Ed Miliband’s promise to protect tenants addresses just some of the symptoms of this profound crisis

I have no idea how the private rented sector is controlled in Caracas and I would wager a fistful of bolivars that Grant Shapps hasn’t a clue either. That did not stop the Tory party chairman or whoever spits out press releases in his name reacting to Ed Miliband’s proposed reforms before they’d even been announced by frothing that Labour was planning “Venezuelan-style rent controls“.

On past form you may recall the response when the Labour leader came up with his freeze on energy bills the following will happen. We will have a few days of Tories echoing their party chairman by denouncing Mr Miliband as a crazed red who cribs his policies from Hugo Chávez, then a few days of panic at Number 10 when his pollsters inform David Cameron that the Labour promise is rather popular with their focus groups, and then the coalition will play me-too catch-up and try to scrabble together its own offer.

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