We regulate the sale of houses quite tightly, in fact we regulate the sale, the advertising, the reliability, of most items tightly.
Just imagine for a moment that there was no such thing as rented property. Imagine that you had no choice other than to buy a house to keep your family warm and dry.
Imagine that the cost of that house was going to be 50% of everything you can earn.
In our imaginary parallel universe, there is no home survey, the estate agent can blithely describe the house as five bed-roomed, and then present you with a one bed-roomed flat on completion day.
You cannot sue the estate agent for false description. If the house falls down the next day, you cannot sue the surveyor for not doing his job properly. You have no re-dress on the false advertising, nor guarantee that the house will be fit for purpose, keep you warm and dry, or not change its physical properties dramatically, turning into a one bed-roomed flat six months after you have moved your eight children into it.
We are so used to our regulated world where we are protected from the lies, greed, and avarice of commercial traders, that we take it for granted that any major purchase, house, car, etc., will be surrounded by a raft of legislation to make sure that it does what we are led to believe it does.
That legislation is drawn up by politicians on our behalf. Yet we ‘buy’ our politicians, for near 50% of our wages, in a world which is virtually unregulated.
There have been several legal challenges attempting to hold politicians to the promises they made which induced us to vote for them. None have been successful. Judges have repeatedly held that the penalty for failing to ‘live up to the advertising’ should be political, not legal – ie. five years later you have the chance to vote in another party, on promises which are equally unenforceable.
We can’t even opt out of the system and decide to live free in a tent, although Old Holborn is making a good attempt to do so, true we can live in a tent if we wish, but not free, we must still pay our rent of 50% of everything we earn.
Do we complain? Not really, we change Rachman for another slum landlord occasionally, but we don’t rail against the system itself. When we come close to doing so, it is a five minute wonder – compare the three quarters of a million who marched through London protesting against the Iraq war, with the few thousand who requested tickets to hear Tony Blair at the ‘inquest’, and the desultory 300 or so who are interested in what Gordon Brown has to say about it.
Bloggers rise up like thunderflies at each new indignity, and devote hours to ranting and railing against each new imposition, and yet Sky’s nightly round up of the top Internet stories will reveal that there is more interest in Cheryl Cole’s sex life than there is in 1200 deaths in Staffordshire. Even the ‘top bloggers’ are remarkably unwilling to leave the comfort of their keyboard – witness the few who made the trip to London to support Old Holborn’s annual pilgrimage on Guy Fawkes Day to publicise the fact that it is our parliament.
Politics now inhabits that area previously occupied by organised religion. We believe, we have faith, we go to church, and yet if we stopped and dissected it seriously we would have to accept that there is no proof, no guarantee, no redress, as to whether it works or not, and considerable empirical evidence that it doesn’t.
Our Politicians, who art in Parliament,
Dishonoured by thy name,
Our Kingdom thine,
Thy will be done.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our mistrust.
Lead us not into endless debt,
but deliver us from freedom.
For thine is our kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for the next five years.
Have faith Brothers, or rise up – the choice is yours.
- First Class posts on Saturday Letters From A Tory
- February 27, 2010 at 21:32