Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Housing Minister that over-claims for his mortgage thinks that it's for the best that some people lose their homes...

Sometimes you hear an item on the news and you think to yourself, “no... that must be a mistake, no one could be that stupid or that insensitive".

One such moment occurred today when I heard that the English housing minister John Healey (of whom I had never heard) advised that for some people repossession was the best thing. That will be the Minister for Housing in the English parliament saying that the best thing for some people would be to have their house repossessed. Amazing, no?

Healey’s comments came as figures showed that an average of 126 repossessions a day in England last year. He said, “Sometimes it is impossible for people to maintain the mortgage commitments they've got ... it may be the best thing in those circumstances.”

I thought it might be interesting to find out a little more about this rather stupid insensitive man.

According to the Daily Telegraph John Healey claimed £1,431 on MPs’ expenses to replace his own front door. (The taxpayer even picked up the £16 bill for two days’ worth of Congestion Charge payments made by his locksmith.) He also over claimed more than £2,000 for mortgage interest. He claimed parliamentary expenses for his flat in Lambeth, where he spent thousands of pounds on renovations. Healey’s mortgage interest payments stood at £691 per month in 2008, when he was also making regular claims for food, utilities, and phone bills and cleaning.

His claims in the same year included £7,612 for timber windows, £1,317 for a bed, sofa and shelving units, £95 for a swivel chair from Ikea and £25.98 for four pillows. He also claimed £129 for a television, having claimed £299 for a television two years previously.

So clearly he is a man who does not stint himself when we (including people who have since lost their homes) are paying for upgrading his property.

I wonder if he gave any thought to what he was saying, or if he just opened his big stupid mouth and let his sense of superiority do the talking for him.

How does he think that it feels for someone to lose their home? Where on earth does the stupid fool think that people go when their home is repossessed? Does he imagine that they pop down to the council and get a lovely new house from them? Does he know how many families fall apart because of this?

Is he really ministerial material? I suppose in what passes for a government, he’s pretty much an average he has completely lost touch with reality, he is insensitive, stupid and a fiddler to boot. Sounds like par for the course.


  1. "Minister for Housing in the English parliament"

    What English parliament might this be? England is the only country in the EU without a parliament, we have to put up with British rule by a Scotsman who implements policies that don't affect his own constituents because they are devolved to a Scottish parliament.

    As for Healy, he's a typical Labour hypocrite, though it is a telling point that many people are in the position of no longer being able to afford their mortgages no matter their circumstances. Question is, would they be better off renting in a private market and are there the properties to rent?

  2. Ok Quiet Man, you have a point.So does Munguin; We in Scotland are told about ENGLISH history when British is meant, if vice versa gets up your nose, welcome to how we feel...

  3. Firstly, if this man loses his job in three months time (it is possible his majority in Wentworth in 1997 was 23,959 {72.3%} but by 2005 it had dropped to 15,056 {59.63}, the constituency is to be abolished this time round and the new one of Wentworth and Dearne created) will he face the possibility of having one of his homes repossessed like others who lose their jobs? Not bloody likely, he will get a golden goodbye of a years salary to cushion the blow.

    I was recently looking at the Scottish higher papers in WH Smith and noted that they asked questions like “discuss the benefits of the feudal system in England and Scotland”. Why exactly do we need to discuss that system in England? As far as I am aware they do not take Scottish highers in England so it cannot be to save on printing costs south of the border. I would have thought that a discussion on Scottish feudalism alone would have been more than adequate to prove a students grasp of the subject and its implications. I wonder if I went into a WH Smith in England their equivalent qualification would necessitate a discussion of Scottish feudalism. Somehow I doubt it! Additionally there were screeds of questions on the British Empire, the 2 world wars, women’s suffrage and electoral reform and the Industrial revolution. I did see a question on the battle of Bannockburn but again it related to the relationship between England and Scotland, like Scotland cannot exist without England. I wonder if in England all their questions about Henry 8th and Elizabeth 1st need to draw in a Scottish angle? Again I doubt it!

  4. I understand that about 75%+ of the business transacted by the UK Parliament, if you want to call it that, concerns only England, as Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have their own Parliaments, Assemblies etc. So it is more than fair to refer to it as English. If I remember correctly the notion of regional assemblies for parts of England was discussed and rejected by the err English so clearly when we were getting our parliament back they were happy to use the UK one as an English one. Bit late to gripe about it now that a Scottish person is mismanaging their country, nobody in England complained about the decades of mismanagement of our country by English people did they?

  5. Sorry Munguin, but the English have never been asked if they want their own parliament, unlike the Scots and Welsh, the evidence is growing that the English do want a say in their own affairs as the current settlement is distictly lopsided with Scottish and Welsh MP's voting on areas of concern that do not touch on their own constituents (because they are devolved) such as university fees and trust hospitals that were only passed in the UK parliament by the votes of Scottish and Welsh Labour despite a majority of English MP's voting against them. I've heard all the arguments about what the English supposedly foisted on the Scots before your own parliament, but at least it was done by a UK parliament, at the moment the English have to put up with a UK parliament foisting legislation on them without the checks and balances you now have done by politicians whose mandate is to the UK as a whole, not England. Nor is it fair to say that the majority of MP's are English as the party system and the whips mean that few if any votes are decided on national lines or the best interests of the English people, merely the best interest of the current dominant party.
    So please stop calling it an English parliament, it isn't and hasn't been for over 300 years and whilst there were only one parliament over all of us it was acceptable to most (though not all) now it isn't and it needs to be sorted rather than leave it incomplete in typical Labour fashion.

  6. QM. I’m sorry if you found that offensive. In Scotland, Wales and NI, we have parliaments. They deal with most of the business of governing our countries, and actually they do it pretty well. The English Parliament, for that is how we see it, (and as Munguin pointed out, it deals 75% with English only matters), also deals with UK business. More and more we feel detached from that and its somewhat weird adjunct, The House of Lords.

    Now, I know that there are 59 Scottish members in your parliament and I realise that they have votes, but let’s be honest, when England votes, our piddling little number of MPs have no real say.

    I agree that under the settlement of the problem of the small Celtic nations’ desire for some sort of freedom from domination by England, Blair came up with a scheme that allowed Scottish, Welsh and NI MPs to vote on English matters in which their constituents had no interest. Madness, I agree. My own party NEVER takes part in English debates, and NEVER votes on them. I know the Labour Party has abused the fact that they can do so.

    Why English people did not rise en masse and demand a parliament of their own, and the right for their own laws to pass through without going through the time wasting nonsense of revision by a set of aristos, placement and failed MPs, I have no earthly idea. Indifference maybe? It was a Scotsman (Tam Dalyell), who raised the problem. But remember, for years English MPs have been able to out-vote Scotland-only legislation in the Commons, and often have done so, particularly under Tory governments, who have not had majorities in Scotland.

    I can understand how incredibly infuriated the English must be to see their proud country brought to its knees by a mad Scotsman (although he refuses to call himself Scots and is clearly ashamed of it). We went through the same thing with a mad old Englishwoman (Thatcher), and before that deluded Englishman (Lord Callaghan), before that another weird Englishman (Lord Wilson), and before that another Englishman (Heath).... I think that the last time there was Scottish connections in number 10, was Lord Home in the 1960s, and even at that he’d only ever seen a grouse moor. Ramsey MacDonald was the last proper Scottish PM. Shortly we shall have another Englishman. And what good has it done us having a North Britishman in Downing Street?.... None!

    Additionally, as Conan points out, we are daily assailed with “England” by all manner of folks, when they really mean Britain. We hear about the Queen of England, our BBC news is English; we hear all about your housing, your schools and your health service and your trnsport. The only time anything is mentioned on the BBC about Scotland it will be something to do with a scandal. I even heard a commentator on the BBC describe Andy Murray as England’s great tennis hope (albeit that that was before he lost his last match).

    So.... once again, I’m sorry if I offended you. It wasn’t my intention.

  7. QM: in as much as 1707 was the union of two Parliaments the Scottish and the English you are correct, but by the same argument once the Scottish Parliament had been re-convened that which was left in England dealing only with English matters would by definition be English. It does also deal with matters of UK interest to all parts of the United Kingdom and as such is a British Parliament, but as I say that is by far the smallest part of its current function. The fact that Scottish MPs can vote on English matters is wrong and should be sorted out but as Tris points out nobody bothered when John Major and Margaret Thatcher needed English MPs to pass Scottish bills. Or should I say nobody in England, but now that the shoe is on the other foot the English are up in arms. What they ought to do if they are so hell bent on having their own Parliament is support Scottish Independence that way we will take back even the federal functions still dealt with at Westminster leaving you and the English to enjoy your mother of all Parliaments with its wigs, buckles, lords and its atmosphere more akin to a beer garden than a chamber in which to debate law.

  8. It will all make sense from the Housing Ministers perspective as he will never need to worry about losing his home. It's all economics to him rather than misery and bed and breakfasts etc.
    If someone bought a house for £200k at the height of the boom then they have lost about £50K up to now. Forecast is for another 20% drop this year so that's another £30K loss. So the person has lost £80K ( assuming they can still sell).
    It will take many years before they could recoup this loss so why pay a mortgage of £240K ( assuming worst case 25% mortgage from Northern Rock 'together' special).
    The person would be better off walking away. This is happening in millions of cases in the US and is the worst nightmare for mortgage lenders in the UK should it become common practice. Not sure why the housing minister is advising it as it will burst Gordon's housing bubble even quicker as he limps towards the polls in April.

  9. Sorry should have said 125% Northern Rock mortgage.

  10. Yes Anon. I see your point. It's a case of Joe doing over the bank rather than the bank doing over Joe.

    Wrong of course, but it must be very tempting if you can find somewhere else to live.

  11. What can I add to all of these comments?

    "It will all make sense from the Housing Ministers perspective as he will never need to worry about losing his home. It's all economics to him rather than misery and bed and breakfasts etc."

    True, so very true. Out of touch comes to mind, and being fair it isn't just true of this one minister. All Labour politicians are incredibly out of touch with the 'class' they are meant to have solidarity with.

  12. Sorry, Dean. I missed this comment at the time...

    Very out of touch, completely right. Also very thick. It's simply not a good idea to be saying to people... "aww, you lost your house, you're homeless... oh well, probably for the best..." and then expect re-election.

    But it's a safe Labour seat, and although his majority is once again lowered, he's still there. I suspect he would be even if he pinched the crown jewels. Red rosette and cabbage come to mind.

    I wonder if he's still fiddling his expenses...