Eviction for MPs would do London good
A worthy proposal to move our national government up North was put forward earlier this month in The Economist.
‘The pragmatic case for moving Britain’s capital to Manchester’ invoked a wide range of arguments such as saving money and improving politics.
I’d like to add ‘The petty case for kicking MPs out of London’.
Capital dwellers who were hoping to get radical action on renting and building were left snorting by the Housing White Paper, which followed a marginal gains approach.
It was politicians embracing the sensible but also saying to London, “Sorry we screwed it up for you but wait twenty years and things’ll be fine.
“Sorry we can’t get Green Belt reform through, sorry we don’t have any money for mass housebuilding, sorry we’re not really going to do much about the state of renting. It’ll all wash out in the end though.”
It’s true that politicians can only do so much, especially considering a global city’s ability to create jobs, which pulls in more people and forces up living costs but also makes the city richer, creating more jobs and so on.
But what if we encouraged politicians to help out by moving their own jobs out of London?
This would be pretty noble of them and good for everyone.
Londoners would get cheaper rents due to less pressure on housing.
The city would buy some more time and slack to build on brownfield.
The Green Belt around London could be left alone a while longer.
Businesses wouldn’t have to fund their employees’ living costs.
The North would get more jobs and the boost to house prices that some politicians seem to feel that people really like.
And MPs would better understand the frustration tenants feel knowing landlords can choose to move them on at will.