Watching two of the better-known rightwing thinktanks prime their intellectual cannons and bombard the same target is an impressive, if stomach-churning, sight. In the past week the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and Policy Exchange, both of which have the ear of No 10 and No 11 Downing Street, have taken aim at the UK's planning laws.
The IEA opted for a straightforward bombardment of the green belt. It argued that property developers should be allowed to give incentives to local communities to free up otherwise sacred ground. In other words, if developers see a profit in building on certain land, most likely in the London commuter belt, and the local parishioners can be successfully bought off, then what right does anyone have to intervene?
It is the latest salvo in a sustained campaign that has won over the housing minister, Nick Boles, though not yet MPs representing home counties constituencies and electorates, who appreciate the status quo.
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