property rights." Not because somebody relying on state welfare happens to be caught in part of that web.

So, whilst I have my (significant) disagreements with him, on this occasion I'm with Boris. David Cameron's social cleansing, and the prospect of exacerbating "a London where the rich and poor cannot live together" needs to be actively resisted.