Do my eyes deceive me?

Is it just me or is Chris Trotter advocating the end to State housing and the introduction of a purely private housing system?

I think he is.

Just how nightmarish the reality of the modern welfare state has become is clearly evident in the places that were intended to be its most potent and persuasive expression: public housing projects. In the sunny optimism of the early post-war era these municipal- and state-facilitated developments were envisaged as islands of rational planning and design in a sea of privately organised squalor.

In Britain?s “new towns”, America?s “projects”, and New Zealand?s state-house suburbs there was, to quote the rhapsodic rhetoric of New Zealand?s National Film Unit, “space for sunlight”. Seventy years on, the reality is immeasurably darker. Where they still exist (many having been, quite literally, blown-up) these vast experiments in public housing have become by-words for appalling social dysfunction.
Built to free the poor from the rack-renting private landlord, social housing swiftly degenerated into a convenient spatial fix for the problem of how to keep the races and classes separate. By herding the lowest of the low into discrete geographical corrals, and maintaining them out of the public purse, the upwardly mobile sectors of post-war capitalist society (and their rising incomes) were made available to the private sector.
What the architects of the Welfare State had confidently predicted would become the benchmarks for rational and socially uplifting urban living, rapidly degenerated into their opposite. High-rise ghettos for the frail and impecunious; or sprawling internment camps for the immigrant labour which now performed the tasks that “white men” wouldn?t do; it made little difference: public housing was something to flee.
I see it every time I go for a walk around my neighbourhood.
Wow, Chris has had an epiphany. He’s finally worked out that socialism sucks. His conversion to privatisation continues
The state-housing developments in the Auckland suburb of Three Kings were among the very first to be constructed, and in their day (the late-1930s) they far outstripped the low-cost efforts of private developers. By the 1960s and 70s, however, Three Kings was characterised colourfully by National Party canvassers as “Tiger Country”: one of those places where geography and class combined to render middle-class proselytising next-to-impossible.

It?s a lot easier now. Thanks to National?s 1990s policy of selling-off a significant proportion of the nation?s public housing stock, Three Kings is being transformed. The bleak uniformity of the old publicly-owned subdivision is steadily giving way to the remodelled, repainted and tastefully landscaped effects of state-house gentrification. In the last election, for the first time, National?s Party Vote in the Mt Roskill electorate exceeded Labour?s.
Why did the state fail so spectacularly to live up to the expectations of those optimistic social-democrats (and socialists) who entrusted it with the citizenry?s welfare? The answer lies in what might be described as the “authoritarian personality” of state-run institutions ? they are totally obsessed with the exercise of power and control.
I think Chris has had a “No Shit, Sherlock” event.
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