What ever did happen to Mrs Thatcher’s dream of home ownership for all?
The dream stretches back to the 1920’s, but became core Conservative policy in the 80’s.
Ok, maybe a part of that was to weaken the power of local councils, but when many people got the opportunity to buy their own council home, it seemed possible then that the dream would come true. Everyone could be a home owner, and have the security and status that went with it. It matched the conservative concepts of individual responsibility; getting on in life and providing the best you can for the next generation.
But home ownership is falling again, and as quickly as these things can, with only the wealthy or parental-backed young getting on the ladder.
The cause of this is the other conservative philosophy of “free-markets”; neo-liberal capitalism. Where worker power is subsumed to the power of the corporation; where jobs are flexible, vulnerable and under-paid; where the tax regime works in favour of corporate profits vs incomes; these policies work to promote corporate home ownership and a short term letting system, all the time eroding the freedoms espoused in the individualism philosophy.
It comes in other ways too, with the corporatist side of the modern Conservative party looking to take away human rights, in order to remove the voices of those who may protest about corporatist conflicts in foreign lands.
The same conflict is at the heart of the ridiculous strivers and skivers conflict – it’s the liberal employment rights and worship at the doormat of the massive oligopolistic companies, desperate to kick their own workforce, that means last weeks strivers are next weeks skivers.
And so you can’t have it all ways.
So whilst David Cameron tries to plough the furrow up the middle, keeping the individualistic voters and the corporatist donors happy, he’d do well to remember that the policies each side want are mutually incompatible, and he ought to decide which side he’s on.
(Inspired by this http://www.guerillapolicy.org/housing/2013/03/12/the-rise-of-the-property-owning-plutocracy/ )