The Great London Clearances: Decision Time

Joan Twelves

The House of Lords’ Amendments to the Housing Bill

charles12-trial-port-xSuch is the perversion of democracy in this country that the fate of working class homes is now in the hand of unelected peers and bishops.

And such are the peculiarities of the British class system that, while our old Etonian elected leaders sell off our land and homes to the highest bidders, it is lords and ladies born and bred on council estates who are leading the battle against them.

These lords and ladies have spent some weeks in Committee scrutinising the Housing and Planning Bill passed with such haste by the House of Commons on the night of 12 January and they are now reporting back. Despite having discussed a myriad amendments, only some will get voted on by the full House as only five sessions have been timetabled with the third (final) reading of the bill scheduled for…

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The Great London Clearances

Joan Twelves

The Tories want to clear the working class out of London. The people who built our city, who create its wealth, who turned it into one of the greatest cities in the world are to be evicted so that the Tories and their friends can turn it into a heartless, soulless ghetto for the rich and useless.


Nye Bevan’s vision of council housing when, as a key member of the post-war Attlee government, he led the building of a million homes was of a living tapestry of a mixed community where “the working man [sic], doctor and clergyman live in close proximity to each other”. His vision had at its heart a desire not only to provide decent homes, but also to enhance people’s life chances and help them make the most of their talents and abilities. It’s no surprise that the founder of the National Health Service should have…

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