In order to house all the immigrants this and the last government have let into this country three new 'garden cities' are being planned for 'middle England.'
Now why 'garden cities?' and what exactly is a 'garden city?' and is a 'garden city' a good idea anyway?
Let's answer the first question first because it is easy - if you are planning to cover tens of thousands of acres of land in little boxes why not choose a 'sounds good' 'sound bite' name for them and 'Garden City' fits that bill perfectly.
So what is a Garden City? Well, surprise,surprise the government doesn't actually know! The government apparently; ".... does not wish to impose any definition of what garden cities are." You couldn't make that up could you. You announce you are planning to build 'garden cities' but then admit that you actually don't know what a garden city is - even for this government that takes some beating. However Mr Clegg does think that perhaps a garden city might have 'biodiversity rich public parks' what incidentally is a 'bio diversity rich public park?' and how does that differ from say Hyde Park in London? - the answers is of course it doesn't it is just 'sound bite' civil service crap.
So the verbiage goes on but let's address the question of whether a garden city - whatever that means -is a good idea. I suspect most of us would think that a garden city will have a lower density of housing per acre than a normal city - obvious really - the more gardens you have the less houses you can get to an acre. But oddly I wonder if that is what people really want. Often I hanker city life. Being able, of a morning, to get up walk to a shop buy a newspaper and some milk and then wander back for breakfast. Or, of an evening, being able to say to my wife; 'there's nothing on telly tonight let's walk to the cinema and then have dinner out.' But garden cities are too spread out to offer you these advantages of city life instead Mr Clegg hopes you will get into your car and drive to your allotment which he thinks every garden city should provide for its residents.
Please -Prince Charles - will you do one more thing for us - give Mr Clegg a call and take him down to see Poundbury and explain to him why high density housing is so much more fun to live in that his ghastly 'garden cities are ever going to be.