Why have the Right suddenly started attacking plans to create cities where people live close to essential services?


15 Minute Cities and Conspiracy Theories

♬ original sound - Dom Tristram

Generated transcript:

So on Tuesday evening, 21st of February, , there was a protest outside the Guildhall in Bath against cuts to subsidised bus routes. A lot of Northeast Somerset is fairly remote from Bath, but people need to go in for hospitals and that sort of thing.

And a lot of them depend on the bus service, especially if they don’t have cars. And the council has decided to basically cut all of those, and keep all the ones in Bath itself. Now, within Bath, it’s a small city. You can pretty much walk everywhere. You might not like it, but you can.

Whereas if you live in some of the smaller villages in Northeast Somerset, you can’t. So it’s basically cutting off people’s lifelines. Definitely non drivers. So it’s a valid thing , to protest about, so a protest was organised for that outside the Guild Hall, which coincided with the evening of the full council meeting.

Now, unfortunately, this was slightly hijacked by anti 15 minute City protestors. And that brings me really onto my main point for this video, which is, 15 minute cities and the strange and very sudden campaign by the right to attack them . Now, in case you’re not aware, the 15 Minute City concept basically says that everyone who lives in a city or I guess large town, should have all of the services they need for day-to-day life within 15 minutes of where they live, by walking or cycling.

So , shops, schools, doctor’s surgery, dentist, that sort of thing. Pretty much what life used to be like, now this is, , brought some very odd people outta the woodwork. Looking at some of the protestors on Tuesday. You saw people with very much coordinated placards saying something like democracy now, it’s some sort of coordinated anti 15 minute movement and it’s suddenly been whipped up by the sort of people who went on anti-vax protests and, rather than anything rational.

It’s about some imagined kind of ‘locking them down’ in to where they’d live somehow. And then that’s mixed with a healthy dose of antisemitism. Bear in mind anything about George Soros is basically antisemitism. They’re just saying Jews, it’s another word for Jews.

It’s the usual kind of hard right conspiracy theory nonsense that we’re getting more and more in everyday life now. And I guess it has always been bubbling under the surface, but the difference now is there’s actually been Tory MPs standing up in parliament saying the same sort of stuff, that this is some sort of great conspiracy to get people to, I don’t know, what - stay at home?

I dunno, who would benefit from that conspiracy of giving you shops and schools close to where you live, but apparently it’s communists or something. And then there’s all sorts of other things woven into it, like s ome sort of United Nations programme?. The more you dig into conspiracy theories and the madness around them, the more you just can’t really believe that anyone with any kind of sense of logic or intelligence could ever fall for them. It’s like the anti-vaxxers. You might have valid reasons to be concerned about any medicine. Of course you might. But when people start talking about Bill Gates putting microchips in vaccines, it’s so immediately obviously rubbish that you’re amazed that so many people somehow buy into it and it’s no surprise that you see anti-vaxxers are now largely the same people protesting against 15 minute cities - protesting against something that entirely and utterly is meant to help them and improve their lives, and they somehow think that’s some sort of attack on them. I’ve said to them, what don’t you like about the, , ability to live somewhere where you can access services?

And I’ve had one guy say to me, “I prefer driving. I like my car. I don’t want things to be close to where I live”. And when you’re dealing with that kind of logic,

It’s gone beyond debate. People say to you, oh, you shouldn’t dismiss people with these concerns you should listen to their viewpoints. But at what point do we say as a society and certainly as someone in politics, it’s not something I want to listen to because it’s so clearly nonsense.

Why should I waste my time? Talking to somebody who thinks George Soros wants you not to drive to the shops, why? Why? Why is that something that I should even contemplate debating as if it’s a valid viewpoint and when you’ve got Tory mps. And I have to say, it’s not just mps, but the local Conservatives in Bath are happy to go to these protests like them on social media, spread them, encourage them.

I don’t believe the local Tories believe this for one second. But again, they’re weaponizing people who are easily led. They’re weaponizing conspiracy theories, just like Trump did. Of course, Trump didn’t believe that Hillary Clinton was running a paedophile ring from Pizza Express or whatever it was.

Trump might be a bit of a fool, but he’s not. Entirely a fool. He’s calculating and he knows how to run an army of fools for his benefit. And it’s the same here. Local Tories want you to forget what they do as a party and what they do nationally as a party, , they try and distance themselves locally.

But ultimately when everything is going so wrong, it suits them. Instead of people being on the street saying, “why is it taking eight hours for an ambulance to arrive?” If there’s people on the streets instead saying, “we don’t want this thing that will help us. And here’s this mad conspiracy theory” . If they’re on the street, saying that they’re not actually protesting about something that Tories have done.