The Coalition Takes A(nother) Leaf Right Out Of The NuLabour Playbook

The Post Office increased the sales tax for its 500,000 telephone customers to 20 per cent from early October, the Daily Mail has discovered.
By contrast, Chancellor George Osborne will have reason to smile, because all the extra cash, which is likely to run to several million pounds, will not go to the phone companies, but straight into Government coffers.

The decision to bring forward the rise – which the taxman insists is up to the companies’ discretion – has been described as ‘lazy billing’, as it is an easier and cheaper option for the firms than changing computer software to reflect a change part-way through a billing cycle.

Whilst I understand this is at the companies discretion doesn't this just smack of Gordon Brown's attempts in 2009 to retroactively tax companies to shore up his falling tax revenues?

Will we be seeing a consummate drop in the deficit or current debt mountain with this money? I won't be holding my breath.

My advice to those people stung by this is to punish the companies greatly by getting on Uswitch and finding someone else; likely won't be cheaper but at least they'll know not to mess with your cash?


If You Can Afford To Be Discriminating Beyond Red, Purple & Yellow What Business Is That Of The Courts?

If you feel your business can afford to look beyond the reddies, purplies & yellowies, then what business is that of the courts?

A gay couple are suing a Christian bed and breakfast owner after she told them it was 'against her convictions' for them to share a bed, it emerged yesterday.

Michael Black, 63, and John Morgan, 58, are claiming sexual discrimination after being turned away from Swiss B&B in Cookham, Berkshire, last March.

Their case follows that of Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, who won £3,600 damages from the owners of a Cornish guesthouse last week for refusing them a double room.

Now I am a Christian - sometimes I lapse; my language can be atrocious, I drink far too heavily and frequently get vitriolic when discussing the turds of any rosette (to coin that acronym: TOARs.)

But I love God and all he's done in my life; I would be in a much darker place right now where it not for him.

All that said my God is a God of liberty and freedom; his kingdom is open to everyone who chooses to follow him but he doesn't persecute those who adopt a different lifestyle in this world* - that is the very essence of free will after: to live and let live.

This has honed my libertarianism; a belief in individual freedom and the pursuit of it up to the limit of another's freedom: gay marriage, adoption** and a right to dispense with property as the owner sees fit all come with this.

What also comes with this is the right to discriminate; how you conduct your business and who you conduct it with is sacrosanct and is at the very core of our natural rights.

And all this case represents is an encroachment on the right to do business and conduct oneself as you want.

By saying you have a right to do business with someone who doesn't want to do business with you, you disenfranchise them of their freedoms.

Yes this does mean that racists and a whole assortment of other bigots would be able to wear their prejudices on their sleeve, but is this really any worse than the unintended consequences this type of law making will have? Will it kill bigotry and prejudice or just push it into more subtle, faux-intellectual ways of handling business with people you don't like? Will it encourage friendship and trust or a pervasive atmosphere of distrust and intergenerational irrationality?

My guess is that this will only make the problems associated with it more ingrained, and put hardliners in positions of power over sheeple.

* = please note this is saying what God does, not what established churches do or people do, as is made in my point about free will.

** = yes, as a Christian Youthworker I see the problem caused by, quite frankly, shitty heterosexual "parenting" (if you can call it that); parents who gladly choose smokes and cider over new shoes and clothes for their beer voucher subsidy

However, this is not the same as saying adoption agencies must consider all patrons irrespective of deeply held convictions; the true answer to this problem perhaps lies in parental choice and a liberalising of adoption providers.


Prediction For Economic "Growth" In The Next Quarter: Someone Should Slap George Osbourne. Hard.

With the economy shrinking in the last quarter, and many Labourite apologists claiming this as a victory for #ukuncut and other bunkum, I felt obliged to try my hand at predicting the economic movements in the net quarter.

This downturn has, in my opinion, quite lazily been blamed on the horrific snow we had over Christmas, which, if so, Lays firmly at the door of the MET office; logic dictates that if the MET office couldn't find their arse with both hands today then how can they effectively predict it's location in 20-50 years time?

Judging from the continued support of this laughable woo-QuANGO by the big wigs in Whitehall I think that they don't even believe that is the full sort.

So, that said let's try my theory.

I work for a large company; in order for it to survive in the good times it's needs to plan effectively and release new products encouraging innovation and growth; new products are planned years in advance with a view to material ordering and customer needs, but with enough wiggle room to adapt to changes in demand and culture.

All good business, businesses that survive downturns, do this.

Now Georgie boy pre-announced the increase in VAT; a good thing (the announcement, that is) - as a result manufacturers thought "demand for our product will drop with rising prices, therefore we cut production, staff and sell up unnecessary capital", banks thought "lots of additional capital on the market; let's sell it to foreign nationals, then rinse our savers so we can get a bonus and retire to our portugese villa. Job done." whilst our politicians engage in a lot of mutual back slapping that they are saving public sector jobs and the EU project with our money.

However, companies would have encoded the VAT rise into their calculations months before; more than likely before even George knew about it- the result? Fewer goods produced locally, fewer jobs, exports and thus a drop in the growth of the economy.

Thus as this has been encoded into good businesses plans now my prediction is that growth will continue to be negative until it bottoms out to meet internal and external demand; in all likelihood the next time this will be a 1% contraction rather than 0.5 (if were lucky.

This is not a call for faux-Keynesian pump-priming of the economy - if anything it prove what geniuses, or as most people will choose to remember them, a devious shit Gordon Brown and Ed Balls truly were was; his strategy of QE and bank bailouts pumped money into the economy when it was in free fall just in time to see Labour coast to a mild loss at the 2010 General Election and put a damp squib on the Tory's already touchy-feely squibishness and chances at a stable Bory-only majority, all in time for the other big two in their happy clappy coalition to reap the rewards of the dead cat bounce.

No if anything it is a call for Osbourne to lead where Euroslime Dave is sore to follow; bringing about real reform to the public sector starting with drawing a line in where it is stable, and currently at over 50% of the economy, stable it aint.

Best economic advice you could give George if you see him in the street? A cold hard slap, telling him to set departmental budget rather than let the cabinet fanny around with them to electoral oblivion.


I'll See Your Friedman, @Obotheclown...

...and raise you a well constructed smack down of Naomi Klein from beyond the grave (woooohhh!!!):


*apologies - can't embed YouTube with the app I blog with.


Benefits Whom?

If Only It Were So Easy

Via Aunty Beeb:

Little progress has been made in reducing losses caused by benefit recipients making errors in their claims, a report has said.

Some £800m was not paid to people in 2009-10 who were entitled to the money because of errors on forms, the National Audit Office (NAO) said.

Another £1.1bn was lost to the taxpayer owing to overpayments of benefits.

The NAO report found "no discernable decrease" in losses after three years of a five-year plan to cut errors.

The spending watchdog said that overpayments caused substantial unrecovered losses to the taxpayer, and underpayments could cause hardship for individuals.

First off: giving people too much OPM* my be a loss to taxpayers and too little may mean they lose out? And we need a quango to tell us this?

Buffrat, my idiot brother, is currently unemployed through a mixture new career entry delays (he's joining the RAF), old work-colleague sabotage (his old boss has tried to scupper his new role by spreading discourse & having his final salary/commission fall victim to "administration errors") & outright personal stupidity (a month before he was due to enter the RAF he went out, got blind drunk, fell over and chipped his elbow, resulting in several weeks of additional observation & delays). As a result of not having had a wage since September he has lived in veritable poverty and handouts.

I say handouts in the sense of myself, my sister and assorted family bankrolling him; only now is he starting to see benefits kicking in - it has taken several flaming weeks to get anything money out of the system to which he has committed substantially all through his working life.

As a libertarian I would love to see an individualist approach to benefits and welfare, but I am solidly aware that this is unlikely to happen in mine or my children's lifetime; what could and should happen this year is drastic welfare reform to stop this kind of faff, first and foremost, but the only way to do that is to make the benefits system less complicated and about hoop jumping.

I suggest trying this might be a good place to start.


Theft Is Not A Source Of Income

Danny Alexander: "Might as well leave your wallet on the table and piss off, prole."

Yet again we have our assumed lords and masters getting this accountability thing all mixed up again:

Families were warned last night there was little prospect of a lifeline on fuel prices – despite repeated pledges from David Cameron.
Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander said his department would not ‘sacrifice income willy nilly’ to help out motorists.

Words really do fail me they do; "sacrifice income"? WTF did you do to deserve it?

He did reveal, however, that the Treasury was pushing ahead with a pilot scheme to offer discounted fuel to rural communities in the Scottish Highlands, which could extend to his own constituency of Inverness.

So yes we are all about to be nipple-twisted till they're blue, just as long as those mp's with their mitts closest to the till (or should that be swag bag?) swipe a little extra for their own vested jockanese interests.

The Liberal Democrat minister said: ‘The biggest economic problem facing every household is the deficit. If we come off that deficit reduction plan, the risk to the country would be truly huge, so that has to be the first priority.’

This governments predilection for scapegoats is no less hungry than the previous ones; it us very easy to blame New Labour for the deficit but let's review:

• Does Osbourne's plan see a reduction in public spending? What? Spending increases over this parliament? Moving on-

• Did Cameron, or any other Bory leader for that matter, mount a credible offence against these insane spending sprees in opposition? What? They said they'd match Labour's spending? so no then.

None of the big three parties offered any credible alternative to Labour's spending spree; tapering off the deficit over several years is the equivalent of skinning a man with a potato peeler; better just to cut the damn limb off ad cauterise the wound.

His comments came as Energy Secretary Chris Huhne acknowledged that rising fuel prices could ‘potentially have devastating effects on employment’ – but said fuel duty should be kept high in the long term for environmental reasons.

So when there not responsible for drowning people, destroying their homes & livestock, they are intent on taking extortionate amounts of money with menaces from us in homage to the widely discredited green religion.

Let me be frank: Dave and his merry band of political thieves are stealing your money; if they are not keeping interest rates intentionally low resulting in a transfer of wealth from savers to bankers bonuses and spenders they are dallying around real issues which are quickly destroying their credibility dealing with making life easier (preferably by pissing off out of ours).

Tax should be a means of accounting for negative externalities; if polluting the air from burning fossil fuels is bad then yes charge us, but can you honestly say this externality accounts for 60% of the price?

I can even, grudgingly, accept budget deficit costs being internalized; I'd like that to happen so our generation pays for it's mistakes, then we could see Red Milliband try to weasel out of that and explain why it should be our children.

Actually yeah - I want that tax emblazoned on everyones pay slip monthly in luminous yellow script just to drill the point home.

Just stop taking money for no better reason than because it's a good source of revenue; we don't expect that rationale to apply to burglars and thieves when they get put in prison.


That There Oldham By-Election

So 1 in 5 people* hand power for Old and Sad to the previous corrupt guys secretary-bag carrier (who obviously had nothing to do with the libellous smear campaign again his lib dumb opponent) and Labour chalk this up as a win? That this somehow "sending the coalition a message"?

The only message this really sends is that Oldham IS as big a dosshole as it looks.

* = 42% to Generic Labour Candidate X times 48% Turnout = 20% of this capable of voting. QED


Proof Free Markets Are Better At Stuff For Everyone

If they lived in London they could all be slinging their hook come February.

In my weak fumbling around in the economic wilderness trying to understand the meat & bones of it I do come across many interesting terms- one such term I've heard of late that sadly has entered the collective consciousness of the masses is monopsony.

I think this might be regarded as an example of such a phenomena at play - the state being the sole buyer of the firefighters services is ultimately to it's detriment.

Don't get me wrong - union strong-arming of Labour policy while in power bears a lot of the blame for the problems we are experiencing now and the firefighters, like every other public sector body, needs to feel the pinch as much as the private sector has; it just amuses me that whilst socialised call for the usurpation of private business and the means of production we have an example right here of the consequences of centralising a service then finding you don't like the terms of the agreement.

Let's hope noone tries this in the NHS eh? That'd be a shock.

Banker Bonuses: The Wrong Trousers

This arguement & incessant moaning is really getting to me now; am I alone?

Bob Diamond is right - bonuses should be paid and he shouldn't have to argue the toss with MPs who's major concern is pleasing a few bulgar wheat eating sandalistas rather than addressing the real issues surrounding the crash.

But, were it not for The BoE's and New Labour's and now the New Coalitions policy of keeping interest rates at near-zero banks would almost certainly have not been nearly as profitable and wouldn't warrant the bonuses received (BTW: the blog for the linked article will be added to my list soon as I sit down at a computer; would recommend to all having found it yesterday.)

So were it not for Brown jumping the balloon maker, most Banker would now be signing on, not coining in - and the blame rests firmly at the door of our lords and masters at Whitehall.

Words Fail Me

Pint of best love & a spritzer for the wife- that? Nothing to concern you prole.

The three ‘professional witnesses’, two men and a woman, were hired from a private surveillance company to play the fake drunks.

The trio worked for nine nights from 8pm to 3am over three weekends, costing a total of £4,200, Roly Schwarz, the community safety enforcement manager for Conwy and Denbighshire, confirmed last night.

Their ‘tactics’ to maintain their cover included ‘telling person serving them they were drunk’, ‘slurred speech’, ‘being dressed in dishevelled and stained clothing’ and ‘falling over’, the report says.

They might not be able to empty our bins for weeks on end or ensures roads are gritted, but thank God the councils are saving us from ourselves.


The Poor, Accountability & Responsibility

A snap exchange on Twitter drew my focus to the following Daily Filler article about "the poverty premium":

POOR families are being charged almost £1,300 a year more for basic goods and services, a report reveals today.

Power bills are nearly 30% higher because the less well-off tend to use prepayment meters instead of direct debit.

They pay up to three times the real price for items such as cookers by getting them on hire purchase. And insurance is also dearer as they live in high-crime areas, Save the Children found.

Financial expert Martin Lewis, who helped compile the study, said: 'It is ridiculous but true - it costs more to be poor.'

He runs the website MoneySavingExpert.com but said needy people often lacked the access to the web, bank accounts and credit facilities to take proper advantage of his financial tips.

As a frequent user of Mr. Lewis' website I can honestly say it has proven a boon in the past; it has made life cheaper & enriched mine and Mrs. Tomrat's experience.

It is saddening that such a thing exists as a poor premium but it should be pointed out that these are not actually poor premiums at all; these are risk/administrative premiums.

Take the power meter premium; it costs a large amount of capital expenditure to simply install and run a prepayment scheme; capital which must be recovered somehow & sadly that comes down to the user of that service, & with everyone being hard pressed in their power bills by government premiums on power usage and the general mismanagement of our power grid it would be balked at to even consider mitigating the cost of these meters against other bill payers.

Look at hire purchases: we have one of these shops close by to us that I stepped foot into once when my wife and I saw a couch we liked at a decent price...only to find they wouldn't sell us it outright bit instead tried to pull us into a purchase agreement; I can imagine as a user of credit what the conversation must be like:

"I'd like to hire/purchase this cooker"

"certainly; do you have any credit history?"

"yes; all bad."

"do you have evidence that you regularly pay bills or are responsible for managing a household budget?"

"no...does having 12 kids by different fathers, living on handouts count as household management?"

Now let's try a thought experiment; would you give either person above access to your goods and services? Astonishingly some businesses have managed just this because they mitigate all the risk against higher costs for all their items: couple 1 get that new cooker but pay partially for couple 2's inability to keep paying for that 50in plasma they laughably thought they could afford on minimum wage.

Save The Children's Sally Copley said households on less than £12,700 a year were having their health jeopardised by being charged more for essentials such as heating.

She said: 'There is a clear link between living in cold, damp conditions for long periods and children's health being put at risk.

'We believe the poverty premium is totally unfair and is ripping off low-income families already struggling to make ends meet.' The charity's report, The UK Poverty Rip-Off, revealed that almost 700,000 low-income households do not have bank accounts.

Sally has actually identified a wonderful thing here: where exactly the tax free bracket should be - £12700, enabling all of that persons take home pay to go towards paying towards that money.

As for the second point there can be no excuse for not having a bank account with the expansion in financial services we have seen in recent years; you can pop into Tesco and pick one up with your milk so there really is no excuse for the majority.

As for the vanishing minority who lack the faculties to open a bank account as a youth group leader I come across such vulnerable individuals all the time and where private charity fails there is a vast network if public services that pick it up.

I must ask the obvious though: if Save The Children are so worried about access to financial advice for the poorest and sound then why are they not setting up financial institutions to help people? Why not provide non-profit services to enable the poorest in society to lower this "poverty premium"?

Probably because the answer may lead them to the same point; the dealing with some groups carry additional risk which simply cannot be absorbed.


The Attack on Gabby Giffords in Context

This is not an apologist article for Jared Loughner; a cursory glance at Google, his YouTube page (reproduced elsewhere) or even The Guardian all give an indication that this was one seriously disturbed individual.

What this article is is a reply to this article, in many ways not dissimilar to Dr. North's article for the Sunday Fail this week:

Naturally the BBC is drawing it's own nudged-left conclusion; that politicians of all stripes need to be put out of harms reach to get on with the busy job of running our lives for us. But, as the good Dr. North points out it is exactly this mentality, this elitist protectionism that sees our own politicians hide behind barricades of concrete and armed police officers, that leads to this disconnect from
what voters actually want.

I don't think Mrs. Gifford could give Mr. Loughner what he wanted; I doubt anyone outside of the mental health profession could; but we need to look at the numbers.

Taking a rough guestimate the number of assassinations based on the figures in the Beebs article leads to ~0.2 murders per year over the last 33 years - adjusted crudely for the number of politicians in the US Congress (upper & lower houses: 541) you have a 0.036% chance of being murdered in your duties as a professional politician*.

Now compare this to the US civilian murder rate of 0.054% and we find that for sticking your head above the parapet and proclaiming your views to the chattering, agreeing masses you therefore increase your chances sevenfold: 0.036/0.0054 = ~7x increase in your death as a professional mouth.

Is this that great an increase? I cannot hope to judge but there is another figure this should be compared to: US Soldier deaths in combat.

Taking the value for US KIAs for Iraq compared to the volume of troops at it's peak we find there yearly chance of death is 0.36%**; a whole ~70-fold increased chance of being killed walking down a US street and 10-fold chance than the ones who put you in harms way.

These events, though terrible, are rare; we shouldn't seek to insulate our political leaders anymore as that will merely exacerbate problems which should not be insurmountable but quickly become vitriolic when they are ignored.

Here in the UK we should start by reducing what the state is responsible for, making them guardians of our laws again and not their arbiters; they might find less need for armed guards then.

* = it should be noted that this figure dies not include local political officers, city councilmen and town mayors despite them receiving the brunt of assassination attempts in the Beebs noted cases; factoring in these groups would take too long to tally but would likely lower the percentage chance massively.

** = Iraq war casualties since efforts began: 4404 (to may last year) therefore (4404/~7 years)/176000 troops serving the peak of Iraq war = ~0.36%

Is Unite Calling For Spending Cuts?

Via the Daily Fail it seems I'm not alone in my dislike, nay hatred, in the profligate nipple-twisting going on with fuel prices and VAT:

It also emerged that thousands of militant tanker drivers are plotting a national strike which could bring the country to a standstill.
The strike, co-ordinated by the giant Unite union which bankrolls Labour, could begin as early as next month.

Now let's set aside the obvious tribalist snipe by t'Fail to get anger raised at genuinely hard-pressed people who's haulage businesses, in no small part responsible for much of our prosperity and riches in this country, are getting all uppity about being further ripped off by fuel taxes, no; lets look at it this way.

The money to pay for the blackhole in the public coffers has to come from somewhere; am I to take it from the sentiments expressed by Unite this should come from reductions in public spending?

Cos if so sign me up right now.


Quote of the Day

When Labour work out that a) their voters don't use the web for anything other than checking the lottery results and looking at porn and b) people like to be amused, then let me know. As I said, no chance. A circle jerk of fabian geeks, absorbed by iPhones and Obama (who won because American white democrats are savvy Macbook using Liberals. Labour voters still eat with their fucking hands and think electricity is black magic).

Via Old Holborn.


Why Should David Chaytor Get A Lighter Sentence?

Widely reported this morning is the fact that we will see the first MP sentenced for his taxpayer-money-grubbing ways.

He faces a maximum of seven years in jail, although his guilty plea will be taken into account by the sentencing judge.
He had denied the charges but appeared at the Old Bailey in December to change his plea, having failed in a court bid to argue that expenses cases should be heard by Parliament, not the courts.

Now, as Guido points out anything less than a custodial sentence should have baying mobs (rightly) calling for Mr. Justice Saunders head on a pike, but why should it be a short custodial sentence?

Having failed to get his case insulated from prosecution by parliamentary privilege, all the while claiming "accounting errors, nothing to see her etc.", Mr. Chaytor went on to plead guilty when it was fast apparent he wasn't above the law.

Almost makes you wonder if the BBC knows something we don't about the case and is preparing us for the narrative.


More Moonbat-inspired Guano

It seems George Monbiot is trying to find a muse while his old one is slowly beaten to death in a snow covered alley with the metal bar of factual evidence behind the theatre of reality:

The issue is surplus housing – the remarkable growth of space that people don't need. Between 2003 and 2008 (the latest available figures), there was a 45% increase in the number of under-occupied homes in England. The definition of under-occupied varies, but it usually means that households have at least two bedrooms more than they require. This category now accounts for over half the homes in which single people live, and almost a quarter of those used by larger households. Nearly 8m homes – 37% of the total housing stock – are officially under-occupied.

The only occasions on which you'll hear politicians talk about this is when they're referring to public housing. Many local authorities are trying to encourage their tenants to move into smaller homes. But public and social housing account for only 11% of the problem. The government reports that the rise in under-occupation "is entirely due to a large increase within the owner-occupied sector". Nearly half of England's private homeowners are now knocking around in more space than they need.

Greedy inconsiderate bastards getting all uppity, demanding more room than poor Moonbat deems "they need".

This appears to leave just one likely explanation: money. My guess, though I can find no research or figures either to support or disprove it, is that the richest third of the population has discovered that it can spread its wings. A report by the International Longevity Centre comes to the same conclusion: "Wealth … is the key factor in whether or not we choose to occupy more housing space than is essential."

I can't believe it either George - that despite the state's ongoing attempts to fleece us liberally since time immemorial some people have managed to break out of the state ordained (and taxpayer paid) rabbit hutches and into a slightly larger one in which you can enjoy slightly more space for that pool table you always wanted or just enough room so you don't smack your hands or feet against your cupboard-width walls whilst playing Kinect.

While most houses are privately owned, the total housing stock is a common resource. Either we ensure that it is used wisely and fairly, or we allow its distribution to become the starkest expression of inequality. The UK appears to have chosen the second option. We have allowed the market, and the market alone, to decide who gets what – which means that families in desperate need of bigger homes are crammed together in squalid conditions, while those who have more space than they know what to do with face neither economic nor social pressure to downsize.

No George, just no; housing is not a common resource - hence why the bank can take enormous amounts of money out of mine and my wife's account every month to pay for our house. What you are actually diagnosing is that there are people in this land who's belief in an all providing state, with housing, jobs and money for all, is being subjected to reality.

That said I believe from personal experience that this is bunkum; my wife and I live in a 3-bedroom house with just enough room for us, an office/spare room and the baby's room and we are already considering moving when (if?) baby no.2 comes along. Our church features one single mum with 3 kids occupying one half of a semi-detached with the other half containing her mother, who raised her and over 7 brothers and sisters in that house; there is now only one child from that original household who doesn't have a child or four and occupies social housing, how when both me and my wife work paying for their "right" to these benefits can we even think about it ourselves.

Yet that is not what annoys me about Moonbats asinine comments; as Old Holborn points out:

Planning laws - 160,000 families own 37 million acres of the UK whilst 16 million homeowners manage on just 2.8 million acres. £5000 an acre for land, £1 MILLION an acre for land with planning consent from the state.

We are not full. There is plenty of land but all of it is held captive by the State to maintain an artificial wealth that most will use to fund their own pensions, even though having paid the state to provide one for them.

I can build a house for £20,000, the sum most first time buyers will need to raise before they can now obtain a mortgage of £180,000 to purchase their first property. In all, they will repay close to £400,000 to banks to buy a house worth £20,000. they will have to pay income tax on that money, so in all, a £20K house will end up costing them £600,000 and a lifetimes debt to achieve. that is truly indentured labour to the banks and the State. Paying through the nose, a lifetime long to the plantation owner for the privilege of being a slave.

Not mentioning the fact that once you die any of your life-long possessions will immediately have 50% taxes on it; I knew of one poor young lady on my wife's teacher-training course who had to withdraw after her mother, her soul remaining family, had the hall to die midway through the course, resulting in the then exchequer Gordon Brown bombarding her with menaces to pay a near half-million pound death-tax bill on her childhood home; George might see that as someone inheriting a fairly massive fortune and that being a good thing, but I doubt the pain of losing your Mum plus the feel of Brown's metaphorical hot breath on your neck were a particularly pleasant entrance to the land of the newly rich and unemployed but I digress.

I wonder if, in the interests of reducing our housing, ecological, carbon or whatever footprint we are supposed to be afraid of this week, George would support a campaign to repeal the vast swathes of planning laws that over-inflate the cost of housing thus creating the unnatural scarcity that he mentions briefly?

Or is it more likely that he will pursue this obvious bridging bandwagon till the government can get suitably scared about "biodiversity" to start turning on that funding fawcet just as the global warming one dries up?