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 AvatarJock Coats 8th Apr - 3:33am
    David, diabetes was a bad one to start off with as an example. Ultimately, all the epidemiology suggests that "the state" has caused the increase...
  • User AvatarJames Bliss 8th Apr - 2:04am
    @David Raw "Well, James, best of luck when you drive in a bus lane during peak hours and decide that the £ 60 fine is...
  • User AvatarMichael Sammon 8th Apr - 1:57am
    Good article Tom and like any solid argument, it has been straw manned to death in the comments. I can possibly see a case for...
  • User AvatarWilliam Francis 8th Apr - 1:51am
    @Alistair "Rather than simply reducing sugar companies have loaded up their products with sweeteners which are not healthy," And sugar is healthy? I have yet...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 8th Apr - 1:12am
    Michael BG, if benefits were a long-term solution to poverty you would think we might have got there 76 years on from the Beveridge report....
  • User AvatarWilliam Francis 8th Apr - 1:01am
    @Lee Allane You are conflating silence with lack of media coverage.
Mon 27th Apr 2020