The drain on our NHS resources for dealing with inebriated people exceeds £2.7billion every year. Why should our doctors and nurses have to deal with aggressive or paralytic drunks night after night, when their skills should be utilized for patients who genuinely need their care? Why should our police have to undertake double shifts to watch over drunks for 24 hours in a cell?
Doesn't it make sense, with 4.5 million people in housing need, to boost supply? Surely those in need and on low incomes should not expect to be housed centrally anyway (the myth-makers like to refer to 'Mayfair' or 'near Harrods' as if these neighbourhoods of the global mega-rich are stuffed with council estates). Well, no, it doesn't make sense. Because behind the beguiling simplicity of the idea lie some complex realities, and as an MP for North Westminster, and previously for the much-cited example of Notting Hill, I have some knowledge of these.