Keeping it in the family

This morning’s Independent is well worth a look for this interview with Mr Yvette Cooper (aka Ed Balls). Answering a series of questions from readers, the economic secretary to the Treasury rises above the usual bland soundbites with some domestic details and even the odd joke.

He also fends off a couple of questions from readers on housing. First he defends the Bank of England against the charge that it failed to stop the house price bubble. Then he faces a real bouncer: ‘What do you think about the prohibitive cost of housing and the huge wealth gulf it’s created? And why the governments only answer is ridiculous shared ownership schemes which boost house prices and make the problem even worse?’

His reply? ‘The housing minister (and dropper of wet towels) says the only way to deal with long term house prices is to build far more homes for the next generation. But in the meantime it’s only fair to help first time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder.’

In the interests of political balance, see Boris Johnson’s take on the difficulties faced by the Cooper-Ballses in their West Yorkshire constituencies.