Which face do the Lib/Dems want to save?

 I wasn't planning to mention the Lib/Dems again for a while after my piece on the first couple of days of their conference, but there is a question they really should be asked.

Is their policy on building new houses the one they had previously described at Westminster and reaffirmed again this weekend in a motion passed at their conference to build 380,000 new houses a year?

Or is their policy the anti-housebuilding position on which their candidate and now MP Sarah Green fought the Chesham and Amersham by-election?

Because it can't be both.

Either the motion they passed yesterday at their conference calling for 380,000 new houses to be built each year was pure window dressing with no relation to anything they would actually attempt to do, or the anti-housebuilding stance taken by Sarah Green's campaign and reaffirmed today by their party leader Ed Davey was a cynical and duplicitous trick on the voters of Chesham and Amersham.

There are difficult choices facing any party in government, or running a planning authority, on how to get the houses people need while making sure there is enough infrastructure to support them and no area is ruined by overdevelopment. You cannot please everyone, or indeed, as I know to my cost, run a national or local planning body without making lots of enemies, and the harder you try to get the balance right the more enemies you make.

But any party which tells young people desperate to get on the housing ladder they they're going to build 380,000 new homes each year while simultaneously promising middle-class homeowners in constituencies like Chesham and Amersham that they will stop the Tories building so many houses is not to be trusted. At least one of those promises has to be untrue.


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