By Tim Montgomerie
Earlier this week David Cameron proposed that new council house tenants (note the new) should not necessarily have a council house for life but might have to give it up if their circumstances improve and another family's need was greater. LibDem Deputy Simon Hughes didn't approve which is fair enough but it's not an unreasonable idea. Grant Shapps, Housing Minister, used an interview on the Today programme to coolly and calmly explain the policy.
John Denham, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, commented:
"This is a quite dreadful idea. It conjures up the image of the Stasi coming round to throw people out of council flats as their income and job status is checked every few years."
Does Mr Denham know how inappropriate the use of the word 'Stasi' is? East Germany's Stasi was an evil organisation, employing nearly 200,000 informants at its peak. Its interrogation methods were vile, it supported terrorist organisations in the west and and oversaw political assassinations.
If we are going to have half-sensible debate in this country we don't need such zero to 100mph hyperbole from Labour's frontbench.
In 'honour' of Mr Denham I'm instituting the Order of the OTT for other Labour politicians who get over-excited. I suspect Ed Balls be be awarded the Order very soon. Please help me keep a regular eye out for other examples of Denham-isms.