With the rise of conspiracy theories on the internet it can be hard to keep up with what we're supposed to be terrified of at any given moment.

Whether it's vaccines that alter your DNA, satanic paedophiles running the world or 5G data being used for mind control, there's plenty of content for neckscarved beach enthusiasts to apply their unique brand of journalistic rigour to.

Now though the world faces perhaps its most existential threat - 15 minute cities.

Haven't heard of them? Here's what you need to know about this terrifying new phenomenon.

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What are 15 minute cities?

While the concept dates back around 100 years, the name was devised by Professor Carlos Moreno of the Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris.

It basically refers to the idea that all of your basic human needs should be within a 15 minute walk of your home.

That sounds... quite good?

Anyone who grew up in Glasgow would surely agree.

In the 1950s the city council built huge new estates on the outskirts of the city without also buidling things like pubs, libraries, shops or youth centres.

As a result anyone living in Drumchapel, Easterhouse, Pollok, or Castlemilk would have to take a bus into the city to access any basic human services - Billy Connolly famously described one such estate as "a desert wi' windaes".

The Herald:  Fettercairn Avenue, Drumchapel, early 1950s shortly after the flats were built. Pic courtesy of Eric Flack

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo adopted the 15 minute city idea as part of her re-election campaign, saying she would close off roads and turn them into public plazas, plant more trees and turn schools into the “capitals of the neighbourhood”, open to everyone in the evenings and at weekends.

Oxford, Birmingham, Bristol, Canterbury and Sheffield councils are all considering variations of the scheme.

So, what's the problem?

It's all part of a shadowy plan by the New World Order to stop people ever leaving their own neighbourhoods.


Well, no, obviously.

But according to your Olivers, Foxes and Petersons this idea about urban planning will bring about a dystopian world where we're divided, Hunger Games style, into disparate districts.

A protest held in Oxford this weekend saw claims that people will be monitored by CCTV to ensure they don't leave their zones, with a permit required to do so under the guise of reducing carbon footprints.

Is there any evidence for that?

Of course not.

Is this just some cranks on the internet?

No, some of them are on right-wing news shows too.

In addition Conservative MP Nick Fletcher asked for time in Parliament to debate this "international socialist concept of so-called 15-minute cities and 20-minute neighbourhoods".

Who is behind this international socialist concept?

The World Economic Forum.

The organisation made up of the world's richest people?


The Herald: Bill Browder CEO Hermitage Capital Management poses for a portrait prior to an interview with the Associated Press during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is taking

But doesn't socialism entail collective ownership of the means of production?

Also yes.

Strange thing for the world's most successful capitalists to be into...

Marx actually wrote that capitalist modes of production bringing people into cities and connecting nations were what would bring about the end of capitalism itself, creating the proleterian class which would grow in number and become concentrated in greater mass while distinctions in labour are obliterated through technology.

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"What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers," he and Engels wrote in The Communist Manifesto. "Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable."

So maybe the NWO and the WEF are actually trying to keep us separated to prevent the overthrow of world capitalism. Think about it.

Do you actually believe that?

No it's about urban planning and traffic congestion, but bring it up next time your crazy uncle mentions 15 minute cities.