Was going to ignore this as these debates run and run without really going anywhere but I can't help myself..
Gavin - the recession was caused by deregulation which leads to irresponsible behaviour. New Labour were part of that but if the Tories were in power it would have been even worse because they are an even bigger fan of deregulation and privatisation.
However, there is little to choose between the two parties as they have similar policies now.
Behind all this is globalisation and a form of economics which has been fashionable which encourages deregulation because the powerful have control of the debate and have pushed Friedmanite economics and everyone has been involved in a race to the bottom.
Housing is just one part of this bigger picture and none of it will be adequately resolved unless regulation is agreed by all countries such as the Tobin tax.