The content of Michael Gove’s speech at the first Conservative meeting as Secretary of State for upgrades, housing, and the community was highlighted by his absence. He religiously repeated the “level up” slogan, but provided little support for it.
“Life expectancy for men in Glasgow is many years shorter than Sally,” Gove said. “That’s wrong.” No one disagrees with this statement, as it reflects Britain’s geographical socio-economic inequality. But after hearing his speech, they may ask exactly what Gove intends to do about it.
Like his newly rebranded department for “leveling up,” Gove seems to be a minister on the agenda for policy.
Boris Johnson has determined that “leveling up” is the criterion his government wants to be judged on, but did not provide details on how it actually works. .. In Manchester, Gove says, other than vaguely, “upgrading” means strengthening community leadership, raising the standard of living, improving public services, and increasing pride in people’s homes. I didn’t even shine a light.
Perhaps the lack of clarity is not surprising. Pig farmers protest, reduce profits, raise taxes, because the combination of Brexit and Covid-19 means that livestock cannot be slaughtered and processed properly, despite indicators that Britain is facing a harsh winter. There are no major policy announcements such as raising energy prices or running out of gasoline. Expected at this conference. Meanwhile, a “level up” white paper is scheduled for the end of the year.
But even with that aside, there was a clear gap in Gove’s speech. He took over the housing briefs when thousands of worried homeowners were stuck in a safe and unsold home due to a building safety crisis unveiled since the Grenfell Tower fire. He did not deal with those who were directly affected, but instead, “our mission is … to make everyone’s homes safer and more environmentally friendly, and to make the cost of their work more equitable. It also means sharing. “
Can this indicate a change in approach? Does the state have more responsibility to build safety repair costs? I don’t know because the gove didn’t expand.
Beyond that, the housing crisis was never mentioned and no reforms were planned. Instead, Gove briefly states his intention to “build a new home in an abandoned brownfield location” to ensure “a better deal for people in social housing.” How does he do this? Your guess is as good as mine.
Gove repeated Johnson’s long-standing commitment to increasing home ownership. “Making opportunities more equal was when Margaret Thatcher allowed working people to buy their own homes,” Gove said, widely attributed to the country’s lack of social housing. It hinted at her flagship purchase rights policy being considered. Gove’s modern plan to increase home ownership today? He didn’t say.
According to Gove, the conservative “level-up” mission is that everyone should have “the chance to choose their future, own their own home, and live the best life.” It sounds like a motivational Instagram maxim: you want to like it, but you don’t know what it means.
Since 2016, Gove’s government sector has four different Secretaries of State and has undergone two renamings. But one remains the same. There are still housing emergencies in the UK.