Wednesday Whinge: No Minister
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government
Wednesday Whinge: No MinisterImage: Housing via Shutterstock
Brian Church, 24housing’s deputy editor and resident mooncalf, oozes forth yet another mid-week spillage of baffling and histrionic vitriol from his keyboard.
Another housing minister! They're having a laugh.
When 24housing joked months ago that everyone will be housing minister for 15 minutes, it was meant as a Wildean wheeze. Sadly, it's actually true. We've reached the stage where it's harder in life NOT to be housing minister. Some don't even bother putting it on their CVs.
The new guy is 'Marlon' Brandon Lewis. As of writing, I don't know what "current" housing minister Kris Hopkins is up to, so no change there.
The regular turnover of housing ministers gives out all the wrong signs: the sector doesn't matter.
And, of course, it does matter. So how can we make sure a housing minister stays in his or her job for, say, at least two years?
Six quick suggestions, all of them practical and low-cost:
1) Get a public pledge from the new housing minister that he will accept no promotions or sideway moves. The PM can still sack him but, while he's a minister, it's just for housing.
2) Superglue the new minister's bottom to the housing ministry chair. While they'd no longer be able to stand up for housing, it would do the trick.
3) Put housing in a small department where it can hold its own (Wales?), or make up a new one like DRBC&H (Department of Ridiculous Badger Culling & Housing).
4) Have more than one housing minister at a time in the hope that someone lasts a full parliament. I'd suggest 30 or 40 to start with.
5) Ed Miliband takes on the housing portfolio alongside leadership duties in a vote-winning demonstration of his commitment to providing enough homes.
6) All housing ministers to have the same bland and boring name (eg Max Salsbury) so the outside world thinks it's the same person in office all along.
Just trying to be helpful.