Housing costs

Many people who rent would prefer to own their own home but cannot afford to. Anyone who owns a home is free to rent if they wish, but most do not want to do so.

Over the long term owning is cheaper than renting. Paying the interest and making the repayments of a 20 or 25 year mortgage may be a bit dearer than renting a similar property. After the mortgage is repaid there are no rent or mortgage payments for the rest of your life. It becomes a much cheaper option, even allowing for the high Council taxes and the repair bills which will still catch you. Best still, the time of least cost is your retirement after you have paid off the mortgage. If you rent the period of highest rents will be in your old age, as house rents trend remorselessly upwards.

Encouraging and helping people to own their own home makes sense for the government too. If more people own their own home the government does not have to spend so much on building and owning extra homes for rent. Part of the large state debt is a massive collective mortgage on a big estate of Council houses and debts to finance grants and loans to Housing Associations to own property. During the heydays of Council house sales some of the receipts went to reduce Council and therefore wider state debt, and some went to build new homes.

Home owners have greater freedoms to improve and decorate their homes as they please. As the value of the property rises, as it often has in the past, so the family have an appreciating asset. They can borrow against it to set up a business or meet other one off costs or investments.

The government wishes to expand home ownership. It is worth doing so . It chimes with the wishes of many people, builds prosperity and can lead on to reduced state debts. State subsidised housing is a dear way of providing homes when many of the tenants would prefer help to buy anyway. Clearing more of the costs and obstacles to home ownership should be a priority. Recent Stamp duty reductions are a good start.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Know-Dice
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Way off topic for today, but congratulations to Kate Hoey and Frank Fields to their elevation to the House of Lords. Probably the only Labour MPs that I would have ever considered voting for…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      I am not sure I could bring myself to vote Labour even for these rather sounder ones – unless they were facing someone like Major, Osborne, Hammond, G or K Clarke, N Soames, Theresa May, Osborne, Gummer, Soubry, Cameron types. But then that is at least half the Conservative party I suppose.

      • Hope
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Hammond and Clarke lost the whip in September, for it to be given back and an increased pension with title as well. It stinks. Typical dishonest Fake Tories.

        Once again, JR, knows the problem is not housing but his govts mass immigration policy against election pro isles and against public wishes.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          +1 Boris has no moral compass. No British instinct.

          • margaret howard
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink


            So what exactly is that ‘British instinct’?

            Is it Irish, Welsh, Scottish or English? *

            We know Boris and his morals but what makes him different from all the other ‘non British’ politicians or even human beings?

            * I shouldn’t include English as these islands were ‘British’ before the continental Saxons (Sassenachs) invaded and overwhelmed the locals.

          • NickC
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

            Margaret H, DNA research shows that the inhabitants of the British Isles share 70% – 90% (depending on location) of the same genetic inheritance from the post ice age settlers. Invasions, whether by Celts, Romans, Saxons, Vikings or Normans, have added remarkably little foreign DNA. The invaders simply replaced the existing rulers, not the people.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

            Since humans share about 98% of their DNA with chimpanzees, that is an interesting claim, Nick.

          • NickC
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

            Except, Martin, “foreign” in context means “not native”; it does not mean not human.

          • margaret howard
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink


            But these ‘post ice age settlers’ must have shared the same DNA since they too came here from mainland Europe no doubt at a time when a land bridge still connected Britain.

            You are not claiming that Britain is the cradle of civilisation? After all our forefathers were still living in caves while advanced civilisations rose and fell in Europe and beyond.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Charles Moore’s elevation is richly deserved. So at least three sound people in the Lords. Matt Ridley, Lord Lilley and Lord Moore (perhaps a few more but probably rather fewer than 20 alas).

      • Richard1
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. He would make an excellent next chairman of the BBC

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          We don’t want a ‘next’ chairman of the BBC. We want no BBC.

          • margaret howard
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

            Fox News more to your liking?

          • NickC
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            Margaret H, No, Fox is too mainstream left wing for me.

    • Peter
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      As noted by Lord Fowler, we need less people in the House of Lords – not 36 additional members.

      It should already be on one in, one out basis – at the very least.

      It is just wasteful patronage. Extra money for doing nowt.

      That said, Field and Hoey are two of the better parliamentarians.

    • Edmund Hirst
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      A patriotic Labour Party would have been a great thing for our country. The untimely and mysterious death of Hugh Gaitskell was a tragedy.

      • Hope
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        £4 billion spent last year housing Alleged asylum seekers aka economic migrants. No mention from JRs very selective blog. A problem caus d by the Fake Tories mass immigration problem. The new immigration system a scam and will not reduce anything!

        Asylum seekers supported in hotels- like lottery winners, pensioners unable to afford heating, pensioners paying for a TV license that Fake Tories promis d to reform! Shame on JR and shame on his fake Tory party and govt.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

          JR can’t attack his own party everyday. He can’t do anything about the illegal immigrants openly. We can keep telling him how unhappy we are, he can use that. But at best he has a little influence, no power. Pointless to berate him!

          Reply I am pursuing the issue of people trafficking and have written about it and raised it in the Commons. I am not going to write about it every day as we all agree the government needs to do more to stop it. That is also the Home Secretary’s view.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    As I often say if you do not have the money then you either rent the money (a mortgage) or you rent the house/home. But do not forget that renting includes insurance & maintenance gives you far more flexibility to move area, or change size of property.

    Buying especially with the current idiotically high stamp duty rates (other than during this holiday for cheaper properties) only make sense if you are sure you are staying in the same place and you house will suite your needs for several years.

    The other problem of owning a decent house is you often get mugging for IHT (at some of the highest rates in the world) and long term care cost compared to renting. Hence all the equity release schemes.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:28 am | Permalink

      Renting often includes provision and maintenance of white goods and boiler maintenance (plus now annual gas safely and electric safely certificate costs, deposited protection and other red tape dumped onto landlords by law). Another reason it is often expensive is the risk the landlord takes on (this as the court system is slow slow and useless at giving proper redress to landlords when tenant stop paying rent, refuse to leave and often wreck the properties too).

      So good tenants end up picking up the costs of bad ones. Also the banks charge higher interest and fees to landlords than owner occupiers and the idiot Osborne stopped these interest costs being allowable for tax (effectively double taxing them on the bank and the landlord (this tenant).

      • Hope
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Hammond and Clarke lost the whip in September, for it to be given back and an increased pension with title as well. It stinks. Typical dishonest Fake Tories.

        Once again, JR, knows the problem is not housing but his govts mass immigration policy against election pro isles and against public wishes.

  3. Javelin
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    As you probably know I do a formal review of the comment sections on a Saturday morning to see how public opinion is moving. I find it the best predictor available.

    So it’s bad news for the Government. People are now saying they don’t have a life, the Government are fickle, the death rate is extremely low, their job is at risk, their health is at risk, the scientists have lost the plot, the Government don’t stop Bame people so why should the rest of the populous suffer. All in all you are looking at a full scale rebellion on the radar.

    My prediction is that August will break this Government.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Wooo yes! Comments on Telegraph not good news at all for govt.!
      The sheeple maybe have fangs?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      I agree. And they deserve it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      You’re spot on, Javelin. My radar’s picking it up too.

  4. Andy
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Council housing has long needed a major reform.

    Why should a small select group get subsidised housing for life? No. We council housing should be temporary, for a year or two, while people get back on their feet. It is a safety net.

    Private landlords also need stricter regulation – with strong punishment for failure to follow rules. For too long they have been allowed to get away with letting out substandard, sometimes dangerous homes.

    Now is the perfect time also to create new homes. Lots of office blocks will not be needed anymore. Convert them into city centre apartments for younger people – and also some into old people’s homes.

    We also need to establish a way to get old people out of their big homes and into small flats instead. Too often granny is rattling around alone in a house which is far too big for her when a young family, who could do with the space, is stuck in a bedsit.

    Perhaps we need to be radical and consider compulsory confiscations of property from older people who won’t downsize.

    • NickC
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Have you ever considered that an outlook of live and let live is preferable to your obsessive need to boss other people around?

      • Andy
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        You can do what you like. Until you start harming others. Unfortunately harming others is literally the only thing your generation has ever succeeded at.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          You sound like a twenty something failed student on a proest march.
          Maybe time to realise you are now defined as old.

        • NickC
          Posted August 2, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          Andy, Make your mind up – in one comment you say you would confiscate people’s houses if they won’t do what you want, the next you say you will allow people to do what they like. Your first comment definitely aims to harm people. As well as boss them around.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Stand for election with these policies and others you tell us are right andy.
      See how you get on.

    • Original Richard
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      “Perhaps we need to be radical and consider compulsory confiscations of property from older people who won’t downsize.”

      Do you really mean “compulsory confiscation”?
      And how would you define age v property size and would young people be allowed to live in large properties?
      And how would you house the older people you have turfed out of their houses and how would divide out their properties?
      What is your plan?

      BTW, there are several characteristics or elements which define a person. Some are immutable and some are a life-style choice. Race and age are both immutable elements and consequently if racism is unacceptable then so is ageism.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Have you ever thought that the housing market outside London has been stagnant – ie no market – for at least a decade? Nobody can sell anything, and they can’t afford to give away their only asset – unless you are prepared to provide for old people for the rest of their lives in total?
      This stagnant housing market has also slaughtered the British worker, because he could not ‘get on his bike’ and go to jobs as an itinerant Polish builder could. The British Builder could not afford two homes, even one short term rental, so could not bid for jobs. Blair said they would ‘make it as hard as possible for British workers to take British jobs.’ Mission accomplished – and they wonder why the red wall is no longer red!

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      I don’t like the way you said it but otherwise a +1 from me, Andy.

      All the big houses around here are little old ladies on their own… and they stay in them for literally decades !

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

        If they provided Help to Move there would be little need for Help to Buy.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 2, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        So how many people live at Balmoral, Chatsworth and the rest, then?

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 2, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink


      ” Convert them into city centre apartments for younger people – and also some into old people’s homes”

      And stop foreign investment companies buying them and then letting them stand empty. In fact stop houses/apartments being used simply as investments pushing up prices while millions of people are unable to afford proper accommodation.

      In Denmark non-EU citizens must gain approval from the Ministry of Justice before they can purchase any property and must also confirm that the property will be their residence throughout the year.

      And you are right about getting old people out of their large houses.

      • NickC
        Posted August 2, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Margaret H, The theme of JR’s comment was to encourage home ownership. Taking the houses off people who have worked all their lives paying them off isn’t going to hack it somehow. In fact it’s the surest way to reduce home ownership drastically.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Yet another reason for rending being more expensive is Capital Gain Tax at the high rate of 28% (now moronically without even indexation). Landlords pay this (so tenants have to indirectly) but owner occupiers with their first home do not. Also Landlords have to pay council tax for vacant periods so tenants have to pick this up too. LET’S HAVE A FISCAL LEVEL PLAYING FIELD. Both forms of housing are needed for job mobility and flexibility.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink


  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Importing bodies the population of Derby every year will make sure house prices stay high.
    With the prospect of 5 million unemployed it’s time to start repatriation of large numbers.
    Failure will cost you the next election.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Do remember that a population equal to two Newcastles – rather larger than Derby – die every year in the UK, and that we have a rather low birthrate too.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        Check UK population trends.
        The biggest increase in our population since 1997 in our history.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 2, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

          So how many each year do die then?

          • Edward2
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

            So how much has the population increased since 1997 then?

          • NickC
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

            Martin, Our population is increasing. That means there are more people being born and migrating here, than dying – since you seem to be having difficulties understanding the effect of population growth on housing demand.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

            Yes, but there is a bulge in the demographic, and it’s not long before that tips off the end of the conveyor belt.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            Complete nonsense.
            300,000 per annum net immigration nearly all youngsters.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

        Do we have a housing shortage crisis or not ?

        As it happens we also have a schools crisis, a dentist’s crisis, a roads crisis… and on and on..

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 2, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          Hmm, as I say, you rightly condemn the rail operators, for blaming The Wrong Kind Of Snow when they offer a poor service, and yet you fall over yourself to excuse the hitherto austerity-crazed Tories for offering shocking public services such as health and education, on the grounds that there is The Wrong Kind Of Public. Two-out-of-three hospital beds have closed since Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979, yet the population has grown rather, and also aged markedly since then. New arrivals are generally young and fit on the other hand. How does that all work, please?

          • NickC
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            Martin, “austerity crazed”?? Rubbish. Total government spending has increased fairly regularly 2010 – 2020 from about £745bn to £810bn, in 2013 prices (source: UK public spending via OBR etc).

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      The ‘imports’ have no money and don’t buy houses. They like wind farms are only viable if heavily subsidised.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Plus I forgot the extra 3% stamp duty for landlords that pushes up rents up further by perhaps 10% alone. Introduced by the dire tax borrow and piss down the drain remainer George Osborne and retained by tax borrow and piss down the drain remainer socialist Philip Hammond. Who is now for some inexplicable reason to be elevated to the Lords with Ken Clark and various other dire characters. Surely the tower would be more suitable.

    Also retained by Sunak who is clearly doing his best to demonstrate he is another tax borrow and piss down the drain, interventionist and a green crap socialist.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    MPs and the dire BBC love to blame “unscrupulous” and “greedy” landlords whenever they can but as I show clearly above the main cause of high rents is high unfair taxes on landlords (passed on to tenants), the costs idiotic OTT red tape, the appallingly slow, expensive and largely anti-landlord court system.

    Then we have to very restrictive planning system that pushes up the price of all properties by restricting supply. As usual the government and the laws are the main causes of the problem.

  9. agricola
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    In home ownership there are two basic costs. First the land. The price of land with building permission skyrockets the value over land for growing potatoes. One way of doing something about the cost of home ownership would be to control the cost of land. It would put an end to the potential for corruption as well. For a land owner who gains building permission it must be like winning the lottery. Doubling its price to me seems reasonable.

    The second potential saving is in the method of manufacture. Current brick on brick building systems are slow, expensive, and wide open to low quality levels. Building in factories has the potential for being the exact opposite. Consider the metal bashing route to car manufacture against the dedicated car production line. Were Parliament to contain a few engineers from Nissan we would not have to tolerate the current lack of housing.

    The third aspect of lack of housing has been in Parliaments hands, ineffectively for decades. That is of course the control of immigration. So long as you insist on importing the population of Nottingham every year you will have a housing problem. Not to mention all the accompanying social and legal problems we have staring us in the face. As we write today an armada of rubber boats will have set forth across the Channel awaiting collection by our border force and hospitality in Dover. As soon as it became known that our hospitality would end with a flight back to their country of origin such incursions would dry up. However the problem is that 650 ,largely lawyers, can’t work this out.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    You say “the government wishes to expand home ownership”. Really? So why do we still have stamp duty at up to 15%? Why do we still have inheritance tax at 40% on anything about £325K. These hardly encourage it.

    One of the few sensible things that interventionist Sunak has done so far is the stamp duty “holiday” – except it should not just be a holiday it must become permanent. The higher rates of up to 15% need to be culled too as does the 3% extra for landlords and tenants. Plus we need indexation against inflation for CGT.

    We also need less mortgage and banking red tape that is restricting property lending in many very foolish and damaging ways. Giving us 40% overdrafts for all for example and restricting buy to let lending damagingly.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink


  11. Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    When I was renting, in the 90s, we were evicted due to a family problem with the landlord, we were treated well otherwise. But it was the landlord who owned the property and we couldn’t make it our own. When things went wrong, that was down to him, not us.
    Now we own our own house and it is quite different. We look after it, settled in and have neighbours who are our equals. We are part of the community and as renters, we weren’t quite.

  12. Nigl
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Large building companies gaming land values would be a start. Use it or lose it. How many consents sitting on Robert Jenricks desk for months/years. Umpteen?

    What you have said has been known for a long time and indeed, the usual words not deeds from your government. How long in power now?

    You have had your Ministerial career, got your KT etc. Time to use your senior status and change your approach from the quiet word to the megaphone. The ‘awkward squad’ shook it up over Huweii. That was pure politics. Time to do it on issues like this that are practical and will make a real difference.

  13. Nigl
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I haven’t made a Pinocchio award for some time, Soubry won it so many times it has stayed with her. However your governments approach to housing is now a recipient.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink


  14. Al
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Renting is necessary and even preferable at certain career stages.

    However to truly encourage home ownership expansion of the rent-to-own system would be a good start. If older folk are encouraged to take out second mortagages with third parties via equity release, why can they not easily set up an agreement where a family member can rent the house and slowly acrue equity in it, which both gives the older folk an income and the family member a reduced value to acquire when it becomes time to take out a mortgage to buy the rest from their relative.

    This would also make it easier for those on low or irregular incomes, the self-employed and those who run small businesses, where the banks are notoriously reluctant to extend mortgages at all, to acquire property.

    It does prevent the council grabbing the residence the instant the older parent goes into care, but it also makes homes available to people who otherwise would be in council residences, so it evens out.

  15. Trev Ess
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    This government has a very strange way of expanding home ownership. Boris and his criminal idiots say to themselves “Lets shutter the economy, destroy small businesses at a rate never seen before in history, remove personal freedom at a rate only seen before in totalitarian regimes using a virus with a 99.972% survival rate as justification. Just as a byproduct we’ll also kill 21,000 people in the first 8 weeks alone from removing health care and emptying hospitals.”
    It will crater the housing market so I suppose anybody that still has a job and is not extremely sick from vaccines or mask wearing might get a bargain if there are any banks left that will give them a mortgage.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      Easily the worst government in my lifetime.

  16. Peter
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    ‘The government wishes to expand home ownership.’

    That’s the claim but the reality is very different.

    House purchases used to be mostly funded by building societies offering repayment mortgages of around three times annual earnings.

    That all got swept away. City institutions got involved and offered all sorts of different mortgages.

    Then these started to fail and house purchasers went into negative equity.

    Housing began to be used as a hedge against inflation and a major financial investment -rather than a place to live as in many other countries.

    New housing in London is often speculative upmarket apartment blocks, targeting foreign investors rather than meeting the needs of ordinary investors.

    Building firms and financial institutions are often major donors to Conservative party funds. So favours are called in and blind eyes are turned.

    Housing is just another racket.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Spot on !

  17. Adam
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    People who buy to live in their own home preserve interest in the quality of life there. That helps maintain better neighbourhoods. Renting enables freedom for those preferring shorter-term commitments where they are, but raises them higher into long term liabilities and costs if they stay that way.

    Ability to pay enables access to better, yet it is attitude and behaviour that dictate quality standards more than money. The benefit system incentivises some dependence irrespective of support deserved, generating waste.

    Councils should establish higher standards for those whom they attract to rent their accommodation. Rewarding tenants for maintaining good care, behaviour and loyalty would be more efficient than paying for careless nuisance and neglect.

    Lifelong-renting families may add quality and stability to a neighbourhood. The importance is that we encourage good citizens to live in happiness. London is not now safe and happy; it is patchy.

  18. Mark B
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I have noted Sir john that you have not factored in Inheritance Tax and Stamp Tax. A home is a large part of any IHT and ST bill the government levies and should be included into the costs of ownership vs renting. If we were to just buy a home and stay put, we would not incur ever increasing costs but, a person who rents can move around at will and incur little costs. In short I argur, you are comparing apples to oranges.

    Homes and rents would be affordable but, as we know, when you do not address properly both the demand and supply side of things, things can go very wrong. So, if you want more home ownership, you need to cut demand but, if you cut demand too much and prices fall, people may buy new but, existing buyers will not move. So you end up with a stagnant / distorted market. Government has also been hooked on the money it gets from such taxes. I and many here have argued against such taxes as they can distort the market. Constant government interference is damaging various markets and the economy as all governments and assemblies will not do the decent thing and cut spending.

    As I keep saying over and over again – “Less is more !”

    • miami.mode
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      MB, less from some contributors would be more for others.

  19. Nigl
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Interesting article on Conservative women about cultural wars. The Tories believe in nothing apart from anything that achieves short term political gain.

    Big sound bite/little no action. Housing policy, Priti Patel on immigration, law and order, bicycle vouchers, all in the last few days. Add total subservience to anything the BAME community wants to do.

    The conclusion. You have lost. Spot on.

  20. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Yes many who rent would like to buy. But no there is no case to give those who win the social housing lottery large discounts to buy their property. That means they win twice while others pay for it.

    By all means sell them their Council house to move stock around but only if the return is sufficient to cover the costs of building two houses to replace the one that is sold. A condition of the sale is that those two houses are already in planning. That will spread the good fortune around.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Social tenants clearly should pay the market rate if they can afford it. Otherwise they never leave and other people (often poorer) have to pay taxes to subsidise their rents!

    • Know-Dice
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      One of the biggest problems with Maggies “Right to buy” was that the tenants got a discount [why!!!] and the selling council couldn’t use the income to build more, thus council stocks got depleted..

  21. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Two things keeping property high, the creative of excess money (the current Corona crisis will not help this) and too high demand.

    Simple fixes to both of these are possible.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      To follow on from above, the current wave of boat people should never be eligible for our generous housing benefits or social housing. They are criminals and should not be rewarded.

      In a similar vein “no recourse to public funds” which appears on settlement visas should apply to anyone who immigrated to this country. Your choice, your struggle. I would include no entitlement to health and education in that.

      • DavidJ
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        They should be sent back from whence they came on the next available transport. They have already come through safe countries so are not, by definition, “asylum seekers”.

        Free housing and benefit seekers more like. Only a robust immigration policy will save our country.

  22. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    If the government wishes to promote home ownership why do they tax it !

    Stamp duty is simply a horrible tax, an enforced payment/tax if you have to move for any reason, growing family, work relocation, etc.

    If the government want people to improve their houses and the Nations Housing stock, why do they charge VAT on all home improvements, maintenance, repairs.

    I agree buying is cheaper than renting over a lifetime, it also gives you a stake in the local community, which can be a benefit for all.

    Certainly once you have paid off your mortgage many feel less anxious about their finances, and their future, the last thing they want to do get back into debt and borrow against it.

  23. Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Let’s expand home ownership via the private sector – Rather than new houses being sold at the same price as existing stock – they should be sold to those without their own home at cost plus, say 15% profit.
    But that would require some incentive for house builders to get off their backsides and start producing.
    Taxpayers should not be contributing to the cost of council houses being sold off cheaply just to increase home owners as potential Tory voters, which didn’t work — Too many home owners remain socialist to the core despite taking advantage of cut price homes.

  24. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Or the Third way – come here illegally, get “punished” by being put in a hotel, Do nothing for the rest of their life, except collect from our taxes and use everything WE have to pay for. No wonder we were threatened with arrest, fines, jail and a criminal record to ruin our lives – – the govt didn’t want us to see our new citizens being ferried into hotels during the darkness.

    Have you lot ANY idea of the damage you are doing to this country? Of course you do – at least have the guts to admit it is deliberate.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink


      I see that the Hilton Hotel and Spa in our ex Home Sectretaries constituency features in the latest Farage Video, It’s now completely taken over with so called refugees.

      Apparently no vacancies for the next few months as it is completely full of so called refugees, nice to see we are looking after those who come here illegally, no expense spared, transport, heat, light, power, good food, medical treatment, spending money and a pool all provided by the taxpayer.

      Sajid apparently says it’s temporary !!!!!

      Meanwhile some of our ex service men and women, some with mental problems, sleep on the streets having fought for our country and paid taxes for years.!!.

      You would not believe it was happening if you did not see it.

      No wonder more are on the way, can you imagine the phone call.

      Come as soon as you can, it’s fantastic here, it’s like being paid to be on holiday, and you do not even have to work..

      • graham1946
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        Don’t know how you got this through. I said the same thing yesterday, naming two hotels which the ‘moderators’ edited out, insinuating that Farage was making it all up. Perhaps he now sees that it is true and is allowing it. Would be nice if he gave an opinion on it or assured us he was taking it up with the government. Looks like it is all going to be buried again, but I don’t think Farage will let this go now. BBC and MSM ignoring it of course, presumably for fear of embarrassing the government, especially the Brussels Bias Corporation who need to hang on to their unwarranted licence fee.

  25. JoolsB
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    “ After the mortgage is repaid there are no rent or mortgage payments for the rest of your life.“

    If only that were true. I feel as though our nearly £3,000 a year council tax which takes absolutely no account of our income is like having another mortgage.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Worse than a mortgage it goes up every year too and they do less and less in return. Even taking the bins away or having decent public loos or libraries seems to be beyond them. But they are good at motorist muggings.

  26. Walt
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Government ‘help to buy’ may be well-intentioned, but it results in easy money for banks and builders (who, like (some builders ed), abuse it with poor quality building and egregious executive remuneration), lax loan standards, and increased house prices; the latter worsening the problem and so leading to another round of ‘help to buy’, thus perpetuating the system. There is merit in government providing simple good quality housing for people who cannot afford to buy or to rent to a good basic standard in the private sector. Otherwise, leave it to the market.

  27. Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    At 9.15pm yesterday, the Health Secretary announced sweeping lockdown measures across the north of England – on Twitter.

    Ministers cannot revoke our freedoms just by tweeting. This autocratic approach demonstrates contempt for those impacted by new measures, but sadly it’s just another nail in the coffin of parliamentary democracy.

  28. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Yes John, the merits of home ownership are as you describe.

    However, the housing bubble – initiated by Lawson’s “economic miracle” and continued by successive governments up to and including “help to buy” – have made this difficult, notably for the young.

    That “miracle” took the confidence built on the job security, which was enjoyed under the post-war consensus, and replaced it with that based on lax credit, secured against ever-inflating property “values”.

    The UK hit the buffers years ago in this regard.

    Paradoxically, it is also the UK’s loose planning law, which is another component of property inflation. It means that profiteering from land is easy, in turn inflating land values, which are a large part of property prices generally.

    So we get an ugly country, besides an unaffordable one.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget the dual income household – where feminism actually removed choice and made it mandatory for mums to go to work (sometimes – paradoxically – taking the places of other mums) in order to compete for houses against other mums.

      Then the easy divorce laws, which meant more single households once the pressures of working-mum households suffered marital breakdown.

      My wife and I were lucky. We had twins and I could afford the house on my own salary. None of the others in the twin group could and all are now divorced.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 2, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

        “Made it mandatory”

        Thanks for the laugh.

  29. Arthur Wrightiss
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    But when you have to move house due to a job relocation or a growing family then the Government hammer you with a massive stamp duty bill.
    When you die and want to pass on your home to children to help them , then the Government steal a large slice of the value in IHT.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Indeed best to spend all your money when you get to a certain age and then rent – perhaps off your children?

    Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    What nonsense, what utter nonsense.

    Please refrain from using the term freedom in any of your articles. You don’t mean it. It is insincere

    Quite simple, your party working with Marxist Labour and the SNP have embraced authoritarian, race and gender obsessed identity politics to dismantle this nation and expose millions of moral British people to imposition and threats using the weapon of condemnation to destroy peoples lives.

    Freedom? You have extinguished this most precious of cultural values and you have done it to protect your party from harm

    The voter can see your party’s betrayal of our nation’s culture and our nation’s once embrace of freedom of speech

    We can only hope that a new party rises to confront the sinister British political class that is now ruthlessly cutting a swathe through this nation using all the weapons available to them

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      There’s a very insightful article in The Critic (similar to the Spectator) entitled ‘What is a Conservative? It’s written by Nigel Jones.

      In it he describes a bit of its history, but says that conservatives used to stand for;

      “The traditional yardsticks of Conservatism: patriotism, sound money, encouraging free enterprise while protecting society’s vulnerable and poor, supporting the family, defending the nation state, maintaining strong armed forces, allowing freedom of expression, creating a homogeneous country, upholding law and order, and backing a tough approach to crime and terrorism – all have been cheerfully discarded by our so called ‘Conservative’ rulers in the name of …. well, what exactly?”

      He concludes that unless the Conservative party finds its inner Tory the party risks being replaced.

      Everyday people say, in a whole host of publications, “vote Conservative, get Labour…I can’t believe I voted this lot in – never again.”

      • Fred H
        Posted August 2, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        I’ll step out the door anmd clap hands for that!

    • Fred H
      Posted August 2, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      The inmates are in control of the asylum!

  31. Andy
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    This Brexit government sure likes creating new unelected bureaucrats. Which is ironic considering they claim to dislike unelected bureaucrats.

    • NickC
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Have you discovered any reasons why the UK cannot be independent of the EU yet?

    • NickC
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Have you considered that a worldview of live and let live is better than your obsessive need to control how other people lead their lives?

  32. Lifelogic
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    State subsidised housing is also unfair competition in the housing market just as the BBC is in broadcasting, the NHS in health care, free school and subsidised universities are in education, renewables in energy and the rest.

    These all kill competition and make things far less efficient as a result.

  33. a-tracy
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    When the government get involved house builders and home fixers (like our Housing Associations) get greedy and take too much for themselves.

    I know someone who was wanting to buy a small 3 bed semi for £175,000, they had their 5% deposit saved, it would be their first home in their mid-30s previously renting and both working full time and they had been told they could get a mortgage, however, covid changed matters, now 95% mortgages aren’t available and the female lost her job in March. She has a new job now public sector but the mortgage broker wants six months there before re-starting mortgage chances – which is daft because their mortgage will be less than they’ve been paying in rent for the past ten years!

    Instead the couple were offered a really poor deal through Help to Buy Housing organisation on the same estate, a much lower quality build mid-terrace, bad location, smaller home and plot, no drive, no front garden for the same £175,000 but they’d own much less of it and pay rent on the other part ending up costing more than the original mortgage. The big builder is taking the ****. Oh and the only homes available on the scheme are the ones in the middle with paper thin walls and neighbours on both sides.

    When renting out your main home is because you have a short contract elsewhere and you’re just trying to cover your mortgage on home 1 because you’re having to rent in the 2nd location this could be facilitated. You need to tighten up exactly what a second home is for. This setting up fake businesses to say you rent out a second home to escape taxes and during covid to get a business bonus for goodness sakes is immoral, lots of these people have never let it or only let it for a couple of weeks a year or have only let it to friends and relatives.

  34. Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    If the Government is serious about the problem, why not provide deposits to would be first-time buyers, securing the deposit loan by way of a second mortgage on the property? When the property is eventually sold, the deposit loan is repaid, plus interest, out of the expected equity gain.
    Another option is for 50 year Gilts to be issued (for the purpose of building social housing) secured on the properties and rental income generated. Half of the rental is put into escrow for eventual repayment, with the rest going to Councils for maintenance. Properly built houses have a 100+ year lifespan, so after thirty years would be generating substantial sums to the Treasury. A twenty year housebuilding programme is required to deal with the shortage of supply, so in addition to building houses, apprenticeships in all the associated trades can be provided to British people, helping with the skills shortages and reliance on foreign labour.
    The answers to this problem aren’t rocket science, so it does beg the question why successive Governments have done little more than pay lip service to the affordability issue.

    • A-tracy
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      I agree Paul.

  35. MickN
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Nah. I’ll just get on a rickety old boat in the channel and get rid of my passport. Then the government will put me up in a 4 star hotel feed me give me medicine if I need it and pick up all the bills.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      People crossing our borders illegally, and without identification, must go into custody – and remain there until they are identified. Then they must face punishment.

  36. clive lester
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John and all .
    Building sand castles as the tide comes in springs to mind .
    A very strange artical to write in such dire times , but maybe Covid 19 and Brexit does not affect your constituency .
    If I were in Government my priority would be addressing the huge unemployment that this Country is about to face.

  37. Lifelogic
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the main reasons that buying (usually) ends up better is that people who buy are in effect forced to save in mortgage repayments. When people rent they rarely save much and the rents tend to increase year on year with inflation.

    But if you keep moving for job reasons it can be very expensive indeed. This in absurdly high stamp duty, mortgage fees, legal costs, land registry costs, removal costs, agents fees, searches, valuations, vat etc. Often with substantial abortive costs too when sales fail to go through as they often do. With sale chains breaking down, people changing their minds, or legal/financing complications arising. Low valuations current is a large problem.

    Plus getting divorced should you have assets can also be rather a disaster too for all but the largely parasitic lawyers.

    • A-tracy
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      People should have to pay a deposit to reserve a house and take it off the market as they do should they wish to buy a new home.

  38. formula57
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    A sufficiency of housing was yet another of May the Quisling’s promises reneged upon but we can be confident that the people’s Blue Boris will deliver. How can he fail with Clarke and Hammond placed in the ‘Lords to help him?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      +1 how on earth could he elevate those two – especially the appalling failed Chancellor and the beating heart of remain Hammond who assisted May in her dishonest lunacy! At least he did not elevate Bercow (yet!).

  39. John S
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    The home ownership boom in the Thatcher years seems largely forgotten. I am a Tory by instinct but my goodness, since Major they never seem to fail to disappoint.

    • David Brown
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink


  40. graham1946
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The big problem is with the way we finance house purchase, mainly the huge deposit required. If a renter can afford the rent then he can most certainly afford a mortgage which is usually cheaper. Once someone starts to rent, he can mostly say goodbye to any chance of buying as too much of his income will have gone to the landlord to enable a substantial deposit to be built up.

    If the banks and building societies are not interested in doing the business other than on present terms, perhaps the government could stand behind a 100 percent the loan, provided that a tenant has a good record of paying for a good period of time. I would be surprised if there was any real risk in it and it would only be for any shortfall between the amount borrowed and the sale value, if it came to that. The government did it for business under the covid scheme so why not for people, with a solid valuable asset involved? One thing is for sure, keep doing what we are doing just to keep the big builders happy and we will never solve the housing crisis. New thinking is required, as is the method of building.

  41. A-tracy
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    OT sorry ‘avoiding a one-week delay to lockdown in March would potentially have halved the death toll, it has previously emerged’ says the Guardian – in the next paragraph the alert about the NW lockdown happened too quickly, too immediate, too knee jerk. You can’t win.

    Just put the facts out and offer advice, if people don’t take it then they can’t say you should have stopped Eid like they say you should have stopped race meets and others at the last minute.

    200 people gathered at an Eid celebration in the papers today all breaking every rule still in play at the moment, they aren’t listening, who are all the people in hospital still, how long have they had it, where did they catch it from, if you’ve only 1000 people in 1300 hospitals it is not a difficult task to trace and inform. For gods sake get your messaging out in a fact based way, this race issue cry is just pathetic, if you’d let them all carry on breaking rules it would have been government fault, grow up leaders in those areas and those communities. Get a grip of your own youngsters or it could kill you.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      I expect that the government’s reaction to the (North West?) Eid problem you mention will be ordering the closure of my South Coast ‘local’ – a coffee shop/bar/restaurant which has only just reopened and is beginning to bring staff in off furlough. There’s only one way to stop COVIDiots ruining things for the rest of us: send them to prison for a couple of days’ reflection. (Sentences could be marked as ‘spent’ as soon as they are released.) You only have to do this a couple of times to make a point to certain ‘communities’ and age-groups.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Exactly the reaction the govt. wants I imagine.
        Divide and rule.
        Stoke up a bit of resentment!

  42. Gordon Nottingham
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    O/T why should I be forced to pay the BBC tax? How can I opt OUT?

    • NickC
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Gordon, Easy. Just don’t pay it. Then stop watching any BBC content, or any other broadcaster’s live content. Who needs TV in the era of the internet?

  43. NickC
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Housing would be cheaper if either supply is increased, or if demand is decreased. Increasing supply is difficult for a variety of reasons. Reducing demand is relatively straightforward – zero immigration for 20 years.

    • Andy
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Of course most of the demand is caused by people living longer. So while you like to blame others the real cause of the problem is older people like you. The difference being that they don’t wish you gone.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Are there seven million older people since 2000?

      • SecretPeople
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Yes, how dare people live longer!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        Old people have to live longer, and work longer to feed the useless, entitled generation we raised. Else you would and will starve.

      • NickC
        Posted August 2, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Andy, You do realise you’ve just criticised me for blaming others (migrants), then promptly blamed others (old people) yourself? Of course you don’t – you have little self-awareness.

        The difference between us is that I believe British old folk who have worked all their lives to pay for their house deserve it more than some foreign migrant chancer who rolls up on our doorstep demanding housing and money for no contribution.

    • hefner
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      ‘Increasing supply is difficult for a variety of reasons’, which you do not want to tire your little head with. Better go for a simplistic solution ‘zero immigration for 20 years’. BTW who will pay your pension if you are still around in 20 years?

      • beresford
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Who will pay the pensions of the immigrants when they get older? More immigrants? This is a Ponzi scheme.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        That’s the Ponzi theory.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 2, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        You misunderstand the market.

        Houses are not like eggs. If they could, everyone would live in a fine, gracious residence.

        As it is, they make do with what they can afford, and that involves having the last brass farthing wrung out of them by the Tory-fixed market.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 2, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

          Sorry, Hefner, that reply was to Nick.

        • NickC
          Posted August 2, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Houses conform to the laws of supply and demand, just like eggs. Probably more so, because there are substitutes for eggs.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 3, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

            No, people only want so many eggs of a normal size.

            They do not want the largest egg that they could ever afford.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 3, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            Nice there is a choice.
            Unlike various dreadful socialist States.

      • NickC
        Posted August 2, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Hefner, I wrote a comment, not an essay. I and others have previously covered the difficulties of significantly increasing the supply of housing. You should pay more attention, then you’ll learn.

        • hefner
          Posted August 2, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

          Oh, I do learn quite a lot about my fellow Brits when regularly coming to this site most week-ends: namely that it provides a ‘cooling’ place for a sizeable bunch of embittered people of all kinds, some rather able to think for themselves, some no so much, where they can pour out their rancour at not having been as successful as they thought they would be when younger, thinking the whole world and its dog are against them, furthermore thinking that Sir John might be able to do anything to improve the situation/their future … Well, good luck.

          • NickC
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            Hefner, You’re projecting – it’s you who sounds rancorous. I simply pointed out if we reduced immigration to 0% for 20 years we wouldn’t have a housing shortage – which is true even if you don’t like it.

          • Fred H
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            a cooling place? really?
            You do not understand the depth of feeling in the public out there. Only the more articulate, strong willed, life-experienced raise the determination to contribute to these sort of places. Most use the social media trivia rubbish, and ‘follow’ the ‘influencers’ ….their brains cannot work things out for themselves.
            Here we have deeply rooted assessment of political, social and economic disputes. I would guess there will be a reckoning at the ballot box in due course. Voters will find new boxes to be crossed, rather a lot will not bother, the possible upheaval could become life changing for millions who turn their backs on traditional thinking at the booth.
            Cooling? – not a chance.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

            More personal abuse with your superior attitude hef.
            That’s why their is an 80 seat Conservative majority government.
            And Labour had their worst result since the 1930s.

  44. Barry
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    House prices are a function of supply and demand. We hear a lot about supply, particularly from the media – usually in terms of Government failure, but very little about demand. Why is that?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Lots of demand – mainly from people who want others to pay for it for them.

  45. glen cullen
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    BBC reporting – The Civilian Nuclear Constabulary said its officers helped Border Force “following a landing by migrants on a beach close to the Dungeness nuclear power plant”

    Who’s going to house all the thousands of immigrants ….the tax-payer

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Supply and demand.
      Immigration keeps house prices high…and higher and higher….
      Callous greed.

  46. ian
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Your new policy of cutting stamp duty for everyone has just thrown first-time buyers under the bus.

  47. Chris Hook
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Are you going to be the first significant Tory MP to question the government’s disastrous coronavirus policy. You must see that we cannot go on like this, with it’s danger of permanent economic disaster.

    • zorro
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      How dare you challenge Our Dear Leader Kim Jong Son, he who brightens our way daily on his Shining Path to the Great Reset, his indefatigability second to none in the face of the INVISIBLE (and forever pervasive) ENEMY.

      I also hope that you will also celebrate ODL Kim Jong Son for his peerless decision making in rewarding His Dear Brother Kim Jo Jong Son for his matchless contribution to society as Lord Jo Jong Son, and that other Great Briton, Dmitri Lebedev to a similar honour.

      There is not enough praise on this blog for ODL and I an sure that our Feared and Dreaded Security Secretary Prit Pat El will be taking your names expertly assisted but our Chief Data Washer Dom Khuo Ming.

      Our Dear Leader has ‘followed the science’ and this is as good as it gets…..


      • NickC
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        Zorro, Brilliant. So good in fact I gave the Great Leader a 20 minute standing ovation outside my front door!! (I made a note of all my neighbours who failed to follow suit for transmission to Commissars An Die, and Mar Tin). All stand!!! Hoorah for Jong Son and for Hang Kok!!!!

        As I said right at the beginning – without a cure or vaccine, the only option left is herd immunity (since perfect quarantining is not possible for the entire population).

        • zorro
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          Comrade and Master of All The Intelligences Dom Khuo Ming is data crunching your name as we speak to counter your blasphemies!


      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Very good!
        Of course ODL’s objective is not economic disaster but a power grab.
        Globalists can’t wait to finish off the working class … give away their areas and shut down pubs and sport, do away with unions.
        Some Covid aspects will disenfranchise the middle classes. Houses and jobs will be lost. How can anyone reduced to state handouts or low pay pose any threat to the globalists and their puppets?

    • RichardP
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I agree.
      Somebody really does need to get a grip on the Johnson Regime and quickly.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      I believe that Mrs T. faced an 83 strong rebellion in the House over the Poll tax.
      Poll tax finished her.
      But then there was huge discontent over it.
      People now seem to passively accept.
      So sadly there may be no need for any MP to stand up and be counted.
      Its only all about the votes you know!

      • graham1946
        Posted August 2, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        The reason poll tax failed was that the shouters who were getting a free ride did not want to pay, so we have the Council Tax system not based on ability to pay. Had the Tories stuck with the poll tax we would each pay less, but like now, they were gutless and could not stand the shouting from fashionable mostly left wing sources.

  48. Everhopeful
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Is the “New Normal” going to be like the old one?
    People with jobs ( jobs??) getting married and buying houses on mortgages?
    Or will people only get a Government owned house if they have a vaccination certificate?

  49. miami.mode
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    It’s a bit late now. Tories have been in the driving seat for 10 years and in popular areas house prices have risen by more than 30% during this time and we all know the reasons why. Too many people chasing too few homes.

    Why the government relies on private house builders to dictate the bulk of the rate of build is a mystery. Builders are solely in it to make a profit and if the government wants wider house ownership then they should take a more pro-active role.

    Current circumstances mean that many people will lose their jobs and lenders are already withdrawing the best deals so the signs are not good.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 2, 2020 at 4:46 am | Permalink

      The Corporate house-builders build all the undesirable houses. Te Government has rigged the market against individuals building the houses they want (and deserve). We have to pay for rubbish with a full lifetimes work. For an estate house with a ‘garage’ no car can use and ‘bedrooms’ smaller than Australian and American wardrobes.

      • graham1946
        Posted August 2, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        America and Australia are somewhat larger than the UK and have a much lower population density. I agree modern houses are rubbish because they can get away with it and true 3 and 4 bedroom house shells are being made into 4 and 5 for no reason than corporate profit. You can still self-build individually – I have a massive one in my street and very nice it is too, but you cannot just bung them up anywhere you fancy. Finance is at the bottom of it and while the banks are allowed to do it their way, no improvement will ensue.

  50. ian
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Voting for political parties is a mug’s game, parties are only interested in policies that attract minority groups and skew their policies towards them, it all so leads to higher immigration, that’s why I always tell you, your better off voting for individuals who have no need to pander to minority groups of people which will also lead the media to cut back on reporting and supporting minority groups for a more overall view instead of the media and politician with their parties putting people into boxes as groups for them to manipulate.

    If you can get away from the divide and conquer party politic better all the people will be off with people working as a whole instead against each other.

  51. Mike Wilson
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Interesting. Yet again a subject is raised and most of you, Tory supporters almost to a man or woman or any permutation of the two, feel that your Tory government is basically useless. I wonder if the host of this site reports this widespread dissatisfaction to his lords and masters. But, would they care? Why should they care? Our glorious, undemocratic voting system will get you voting for more of the same.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      I hear what you are saying, but Sir John is one of the good guys. He, like us, is trying to get the government to listen.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 2, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      How true.

  52. Rods
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    One noticeable difference in mainland Europe is the extensive use of medium to high rise flats as this makes small, medium & large towns & cities more vibrant, compact & provides affordable accommodation in blocks of flats over 3 stories high, which are largely banned in the UK outside of our major cities.

    Surely, where all UK governments have had migration policies since the 1950’s & mass ones since 1997 so letting a net 200-300,000 people settle in the UK from abroad each year, such housing solutions should be adopted in the UK. With the UK Ponzi benefits & pensions pay-as-you-go system & low, below replacement, birth rates I can’t see this situation changing as ever more contributors are needed as we all continue to live longer & pension costs rise. Priti Patel’s excellent points system immigration reforms will help with attracting high added value talent from the rest of the world, but I can’t see immigration falling substantially, unless UK residents start having more children.

    • beresford
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      And yet Hungary and Norway have solved their replacement ‘problem’ by incentivising indigenous people to have more children. No need to import people who are opposed to our culture and traditions, but these folk are more suited to dismantling the consensus required by democracy and enabling direct rule by the globalists.

  53. Mike Wilson
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    The demand problems could well be solved by the government’s inane, insane, incomprehensible, incredible offer to several million people in Hong Kong to come and live here.

  54. acorn
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Home ownership is the West’s biggest economic-policy mistake It is an obsession that undermines growth, fairness and public faith in capitalism, wrote the Economist last January

    It has led to less than half the houses being built than should have been due to NIMBYism objecting to any developments that spoil the views from their windows and demanding planning rules be made needlessly complex to keep their houses overpriced and under occupied.

    It is forcing Conservative governments to keep feeding the beast they spawned, with more and more subsidies as millennials abandon capitalism to the property privileged.

    • NickC
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, The Economist was also rabidly against Leave, so I’ll take their advice over housing with a JCB digger’s bucket full of salt.

      • hefner
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Very droll but rather misplaced. Anyway The Economist also has rather interesting figures: comparing the 10% of UK regions with the highest GDP per head to that of the 10% of regions with the lowest GDP per head gives a ratio of 4.3, which is the worst result of all OECD countries. The situation in North of England vs SE of England is worse than that of East Germany was relative to West Germany, or Southern Italy to Northern Italy.
        You might want to take a train full of salt but the figures are there, Leave or not. There comes a point when it becomes rather idiotic not to consider basic figures.

        • acorn
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

          Agreed hef’, but you, I and other ranking remainers, have to appreciate; and, do our best to compensate for, the lower cognitive capacity of the average leave voter.

          Yes, they have been expertly indoctrinated with the “Cummings/Bannon” ideology via this less than competent Conservative government. There is little that can be done to ameliorate that for the time being.

          The populace will have to suffer for the next five years at least, what they voted for. Sadly, they will never be able to work out how they got totally screwed by the 1% elite in this decade. 😉

          • Edward2
            Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            More abuse of 17 million people.
            Your tyranny means only people as clever as you think you are get a vote.
            The very definition of snobbery.
            No wonder Labour got their worst result since the 1930s.

          • NickC
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

            Acorn, Your claim of higher cognitive capacity than Leaves is not self-serving in which way?

        • miami.mode
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          That seems difficult to believe, hefner, as in the mid 1980s according to Wikipedia it was estimated the exchange rate in the two Germanys was about 5 to 10 Mark der DDR to one Deutsche Mark.

          • hefner
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

            Indeed, the exchange rate between the two marks was as you said but the ‘social policies’ of the DDR were compensating for the difference: whether it was ‘the paradise on earth’ or not can certainly be discussed, particularly wrt freedom of expression, but people had a job, a reasonable education and health services. So the difference in exchange rate was very likely not to be representative of the differences in the standard of living.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          Proving you can get any result you want using statistics.

          • hefner
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

            Specially for feeding gullible people unable to look properly at them.
            How dear Edward2 can one infer anything on the efficiency of the state, economy, health services, ministries, trade, transport, the doings of a company, … without having to deal with figures and then statistics of one type or another. You might be totally incompetent with such things, it still is the case that statistics are essential to assess what is going on in the world.
            Don’t you think that a more enlightened attitude would be to learn more about statistics (what they exactly represent, how they are built, whether they are significant or not, …) instead of disparaging them using what is one of the most hackneyed arguments (which might say more about you than about the original point).

          • Edward2
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            Your cherry picked statistics in your post were ridiculous and gave a misleading biased result.
            And you know it.
            Your cheap personal abuse in response proves it.

          • hefner
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

            Edward2, so you dispute the 4.3 ratio between the UK region with the 10% highest GDP per head relative to that with the 10% lowest GDP per head. Fair enough, that’s your inalienable right. Please tell me, what is the proper ratio?

          • NickC
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

            Hefner, You’re hand waving again. The subject is housing availability and, if anything, houses are in greater supply and are more affordable in UK regions with lower GDP per head. So your claims are irrelevant.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

            No I say what I said.
            Your post not mine.

          • hefner
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            NickC, I would take you more seriously if you were able to address all of the questions related to the dearth of new homes being built in some areas of the country including the role of developers sitting on their ‘land banks’ for years, only developing certain types of houses (the most profitable for them) and not those more likely to satisfy the needs of the local population, being reluctant to develop ‘brownfields’ land, the nimbyism of some communities, …
            Immigration, legal and illegal is a matter to be considered obviously but it is far to be the only one.
            Instead of doing that, you abase yourself with a comment on the Economist when its couple of articles on housing are rather informative and not particularly controversial.
            But if you want to score brownie points with your ‘friends’ on this site, go ahead. As I said to Edward2, it is your inalienable right to look whatever you want. I reserve the right to qualify this ‘whatever you want’.

    • Barbara
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Stop importing millions of people, then

      • UKQanon
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Barbara – the majiority of people who voted for Brexit, me included were concerned about immigration and the take over of their country. We wanted OUR sovereignty back so we could be in charge of and control our own destiny.Unfortunately the Establishment along with certain NGOs are complicit in facillitasting and allowing undocumented illegals into the UK. MPs are FULLY aware and do nothing but there again they do not have the country’s interest at heart.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

          Too true! That’s why after the Referendum we ’no longer worried about immigration’ – we thought we had fixed it!

        • glen cullen
          Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          spot on

  55. Lifelogic
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    No only that but the courts take months to act and often side with tenants who are not paying, remaining in residence and wrecking the place.

  56. Dave Andrews
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    “The government wishes to expand home ownership.”
    This needs qualification – to overseas investors, thus inflating costs and cashing in on all those taxes.
    A young Briton looking to buy can take a running jump.

  57. Sea Warrior
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps, Sir John, you and some other MPs should travel to Singapore and take a look at how that city-state tackles the problem.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      By authoritarianism, for most things.

      And you won’t even wear a little bit of cloth over your nose and mouth now and then.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        It’s a little bit of cloth, a surgical mask … it’s whatever you want so long as your face is covered.

        It could be a gauze as useless as a mesh fence against mosquitoes but the government says that’s OK. And what happened to ‘wash your hands’ ?

        So it’s all bullshit, Martin. Total and utter bullshit.

        And what really got New Zealand and Taiwan its results was locking borders and quarantining new arrivals.

        But you don’t want that.

        I wanted us to be more like New Zealand but you didn’t want that either. But at least – despite their much tinier population- we have never produced a white mass murderer who has run into a mosque, no matter how much you despise white working class English people.

        You also found the mass disturbances and breach of lockdown by BLM UK ‘exhilarating’.

        What you relish is oppression by face mask, isn’t it, Martin.

        And the Tories are falling for it – about to finally kill our pubs too.

        Why don’t we just get rid of Boris and put a virologist in charge of the country ?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 2, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

          You imagine that I didn’t want similar policies to New Zealand’s re covid 19.

          You are wrong.

          • NickC
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

            Prove it.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 2, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

            Hilarious – prove that you are not thinking a particular thought.

            This is what passes for debate from the Right.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 3, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            You say you want identical policies to New Zealand, but a nation with just 3 million people on two big islands in a very isolated place on Earth can lock down far easier than a country like Italy Spain Netherlands or UK that are major international air hubs with much greater population densities and huge movements of emigration/immigration.
            You show only attempts driven by your obvious political bias to just attack whatever the UK government does.
            New Zealand which you continually compare to the UK is nothing like any EU nation.

        • dixie
          Posted August 2, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

          You should worry less about virologists and more the rather significant behavioural psychologists on SAGE.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Almost all the land in Singapore is owned either by the government or a government department. Are you arguing for the effective abolition of freehold property in the UK?

  58. David Brown
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    One of the predictions coming out of the Covid crisis is reduced birth rate. This is happening across Europe although predictions for UK is an increase in population.
    It does follow however that if the economy dips significantly for a long period of time then the population declines.
    The old saying “If you feed rats they multiply”
    So perhaps one good thing arising out of a decline in GDP is the potential decline in population. In doing so there will be a decline in the need for housing.
    May be UK needs a drop in population of 10 million.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 2, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      we could make a start by letting Scotland ‘go’. That would reduce by approx 5.5m. Remove the Barnett formula payments, withdraw the job and relocate the wanted ones to England.

  59. Ian@Barkham
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    It is suggested that all the major builders generally have what is termed land banks . These land banks are there to furnish their needs for a minimum of the next 10years. The last study showed this land bank was sufficient for all the UK’s needs over the same period all with planning approved in place.

    The kicker is the housebuilders will only build on this land if they believe the can maximise profit on sales.

    Government’s are the major source of house inflation, they consistantly want to be on message and incentivise house purchase with taxpayer money. In essence this means those can afford a home get it on the cheap financed by those that can never get on the ladder. These government actions keep all house prices rediculously high

    • Mark B
      Posted August 2, 2020 at 4:37 am | Permalink

      The trouble is, they kind of people who vote Conservative are the very same people who benefit from high house prices. So the last thing you will see is an end to this madness.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 2, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Vote brexit party, for an end to the madness of generally waking up in a building.

  60. multiID
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    No john.. problem is the population at 65 million is too much..should be brought down to 30 million..a big ask but very necessary if we are to have comfortable manageability going forward especially in this new post EU world.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 2, 2020 at 4:35 am | Permalink

      Ahhh ! But that will impact GDP and we cannot have that now can we ?


  61. The Prangwizard
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Off topic. I admire BLM. Not because I support their cause or their objectives but their I do admire their courage and guts to get off their backsides and make a noise.

    We, who are just as ignored as are BLM but even in a more unjust way haven’t got the guts to do the same. It is about time we did.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      We have got the courage. We know once we start, it will not be over until we win. We are loath to ‘press the nuclear button’ – but the majority win in the end one way or the other. It is cruel to all minorities to pull our tail for so long that they think we have no teeth. They will be shocked when we turn around and grab them by the throat.

  62. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Sir John when you say ‘the Government wishes to increase home ownership’ I’m afraid we don’t believe you.
    In addition we are only interested in British people owning homes in their own homeland – our children, even Andy and MiC! It’s not our job to provide 3 million homes for EU ‘asylum seekers’ as well as the Multi-millions of 3rd world asylum seekers who come here via the EU.

  63. Anonymous
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:39 pm | Permalink


    Earlier in the week we had a post on increasing train capacity by digital signalling and passing loops.

    Today we have a post on how to make owning a house easier.

    Well here’s news for you. Trains are carrying 1/10 of the passengers they used to and I don’t see them coming back to anything like the levels they were at.

    The worst economic depression since the twenties is about to hit us. People will be struggling to eat, let alone able to afford houses and maybe the best thing you can do is allow house prices to collapse and STOP IMMIGRATION.

    It’s like you’re in denial, John.

    Reply No I am not in denial. I am pressing the government to clamp down on people trafficking, and lobbying for more measures to combat the recession. There will be a better future where the other issues I raise matter.

  64. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    In the mid-1990s, the ratio of median house price to median annual workplace based earnings was just under three. Since then, the ratio has climbed:
    1997 3.55
    2001 4.42
    2007 7.17
    2009 6.35
    2018 7.85 (London 12.26, South East 10.12)
    2019 7.70

    The remorseless rise, with only a temporary dip following the 2008/9 recession, can be attributed to a monetary policy that is far too loose and unnecessary immigration. Both major governments have been responsible for over 20 years.

    The consequence has been that wealth has flowed relentlessly from the working population to the ultra-rich and the retired elderly. Learn to count – the former population is larger than the latter.

    To reverse the trend it is necessary to reverse the causes (1) a slow rise in interest rates so that investment pays and (b) a tournique on immigration.

  65. Iain Gill
    Posted August 2, 2020 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    Come on John you can do better.

    This blog is now getting dull.

    Too much echo of the general lazy views of the political class.

    You are one of the few decent politicians we rely on you to rise above this and say exceptional stuff.

    • Polly
      Posted August 2, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      There are some great comments to this blog from such individuals as Dominic, for example, who have noticed that something is seriously wrong in the UK.

      I would be very interested to read what disappears into the Delete folder along with most of mine.

      One thing is sure. It’s certainly going to require ”exceptional stuff” and thinking outside the box to put things right, and if that doesn’t happen, then unfortunately it looks like… Farewell UK.


      Reply You make some good points about public policy but know I will not publish things that attribute those policies to named individuals who are not in the governments making the decisions. Governments listen to all sorts of advisers and influencers. What matters is what they decide and how they defend their decisions. Dominic also often does not get posted, primarily because of the way he describes the Labour Party and makes allegations about them.

  66. Posted August 2, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    We must come to look at politics in a different Light now.
    Namely there is only One party going forward and has been for some time the Three have become One, no mater how you vote , you just get The Party.
    Sorry J R but we have seen through all you Remainers
    This type of government, works well in places like Russia and China.
    Oh and the EU , there I nearly forgot that .
    Does it make sense now, ?

  67. alastair harris
    Posted August 2, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    At the risk of generalising – work in a large metropolis and you either live close and rent, or commute. There was a shift to people buying leaseholds on flats but we have seen the fall out over that with plenty of unsellable “properties” for a number of different reasons. If the banks won’t lend on them then they are unsellable.
    But this is an area where the government should disengage. Mrs Thatcher’s policy of allowing tennants to purchase dealt with a problem that was relevant at that time, and did it well. But we still have government dabbling in property, and it really shouldn’t. “Social Housing” is on the slippery path to Marxism, and as we have seen recently, in spite of the significant problems it offers, Marxism is still lurking. Even within the party you represent.

  68. Christine
    Posted August 2, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    If I own my own home and I can’t pay the mortgage the bank repossesses it and I lose my investment. If I rent my home and I can’t pay the rent then the council will pay it for me. Therefore, if I have an insecure job, which applies to the vast majority at the moment, I am better off renting.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 4, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Good point Christine, why should the government support renters housing costs but not people buying? Then again that is what PPI was for on the mortgage front and those schemes got canned. Someone told me that was because the basic mortgage interest should be paid by the government for a period if you are out of work but not the repayment element of a mortgage.

  69. XYXY
    Posted August 2, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Yes State-subsidised housing is not the way to go. Council houses are an especially bad idea.

    Conservatism is about self-sufficiency, with the State intervening only when necessary and for as long as necessary. Council houses provide an incentive for people to do the opposite, effectively rewarding poor life choices with a home for life, paid for with other people’s money (i.e. taxpayers’ money).

    The first thing about council housing is that it should not be for life, it should only be for as long as is strictly necessary and the supply should be very limited. It is difficult to imagine many situations where a home for life on other people’s money is justified, let alone a home for a while on that basis… without laying the root cause at the doorstep of the claimant.

    For example, a single mother. With more care, she wouldn’t be a single mother. If she is living at home with her parents, or in fact wherever she was living when she became pregnant and chose to have the baby… she can stay there.

    Encouraging home ownership should be through buying. Artificial schemes will never work, the key facts are:

    1. An increasing population creates a supply-demand issue (immigration, birth rate to a lesser extent).

    2. Globalisation means UK workers’ earnings are lower than they would have been without globalisation, so the asset prices have moved beyond the means of the average aspirant.

    3. Low skills and negative social pressures (‘uncool’ education etc) is also an issue – if the work force do not have the skills, they will never be able to afford a house by their own efforts.

    Addressing these root cause issues seems paramount.

  70. Andrew H
    Posted August 2, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    It’s a shame the Conservatives broke their promise to restrict immigration to the 10’s of thousands as this would have reduced a lot of the pressures on the housing market.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page