Coffee House

George Osborne booed at Paralympics

4 September 2012

12:54 AM

4 September 2012

12:54 AM

George Osborne was booed by a hefty contingent of the 80,000-strong crowd in the Olympic stadium this evening. He was handing out medals for the Paralympic T38 400m, and as his name was read out over the tannoy, the crowd let out a loud volley of boos.

I was fortunate enough to be sitting in the stadium this evening watching the athletics, and the boo that echoed around the stands did not come from one part in particular. It was a deep, pantomime-villain boo. ‘Why does nobody like that man?’ the girl behind me asked her mother. ‘He’s – well, it’s complicated – but he’s the head of the economy, and no-one likes him,’ her mother replied.

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It was hardly a surprise – least of all to the man himself – that Osborne is unpopular. The polls are clear that he is the ‘weak link’ in the government at the moment. He admitted as much at the weekend. But the booing this evening was still quite remarkable for anyone actually in the stadium. Don’t forget that this was at an event that is about sport, not politics. It wasn’t an appearance before the rather more sceptical members of the electorate on Twitter. It wasn’t even a grudge match between two football teams where fans’ blood was up and insults were already flying through the air.

This was the cheeriest evening for a politician to appear in front of the public: the crowd had bellowed Mickey Bushell to gold earlier in the T53 100m, and had sung the national anthem lustily. They had cheered athletes who were in last place until they reached the finish line, some of whom had been lapped twice in the 5000m. There was enough goodwill in this stadium to last a decade of Christmases. When Osborne appeared, the spectators around me were munching on curries and chips and befriending one another. And then they heard the Chancellor’s name, dropped their goodwill, and booed.

As I blogged before the games began, the Paralympics are particularly toxic for this government. It’s not just the row over the decision to allow Atos to sponsor the games and plaster its logo all over the venues. It’s also that the government is replacing the disability living allowance with the personal independence payment, a controversial move which disability rights campaigners argue aims to save money rather than better equip disabled people. Cutting benefits for disabled people is not a popular move at any time, but now Paralympians themselves have criticised the introduction of the PIP.

But it’s worth noting that other politicians haven’t received the same reception when they’ve appeared beside the medal podium. Osborne wasn’t the face for unpopular benefit cuts this evening: he was, as that mother near me pointed out, there as ‘the head of the economy’, an economy which anyone in the stadium could have told you is not in good shape at all.

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Show comments
  • http://www.facebook.com/aarondarc Aaron Darc

    Quite frankly, watching them boo this despicable man elevated my esteem for you Brits. Keep it up!!

  • Dogsnob

    Atosseur indeed

  • simon

    asdasd

  • simon

    Well, I am not surprised that he was booed and I don’t think he was all that surprised. What surprises me is that the Tories keep harping on about Brown, we don’t keep on about Major and Thatcher and their disastrous polices around the economy. I understand that different political opinions have some merit, but it is the zeal and political oppurtisum in reducing the welfare state. Other countries have the ability to have a grown up debate around supporting the sick and vulnerable. I wish to live in a country where people pay their fare share opinions and do not scapegoat large numbers of their communities.

  • simon

    Well I am not surprised that tories keep on about Brown, I don’t want my children to be burdened with debt, but it’s the zeal and political opportunity that Osbourne and Cameron have in winding back the welfare state. Countries like Sweden and Denmark have welfare states that support the sick and needy and people are more accepting of higher tax to allow this to happen.

  • simon

    I refuse to believe that Osbourne went to present medals without expecting some level of criticism, many of our representatives over the last 20 years have let the people down and have put their political theories above the country best interests. Many Governments have got their sums wrong, but thats not why the crowd are booing. They are booing the zeal and political opportunism that the tories have got to reduce the state and they should be up front about this. I am sure that Thatcher would have wet herself if she was in power now and would have been able to finish her grand plan. I have no faith in any of them, but I guess it’s the best system out there and we will go from left to right depending on many factors.

  • Jules

    You fail to mention, Gordon Brown got loud cheers and applause when his name was announced in the Aquatics centre. It’s on youtube if you want proof.

  • Jules

    You fail to mention, Gordon Brown got loud cheers and applause when his name was announced in the Aquatics centre. It’s on youtube if you want proof.

    • Paddy

      Jules: “You fail to mention Gordon Brown got loud cheers”

      That’s because they thought Santa Claus had come early.

  • Scotty

    Of course the crowd of disabled people supporters are booing… the benefits they get are being challenged.. no one likes being asked if they deserve the money they get for nothing.

    • MatthewOgden

      Spoken with the misguided and contempible disdain as only a person with no understanding of disability can muster. Bravo.

  • Mark Thompson

    Save our Greenbelt from this monster.

  • David

    Because Osborne is a pr*ck. Destroying our lives, that goes to all Conservatives.

  • David

    Because Osborne is a pr*ck. Destroying our lives, that goes to all Conservatives.

  • Olaf

    He probably thinks (or some toady will tell him) that the crowd were shouting “booray! booray!”. It’s a shame he was out of reach of the crowd. Pelting him with half eaten burgers just might have gotten across to him just how hated politicians are these days. Especially smug, rich politicians that have never had a job outside politics or had to worry about how to fill the car to get to work to earn money for him to tax so he can give it away.

  • Mike

    If only people like Andy would get real.Two and a half years into a parliament and he is still blaming Labour. Are Gordon Brown and Ed Balls responsible for the mess in Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland, France…..The whole of the EU….. What about the States Andy? They are nowhere near out of the woods yet…. Let’s get it right folks…the banks were the problem….and they still are. Yes they should have been regulated better….but the Tory party at the time went along with everything Gordon was doing. Was it because at the time they were devoid of ideas? They certainly are now!. If we want to play the blame game….why not go back to the Prime Minister who de-regulated the banks in the first place …..Yes….Your very own Margaret Thatcher….History will record her time in office as the worst period in the twentieth century for the British people….As for now…it’s time for the schoolboys to move aside….and let the big boys back in !!!!

    • Andy

      It is people like you that should ‘get real’. Gordon the moron Brown and the cretin Ed Balls turned on the spending taps and the net result is what we see today – a budget deficit of over £100 billion a year. So why are the banks to blame for excess State spending ? Yes the banks should have been regulated better and they were before 1997, and who exactly design the regulatory system ? Oh look it was Gordon the moron Brown and the cretin Ed Balls. Well I never.

      But of course you still don’t quite get it. The State cost £400 Billion to run prior to 1997. Adjusted in real terms it now cost near £700 billion a year to run. Like all stupid and dimwitted Socialists you seem to think you can spend, spend, spend. You can’t, can’t, can’t. And lets face facts: over the last 40 years the State has outspent its income in 35 of those years. It should have run a surplus or a balanced budget instead of robbing and bankrupting our children and grandchildren. That is the problem which you wont and never will address. But we will leave you to your silly ‘blame the banks’ claptrap.

      • Didi

        “Before the crisis, steady growth with low inflation and high employment was in our grasp. We let it slip – we, that is, in the financial sector and as policy-makers – not your members, nor the many businesses and organisations around the country which employ them.
        “And although the causes of the crisis may have been rooted in the financial sector, the consequences are affecting everyone, and will continue to do so for years to come.”
        Meryvn King: Governor of the Bank of England, September 2010
        I suppose he’s a socialist eh?

    • Paddy

      If you can still blame Margaret Thatcher after 20 years……I’m afraid Brown, Balls and the rest of the cretins have a good few years to go.

      And, don’t give us the bullshit of the Tories going along with everything Labour were doing……they were not in government.

      Typical Lefty…..trying to re-write history.

    • 2trueblue

      Labour spent us into oblivion and that is why people still refer to it. All governments spent and borrowed. The banks have provided all governments absolution in their own eyes and distracted attention to the fact that the governments borrowed and spent, governments are the architects of where we are financially, to pretend otherwise is facile.
      Who are the big boys? ????Balls Brown???? Millipede?????? and the unions.

    • 2trueblue

      Labour spent us into oblivion and that is why people still refer to it. All governments spent and borrowed. The banks have provided all governments absolution in their own eyes and distracted attention to the fact that the governments borrowed and spent, governments are the architects of where we are financially, to pretend otherwise is facile.
      Who are the big boys? ????Balls Brown???? Millipede?????? and the unions.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bill.rollinson1 Bill Rollinson

      The banks, correct Mike. In fact the banks are still making it hard for us with the food prices. Hedge fund managers gambling on the price of food commodities going down have inflated the cost to the ordinary person in the street. The banks interest in this has risen from 16% to 72% in just a few short years. This is money from pension funds and also form interest they don’t pay on current accounts!

  • Olaf

    They boo’d him because he is a politician and a smug, rich one at that. It’s just a shame the mob didn’t have some stale tomatoes to lob at him too just to get the point across. We don’t like you or your professional political pals. Bojo didn’t get boo’d because people don’t really think of him as a politician. He’s the funny chap off HIGNFY

  • dalai guevara

    Osborne is implecated in a series of budgets, favouring the ‘wealth creators’ to keep hold of and grow their assets. He is undisputedly renumerated well below his deserved pay grade. Can we move him on given that he clearly appears overqualified?

    • Axstane

      It is “implicated”.
      It is “remunerated”.

      And they are indeed wealth creators and the creation of wealth automatically creates employment.

      • dalai guevara

        Jesus, that’s what happens when you post before having your first coffee…

        ‘Wealth creators’ famously do not create employment, but full bank accounts with money sitting around waiting to be gambled with – in London preferably in derivatives (more than £300trillion of it).

        You are evidently not familiar with Stiglitz.

        • Paddy

          If only it was the coffee…..but I think it may have something to do with 13 years of the Labour party and the dumbing down of our education system.

          • dalai guevara

            And if I went to school in the Thatcher Era? Ooops 😉

            • Paddy

              dalai guevara: Is that “TheTooting Popular Front”.

              Another comedy just like you.

              • dalai guevara

                Anything of substance to contribute, ginger one?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=616041761 Margaret Georgiadou

        Really? Thought they were saving up for their next island, whilst I save up to put the fire on. Havent seen much automatic employment creation despite the fact that the wealth of the rich actually increased during the recession.

  • WetherspoonThree

    So the circus booed. At least some of the crowd knew who he was and thats some sort of progress. Osborne has that patrician habit of looking thoroughly disinterested when he is visiting yet another building site or hole in the ground. He also gives the impression that he is bored and that his ‘guide’ or ‘host’ doesn’t really know what their talking about. All this would be quite tolerable if the economy showed the slightest sign of life but unfortuanetly it appears to be in terminal decline with no hope of salvation. Osborne is obviously safe for now but like the coalition, ‘drinking at the last chance saloon’. By the way, the Lib Dems are a totally busted flush so it is the Conservatives who really need to get their act together although why anyone sane would vote for Labour, the party which caused this catastrophe, defeats me.

    • michael rearden

      I hope you are not refering to the Paralympics as a Circus W3????….When I was a child a circus was a place of clowns, entertainers….and what some people used to term as freaks ……If you are……Shame on you!!!!!

      • WetherspoonThree

        My views on the athletes participating in the paralympics are no different to those that took part in the Olympics last month. These are also quite similar to my views on the christians who provided the ‘entertainment’ in the collesium.

  • David Loudon

    What was more interesting was that Gordon Brown got applauded. What is going on here?

    • Nicholas

      Stupidity and the pervasive propaganda of the left that the media don’t bust wide open. We live in an authoritarian socialist country with a leftist mob baying and intimidating. As Blair boasted the Labour party is nothing less than the political wing of the British people as a whole.

      • michael rearden

        Could someone please remove Nicholas to an isolated Hebridean island so that he can be happy ruling his own little fascist fiefdom…..Democracy Nicholas ….of the people….by the people…..for the people…..not just for the Nicks of this world…..

        • IRISHBOY

          Knowingly or not, you prove Nicholas’ point exactly.

          • Gerry Boy

            Brilliant Nicholas: ‘We live in an authoritarian socialist country’. What a hilarious, absolutely unbelievable utterance. I assume you have some understanding of what these words mean; only no idea what they mean put together.

          • Nicholas

            It’s interesting how the Left always want to silence what they don’t want to hear, whether it’s censorship, the intimidation of Political Correctness (an invention of the left), locking people up for re-education or worse – or removing someone to an isolated Hebridean island. And how often when they churn out this censorious demand for conformity they throw about accusations of fascism.

            The greatest fascist threat to freedom and liberty in the West is currently from those on the left whose agenda is to control what people say, write and think.

            • davidagnew

              Oh my god. You people are hilarious. Left or right.

            • Pete

              I quite agree. The people of the Hebrides have done nothing to deserve having an such an idiot foisted on them. Osbourne got booed because the crowd are very knowledgeable about his policies towards the disabled in this country. I’m amazed he had the lack of self awareness to even show up at the paralympics.

        • IRISHBOY

          Knowingly or not, you prove Nicholas’ point exactly.

    • Dimoto

      It is the paralympics – chock full of Labour luvvies, social workers, the caring/counselling industry and people dependent on benefits.
      Osborne looked surprised – just another straw in the wind of how out-of-touch he is. Some “civil servant” probably fitted him up.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bill.rollinson1 Bill Rollinson

      Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling had worked a way out of the mess the bankers had put us in, Osborne cut that growth along with everything else! If the government’s intention was not to make capital from the paralypics, why send Osborne to dish out medals?

  • Paul

    The car salesman handing out the flowers looked pleased, probably owing to the fact that it’s his profession that’s usually associated with promises of quality products but delivering well worn and clapped out heaps. Go George…

  • Andy

    Hardly surprised. Osborne does not come over very well on the telly, but then again he doesn’t have a very pleasant message to give.

    It is not actually Osborne’s fault that the economy is in such a mess. It really is time our people grew up and actually realized that it was Labour and that idiot Gordon Brown, aided by the cretin Ed Balls, who f***** everything up. It will take more than a generation to sort the mess out, if it is even possible.

    The most important thing our people need to understand is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The State has to live within its means, and that is a fundamental point. In the last 40 years the State has outspent its income in 35 of those years. It has to be the other way around. And that means there must be more realistic expectations of what money can and cannot be spent and upon what. Unfortunately people do not want to hear these simple facts of life, but hear them they must.

    • http://twitter.com/fauxtronic Walker

      Except nobody is booing Osbourne for screwing up the economy. They are booing him due to the disparity in his cuts which disproportionately affect vulnerable groups – one of those groups being the disabled.

      The county where I reside (Staffordshire) offers some glaring examples of such disparity. A brand new hospital has been built with improved facilities. Countless more specialists have been hired, new MRI and CT scanners (and thus, radiologists) have been added to the existing line-up, and access to services whose failures tend to receive local press coverage due to the volume of patients using them (A&E, fracture clinic, etc.) have all improved and their waiting times slashed.

      Meanwhile, learning disability services have been cut, all NHS mental health respite centres in the county are being shut down, and audiology services are now offered in the community instead of the hospital. I have been personally affected by the latter because it means I must now wait up to 4-6 weeks for hearing aid maintenance (even when they have completely failed, leaving me totally deaf) whereas previously patients could be seen the same week – usually the same day if a HA had completely failed.

      The Deaf, the disabled, and people with learning disabilities and mental illnesses are overall less likely to complain than their able-bodied counterparts of course – partly because they are in a minority. So it’s no surprise that packing tens of thousands of affected people into a stadium finally gave them the voice they needed to express their discontent.

      • Andy

        What cuts ? Public expenditure is increasing, not decreasing. Please consult the Red Book.

        Your catalogue of woe may or may not be true but perhaps you could explain how all this can be paid for ? I would point out that the State will this year (like last, and the one before that and the one before that. . . ) borrow over £100 billion. So all these things you want, demand and think are yours as of right and not being paid for by taxation but by borrowed money. One assumes you are quite happy to leave your children and grandchildren a mountain of debt.

        • http://twitter.com/fauxtronic Walker

          I’m sorry you feel it necessary to resort to snide personal attacks. I don’t particularly care whether you believe my personal situation. I mentioned it to highlight what people with various disabilities are having to go through in my county right now, but all of the department-specific cuts I mentioned are quite easy to verify via Google results to Staffordshire local newspaper stories. Posting direct links here is futile because it results in comments being blackholed.

          As for which cuts: That would be the 1,349 full time posts (against a background of 53,000 jobs nationally) which must go at the UHNS as a direct consequence of government policy. Predictably (and as I have already demonstrated) hospital services for the disabled and vulnerable are being cut first and foremost to prevent degradation of more mainstream services. The point: That many of the people booing last night would have direct knowledge of cuts-related health inequalities such as this, and that is more than likely WHY they were booing, not because they blame Osborne for creating the current economic mess as you suggested.

          As for our children and grandchildren, the last thing I want to do is deprive them of universal health coverage and end up with an appalling American style system in which many disabled people are forced to suffer or turn to charities because health insurance doesn’t cover so many pre-existing conditions.

          • Andy

            I asked you specifically how you expected all the things you want, demand and think are yours as of right can be paid for. Answer comes there none. You might very well think that ‘the last thing I want to do is deprive them of universal health coverage’ but you simply fail to appreciate that it has to be paid for. The burden is falling on an ever diminishing group, and that group is the private sector. Without a vibrant private sector there will be no health coverage. There is only so much cloth: you might find that the coat which can be cut is not as generous as you demand.

            • http://twitter.com/fauxtronic Walker

              Andy, the funding of the National Health service is a complete red herring, and the questions you are demanding are a diversionary tactic. None of it has a jot to do with your original post about why George Osborne was booed at the Paralympics. Your assumptions there were flat out wrong, so why you expect me or anybody else to pay attention to your premonitions about the health system or engage in another tangential discussion just so you can be right about something are patently transparent. Regardless of how the health system is funded, regardless of any impending collapse you wish to predict, none of this justifies the current funding decisions which are to the detriment of vulnerable groups while benefiting others. If the cuts were implemented equally, all services would suffer equally but that is not the case.

            • http://www.facebook.com/bill.rollinson1 Bill Rollinson

              If he closed ALL the loop-holes used by tax dodgers he would gain an extra £95 billion a year. This is where the losses really are, as more and more people in blue collar work, earn more they fall into a category of loop holes and money goes missing from the system. What does Osborne do? He changes tax codes and alters the rate on company cars pushing people, unwittingly, into a higher tax band! He also cuts the benefits of the weak and disabled, freezes wage rises across the board and cuts 5p off the rate of tax you pay IF you earn more than £150k!

    • 2trueblue

      It is also interesting that people blame the present government for having the contract with ATOS. It was put in place by the last government Labour.
      The real problem is that we have lazy journalists who do not put the information in place when reporting. They are more interested in the negativity…. ‘As I have blogged before…’ If you keep telling people that it is ‘toxic’ they believe you. It would be good to have the information when the deal was set up. Enjoy the show, it is great and if some of the money is coming back, great.
      It is as you said, Osbourne was not one of the architects of our dire economic situation, we have Balls, Brown, Milliband, Blair, and Whelan to thank for our empty pockets.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bill.rollinson1 Bill Rollinson

        Labour set it up as a ‘pilot scheme’, without consulting any of the findings the coalition rolled it out across the country and upped the criteria!

      • http://www.facebook.com/bill.rollinson1 Bill Rollinson

        Labour set it up as a ‘pilot scheme’, without consulting any of the findings the coalition rolled it out across the country and upped the criteria!

    • John

      Funny, then, that while Osborne was being booed, Gordon Brown was being cheered by spectators in the aquatic centre.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bill.rollinson1 Bill Rollinson

      The most important thing our people need to understand is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. ……..The mantra of a typical Tory, as they are the only ones receiving a free feckin lunch! Labour, Brown or Balls were nowhere near Germany, France, AMERICA or all points east, for this is what you’re advocating, they were in charge of these countries as well?
      The most important thing our people need to understand is that there is no such thing as a DECENT Tory! And no such thing as an HONEST politician!

  • Guru Mckenzie

    Osborne and Cameron really are seen as being “useless and clueless”
    They are becoming less popular by the day
    12% down in polls at this stage means no outright Tory maj. in 2015 (no Labour one either)
    Cameron will walk when he doesn’t get an outright majority – who will the Tories select to replace him?

    • Mirtha Tidville

      Michael Gove

      • MatthewOgden

        God forbid…

    • Mark Thompson

      Nigel Farage?

  • Jamie

    No-one can say definitively what caused the booing – if hundreds of people booed, then each of those people could have their own reason. It could be a generalised carp about the economy – but then again probably not, as most people are not so stupid to think that the economy tanked after Osborne became Chancellor, that’s patently not true. It could be a carp about benefit changes – most people watch the news and know what’s happening, and the government has done a very poor job on presenting its changes, so everyone is seeing the genuinely disabled baby being thrown out but doesn’t even know that there was any not-really-very-incapacitated bathwater there in the first place.
    It could be that most people find politicians muscling in on sporting events annoying and distasteful (except where there is a clear and relevant link, a la Coe or Johnson).
    Perhaps – this would have been my personal beef were I there – that they had paid good money to soak up a rare and joyous atmosphere, a perfect distraction from the annoyances of everyday life, only to have their bubble pricked by the perfect reminder of the reality awaiting them afterwards (no pay rise, inflation eating their disposable, rude awakenings, long commutes). Perhaps some just don’t like Tories, but then again chances are that up to half the crowd were Tory voters, so it seems unlikely, and again this did not apply to Coe or Johnson.
    It could be any of these things and more underlying each booer’s boo – but only one thing is undeniable. All the booers just didn’t like George Osborne. His perceived inexperience is underlined by his man-boy looks. He looks like he’s dressed and combed each morning by his mother, and arouses the sense in people that they toil each day to be lectured to and taxed by a man who’s never known hard work and life’s everyday struggles. He smiles the politician’s fake smile with his mouth but not his eyes. He is the last person most voters would want to drink a pint with, and his pallor extrapolates to a damp, limp handshake, perhaps even an unwelcome double glazing salesman with hosed-on aftershave and hallitosis trying to squeeze his unpolished pointy shoes across the threshold. And did I mention his utterly untrustworthy eyes?
    I support the deficit reduction programme. I fancy modern London life has not entirely robbed me of my manners either. I might or might not have joined in the booing had I been there, but I would certainly have laughed at it and thought he had it coming. An idiot booked him and an idiot in his office accepted.

    • Mark Thompson

      He wants to cover the greenbelt with concrete – good enough reason to boo.

  • Nicholas

    The booing was the baaing of sheep led by the leftist media, none of it of any substance. Just the shallow soundbites of the left and Labour taking root. I don’t despise Osborne. I despise the ignorant Left-led mob that drives so much “politics” here. No one stands up to them, defies them or rams the million and one home truths of Labour failure, corruption, hypocrisy and fascism down their stupid throats.

    • Sara

      Erm, sweetheart, I think you just heard people making their views plain. Its not sheep, there was no leading. It was a spontaneous and – actually – good natured expression of disapproval.

      • Nicholas

        Then please explain which sheep in a flock “lead” the baaing. I’m no fan of Osborne but this is all just a leftist-Labour agenda as usual.

        And don’t call me “sweetheart”.

        • Sara

          Sweetheart, pipe down :)

          • Nicholas

            Why should I pipe down? Because some left-wing cow thinks she knows better? And why do lefties always seem to think that using a familiar diminutive like “sweetheart” is a way to put someone else down? Do you learn that at lefty troll school? You all do it.

            Moronic.

            • taustin

              Nicholas, how about this then: chill the f**k out.
              All this paranoid ranting about the “left” and “lefties” is making you look silly.

              • Nicholas

                No, I won’t. And unfortunately it is not paranoid ranting – if only it were. This thread has attracted the usual socialist mob who cannot bear anyone expressing an opinion that does not conform to theirs.

                Well, tough shit.

            • Gerry Boy

              More Nicolas please! He makes me laugh so much. Thats right Nicolas Britain is a socialist paradise and the thought police of the left are coming to get you. By the way The Spectator is in on the whole thing and part of the leftist conspiracy.

              • Nicholas

                It’s Nicholas. And its not a socialist paradise but more a socialist shithole.

          • Nicholas

            Why should I pipe down? Because some left-wing cow thinks she knows better? And why do lefties always seem to think that using a familiar diminutive like “sweetheart” is a way to put someone else down? Do you learn that at lefty troll school? You all do it.

            Moronic.

      • Paddy

        Oh dear, the Lefties have taken over the Spectator again!

        I think their crowing may be short-lived.

        Just wait until Miliplonker starts to show his face again.

        Just like Gordon……his poll ratings will go down.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dor.hulse Dor Hulse

      Well said Nicholas…..Mr Osborne should have thrown the medals into the crowd.

    • adornoetal

      Labour don’t represent the ‘left’

      • Nicholas

        Ridiculous comment.

        • Tony

          fact

          • Nicholas

            No. All three mainstream parties now represent the left.

    • Tony

      Osborne is putting in place an economic system that robs the poor and disabled, and gives to the rich. And you support him.
      That is fascism.

      • Nicholas

        Another ridiculous comment. I see Labour’s trolls have scented blood and are out in force.

        • Andy

          The Labour Party should be made a proscribed organisation considering the damage it did to our country.

    • Airey Belvoir

      The booing can be partly explained by the make-up of the crowd on a working day in September, likely to have a fair component of benefit scroungers and public sector skivers, all with a vested interest in Brownian spending levels. Politicians should keep well away from medal ceremonies anyway, as they are seen to be grandstanding in their own interests, Leave it to the Royals and officials.

      • MatthewOgden

        Wow don’t you just love your fellow man, dinner time at your house must be a barrel of laughs.

      • Nicholas

        Yes, all the usual suspects. That’s why that idiot Brown was cheered. They have flocked here too.

  • Marcus

    Isabel, who exactly said that Osbourne was being booed for anything other than his poor handling of the economy? The idea that people booed because the coalition are tackling the dreadful state of incapacity benefit is the sort or thing a North London Guardian writer addressing their own psychology would write. For goodness sake, the mother behind you even said why people were booing.
    You may jeapordise writing part time for the Guardian in the future and possible tv jobs, but if you carry on writing non-Spectator BBC-ist crap you certainly won’t get far here. D’ancona, Johnson and Dellingpole do ok. Why don’t you get on the big team for the big win and stop regurgitating drivel we can easily read and watch elsewhere. You seem nice, you like cricket and I genuinely don’t want to be rude, but do come on, this is the Spectator for Christ’s sakes!

    • Alan Eastwood

      I think this is quite a disgraceful attack on Ms Hardman.
      I was quite amazed that Osborne put himself in the position of presenting the medals. He just does not get it does he. In an event for disabled athletes it was inevitable that such a stupid move by this most arrogant of politicians would be met by some form of abuse. He got it and deserved it.
      But then, Marcus, to get abusive to Ms Hardman is a disgrace. You badly spelt missive was unfair and deserves an apology. I can well understand why ConHome are careful on what contributors write. I urge CoffeeHouse to consider moving to the same arrangements.
      Lastly, please do not take the Lords name in vain.

    • David

      I do not feel that a personal attack on the author of this article adds anything to the discussion surrounding this event. I think that there is something unpleasant about telling people how they should think or react to an issue, particularly when the author experienced it first hand and can, consequently, give a more involved, first hand analysis of what occurred.

      I think that it is a reasonable assumption that many outside observers of the booing, whatever paper they read, will assume that much of it is due to the recent, well publicised events regarding disability, such as the ATOS sponsorship and benefit cut protests.

      As Ms Hardman states, there is more to it than that (‘it’s complicated’), which includes the relatively poor shape of the economy. Jamie has some good points below on this.

      There are many, many reasons why you would not want to pay for a bit of escapism, fun and patriotism, only to find that you are paying to watch George Osborne engaging in, what many might view as, a cheap PR move to associate himself with a more positive view towards disability.

      • Marcus

        David and Alan
        Eastwood
        I think the author is a very talented and hard working
        writer. However the post is left wing and this is a right wing
        weekly, my criticisms were partly tongue in cheek.

        Jamie, above gives a
        good account of why or why not Osborne my have been booed.
        That an
        audience of thousand who paid hundreds of pounds for a ticket and
        have the means to stay in London, would boo someone who is not even
        responsible for changing the incapacity benefit is unlikely.

        If the audience did boo
        because Osborne is seen as the man who is responsible for
        shortcomings in the overhaul of incapacity benefits (which he is not)
        then this highlights the need for the right wing media to hit back
        with facts and figures to challenge this. If that is not the job of
        the Spectator, then whose is it?

        As a right wing weekly,
        should we not highlight a few of the points below:

        1. There is
        increasing evidence that not working is detrimental to your mental
        and physical health.

        To take people off job
        seekers allowance and fund them on incapacity benefits that could be
        withdrawn if the claimant does not exhibit consistent signs of
        incapacity, is a terrible thing to do.

        Yet the numbers on this
        benefit swelled over the last 10 years. The major scandal is that
        people did not boo Brown for encouraging this in order to massage
        unemployment figures.

        2. The Left wing media
        will endlessly focus on the mistakes ATOS makes, but it is up to the
        right wing media to highlight the previous pernicious system, the
        oppositions opportunistic stance on the issue, to draw attention to its
        successes and the necessity for change in the system.

        4. The incapacity
        benefit is desperately unpopular with swathes of the public, as it
        has been somewhere to park the unemployed whilst doing little to help
        people get back in to work and it served to institutionalise many who
        could and should work. In doing so it has stigmatised the disabled, a
        desperately underhand thing to have done.

  • Daniel Maris

    Wow! – is the message finally getting through to the Spectator? Osborne is a bleedin’ liability! He always was, but even more so now that no one can dress up his mishandling of the economy as anything else but a complete failure.

    It’s difficult to think of a worse choice as Chancellor. For that, Cameron is to blame but generally speaking the public are quite well disposed to him, more for sentimental reasons than anything else I think.

  • Thomas Paine

    Yet Cameron won’t sack him. ‘All in this together’ I suppose.

  • Archimedes

    “an economy which anyone in the stadium could have told you is not in good shape at all.”

    I disagree, it’s in wonderful shape – just needs a bit of TLC, you know?

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