Tim Worstall beat me to this -
You will recall the recent addition to the law of the land, that if a place is empty for more than 6 months the local council can come in, seize it, stick some scrote in there (to the delectation of the neighbours of course), take whatever they like in administration expenses and then give you the remainder of whatever said scrote deigns to pay in rent.
I have mentioned it before, and thanks to The Last Ditch last night I read the man behind it's defence of this destruction of liberty - I didn't blog it at the time as the red mist descended and Nursey had to be called to give me the medication - but here it is now:
I can't help but refer to the great 19th Century British thinker John Stuart Mill who's work "On Liberty" discussed the limits of power that the state can have over the individual. His brilliant concept was the harm principle. Briefly it said that people should be free to engage in whatever behavior(sic) they wish as long as it does not harm others.
Seen through this principle the owner of the empty home of course has rights but not unlimited rights. Once it starts harming others whether that be though restricting housing to those that need it, spoiling the appearance of a street or loose slates falling onto playing children the state should and does have the right to intervene.
So poor old JSM is dragged in to support the seizing of property to alleviate a government caused restriction of housing to those who need it. I'm not sure the old boy would approve of that. Wouldn't it be more honest to just admit it is a simple socialist policy and that destruction of the rights of private property are part of the plan?