"He went down like the sack of **** this corrupt Government really is!" That's how one guest at the Tory conference meeting on housing policy yesterday described the fate of new Housing Minister Mark Prisk.
Just the same as Labour's Yvette Cooper before him, Mr. Prisk has now learnt the hard way that British National Party questions can get asked at even supposedly secure and tame Establishment events.
If Prisk or his wet behind the ears advisors had done their homework, they might have seen the punch coming, because Nick Griffin had earlier tweeted a challenge to the Tories over how they can call for "affordable housing" when one of the biggest factors making housing UNaffordable is land hoarding by some of their biggest corporate donors.
But they didn't, so the BNP question hit the Prisk like a sledgehammer. "What is a cartel, Mr. Prisk? And how does it operate in a free market? By bribing Governments or just by having useless fools as Housing Ministers?"
The cartel in question, the unexpected guest made clear, was the clique of big developers, including Persimmon Homes, Barratts and their ilk, who are now hoarding a staggering 400,000 plots of land, with planning permission already granted for 400,000 new homes.
Not satisfied with that, these corporate crooks have now got their bought-and-paid-for Tory puppets to remove the green belt protection that has until now curbed the worst of their greed for land for out of town, up-market developments.
If the corrupt Tories and their greedy developer paymasters get their way, we the people get the worst of both worlds: A chronic shortage of affordable homes for ordinary folk, young families especially, AND the destruction of our Green and Pleasant Land for the yuppie elite.
The situation is, of course, indefensible; so it's no surprise that the Prisk was unable to defend it. "Once he came to, all could do was to cling on until the final bell and then get out of the ring - and the Birmingham Council House and Art Gallery - as fast as his still shaky legs would carry him," reports one of our corner men.
So yet again, we have exposed the hollowness of Government rhetoric on housing. Just as with Labour, the Tories don't mind stealing British National Party ideas on housing to sound good at election times, but they won't put them into practice because things like revoking planning permission from hoarded land would hit their big donors in their deep pockets.
As Nick Griffin had told his growing army of Twitter followers only hours before after blasting the Tories on housing and their futile but very profitable war-mongering: "This isn't so much a Government, as an incompetent crime syndicate."
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