Paralympics: George Osborne booed

Getting booed at the Paralympics must be the highlight of George Osborne’s murky career:

Nye Bevan had it right:

“That is why no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party that inflicted those bitter experiences on me. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin. They condemned millions of first-class people to semi-starvation. Now the Tories are pouring out money in propaganda of all sorts and are hoping by this organised sustained mass suggestion to eradicate from our minds all memory of what we went through. But, I warn you young men and women, do not listen to what they are saying now. “

Update 1: Huff Post contrasts Gordon Brown’s reception with that of Osborne’s.

Update 2: Even Cameron was jeered.

Update 3: Very little mainstream media coverage, but Sky News has it.

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Daniel Roque Hall

The plight of Daniel Roque Hall needs examining particularly during the time of the Paralympics:

“Roque Hall suffers from Friedreich’s ataxia, an inherited disease that causes damage to the nervous system. It limits the movement in his limbs, affects his heart and makes it hard for him to swallow. The full run-down of his health issues includes Type 1 diabetes, cardiomyopathy, hypotension, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, leg and back spasms resulting in insomnia, a spastic bladder, and previous depression leading to two suicide attempts.

Daniel needs 24-hour care, including two carers to transfer him from chair to chair with a mobile hoist; insulin injections; five tests of blood glucose a day; toileting; turning in bed to avoid pressure sores; someone present when drinking to stop him choking; an exercise regime to prevent the development of contractions; the drug Warfarin; help with dressing himself; and manipulation and exercise to maintain muscle activity. He will die from his disease, but the exercises, in particular, help lessen his suffering. He is 29 years old and at best, he has 10 years to live.”

The Kilburn Times has more:

“Mrs Hall claims she was not told about her son’s collapse until 24 hours later.

She also says prison bosses failed to inform the High Court that he had been hospitalised during an appeal hearing which took place the day after.

Mrs Hall, who is campaigning for her son to be released and go under house arrest, added: “They took my son to intensive care, lied in court and didn’t even tell me until 24 hours later.

“Daniel has always accepted what he has done; he deserves to be punished but not to die.”

A petition with more than 1,000 signatures has been handed to the prison and earlier this month around 40 friends held a noisy protest outside the prison gates to campaign against his treatment.

A prison service spokesman said they would not comment on individual cases.

He added: “We have a duty of care to those sentenced to custody by the courts. As part of that duty of care, we ensure that prisoners have access to the same level of NHS services as those in the community.” “

Ludwig Guttmann And The Paralympics

I wouldn’t normally touch upon this subject, but my curiosity was piqued by the Paralympics. I didn’t know the origins of them or the background to Ludwig Guttmann.

There is a piece at the Science museum, all too brief and incomplete:

“Ludwig Guttmann was a Jewish neurosurgeon who left Nazi Germany with his family in 1939. In Britain he became director of the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, where he helped soldiers with disabilities rehabilitate, and established the Paralympic Games.

At the Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Guttmann tried new methods to treat patients with spinal injuries and paralysis sustained in the war. Exercise was used as therapy to help the patients develop strong upper bodies, as they could not walk. Patients were subjected to a gruelling regime of competitive activity, designed to make them psychologically as well as physically strong.

Guttmann watched wheelchair patients use walking sticks to play with a ball and devised a sport called wheelchair polo. The players suffered severe injuries most of the times they played, so did not play the game for long. Then Guttmann tried archery and netball as sports for disabled veterans in wheelchairs. They were a great success as the men at the spinal injuries hospital were able to practise these sports regularly.

On the same day as the Olympics opened in London in 1948, the first Stoke Mandeville Games were held. In 1960 the Olympics were held in Rome, and Goodman arranged for wheelchair athletes to compete in a ‘parallel’ Olympics. The name was shortened to the Paralympics, and now athletes with a wide range of disabilities represent their country every four years.”

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