Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
23 December 2016, 13:16
"We're still bleating about foreign aid, instead of the things that are actually directly affecting us."
The LBC presenter admitted he was baffled as to why the public seemed far angier about the international development budget than the state of public services in Britain.
James O'Brien On The State Of Britain In 2016
James O'Brien's brilliant polemic on Britain in 2016: "We're still bleating about foreign aid, instead of the things that are actually directly affecting us."
Speaking on his LBC show, he said: "This is what is happening everywhere and we're still putting up with it. We're still sitting on our hands and we're still bleating about foreign aid instead of the things that are actually directly affecting us.
"Being a liar, great for business. Being a racist liar, wow, the world is yours at the moment.
"But meanwhile public services, whether it's a prison which is hard for me to get you to care about, or a hospital which again when the junior doctors tell us that they're being screwed, it's hard to get you to care about that. Or elderly care, the care homes again bought up years ago by hedge funds and investment so that they could get their hands on the real estate, they don't care what's in the actual buildings because the value of the buildings is going up by so much every year.
"Everywhere you turn, utterly incontrovertibly and conclusive proof that all of those warnings are coming true. Defunding, demoralising, privatising, everywhere you turn.
"But still, our Lords and Masters in the media say "Oh don't look over here where we're filling our pockets".
"The bloke that owns the Telegraph also owns the Ritz, tells you everything you need to know about his priorities. He owns the Ritz, the actual Ritz. The bloke that edits the Mail has got a country estate in Scotland. The owner of the Mail is still non-dom registered, he inherited his own father's tax status. "Don't look over here. Don't look over here, look over there, there's an Ethiopian pop star who might be getting some foreign aid money."
"Meanwhile a prison officer will die next year at the hands of a prisoner and it will actually be our fault."