James O'Brien caller would rather 'Insulate Britain shut down supermarkets'

13 September 2021, 11:55 | Updated: 13 September 2021, 12:20

By Fiona Jones

This caller told James O'Brien that she would rather Insulate Britain "shut down supermarkets" instead of "inconveniencing the wrong people", after protesters caused chaos by storming the M25.

At least thirty arrests were made this morning after climate activist group Insulate Britain blockaded the main carriageway of Britain’s busiest motorway in a sit-down protest

The group targeted motorists at: M25 J6, J20, J3, J31 and at Junction 14 at Heathrow.

The aim of the group is for the government to "take responsibility for the insulation of all social housing in Britain" and create a "legally binding national plan to fully fund and take responsibility for the full low-energy and low-carbon whole-house retrofit", according to their site.

"They're inconveniencing the wrong people and when you inconvenience the wrong people, you're not really getting any empathy for your cause," caller Eleanor said.

James responded: "By disrupting voters they speak to politicians...people were queueing up to attack the Suffragettes when they were on hunger strike but it didn't make them wrong and their mission worked.

"The Suffragettes in particular by chaining themselves to railing and throwing themselves under horses at the derby were inconveniencing, in your words, the wrong people."

The caller questioned why Insulate Britain are not inconveniencing those that have a major environmental impact and make noticeable change, such as supermarkets.

Read more: 'You've ruined your cause': Driver takes on Insulate Britain supporter

James responded that asking why activists aren't outside supermarkets "isn't a reason to not do this."

Eleanor said, "I would prefer they shout and scream at the people that can make a difference."

"So you'd prefer them to shut down your supermarket?" James asked, to which Eleanor said that she would.

"Don't shut down the road but stop me buying food... you'd have more sympathy for them if they stopped you buying food?" James asked.

"I think they shouting at people who can make a difference, not shouting at people who are going on holiday," she said.

James said that environmental activists have been shouting at people who can make a difference "for years" but if they stand outside Whitehall "next to the fella with the one that says 'Covid is a hoax', they just drive past."

Former chief constable Sir Hugh Orde told LBC that peoples' right to protest is "proportionate", and for this particular demonstration "a clear message needs to be sent."

"It's worth reminding ourselves these people tried to stop a live motorway running, that is extraordinarily dangerous."It puts their lives at risk, it puts motorists' lives at risks and it puts police officers' lives at risk."