A thought on Suella Braverman’s brutal comments on homelessness

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.

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