Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
19 September 2016, 12:11
After Refugees And Unemployed, Are OAPs Next To Be Demonised?
Stark words from James O'Brien on why he fears the next group to face cuts will be elderly.
As a minister says benefits for old people might be cut, James points out they're just the next group to be targeted by the right.
Damian Green hinted over the weekend that pensions could be curbed in a bid to spread the impact of government cuts across all ages.
James wasn't impressed at all with that suggestion.
"The biggest prediction I made during the austerity debates?
"Pensioners next. I say to people, don't you understand that if we let them get away with this, there's only one direction the traffic can go.
"The refugee crisis moved things away from the unemployed being Public Enemy Number One, it'll move back again."
Taking aim at the media for demonising people on benefits, James blamed newspapers for "creating a toxic atmosphere" that led politicians to try to punish the unemployed.
"Where the politicians follow, the newspapers have almost always led.
"Then we had the refugee crisis so it became better business to focus upon immigration, so they're currently the ones getting a kicking for everything that is wrong with the country.
"Muslims, of course, because some scumbag terrorists use Islam to justify their behaviour.
"You keep finding all these whipping boys and girls."