Hodge's argument may strike a chord here in Thanet, which has seen the social balance shift quite dramatically over the last decade in west Clftonville and central Margate. Aaronovitch however sees any movement towards favouring the indigenous over the new arrival as an unnaceptable injustice and adds:
"For me this created the wonderfully retro image of the asthmatic children having to stay put in the damp house by reason of their incorrect origins, while the perfectly healthy indigenous couple got in ahead of them on the housing list. All of which, according to Ms Hodge, would “promote understanding which leads to better tolerance and integration in our society” by making white people feel that life was less unfair."
There is one reality however. There are not enough homes and social housing stock to go around and house prices are rising all the time so what is the answer? Is Hodge right about giving priority to those "local" people who are in the queue already or does need; i.e "I have five children to your two", always come first?
It's a subject that is bound to raise strong feelings and here in Kent in particular. Who do you think is right? Hodge or Aaronovitch