Chris Skidmore (a Vice-Chair of the Conservatives 2018-2019) has called out his own party for heading in a “very dark” direction in demonising those who call for a rapid reduction in CO2 emission as a way of justifying the watering-down of net zero targets.
Softening net zero targets might well encourage people to think they need not worry about climate change and can ignore the extremes of “Just stop Oil”. It’s a million miles from the responsible course of addressing climate change — and implicitly saying “we have a problem, and a plan to address it.
There are echoes of the same mentality in some of Suella Braverman’s comments before the reshuffle. Talking of refugees arriving by boat in exaggerated language can make them sound like an “invasion” force, stoking people’s anxiety so that they are “grateful” when the government “protects” us. Talking of homelessness as a “lifestyle choice” gives a way to say we can ignore it — when we should be embarrassed at what it implies for failed housing and mental health policy.
Continue reading “How should Lib Dems deal with the Conservative fear-mongering?”
Braverman’s crass comments about homelessness being a “lifestyle choice” have rightly attracted strong criticism. I am concerned that this speaks of a fear and brutality in her target audience that should ring alarm bells.
On 4 November she posted a series of tweets:
The British people are compassionate. We will always support those who are genuinely homeless. But we cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents occupied by people, many of them from abroad, living on the streets as a lifestyle choice. 1/4
Unless we step in now to stop this, British cities will go the way of places in the US like San Francisco and Los Angeles, where weak policies have led to an explosion of crime, drug taking, and squalor. 2/4
Nobody in Britain should be living in a tent on our streets. There are options for people who don’t want to be sleeping rough, and the Government is working with local authorities to strengthen wraparound support including treatment for those with drug and alcohol addiction. 3/4
What I want to stop, and what the law abiding majority wants us to stop, is those who cause nuisance and distress to other people by pitching tents in public spaces, aggressively begging, stealing, taking drugs, littering, and blighting our communities. 4/4
This was picked up in the press with suggests that she plans a crackdown on the use of tents by homeless people and fines for some charities providing tents.
Continue reading “A thought on Suella Braverman’s brutal comments on homelessness”