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 AvatarJoseph Bourke 17th Jan - 1:45am
    Expats, I think I have been clear that I support Libdem housing policy as updated last spring https://www.libdems.org.uk/spring-18-f4-local-government-housing This policy includes allowing receipts from the...
  • User AvatarMartin 16th Jan - 11:48pm
    Vince and our other parliamentarians need to remind Mrs May that her self imposed red lines are the stumbling block. We should not promise much...
  • User AvatarYeovil Yokel 16th Jan - 11:43pm
    “What should Vince say to Theresa?” - my reply would be unrepeatable, but my advice to Vince (not that he really needs it) is not...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 16th Jan - 11:18pm
    It was a fair point from Gove, there was a tme when we favoured a referendum. To many we give the appearance of inconsistency on...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 16th Jan - 11:11pm
    @david Warren, I must eat my words when I say that I do not detect a groundswell for a change in voting system. There was...
  • User AvatarFiona 16th Jan - 11:09pm
    David, no tying in knots required to distinguish between a vote to validate the details of a massive constitutional change and a vote to instigate...