The 2015 Project: If I were Prime Minister for a day – Campbell Robb, Shelter

Campbell Robb is Chief Executive of Shelter.

My morning would be a series of meetings with key members of the cabinet to re-focus their current efforts more in line with my thinking as Prime Minister.

  1. Call in the Chancellor, tell him to take advantage of the low cost of borrowing to come back to me with a plan by the end of the day with a sustained investment programme in building more houses with an aim of meeting annual demand within in 5 years. As a historian, ask him to provide a Treasury report on why none of his immediate predecessors had done this either.
  2. Call in the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and ask him to put an immediate halt to the “bedroom tax” and the benefit cap. Ask him to undertake a detailed undercover research project for the rest of the year living on JSA and report back to the cabinet in January. Appoint Julia Unwin (now Baroness) of the JRF as Acting Secretary of State.
  3. Call in Secretaries of State for Justice and Communities to ask for a report on the state of the homelessness safety net as a recent visit to a Shelter service in my constituency revealed to me the huge problems that many people are having, meeting the costs of their housing, with the expensive and poorly regulated private rented sector and the major changes to homeless legislation all meaning that homelessness is on the rise.

Lunch would be a round table with all the organisations who object to and support the building of more homes – conservation and countryside organisations, builders, architects, community groups and they wouldn’t get fed until we agree a way forward for using more of Britain for building, decently designed, affordable homes for young people and families across the country.

My Afternoon

  1. Make parliamentary statement announcing the consultation and funding for the creation of 2 complete new towns in England which will in due course become 30-40,000 people communities.
  2. Back to Downing Street for afternoon reception with Scottish football stars of the 70s and 80s with a full screening with commentary by Archie Gemmill of Scotland’s glorious 1978 World Cup victory over Holland. (There has to be some fun in being PM)
  3. Chair G8 leaders’ summit committing western nations to a new co-ordinated aid doctrine which shares more fully the resources of the industrialised nations with those who are not, marking a significant, profound and irreversible shift in the nature of 20/21st century capitalisms exploitation of people and resources and creating a more sustainable and fairer global society.
  4. Knight Andy Murray.
  5. Prepare hand over note for Aung San Suu Kyi who I have asked to be tomorrow’s PM.

For more information on NCVO’s election work see The 2015 Project: And so the election campaign begins…

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