Saturday, 19 June 2021

The NIMBYs must be celebrating.

From the BBC:

The government has been sent a "warning shot" by voters over planning reforms for England and the HS2 rail link, the co-chairman of the Tories has said. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Amanda Milling said voters' concerns were "loud and clear" after the Lib Dems won the Chesham and Amersham by-election...

Local opposition to the HS2 high-speed rail line being built through the constituency and the government's proposed changes to the planning system, which could see more homes being built in rural areas, were major factors in the poll.

Seems that Home-Owner-Ism is reasserting itself at the dominant ideology in the UK. Who cares about jobs, pollution, equality, balance of trade and all that peripheral stuff?

This also goes to show, that if you want something to happen, the best tactic is to vote for a single-issue party and nudge the government in your direction. The Lib Dems perform well at by-elections because they will jump on any old local bandwagon or champion whatever single issue bothers local voters. They aren't bogged down with anything like coherent, national issues or having to worry about what they'd do if they were actually in charge.
As a contrast to this, it looks like the Tories are going to win the by-election in the former Labour constituency, Batley and Spen:

Johnson went to Batley to campaign with Ryan Stephenson, Tory candidate in the Batley and Spen by-election... Mr Johnson said: "That means looking at all the issues that matter, whether that's people's education, improving skills in this area, working with Kirklees to improve skills, putting more money into apprenticeships.

"Opportunity isn't equally distributed and the objective of levelling up is to work with great people in West Yorkshire, in Batley, to give young people growing up in the area the chances they deserve."

Of course, the Tories have no intention of doing anything of the sort - can anybody point to any single 'levelling up' measure they have implemented since December 2019? - but the propaganda seems to be working for now. And if they win, they won't need to worry about voters trying to nudge the government in any particular direction, they can just cheerfully ignore them and continue plundering the taxpayer.


Bayard said...

"Seems that Home-Owner-Ism is reasserting itself at the dominant ideology in the UK."

I don't know about re-asserting, it has always been the dominant force.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, sure, but Brexit and covid got more attention for a few years.

Bayard said...

Mark, the Tories have always been the party of the landowners, originally the landed gentry, then the urban rentier, now the owner occupier. Any policy, like Georgism, that promotes owner-occupation over renting is going to produce, in the end, more Tory voters. This was the evil genius about the Great Council House Sell-Off: once people became landowners, they would tend to vote for the landowners' party, which is why Labour could only get into power by becoming red Tories.
I know I keep on about how the Rent Acts meant that private landlords almost became extinct, but I now realise this wasn't a bug, it was a feature. By moving tenants from private to public landlords, the post-war Labour government decreased the number of landowners and hence Tory voters. Any increase in home ownership after WWII was incidental, father than part of a policy. Georgism Lite was designed to make it as hard as possible to become an OO, which was why house prices were so low.

L fairfax said...

I was told by some Nimbies homes will still be built but somewhere better (they didn't tell me where better is).

Lola said...

I agree with your comment about the Libdems, trouble is that leaves us with no effectively no choice. You get Big State bound to fail socialism or your get Big State bound to fail rentier-ism. Where is the Party for Liberty?

Mark Wadsworth said...

B "Georgism Lite was designed to make it as hard as possible to become an OO"

Quite the opposite! Part of the aim was to increase the number of owner-occupiers.

Proper Georgism would also increase the number of owner-occupiers. While not being the main aim, this is a welcome side-effect (except for the fact that owner-occupiers tend to tip over into Home-Owner-Ism again).

LF, yes, I've experienced that first hand. A NIMBY friend moaned about new housing near his run-of-the-mill 1980s Barratts-style house and in the next breath moaned that it was difficult to get planning permission for some land he had inherited a few miles away.

L, where indeed.

Bayard said...

"Quite the opposite! Part of the aim was to increase the number of owner-occupiers."

That may have been the stated aim, but the results, and, I suspect, the true aim, was the reverse. After all, with 100% LVT, Homeownerism will disappear as we are all, in effect, tenants of the state and no longer owner-occupiers as the important bit of owner occupation, the reason why everyone wants to "get on the housing ladder", benefiting from the windfall gain of land value increase, will have been taken away. Whether it would stop landowners voting Tory is another matter.

Shiney said...

@L Where is the Party for Liberty?

I thought that was in the YPP.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B: "That may have been the stated aim, but the results, and, I suspect, the true aim, was the reverse."

??? Owner-occupation rates at start of 20th C were about 10%, by the 1980s it was about 70%. That's mainly down to Georgism Lite. I'd happily settle for Georgism Lite if proper Georgism isn't on the table. It was a far better way of doing things.

Sh, yes, it is us, but where are we?

Bayard said...

"Owner-occupation rates at start of 20th C were about 10%, by the 1980s it was about 70%."

Georgism Lite didn't start until after WWII, so the OO rates at the start of C20th are not the figure we need to be looking at.
OTOH, at the start of the 80's, the Tories hadn't really discovered Homeownerism, so it may be that the aim of Georgism Lite was to reduce the number of landlords, as they formed the backbone of the Tory Party.
However the Tories outflanked them by converting the OOs to their cause as well.
The other thing that you have to factor in are interest rates. High interest rates in the 60s and 70s probably did a lot more to keep house prices down than GL and much of the rest of the heavy lifting was done by the restrictions on borrowing (no MIRAS, no second income).

Lola said...

Shiney. Yes!

Lola said...

B. I rather thought that Geirgism Lite started in the 19th Century. Inter-war there was an explosion in home-owner-ship (not -ism) and then, post WW2 there was an - i grant you - an even greater growth.

And what about all the New Towns? (Ebenezer Howard and all that). They were built to generally good standards for purchase at reasonable prices.

It's not really until the mid to later 1970's that it all starts to become home-owner-ism. Which accellarated under Thatcher. Her major (sic) blind spot IMHO. Jerrymandering council house sales was understandable but she did not square the circle and went for cutting taxes on land and shifting the tax burden to production.

Bayard said...

L, I wouldn't call it a blind spot. Most of Thatcher's policies to do with land and housing resulted in increasing ownership, mostly at the extent of public landlords together with vast land price inflation, both of which benefited the Tories as incumbents. It is noticeable that she waited until her second term before doing anything about the rent acts, so she wasn't very landlord-friendly.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, B, as much as I enjoy dissing Thatcher, the cumulative price rise under her and Major were nothing compared to what Blair/Brown did.

Bayard said...

That's because Blair and Brown were Tories and hence buying into the whole HOism schtick. I suspect that home ownership levels rose under Thatcher and Major, but then B&B started sucking up to landlords. Who introduced "buy to rent"?