Wrong to Buy

Peter Wilby – First Thoughts – New Statesman – 17-23 April 2015

The Right to Buy – allowing tenants to purchase at a discount council houses and now, under Cameron’s proposals, housing association properties – is another terrible Tory policy. For many years, almost everyone applauded Margaret Thatcher’s original scheme. Only three decades later can we see the full consequences. More than a third of ex-council homes in London are in the hands of private landlords who are, in effect, subsidised by the state through housing credits that help tenants pay the inflated rents – a supreme example of privatisation that leaves both consumers and taxpayers worse off. Private tenants have no rights even to carry on renting beyond a few months, let alone a right to buy. When you hear Tories praising the policy, agree and say you like right-to-buy so much you think it should be extended to the private sector. Then sit back while they try to explain why that wouldn’t be a good idea.

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/04/tories-nutty-tax-promises-how-fallon-weaponised-trident-and-minor-cricketing-drama

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The Combe by Edward Thomas

The Combe by Edward Thomas

The Combe was ever dark, ancient and dark.
Its mouth is stopped with bramble, thorn, and briar;
And no one scrambles over the sliding chalk
By beech and yew and perishing juniper
Down the half precipices of its sides, with roots
And rabbit holes for steps. The sun of Winter,
The moon of Summer, and all the singing birds
Except the missel-thrush that loves juniper,
Are quite shut out. But far more ancient and dark
The Combe looks since they killed the badger there,
Dug him out and gave him to the hounds,
That most ancient Briton of English beasts.

The Combe
by Edward Thomas (1878-1917)

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Notes:

I am grateful to Philip Maughan, in this week’s New Statesman, for introducing me to this poem in his review of “The Dig” by Cyan Jones.

Edward Thomas wrote the poem “Adlestrop”.

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