It's Party time!

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The Independent Online
MY PROPOSAL of a Neighbourhood Watcher service, to provide prospective house-buyers with the low-down on their neighbours-to-be, has received an encouraging response. A number of callers alerted me to problems in Walford in London's East End. Anyone thinking of moving to Albert Square should beware, particularly if they are considering a property currently occupied by one Ian Beale. His neighbours, it seems, are a right shower: loud music, noisy parties and atrocious acting. Not the kind of people you want to live next door to.

Amongst the calls of support came suggestions that I should launch a political party to stand in the forthcoming election representing the interests of the house-buyer. Not a bad idea. For while the current parties have quite trenchant views on home-ownership or the homeless they are vague on those of us who are neither.

As I have discovered, buying a house is a lonely process. How much easier it would be if we wannabe home-owners had democractic representation behind us. I therefore propose to start The House Party.

This will not be your run-of-the-mill political party. It will be only partly political and primarily party. It will represent the people, and our meetings will represent a jolly good night out.

I accept, however, that to fulfill our electoral ambitions we will need to offer more than cheap lager and the hokey cokey. I am therefore constructing The House Party's manifesto.

Under the slogan "Herts. is where your home is" we will fight on the kind of slate which is normally to be found in the hills of Wales - a sort of executive home-type stylish grey.

The House Party pledges to introduce:

1) Mortgage Relief. This will be available to all home-buyers currently exposed to blinding headaches and dizzy spells as a direct consequence of trying to work out what mortgage to take out. Forget your five-year fixed endowment linked with cash-back (other conditions may apply) mortgage. In future you will borrow money and pay it back. What a Relief.

2) The Monopoly Commission. Any house for sale will be sold through the Monopoly Commission which will organise games around the country for prospective home-owners. Instead of Park Lane and Marylebone Station, competitors will be vieing for real properties. "27, Merton Boulevard - Buy it."

3) Militant Tenancy. To allow people in rented accomodation with grumpy landlords to be rude to them.

4) Housey Housey. This will replace the National Lottery. Eyes down, look in for an empty house.

5) Bungalow Tax. If we need to raise money we' ll just bung a low tax on something.

6) Tea Bags. The nation will be obliged to consume only tea bags since it is well known that proper tea is theft.

7) The Building Societies Bill. To allow borrowers to go to their building society to claim back all those hidden extras which emerge as part of the house-buying process. "You are a building society - here's the bill."

This is just a start. Over the coming weeks, as the House Party's national executive takes place, we will be expanding our manifesto. Candidates will be selected and deselected. We will draw up a list of target seats. Then it's off to the bank to borrow some money for the deposits. Let's face it, we have more chance of putting a deposit down on a seat in Kensington North than a deposit on a two bed roomed flat in North Kensington.

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