Another day, another History lesson.

The subject was Macmillan's Housing policies. We watched a video for most of the lesson from the nineties, celebrating 50 years of the Welfare State. We'd already got everything we needed from the first 20 minutes of the video, but we kept watching, as the grim story of the 60s and 70s, with the social collapse of many inner city communities unfolded as quickly as the shoddy tower blocks went up. This area of Britain's social history was a farce, as pretty much everybody agrees.

In the last 30 years, this process has been reversed by all sucessive governments. More and more houses have been sold, to be taken over by housing associations. Quangoes. This is a reflection of the rest of our society, with yet more and more groups of unaccountable companies running our lives.

Quangoes, to me, are an example of the reason why none of the major problems that our cities and towns face have been solved. It is not in a company's interest to provide public goods, that all of society can benefit from.

More and more, as the new rich flee the cities and towns to hamlets in the countryside, or to their own walled off estates, the process of social stagnation that begun in the 60s has become more and more worrying. And there is nothing any democratically elected government can do about it, because, more and more, they have no say in it. It is down to the quango.