Thursday 12 March 2015

The BBC and the housing crisis

The previous post mentioned that I felt as if the BBC has been campaigning on the issue of affordable housing this week. 

Having had a busy few days, I've not seen or heard much of the BBC output and yet - to my astonishment - wherever I've turned I seem to have stumbled on items about the housing crisis and the need for affordable housing.

I was watching Countryfile on Sunday night, and they ran a major feature on the subject. I switched on Panorama for its latest 'What Britain Wants' episode and its theme was the housing crisis and the need for affordable housing. Then I heard Costing the Earth while driving home early from work, about the need for affordable housing vs. the green belt. Front Row did a feature on a play about the housing crisis too. [And - though I didn't hear it - I see, from scanning the Radio Schedule, that Women's Hour has covered the housing crisis too today].

Is this just coincidence? Is it also a coincidence that the report on 18-24 year olds (described in the previous post) also seemed to be promoting the issue (at the expense of others)? Is the BBC campaigning on the issue? 

As far as the latter question is concerned, it certainly seems to be concentrating on this issue in a concerted way. 

Countryfile concluded that the government's plans are not going to bring about the necessary amount of new affordable houses that the countryside needs. 

Costing the Earth took a circuitous route, with presenter Tom Heap originally giving those favouring development of the green belt a largely unchallenged hearing whilst giving those 'nimbies' who want to protect the green belt a considerably harder time - somewhat to my surprise. Eventually, however, he seemed to come down in support of cautious, environmentally-friendly development of the green belt and making farmers open up their land to walkers and wildlife ("greening the green belt") - which is what you'd probably expect from Tom Heap. 

Panorama - the most opening campaigning programme of the lot - argued that "we've only ever met demand for homes when government has intervened", that we should urgently build on green belts [everyone agreed on that], that home ownership is "a national obsession", and that "justice" is needed. It ended with the question:
How is it possible for us to real comfortable and secure as a nation when so many of us face insecurity about such a fundamental part of our lives?
All of these programmes share a curious feature - a lack of focus on the causes of the present need for millions more homes in the UK. As a result there was no mention of mass immigration as the likeliest cause, as outlined by groups like MigrationWatch. This is par for the course for the BBC.


  1. I'm not opposed to the BBC looking at these sorts of issues in depth. There was an interesting item on WATO I think it was about a housing association moving into factory based construction of timber framed houses - a v. sensible solution to the crisis.

    I accept they haven't focussed on the causes - but the causes are irrelevant to present need, which is desperate in many parts of the country.

  2. Anon, Panorama DID mention the cause... Thatcher selling council houses. Which had zero impact on supply. Immigrati9on not mentioned at all.

  3. Has anyone worked out whether there would actually be a housing crisis if (a) none of the immigration of the past 20 years had occurred (including all those wealthy non-doms in London and the home counties), and (b) child benefit had been limited to 2 children for the past 40 years. It is not a housing problem at all, it is a population problem. And the same can be said about global warming and carbon dioxide production. Too many people on this once beautiful island and wonderful planet.


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