A Commons Committee has – quite seriously – argued that an Englishman’s home should no longer be his castle. You could also describe their proposal as a return of the Star Chamber – where doing something the powers that be didn’t like ended with you forfeiting your property.
The English spent a number of centuries fighting, sometimes civilly, sometimes bloodily, against such expressions of the supremacy of the state and the rights of the monarch.
Strange, then, that it’s the Commons, the victors in that battle for the rights of the individual, who are so keen to chip away at that liberty. But this is what the stupidity of the British housing market has brought us to. The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee is, as The Guardian gleefully reports, recommending that bad landlords should have their houses confiscated. The specific proposal is that “local authorities should have the power to confiscate properties from those landlords committing the most egregious offences and whose business model relies on the exploitation of vulnerable tenants”.
Slippery slope arguments are logically invalid unless it’s inevitable that the slide will occur. Yet who really does think that this recommendation would stop with “egregious”?