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Letter: We Need Rational Analysis of the Housing Issue, Not Flag-waving

Published on: 17 Jul, 2022
Updated on: 17 Jul, 2022

From: Ben Paton

In response to: The Green Belt Gives Us the Opportunity to Grow

I often feel some sympathy for the views expressed by Mr Smith.

All rational analysis shows that there is a shortage of social housing ie council houses but that there is no shortage of houses in general. Just as the solution to a shortage of tractors is to build more tractors rather than more cars, the solution to the shortage of council houses is to build more council houses (and stop selling them off).

I respect the position that the government needs to legislate for building social housing. Mr Smith mis-states and misrepresents Mr Laub’s analysis but provides none of his own.

He is just objectively wrong when he states that “there is slightly more [housing in the Local Plan] than a boffin originally thought needed”. It is more accurate to state that the council’s housing target is massively exaggerated in relation to the number of houses required to meet projected population growth.

When Mr Smith is openly contemptuous of objective facts, when he brushes aside the rules and regulations, he becomes little better than a Bolshevik for whom any means will justify his particular and personal ends.

People who refuse to respect facts and laws are dangerous. Ukraine was once part of the USSR: so who cares if some boffin thinks that Ukraine should be “slightly more” independent?

What is needed is coherent rational analysis, not disdainful dismissal of the facts and flag-waving on barricades.

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