HIPs are History: Tory Shadow Minister in Syntax Shock

Paul Hajek | 14 Oct 2009

What are we to make of Grant Shapps comments on HIPs at the Tory Conference last week in Manchester, when he said “HIPs are history, under the next Conservative Government”.

With a dodgy grammatical style, perhaps no promotion for Mr. Shapps to Minister of Schools awaits.

What should we read into his choice of words which simply omitted to state “will be”, “would be”, in favour of the Shapps invented present future past tense of “are”.

Readers of Conference speak, will perhaps note that he did not use stronger language such as “will be the first thing we do, if we were to win the next election”; but only pledged during the next government i.e. within the next 5 years.

There was jibe that Gordon Brown might be one of the first beneficiaries of the abolition of HIPs. But clearly, Mr. Shapps needs a crash course in the HIPs regulations. The Prime Minister would not be selling No 10 Downing Street, if he were to lose the next election, and consequently would not require a Home Information Pack.

Sadly, there was no mention of any Conservative reform for the Home Selling process; so nothing positive with which to replace HIPs.

The somewhat muted response by delegates at the Conference may not have been what Mr. Shapps was expecting.

There will be more pressing and urgent priorities for the Conservatives if they win the next election.

VAT on HIPs will come in very handy for a government of whatever persuasion, searching for every penny of income to repair the black hole in the Government coffers, due to the Recession.

My hunch is that expediency will win the day over conference war cries.

If “Yes Minister” the classic Government comedy, with the legendary Sir Humphrey were to be recreated in 2010, the script for HIPs and their supposed abolition may have already been written.

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