The Scottish Executive announced last week that it is to give £300 million of public money to shore up the plan to privatise Glasgow's council homes. New Labour is prepared to throw still more public money in to push the privatisation through in a tenants' ballot due to get under way in March. Glasgow is just one of the major privatisation plans coming to a head.
All these campaigns, as well as debate on the wider issues surrounding council housing, will be the subject of the Defend Council Housing conference, due to take place in Birmingham this weekend.
Not a single person in an audience of 150 people voted in favour of council housing being transferred to housing associations at a meeting in Tower Hamlets in east London last week. After hearing the arguments for and against privatisation, a vote showed that David Edgar, the New Labour council's housing chief, had convinced no one. Edgar was debating with Mark Weeks of Defend Council Housing in the run-up to a referendum later this month.