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The mystery of the housing minister merry-go-round

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The mystery of the housing minister merry-go-round


Published by Anonymous for in Housing

The mystery of the housing minister merry-go-round The mystery of the housing minister merry-go-round

By 24dash reporter Max Salsbury

Alas, my esteemed colleague Jon Land, 24housing commander, and my other colleague, Brian Church, 24housing deputy nuisance, have already offered the thrust of their sapience on the matter of the housing minister merry-go-round.

Here's Land's - informative, balanced, thoughtful. And here's Church's.

But enough of all that. Here's my offering on the subject; fashionably late, therefore better.

Kris Hopkins is no more. Though "honoured" to be stepping aside for 'Firebrand' On Lewis, the MP will surely now have a little more time to spend with his whippet.

Lewis' appointment means the coalition has birthed four housing ministers in four years. Do the Tories not take housing seriously? Well, if not, they’re not alone.

The previous Labour government got through eight HMs in 13 years, with hard-working Yvette Copper putting in the longest stint, a whole three years.

So, what's with the protean flow of HMs? And does it matter?

Considering that the housing market is the keystone cog in the gearing of the UK economy, you might expect the HM role to be a reasonably prestigious position. But apparently not.

Glaringly, housing doesn't even merit a cabinet position, but transport, for example, does (although this is set to change in the form of Emma Reynolds if Labour win the next election).

It's all a bit of a mystery. I'll admit that roads are rather important (I'll be using one myself to gain access to the off licence shortly) - but more important than housing?

Trying to be as fair as possible, I struggle to think of a single thing of note that either Hopkins or his predecessor Mark Prisk achieved as HMs, or even said.

Did the prime minister purposefully select mediocrities, or were they asked to keep a low profile?

Though Michael Green (aka Grant Shapps MP) was quite a flamboyant HM, what, exactly, did he achieve, apart from shutting down the TSA?

The HM role, it seems, is not held to be an important or even very interesting position, by either of the main parties.

Ok, ministers get moved around quite frequently, but generally the motive to shuffle is driven by how much they've screwed up; and even Michael Gove, who was axed as education secretary this week, got four years to unleash his mayhem.

Everything about the HM role reeks of indifference. The question is: Why?

(Don't look at me. I don't know. I'm going to the off licence)


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