David Cameron launched a fresh attack on poor people this week, in the name of helping them.
He claimed a plan to bulldoze “sink estates” would help “blitz” poverty. And he rolled out lazy stereotypes to justify it.
He bemoaned the “brutal high-rise towers” with their “gangs and anti-social behaviour”. He denounced the “dark alleyways that are a gift to criminals and drug dealers”.
He even wrote, “The riots of 2011 didn’t emerge from within terraced streets or low-rise apartment buildings.
“The rioters came overwhelmingly from these post-war estates. That’s not a coincidence.”
Many people live in poor housing and deserve better. But Cameron’s plan isn’t aimed at helping them—it’s aimed at increasing privatisation.
Cameron’s rhetoric treats poorer tenants as a problem. Yet the real problems are a lack of funding for decent housing, jobs and services that could transform people’s lives. Tory policies—slashing jobs, attacking benefits, cutting pay—push poverty up.
Just days earlier Cameron said people should attend parenting classes. The implication was that poor parenting is the cause of problems in society, rather than Tory policies.
Cameron claimed he wants people to feel they have a “real future”. The only way to do that is to stop the Tory assault.