60 Second: Solar Power



The Housing White Paper was published on Thursday. What, you missed it? So, you don’t read The Sun. Of course you don’t – that’s for the dashboards of white van men.

You are making a big mistake – politicians read The Sun, simply because it has more than 10 million adult readers a day; that’s a lot of votes. But the more surprising thing is that more than a third (37%) of them are in the ABC1 demographic categories. In other words, people just like you.

So why was the White Paper leaked to The Sun? Why not the Daily Telegraph or the Daily Mail, those bastions of the Tory heartlands?

Simple really. Both these papers have run campaigns about protecting ‘our green fields’ and if Sajid gets his way, some of these will have ‘to be concreted over’ , with Green Belt sites no longer being sacrosanct. (By the way, isn’t ironic that people object to building on a ‘green field’ given that every single home in Britain has been built on what was once – at some stage – a green field.)

Much has been said about the decline of print media, particularly as people turn to the chimera of social media as a cure-all. However, it remains as powerful as ever.


Research on ‘who influences the influencers’ still puts TV, radio and print media at the top of the list. They bring news to millions of people and they set the agenda. It also still sells. The Daily Mail and Sun sell well over a million newspapers and their online readership reaches much more.

And whoever The Sun backs ends up winning the General Election.

Downing Street still sweats over newspaper stories. David Cameron allegedly asked the Daily Mail owner to sack Editor Paul Dacre over his Brexit coverage. Newspapers like the Daily Mail and The Sun were both in touch with the popular mood and backed Brexit.

This extensive reach is also why people still leak stories to newspapers. Mrs May is rightly cautious about extensive house-building as she protects a wafer-thin majority with the background of Brexit.

But Sajid wants to have a radical programme of house building. He said last year that he would “be very tough” on English councils that fail to allocate enough land for housing. Many of these are Tory controlled.

The White Paper is, according to The Sun, likely to include increased building of modular homes or pre-fabs as The Sun – cutting to the chase – calls them. It will also relax height and density restrictions. It may also include measures to halt land banking to prevent ‘fat cat’ (yep, that’s most of you) developers sitting on land.

So next time you’re in the newsagents, put a copy of The Sun inside your FT and get the inside track on what’s really happening in the world.

Have a good weekend,


From Nimbyism to Pimbyism
Housebuilder L&G wants ‘reassessment’ of Green Belt

Housing boom 
Strict limits on housing on Green Belt land set to end as government prepares for building spree to combat housing crisis

Flat-pack homes to sprout 
Theresa May’s housing boom will spark explosion in prefab homes to help Brits get on property ladder

Possible clash with Tory heartlands
Javid homes plan risks ire of Conservative grassroots

Finally, action on housing
Whisper it, but Britain may be about to get a housing policy fit for the crisis we actually face

Housing white paper request 
Builders urge action

And Finally…

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