Author Archives: Chris Lee

Radical Ideas for the Future

At the moment, virtually all of our policies – save for our stance on the EU – amount to tinkering at the edges of a flawed, if not broken, political system. This is a result of the fact that there is generally a fair amount of consensus within mainstream politics on a number of key issues.

All parties agree that we need to build more housing, that we need more funding of schools, the NHS and the police, and that we need to protect the environment. The major policy debates at the moment concern immigration, nationalisation of public infrastructure, the EU, education and public sector borrowing – most of which are couched in simple binary yes/no terms, depending on whether you support Labour or the Tories.

Rather than trying to join in the political consensus or meet Labour and the Tories halfway (e.g. see our current policy on housing), I genuinely believe that we have an opportunity to pursue an alternative set of policies that will mark us out as distinct.

Along with electoral reform and being pro-European, six policy ideas from various places within the liberal political tradition, come to mind:

1. A national housebuilding company

A national construction company set up to build houses, with the government taking a majority stake and offering financial guarantees. Instead of just pledging a high-sounding number of homes to be built each year and leaving it to the private sector, a government-backed company would have the opportunity to take responsibility for recruiting and training construction workers (with a focus on British workers), building homes and maintaining homes – with profits going back to the Treasury.

Combined with relaxing the rules preventing local authorities from borrowing to fund social housing, a national housebuilding company would be an exciting yet pragmatic way of building homes while balancing the risk and reward of construction projects.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , , and | 39 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPaul Barker 20th Mar - 9:53am
    With May now asking for a delay of 3 Months & The EU demanding a concrete reason for delay another General Election now seems a...
  • User AvatarCatherine Jane Crosland 20th Mar - 9:36am
    David Raw and Lorenzo, thank you so much for your supportive comments. I'd just like to make it clear that I was not actually offended...
  • User AvatarYeovil Yokel 20th Mar - 9:26am
    If it’s in the Daily Torygraph, Richard Underhill, then it must be true.
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 20th Mar - 9:21am
    Looks as if it has been kicked into the long grass, not a single press release on this major issue, and cannot find anything on...
  • User Avatarchris moore 20th Mar - 9:18am
    Excellent article and subsequent comments and links. Thanks to the Davids and others.
  • User AvatarDavid Hughes 20th Mar - 9:17am
    Regarding the difficulties of 'whipping' this group, the task in fact fell to Jo Grimond from the point of his first election in 1950 until...