Right-wing conditioning Britons to be 'ashamed of being poor', says James O'Brien

9 May 2022, 13:10

Right-wing politicians and media are "conditioning" Britons to be embarrassed by poverty, according to James O'Brien.
Right-wing politicians and media are "conditioning" Britons to be embarrassed by poverty, according to James O'Brien. . Picture: Alamy/LBC

By James Bickerton

Right-wing politicians and media are "conditioning" Britons to be embarrassed by poverty, according to James O'Brien.

Britain is facing an intensifying cost-of-living crisis, made worse by the war in Ukraine and ongoing Covid disruption in China.

A new survey from the Food Foundation revealed two million UK adults have gone without food for at least a day over the last month.

Speaking on his LBC show James said: "We have been conditioned to be ashamed of being poor.

"Part of the condition has been the demonisation, and the othering, of the struggling."

James went on to list what he suggested were right-wing attacks on those struggling.

He continued: "Norman Tebbit's line that you just get on your bike if you can't find work.

"The absolutely horrific demonisation of people in receipt of unemployment benefits that's gone on under the last 30 years.

"I think it's made us all ashamed of being poor and that's why the numbers are so stunning because it will include people who never in a month of Sundays thought they would need help or go without food."

READ MORE: Over 2m people go whole days without eating as charity slams 'failing society'

The Food Foundation survey found one-in-seven British adults, amounting to 7.3 million people, are food insecure.

This is up by 2.5 million from January's figure.

Anna Taylor, Food Foundation foundation’s executive director, commented: "The extremely rapid rise in food insecurity since January points to a catastrophic situation for families.

"Food insecurity puts families under extreme mental stress and forces people to survive on the cheapest calories, which lead to health problems."

James hit out at the Government over its handling of the crisis, arguing they are focused on other issues.

He commented: "The Government is doing pretty much nothing about it.

"They're promising to rip up Brexit red tape in the Queen's speech, they're promising to attack human rights to make it easier to deport people."

READ MORE: Inflation could reach 10% and last until 2024, ex-Bank of England chief economist warns

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