Affordable housing. Does such a thing exist any more? Can it even exist in a free market economy? Can it exist in a free market economy that exists within a bubble that exists within a runaway city state like London?

How much, asked Cllr John Pierce, would an intermediate market rent, 25% Shared Ownership, three-bedroom family apartment cost in developments proposed for the Isle of Dogs?

It’s complicated, came the reply at the Tower Hamlets Borough Council. Such an apartment would have a price tag of around £600,000 so 25% ownership would mean a mortgage of £135,000 (after a £15,000 deposit) and then there’s the subsidised rent on the other 75% plus service charge costs. Let’s say £1,871 a month.

To own a quarter of an apartment.

So how much would all the people who should feel comfortable on such a scheme – the nurses, the teachers, the admin staff at a mid-level bank, the GPs’ receptionists – how much would they need to earn to secure this prize plum?

Er, £85,000 a year.

Average salary is £26,000. Average cost of a child is about a squillion pounds.

If you earn three times average salary and keep the children on bread and Nutella you can get a toehold on the property ladder via routes set up to provide housing for specifically people who don’t earn three times average salary.

Affordable housing. A token effort that adds up to nothing much.