HIP hop flop

My cynical blog the other day regarding the impending new Home Information Packs, seems to have turned out to be at least partly true, as their imposition from June 1st this year has been deferred to August due to a lack of adequate inspectors.

Well, only party deferred.   I suspect in order to save a little face – and of course raise money from us to pay for the investment to date in more state funded bureacracy – the HIP’s will be required for homes with more than 4 bedrooms.

This part volte face was announced by Communities (sic) Minister, Ruth Kelly, just one week after her sidekick Yvette Cooper denied there was any shortage of inspectors and all would be well.

Spin spin spin.   You couldn’t make this stuff up.

It’s worse.   In what seems to have been a decision taken on the hoof as they walked to the House, the idea that only 4+ bedded houses will be included at this stage means that every estate agent in the land will be reaching for the euphemism handbook for new ways to describe Bed’s 4, 5, etc. as there is no definition for what constitutes Bed 4.

Expect to see a lot of marketing guff for 3 bed homes, with studies, boxrooms, playrooms, dressing rooms, store rooms, wine stores, libraries, attics etc. etc.

Government.   It violates the Trades Description Act in my view.   But then, what would I know… I have a 3 bed house with 2 studies, a boxroom and an attic.

HIP’s or no HIP’s?

Well well, in another really well thought out scheme to add bureacracy, control and state meddling, in what is already a stressful experience, Home Information Packs are due to become a legal requirement on June 1st.

However, whilst there has been a last minute rush to instruct estate agents to put homes on the market to avoid having to pay the costs and deal with the pain of preparing these packs, the latest is they may not become law after all.

In a rare moment of clarity His Tax and Wasteship is considering whether or not to support them.

Now, a cynical person might say this is just a PM in waiting looking to improve his public image in advance of starting his new job.

But I couldn’t possibly comment.

Asbo – the bizarre

In February, Kim Sutton was given an order that stated that she was not to “dip one toe or finger” in any river nor loiter about any bridge or multi-storey car park, after repeated suicide attempts had failed to achieve anything except wasted police time. Sutton has a personality disorder and is not the only one with an Asbo that mental health charities are concerned about. At least five autism sufferers also have Asbos at the moment.

A man in Yorkshire was banned from all NHS buildings after a 16-year obsession with collecting medical equipment drove him to the attempted theft of hospital property – 47 times in the past year alone, one of which involved him faking a heart attack.

In Oldham, meanwhile, an unnamed teenager has been prevented from having the name of his gang shaved into his head.