Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Uppal alert

Thank heaven for my seminar finishing early - I can report (thanks to Ewar) that Paul Uppal managed to get in a question at Prime Minister's Question Time - essential for any MP who wants to demonstrate to his constituents that he does turn up and do his job now and then. 

It's easier today: Cameron's in China, so the deputies (Clegg and Harman) take over, and nobody really cares, but still: let's see what lazy Paul said.

Oops - none of the journalists know who he is, or bother to name him so I'll have to watch the footage later and report back. 

In the meantime, he's up to his old trick again:
I speak in this debate as somebody who has had experience in the commercial and residential property markets for more than 22 years.
I was heartened to hear the comments of my hon. Friend Laura Sandys. She highlighted the 12% return on some investments and the fact that that seems to attract a certain type of landlord. Phil Wilson alluded to that as well. It is almost an open secret in the property business that that aspect needs reform. If truth be told, it seems to attract those who are not the best landlords.
The shadow MinisterMr Alexander, quoted Liz Peace, and the hon. Member for Sedgefield quoted the British Property Federation. Both quoted selectively. The context in which Liz Peace made that comment was much broader. She was making the point that many landlords do not receive housing benefit directly, so they prefer tenants who are working. Her comment was quoted selectively. As a member of the all-party group on urban renewal and regeneration, it is part of my remit to read such quotes comprehensively.
He's not being entirely honest: he doesn't just have 'experience': he's still the owner of £8 million of commercial property, so this subject is dear to his heart. As to the British Property Federation: they actually pay for the 'all-party urban group', treat urban renewal as solely a matter of more commercial building (which is wrong) and are overjoyed that one of their own is leading this group - whereas I see it as ideologically and morally wrong.
Then, as per usual, he plays the race card.
Throughout the debate, I have been saddened by one feature of it. All of us on both sides use partisan language. Let us be honest and acknowledge that some of us use political partisan language, but the language used about the issue under discussion has been inflammatory and poorly judged. I refer specifically to the term "cleansing". My family experienced partition in India in 1947. My father was eight years old when he saw people forcibly removed-Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. My maternal grandfather had to protect his neighbours from a mob of Sikhs and Hindus who wanted to burn out his Muslim neighbours. It is particularly difficult for them to accept the sort of language that has been used in the debate.
As a new Member I say these words not through any pomposity or grand-standing, but because our words resonate widely outside the House. The advice that we received at the very beginning to use temperate language was impressed upon us by wiser heads than ours.

And gets slapped down by the next MP. 
Russell Brown (Dumfries and Galloway, Labour)
I am sure I recognise the background that the hon. Gentleman comes from. May I offer him a quote?
"A mark of any society is how it cares for the vulnerable. It is not possible for any society to guarantee equality of outcomes for all; it is however possible to achieve equality of opportunities."
That is a quote from the convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland. Can the hon. Gentleman explain to me and to the House how people being forced from their homes because of the rent levels and the actions of his coalition Government will produce equality for anyone?

It's a bit bloody much being lectured to about partisanship by a man who constantly drones on about being the victim of Labour electoral fraud without ever providing evidence or going to the police: the only electoral fraud in the area over the last 10 years has been: Conservative councillors (Walsall, 2005).
And then Uppal makes a long, reactionary and entirely unoriginal speech in which he claims that turfing the poor out of their communities because they can't afford their own houses (thanks to this country's deliberate low-wage economic strategy, he doesn't say) is fair.
Does Paul have a leg to stand on? Er… his evidence is - in classic Uppal style - from his own kind only:
Recently a constituent of mine wrote to me about his experiences as a landlord. The tenant received housing benefit directly after the landlord had been advised that he could be paid directly only if the tenant was in arrears by two months. I say this to show that there are always two sides to the argument-the tenant's perspective and the landlord's perspective.
Typical. I could find a thousand constituents to make the opposite point, but he selectively chooses the opinions he wants to hear. There's no analysis or fact-checking, just the presentation of a greedy rentier's whinge as though it's fact.
I weep for the landlord class, I really do. Big fecking slow fat tears.
As for Uppal, with his greedy self-interest and dependence on the British Property Federations selfish distortions - bollocks to him. He's selfish Tory Scum through and through and no appeals to morality or culture will ever get through his carapace of cold hard cash.

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