Housing and the Big Society

The ILP is supporting a public meeting in London to launch two new pamphlets from Chartist, the magazine for democratic socialism, on housing and the Big Society.

The Politics of Housing Development in an Age of Austerity and The Big Society: The big con and the alternative will be launched in the Betty Boothroyd Room, in Portcullis House, Westminster, London SW1 on Wednesday 22nd February at 6.30pm.chartist_big_society cover

Speakers include Karen Buck, Labour MP for Westminster North and shadow education minister, plus pamphlet authors Duncan Bowie, Andy Gregg and Mike Davis.

In The Politics of Housing Development in an Age of Austerity, Duncan Bowie examines housing policy over 100 years and provides a powerful critique of new Labour and current coalition government policy.

Both an historian and an experienced housing and planning practitioner, he asks: why are we not building more homes, and with homelessness and overcrowding on the rise, why is there not more affordable social housing?

In The Big Society: The big con and the alternative, Andy Gregg and Mike Davis unmask the paradoxes of David Cameron’s flagship idea, one that keeps rearing its head although few people understand it, including Tories.

Gregg has been chief executive of a number of local, regional and national charities, while Davis worked as a teacher and education adviser for almost 40 years and is now editor of Chartist.

You can download the pamphlets here.

1 Comment

  1. Jonathan
    27 February 2012

    The Big Society pamphlet is right to try to engage with the idea in its own terms, but fails because it doesn’t appreciate the nature of the bureaucracy under New Labour, which replaced economic development in the North.

    For instance, it defends RDAs. But I think you’d find it hard to identify many businesses in the regions which really miss them.

    The Big Society can best be understood as a response to New Labour’s attempt to micromanage society through QUANGOs (whilst leaving big business to get on with it, bar a few attempts to restrict poor employment practices through the NMW, raising the bar on unfair dismissal awards and extending anti discrimination law). How it’s possible to explore its roots in Tory thinking without reference to Burke, Pitt and Wilberforce, I don’t know, particularly since Hague spent his time out of government writing a huge tome on his forenamesake (Pitt the younger).

    To challenge the Big Society, Labour need to promote tax transparency with a view to making significant tax cuts for small businesses that create decent jobs, encouraging the Trade Unions to play a role as a partner to small business helping them with training and employment policies. (as the Trade Council in the Rhondda did in the 90s).

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