One dog at a time, ex­pen­sive hous­ing is tear­ing the Tory heart out of Bri­tain

The Sunday Telegraph - - Letters To The Editor - TOM WELSH H READ MORE

Own­ing pets has long been cor­re­lated with lean­ing Right. While anal­y­sis of this will in­evitably be im­pres­sion­is­tic, it is no stretch to say that if you’re dis­ci­plined enough to look af­ter an an­i­mal, you’re less likely to take a lax view of crime and pun­ish­ment, for in­stance.

It is not nec­es­sar­ily a mere case of the types of peo­ple who vote Tory also be­ing the types who have pets, either: one study found that dog own­ers are more likely to con­sider in­equal­ity a re­sult of nat­u­ral dif­fer­ences in abil­ity or peo­ple’s vary­ing will­ing­ness to work hard, rather than neb­u­lous “un­fair­ness”. This stands to rea­son. The ben­e­fits of train­ing a dog to be­have, for ex­am­ple, are rel­a­tive to the work you put in.

The pic­ture looks no bet­ter else­where. Hav­ing to wait longer to buy a house means cou­ples wait­ing longer to have chil­dren, post­pon­ing the mo­ment their minds turn to, as Ed­mund Burke put it, so­ci­ety be­ing a con­tract be­tween the past, present and those yet un­born. New homes are of­ten built with­out park­ing spa­ces, de­priv­ing peo­ple of the free­dom of driv­ing, push­ing them on to pub­lic trans­port and giv­ing them a greater stake in higher state spend­ing.

Psy­cho­log­i­cally, this can­not be healthy either. If you are sud­denly con­fronted by the re­al­ity that, how­ever hard you work and dis­ci­plined your sav­ing, your dream of own­ing a home may never be re­alised, it is lit­tle won­der you might be se­duced by so­cial­ism.

This prob­lem is much big­ger than a few peo­ple feel­ing stretched be­cause their in­comes are be­ing eaten up by rent. One dog at a time, ex­pen­sive hous­ing is suck­ing the Tory heart out of Bri­tain.

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