BRACE yourself – thur’s been a tweet. This weekend, the Home Secretary shared her thoughts on Twitter about how to clean up Britain’s high streets.

“The British people are compassionate,” she wrote. “We will always support those who are genuinely homeless. But we cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents occupied by people, many of them from abroad, living on the streets as a lifestyle choice.”

Yes, you read that right – Suella thinks Britain has a problem with the disingenuously homeless – because being a rough sleeper with a foreign accent is such a ­prestige identity in British society.

As we head into winter, frost etching the ground, gales blowing, damp rising, rain pishing down – Braverman thinks people opting to freeze to death on Britain’s high streets and selfishly inconveniencing pedestrians are just making “personal choices”.

Deciding whether or not to put sugar in your tea, or choosing to go on a park run or to the pub on a Saturday afternoon – or opting for or against getting a ­Gousto box – these are lifestyle choices.

To ­imagine ­people sleeping in tents are either ­recreationally poor or optionally unhoused are the policy reflections of a maniac. In this, as in a range of other respects, the UK Government has completely lost the place.

The National: TENT CITY: The protest homeless camp in Cheadle Square on Christmas Day

We’re now familiar with the dead-eyed sociopathy which is at the heart of the ­Braverman brand. Familiar as her ­recreational cruelty has now become to us, we shouldn’t pass over the Home ­Secretary’s latest intervention without ­noticing just how remarkably unpleasant it is. Imagine seeing fellow human beings huddled together under a bare canvas and thinking to yourself: “That shelter needs confiscated”.

There are the oceans and universes of social imagination missing here. Conservatives like to boast they’re the party of ­personal responsibility – but their insight into the social and economic conditions in which that “choice” is really exercised has always been woeful.

Being homeless is just the latest ­social ­status this Tory government has ­decided must be a “lifestyle choice”. Earlier this year, professional ex-soldier Johnny ­Mercer told struggling former soldiers that ­deciding to drop into a foodbank to fill their ­children’s bellies was also a matter of ­“personal choice” and didn’t tell us anything interesting or significant about the impact of poverty in the UK.

Finding yourself kipping under a railway bridge isn’t glamping in the Cotswolds. Rough sleepers aren’t Boy Scouts who got too much of a taste for sleeping ­under the stars and decided to make use of their ­survival badges full-time.

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You can’t ­inspire yourself out of poverty. You can’t choose security if the economy doesn’t give you any. People don’t choose to be poor. People don’t choose to be homeless.

When you’re talking about personal ­responsibility, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for any reasonably ­reflective adult to realise people’s choices are ­socially conditioned – often powerfully so. Poverty, family rejection, addiction, abuse – folk find themselves on the streets for different reasons.

It’s rarely because they listened to an interesting programme on Radio 4 about the health benefits of a yurt, or the fact they spotted a cute wax jacket in the ­Bodin catalogue which looks perfect for keeping the urine off after a drunken ­idiot decides to kick in your wigwam on a ­Friday night.

Dig up outlier examples of individuals who resist being rehoused or who return to the street – it only speaks to the thick social context which shapes people’s lives, sometimes against their own interests.

It’s tempting to think nobody could be dumb enough to believe what the Home Secretary just tweeted out – but ­Braverman shows every sign of meaning every word she says.

And in her way, the Home ­Secretary’s dumb notions of personal ­responsibility aren’t a world away from the ­neo-liberalism articulated by the rest of the ­cabinet, which pretends to be ­interested in personal freedom, but seems principally concerned to ensure people already loaded with social and economic capital can do whatever they damn well please, disciplining dissenters while complaining about cancel culture, liberally tossing around allegations their critics lack patriotism or are apologists for ­terrorists or crime, playing at victimhood all the while keeping a tight grip on all their social and economic advantages.

Last week, Rishi Sunak (below) decided to ­debase his office by agreeing to throw softball questions to Elon Musk while grinning manically and colluding in Musk’s unstructured reflections of the trajectory of the human species in the 21st millennium. As part of this awkward exchange at a major AI conference, the Prime ­Minister eventually got a word in edgeways, ­telling the self-involved Twitter/X CEO that he wants to change British culture so more folk are “unafraid to give up the ­security of a regular pay cheque to go and start something, and be comfortable with ­failure.”

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Inheriting oodles of cash or ­knowing you’ve got a tidy few million in the bank to tide you over in the event of ­difficulty is a marvellous inoculation against ­economic anxiety – who knew? Being privately wealthy leaves you that bit ­freer to play the role of privateer or some ­other kind of merchant adventurer on the high seas of the fintech market. I suppose it’s easy to be comfortable with failure when you have a cast iron guarantee that any failures won’t make you socially or ­economically uncomfortable.

Sunak’s longing for a more ­buccaneering approach to financial life is the corporate mirror of Braverman’s lifestyle choices. This was only one of Sunak’s follies last week. Political interference in ­operational policing is now a good thing, ­apparently – though I seem to have overlooked the strenuous objections of Scotland’s Tory MSPs.

Armistice Day is to be marked in Britain by a ban on protests calling for a cessation of hostilities in Gaza. Imaginary potential damage to the Cenotaph is prayed in aid of the UK Government’s latest attempts to ban or blaggard political demonstrations it finds politically disagreeable.

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This now includes tens of thousands of ordinary people – grief and horror-struck by the pictures, footage and stories coming out of Gaza every day. I don’t know about you, but images of dead children are now routinely appearing on my social media feed. I’ve never seen so many.

Like his Home Secretary, Sunak claims permitting these protests would insult his grandfather’s memory of not being killed in Burma and North Africa – or the ­sacrifice of two of his brothers who were killed in Italy and the North Atlantic in the course of the Second World War.

Listening to much of the press, you’d think Remembrance Day represented a solemn occasion for marking the ­positive impact the military-industrial ­complex has had on our common life and a chance to celebrate the fallen in Britain’s ­future wars.

If Remembrance Day isn’t an ­“appropriate” moment to reflect on what the 20th century has taught us about ­human suffering, and the pity and ­injustice of war – then I’m not sure when could be.

But it’s in keeping with the ­manipulative jingoism of the Tory Party – and the party in the press – that they feel entitled to force march other people’s grandparents out of the underworld to justify their ­authoritarian attitude to peaceful protest, as if every survivor of conflict thinks the same way, and believes we should give war another chance.

There’s no doubt that serious efforts are now being made to foreclose the ­limits of legitimate discussion in the UK. ­Newspapers often cast themselves as mechanisms to hold the powerful to ­account. They can. The best do. But much more often, the work the British media sets itself is disciplining the public on ­behalf of the powerful.

When politicians recruit the dead in support of divisive foreign policies, you’ve got to ask yourself searching ­questions about who is – and is not – respecting the ­memories of those who lost their lives in conflict.