Pity the poor carbon-chomping celebrities who think they’re ‘just like us’

How dare Lewis Hamilton – who drives fast cars for a living – tell me to go vegan to save the planet? Like the Extinction Rebellion activists, they have no idea how to win us over on climate change

Janet Street-Porter
Friday 18 October 2019 22:06
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Extinction Rebellion protester dragged off tube train after disruption at Canning Town in London

I regularly travel through Shadwell station in east London. It’s in a working class area, surrounded by council housing and some expensive new flats, bought as investments by foreigners, or rented by workers at financial institutions in Canary Wharf just down the road. What pea-brained activist decided that commuters from this neighbourhood and Canning Town, another working class area on the other side of Canary Wharf, were suitable targets for a protest by Extinction Rebellion?

London is mostly inhabited by the just-about-managing working class and the wealthy upper-middle class. Property prices have forced the ordinary families in between to the outer limits, resulting in longer journey times to work and less time spent at home.

Moving around the city (unless you are wealthy, a professional taxi driver or just paid to deliver stuff) means using public transport – crowded, hot and quite exhausting. Considering all this, passengers are generally polite and accommodating, even when numbers are swelled by dumb tourists blocking doors with luggage and letting their children occupy seats reserved for the elderly and infirm. So the outbreak of fury when Extinction Rebellion campaigners stupidly decided to glue themselves to the Docklands Light Railway and sit on top of tube trains during the morning rush hour was extremely unusual.

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