Tuesday, October 03, 2006

George Osborne should be utterly ashamed of himself. And so should Mary Ann Sieghart

Gideon "George" Osbourne, Tory toff and Shadow Chancellor, wants to have a debate with the Tory right about tax cuts because it will show that the party is changing. What he doesn't want to do is have a debate about his use of the word autistic as a term of political abuse towards his opponents, in this case Gordon Brown.

It wasn't all Osbourne's fault. The word was put into his mouth by the Blairite journalist Mary Ann Sieghart who has penned her own piece justicative HERE.

Sieghart, who was once so close to Mr Tony as to aspire to a job in the No 10 policy unit, gaily reassures us that "autistic" is an epithet that "plenty of politicians and journalists" have used about the Chancellor. "He does, after all, have an obsessive personality and rather low emotional intelligence. That is why the audience laughed: Mr Osborne’s joke resonated with them."

In other words, because it's Gordon Brown we're attacking, that's okay then.

For my part, I prefer the verdict of Nick Hornby, father of a 13-year-old autistic son, who said: "George Osborne doesn't seem to have noticed that most people over the age of eight no longer use serious and distressing disabilities as a way of taunting people."

If this is the "modern, inclusive" face of the Tory Party, it is clear that it still has a very long way to go.

October 5 Update: Sieghart has now written another piece in defence of her actions in which she blames the whole thing on Evening Standard Political Editor Joe Murphy, one of the finest reporters in the Parliamentary Lobby.

I know who I'd rather believe....

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20 comments:

Toque said...

Is autistic and worse than 'pschologically flawed'?

Richard Bailey said...

It's absolutely hideous, I know. Almost as bad as basing your entire political outlook on the incitement of class hatred.

Paul Linford said...

I do enjoy your visits Richard.

theinjuredcyclist said...

Have you read Praguetory's article on this?

Richard Bailey said...

I enjoy coming and hope you won't ban me! The quality of your writing makes disagreeing with you an almost pleasurable experience.
Everything I write is always said with a wry smile!
Your welcome on mine anytime but time to leave that "Tory Toff" rubbish behind once and for all.

Anonymous said...

For Fucks sake grow up Paul and give the PC crap a rest.

People are just sick and tired of every word,phrase,expression being analysed by PC freaks like you,hence,the enormous popularity of shows like litte britain.

UK Daily Pundit said...

Tory toff, Labour toff, Times toff, they get what they deserve. Now I know what it must have been like in the old days before they banned bear baiting. These days I have to go to Romania to get my kicks.

uk daily pundit said...

Tory toff, Labour toff, Times toff, they get what they deserve. Now I know what it must have been like in the old days before they banned bear baiting. These days I have to go to Romania to get my kicks.

Anonymous said...

Paul, aren't ye gettin ye knickers in a wee twist, man?

Stephen Rouse said...

I'm not sure what country Anonymous (the first one) is living in, but it's not the same as the rest of us. Far from "every word, phrase and expression being analysed by PC freaks" the situation is the reverse. You cannot point out that an expression might be offensive without an outcry that you are "just being PC", as though that is enough to legitimise the original abuse. Where do you draw the line Anonymous? If "autistic" is a legitimate insult, presumably "spastic" would be too? Political Correctness is simply a chimaera created by those who would take us back to the days when racist, homophobic and other discriminatory taunts were commonplace. And Little Britain is rubbish.

Anonymous said...

I like your writing Paul, but sometimes I really think you ought to get out more often.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. You're far more sensible on Iain Dale's blog.
I assume this was for your leftie friends.

Mike Ion said...

You have clerly hit a nerve here Paul - well done. The comments were crass and pathetic. It is not about being PC it is about people like Osborne delibertately picking a fight with Brown in an attempt to provoke him into a response. As you say, Nick Hornby's comments capture the feeling of most people more than adequately.

Little Black Sambo said...

Pretty spastic post, Paul.

Anonymous said...

Osborne made an unguarded quip in poor taste after a journalist asked him a question- I think you are a bit hasty to condemn- the man is a human being yes he was stupid to say it but Seighart is the complete idiot she brought it up and she is the fool. He probably regretted it as soon as it came out his mouth- I know I have said plenty of things I regretted as soon as they came out of my mouth and he is probably the same. The real scandal is that he will cut taxes and teh services for autistic people.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with Anonymous at 1:40 AM
How many of us can truely say that we have never said such things as "he's is a bit mad, isn't he" or "he's got a screw loose" when we talk before we think?

But then again, this bout of moral self-righteousness is what Labour activists are well known for.

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