Good blog. Yes, we were just thinking this as well!
It's really a poor showing by Labour.
Hilary Benn appears to think he is still a DEFRA Minister (you failed to mention the terrible NPPF article he wrote in the Guardian) and seems to be talking primarily to environmental, preservationist and farming groups in taking his position.
There is no doubt a bit of old contacts briefing him heavily here (is Wes Ball - the former SPAD at DEFRA - still advising him?), as Fiona Reynolds et al will know him well. But Hilary is undoubtedly sympathetic to the grey-green lobby - in conservative, environmental instincts, in age and background. Appealing to the soft emotive NGO audience (and getting their votes) is what he has done for most of his Ministerial career. Sometimes this is a good thing - but the NPPF is not that simple.
Hopefully he will start to remember he has been appointed to CLG soon.
And Jack seems to be being even less strategic than Shapps. Defending HomeBuy direct - is this man mad?
None of them appear at all willing to address the failings of the Labour government (and you can pick from a substantial list - ours would be over reliance on the big developers, the brownfield first policy which simply didn't deliver the new land needed, the FTB gimmicks, lack of political clout of the housing minister and the failure to understand the PRS or understand financial markets, credit, mortgage debt and boom and bust).
The people who sign up to PricedOut are still incredibly hostile to Labour, with a great deal of justification given their past performance, and feel that (beyond Grants gimmicks) at least the government appears to be starting to take the housing issue seriously - from planning reform and Grant's comments on the undesirability of house price inflation.
For an issue as big as housing, to have no effective opposition is pretty depressing.