Announcing - nothing
21/11/2011 5:28 pm
What feedback from the people who count - residents and perspective residents - did anyone get today from the government's announcement of its intentions and aspirations about housing?
Colleagues of mine have taken calls from a number of people wanting to know about the Right-to-Buy and how much discount they can expect.
The saddest example was from a young man currently in private accomodation (a single room in a shared house) who wanted to know when he would now qualify for a new Council home and how long he would have to wait to buy it.
The more common call was from existing tenants who were wondering how much discount they would get - they were very angry to be told that the announcement had not changed anything but simply paved the way for some consultation, with a result sometime next year.
The young man was devestated to learn that these stated 'strategies' would not help him with either aspiration. Other callers, because they heard that RTB was to be extended on the news they were angry at the landlord who they believe are deliberately obstructing the government's help. This government should stop playing politics with people's lives, and should really apologise for such expectation mismanagement.
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22/11/2011 1:33 pm
I wonder how many people have been fined for speeding at 80mph on the motorway...since the bad boys in blue spoke of increasing the limit?
Alas - the abilities of reading, enquiring and learning the facts - are not ones enjoyed by everyone.
22/11/2011 1:50 pm
That is why it is the duty of a competent government to communicate clearly and exactly, and not present thoughts and wish lists as fact and new law.
Perhaps if they had called their 'strategy' a 'collage of ideas new and old' and been clear that little was agreed or to be enacted, people would have understood the message clearer.
The media also do not help when they print 'how do the changes effect you' style items - clearly these had been based on the PR from government owing to their timing, and clearly there is some embarrassment resulting in the near silence in the media today.
Blair was bad enough with the presentation over substance, and in the end even the presentation fell away. But this lot are not even making a good job of the presentation, or hiding the lack of substance. Instead, their only achievement has been to successively blame others with a rapid changing focus to perpetuate belief.
It must be embarrassing to be an opposition without an alternative, but it is more embarrassing to be a government without a plan.
22/11/2011 6:42 pm
Person A is brainless. The Government's duty is to provide Person A with a brain. The Government is brainless. What now F451??
22/11/2011 8:26 pm
That's a bit harsh on someone who's only offence is being a member of the public and believing what they think they are told - OK, that's how we get the governments we have, but what's the alternative, abandoning universal suffrage?
23/11/2011 1:10 pm
Had a call this morning from a tenant wanting to know how much the new discount was and was really angry to be told that nothing had been decided. He shouted 'I'm not stupid, it was all over the News on Monday'.
I do sympathise with him, after all the presentation was very much as if all these ideas had been implemented. They have been trailed for so long now it is not beyond imagining that people believe after all this time the announcement was for something that had happened.
08/12/2011 2:14 pm
Colleagues are reporting that enquiries about how to access the new government right to buy scheme are still coming in every day, and resulting in disappointment after disappointment.
Is there anyway to communicate to the Housing Minister that he needs to announce the truth about his non-announcement so that housing staff are not wasting even more time clearing up over his lack of clarity and detail - or at least announce a date when he will announce what it is his announcement was about.
09/12/2011 11:33 am
I'm sorry but I do not see it as HA and LA's job to make social tenants pay more attention to the news released by the media.
The government clearly stated in the strategy that consultation will begin in December 2011. The document is available for anyone to read if they were interested. What was on the news and in the papers is not the governments concern if they wish to cherry pick the best bits.
09/12/2011 1:04 pm
Media Manipulation and Spin not something the government should take responsibility for then Nonnie?
09/12/2011 1:39 pm
No actually - they haven't "spun" anything. The government announced that it intended to increase the RTB discount to encourage social tenants to purchase there homes. That is all. They had no obligation to say when, how, where. They were releasing policy ideas.
If people want to view the specifics then the internet is a wonderful tool for accessing this information in less than a minute. The Strategy is online.
As I say before - if the media decide to "cherrypick" the parts they want to promote for the news cycle (be it printed or oral) then that is legal. The media in this country is currently self-regulating due to "Freedom of the Press". Of course this may be subject to change based on the results of the Leveson Enquiry and any legislation decided upon thereafter.
09/12/2011 2:42 pm
Ok nonny - as you say then it must be.
There are no little munchkins working for the government guiding the media on what to emphasise in a story. There was only ever Andy Coulson, and now he is otherwise a little busy, there is nobody else inside the government or the party briefing the press.
Equally the CLG never issued a press guidance or public FAQ saying the details of when and how RTB will work would be part of the Housing Strategy - and of course the PM never presented the item in language that suggested these were changes already made.
Of course not nonny - never happened and never does.
09/12/2011 4:08 pm
The other point about this flurry of callers is that people are still game for the something for nothing culture introduced by Thatcher and perpertuated by Blair.
How odd it is that supporters of the right to buy are supporting the gifting of large sums of taxpayer money to people who are not the elite, and the sharing of their debt across the remaining reduced community of tenants, but for that to be paid for, in part through housing benefit funded by the taxpayer.
Why do these taxpayers want to see their hard earned taxes poured into individual pockets this way, and then have to pay higher taxes to repay the debt for years afterwards?