Letters to the Editor - 08/05 - Housing crisis, European defence, Best of Twitter

Housing crisis

[Re: An inconvenient truth about Britain’s growing housing crisis, yesterday]

I’m glad you acknowledge the importance of understanding the figures when talking about the housing crisis. Empty property exaggerations are just the start. What of Labour’s posturing about landbanking, allegedly largely responsible for low building rates? As City Hall has shown, three quarters of London’s unbuilt homes with planning permission are on big multi-phase developments, that take years to build out. When you know this, Labour’s philosophy that it’s evil speculators who are causing the housing crisis quickly falls apart.

Name withheld

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European defence

[Re: Blame Europe’s 70 year holiday from history for the West’s terrible decline, Tuesday]

While I agree with John Hulsman that Europe has had its head in the sand for years regarding defence spending, you can’t exactly blame European leaders for wanting to avoid painful sanctions on Russia. Most European citizens aren’t that interested in punishing Putin for his annexation of Crimea. In fact, they don’t really think in foreign policy terms at all. As such, unless there is a real crisis, one that cuts Europeans deep, we’re unlikely to see a big shift in the attitudes of European leaders to the world.

Duncan Nicholl

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BEST OF TWITTER

Memo to OECD and BoE. Not just housing market that is booming. Longest run of rising car sales since 80s!
@asentance

Idea the “sole consideration” of Astra Zeneca should be “British jobs” is economically illiterate.
@MrRBourne

US policy on Ukraine crisis. Sanctions. If that doesn’t work, more sanctions. Rinse, repeat.
@ianbremmer

Nikkei 225 fell nearly 3 per cent to 14,033 yesterday. Far cry from heady days above 16,000 in January.
@notayesmansecon