The issue of second homes is back in the news - it has never really gone away.
When I was a boy the Welsh had taken to burning the holiday homes of the English such was the resentment.
But it affects England too. Ghost villages exist, with an increasingly aged population. Only at weekends do the "incomers" arrive and relationships with the locals can be fraught.
Soon the post office goes, the village shop becomes uneconomic and shuts, and the bus service is reduced.
Now the Government has announced its intention to discourage second home ownership.
I must admit it passed me by. But it has not escaped the property world...and they are not happy.
The Government has proposed either restricting ownership through the planning process, or by increasing the council tax paid by second home owners.
Naturally, estate agents are appalled, no doubt seeing lots of lovely commissions potentially being lost.
Simon Proctor, head of the commercial division of property specialists Strutt & Parker in Market Harborough, believes that " a moment's thought shows that neither of these is the right response, and either would be both impractical and unenforceable".
He went on: "The problem is not second home ownership but the fact that too few houses are being built. The people who cannot afford properties in rural areas are mostly young couples, and what they are looking for is very different from what a second home owner wants. Sympathetic, well-designed starter homes are what are needed, but the planning regime stands in the way of such development.
"The Government is also overlooking the fact that second home owners spend a lot of money in rural areas, and often convert barns or renovate derelict property - thereby actually adding to the housing stock. Also, the rural economy has its own dynamic, and they would be interfering with that at their own peril."
He makes some telling points.
Since the 1960s and 70s governments of red and blue have looked at the problem... and gone no further.
Why? Because it is a minefield.
There are civil liberty issues - who is the Government to say what people should and should not spend their hard earned money on?
And people would get round restrictions - registering second homes in the names of relatives and family.
What of people working away who buy a flat in London to live during the week, and then return home at weekends. Will the flat qualify as a second home?
The more the Government go into it the deeper the hole they will dig for themselves.
I think second homes can do a lot of harm but, then, if you get the balance of the community right, they can inject capital into a low income area that badly needs it, encouraging rejuvenation.
The Government can help by matching that financial investment, not hindering it. But then we all know the Government is no friend of the countryside.