Posted by: John | October 29, 2007

Why doesn’t Chris answer?

I quote from `they work for you’s website on Chris Huhne.

It says he has:

Residential house and flat in Oxford, from which rental income is received.

Residential house and two flats in London, from which rental income is received.

Now I don’t begrudge a man his wealth nor question the legality of this. What I want to know is how I’m supposed to go on the doorstep for the Lib Dems about the opportunity agenda and affordable housing to people who aspire to live in a terraced property let alone a semi-detached house when the leader has five other properties.

Can someone explain – because Chris’s campaign hasn’t answered any emails.



  1. Who cares? As a party we are not against wealth, merely its concentration in too few hands. Chris is allowed to be rich, just like any other successful businessperson. I would imagine he uses his wealth far better than most.

    Or maybe its champagne and call girls every night in Eastleigh…

  2. Fair enough – what will he say when commentators ask `You’re for more affordable housing – what have you done about it?`.

    I only ask.

  3. You could point to the fact that he is President of ALTER and supports Land Value Tax – the only measure that’s likely to produce permanently equitable affordable housing.

  4. Oh great – so when Jo soap in rented accommodation at say £400 a month rent and on say 13k (living in Stockport Lib Dem controlled as it’s safer and nicer than some cheaper slum in Manchester Labour like Harpurhey) asks me I’ll tell him all about the vagaries of LVT that’s if she/he can be bothered to listen that far. This person will reply `yeh but in the papers it says he has six houses and I can’t afford one`.

    To have one let house is understandable, two forgiveable but more than that seems like carelessness.

    I do hope that Chris can explain it more clearly than he did on the LDV videos as even I couldn’t remember what he said compared to Nick.

    I keep on saying it – you can have all the great policies in the world but if you can’t clearly speak to the media and to the mainstream British people there’ll never be a new swathe of Lib Dem MPs with which to practise more Liberalism.

    Who speaks most directly wins!

  5. I don’t see what’s difficult. Yes, he’s wealthy, yes he’s got several houses which he lets out, but he believes in taxing property owners so as to bring and keep the cost of housing down. Which is better for Jo Soap in Stockport than promises to build 3 million homes in Maidstone.

  6. Other than the fact that Chris is wealthier than the average I don’t really see why the fact that he holds some of his wealth in property is any worse than others who own theirs in pension funds (many of which own property) or shares (in companies that do all sorts of things).

    Surely we are in favour of a healthy private rented sector as part of the overall housing mix?

  7. I wonder whether Chris understands Politics.

    No one’s suggesting that we are not in favour of a healthy private rented sector – though i think a lion’s share of people who rent privately really wished they could buy – something that having a lot of multiple buy-to-letters have made impossible for a large section of the population. That is their perception and i think a correct one.

    Poliltics is about perception. Most people in Stockport who rent really want to buy but cannot afford to do so in Stockport or perhaps in a lot of places. They have a choice of living in a depressing relatively higher crime area like Harpurhey for a lot less or in Stockport (or Trafford) which is much safer. The only other place is somewhere really boring like Tameside.

    Until you venture out of Stockport (I went to a bbq at Besses O’ The Barn a few weeks ago – an area not considered that bad) you realise how you take the feeling of safety for granted.

    These are the very people we need to target at the next election – how exactly is Chris going to explain it away if he hasn’t even come back with an answer already? Does he not realise that this will be an issue from journalists?
    If he doesn’t then he doesn’t deserve to be Party leader.

    Yes it’s good to tax property owners – but these this idea has to be SOLD FIRST to the electorate. So Chris wants to tax himself further – very noble I’m sure – but surely that’ll be an unnecessary barrier in the way of giving a clear message of that policy. Every time he’ll mention it he’ll be asked – `hang on a minute haven’t you got five homes yourself – aren’t you part of the problem?`. For a large part of the electorate (and after talking to some potential Chris voters who fall into this category) the issue isn’t just this hypothetical solution but the fact that that there have been as they see it wasted years when they couldn’t get on to the property ladder due to mismanagement of the Labour Govt and/or buy-to-letters or rich people with lots of homes.

    It’s like saying you support a whopping tax on 4x4s and having three on the drive.

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