US President Barack Obama arrived in London today to lead global support for the new British government’s radical first policy announcement, that Home Information Packs (HIPs) are to be abolished.
On hearing the news, the president ordered Air Force One to change course from a planned summit in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel. ‘I was on my way to Germany to talk about the world economy and fate of the euro, but when I heard about this, I thought – that’s change we really can believe in,’ Mr Obama told a press conference. ‘I firmly believe that, were Martin Luther King still marching with us today in our long battle for equality, he would have welcomed this moment and probably included it in his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, after the bit about the red hills of Georgia.’
The FTSE 100 stock market rose nearly 45% on the news, but in Iran there were anti-Western riots and senior clerics condemned the abolition of the packs, declaring that ‘procuring a mortgage from a high street bank without providing your brother with information about your damp course is repugnant to Allah’. The emblem of the National Federation of Estate Agents was burned by angry mobs in ugly scenes in the capital, Tehran.
Mr Obama had a four-hour meeting with David Cameron and Nick Clegg to congratulate them on the announcement and promise global support for the move. ‘This is a moment of great promise and hope,’ he intoned. ‘And your prime minister has told me that there are even greater changes to come – it looks like plans to simplify the horse passport system will be in the Queen’s speech.’