I visited the Green Party website for the first time in age today, nothing quite as funny as seeing Catherine Delahunty on the front page claiming 1 in 5 New Zealanders experience disability (it being pretty obvious that she is one of them), but one of the pin ups of the Green Party is British radical environmental moonbat - George Monbiot. Monbiot is an advocate of all sorts of compulsion, including banning patio heaters, replacing gas pipelines with hydrogen, abolish superstores, cut airport capacity, as well as calling for an end to economic growth.
His latest missive is his brilliant solution to the high cost of housing in the UK - make people rent out their spare rooms. Not rooms they define as spare, but ones that the Great Leader George Monbiot has deemed as excessive. He thinks that people shouldn't have spare bedrooms, that there should be a housing footprint. That means a couple in a four bedroom house should rent out two rooms. Spare rooms should be occupied by people seeking housing.
Monbiot is such the little central planner control freak, that he believes pensioners should rent out spare rooms so people can live with them and provide home help and assistance.
He seems to have completely ignored the simple point that most people like to choose who they live with and to decide what to do with their own property. He has decided there are enough homes around if only people used less rooms. Are there limits to this bullying wannabe thugs willingness to stomp over the rights of others?
Nothing says more about his complete contempt for property rights, lack of any understanding about personal achievement and reward for effort and value than this statement:
While most houses are privately owned, the total housing stock is a common resource. Either we ensure that it is used wisely and fairly, or we allow its distribution to become the starkest expression of inequality.
A common resource? How much of a communist is this man? Its "distribution"? Who "distributed" it? If you buy land and build on it, who "distributed" it? It is as if he thinks some holy economic father dishes out money and resources, and all that is needed is someone to reverse it. He either doesn't know or willfully blinds himself to how the diffuse ownership of property is due to millions upon millions of decisions by billions of people who buy, sell, earn, consume, destroy and build, in spite of petty thugs like Monbiot who prefer the Khmer Rouge approach to government - do whatever it takes to reach a final solution.
He wants to tax empty rooms. He is just a thieving little religious evangelist who deserves no more attention than the hate filled Westboro Baptist Church.Monbiot has no respect for property rights or individual rights at all. He is chief priest of the high church of environmental armageddonism.
Of course, the Green Party gleefully links to him approvingly on regular occasions. Will it soon be promoting housing footprints? Is not the Green belief in planning laws to promote high density housing based around railway stations a form of embracing this agenda?
Ed West in the Daily Telegraph calls him a fascist and carefully explains why. It is about time that Monbiot was ignored for the raving lunatic crank he is.
Meanwhile, Tim Blair points out that Al Gore achieves five rooms per inhabitant in his home.
UPDATE: Some have said Monbiot doesn't actually say force people to share their homes, but what does this tell you:
He says of housing footprints: " Like ecological footprints, it reminds us that the resource is finite, and that if some people take more than they need, others are left with less than they need". Zero sum economics. Sheer utter nonsense. As if you cannot increase housing capacity without destroying something valuable. Even ignoring land, he's forgotten airspace or is that precious too??
However, he carefully shrouds his iron fist in his glove by saying this: "none of the major parties wants to pick a fight with wealthy householders. So it’s up to us to give them no choice, by turning under-occupation into an issue they can’t avoid. It cannot be left to the market, as the market works for the rich." He doesn't intend to persuade anyone, he wants to give "no choice" he doesn't want the market, he wants to use force (the only alternative). It is semantics to claim otherwise.
Monbiot's suggestions about council tax discounts are besides the point. Council tax is a charge for individuals using council services with a relationship to property prices to have some reflection of income. As a libertarian I'd scrap council tax altogether, because all council services can be funded by direct or indirect users. The council tax discount is virtually irrelevant in any case, as it would be a small fraction of the annual cost of housing.
Monbiot does have a four bedroom house and this great hero lives in it with his daughter and two lodgers. His own choice is a shining example to us all of course.