Friday, October 03, 2008
Forget about Peter Mandelson's appointment in Gordon Brown's last (and probably his only?) Cabinet re-shuffle. The most radical move that has happened is that Margaret Beckett has been appointed as Housing Minister.
Obviously, this means he recognises that his much vaunted plan to build 3 million new 'eco-friendly' homes was never going to work. So, he is relying on Margaret to come up with a new approach. My guess is that this will involve a vast expansion of caravan parks!
Think about it: they are mobile; they use relatively little energy; they don't need any expensive infrastructure connection costs; people will be able to get back to nature and enjoy living in these "new" communities; and maintenance costs are low. They will be able to move on easily (no mortgage needed!) when they need to find new employment.
I don't know about you but I'm going to be buying caravan manufacturers shares for some time. (Of course, in a few years time I will probably be investing heavily in those banks that will then be offering sub-prime mortgages to all those people who have got fed up living in all the "trailer parks" that Margaret will have created!
Update: The ever indispensible Jim Pickard has noted that the blessed Margaret is keeping her powder dry on the question of the 3 million target for additional eco-friendly homes. I am still convinced that she will eventually be strongly promoting trailer parks to house all the new mobile workforce which will be required to lag the roofs of those people who have managed to hang on to their homes. It is also interesting to note that Australia has already kicked off the trend as their own housing slump begins.