Evening Standard editor George Osborne took to Twitter on 28 November to launch his newspaper’s Christmas appeal. The former chancellor tweeted a picture of the paper’s front page. The headline read Help Feed London’s Hungry Children. Osborne tweeted:
Today’s @EveningStandard: we launch our Xmas appeal, with @felixprojectuk charity, to tackle hunger in the capital – with your support we aim to reach 120 schools & 50,000 children.
Today’s @EveningStandard: we launch our Xmas Appeal, with @felixprojectuk charity, to tackle hunger in the capital – with your support we aim to reach 120 schools & 50,000 children. Also in the paper @tombradby on the royals & trouble over Brexit studies & Roy Foster on Ireland pic.twitter.com/hd16jLNCa0
— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) November 28, 2017
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A lack of self awareness?
Osborne, of course, was the chancellor who inflicted six years of austerity on the nation between 2010 and 2016. During that time, billions were cut from local services, welfare, child protection and other key areas. In the same period, food bank use rose dramatically.
In 2010, there were only 56 food banks in the country. By late 2015, that number had risen to 445, an increase of nearly 700%. The number of people forced to access food banks to fend off starvation rose from 40,000 in 2010 to over half a million in 2016. The net effect of this was a huge surge in child poverty. All this occurred on Osborne’s watch.
Predictably, Twitter was quick to point out Osborne’s lack of shame. Replies ranged from the factual:
Food bank use rose to more than twenty times its previous level while you were chancellor.
— Ian Evans (@snavenai) November 28, 2017
To the sarcastic:
Just a hunch George but cutting benefits to the bone and freezing wages for 7 years might have contributed substantially to families struggling to feed themselves.
— Wayne Smith #FBPE (@waynesmith1971) November 28, 2017
To the hilarious:
and next week Vlad the Impaler begins his xmas campaign for Amnesty International
— Shins1874 (@Shins1874) November 28, 2017
While still others responded with open loathing:
You simply have no shame do you?
— Graeme White (@Greyz10) November 28, 2017
if only somebody in charge of fiscal policy between the years 2010 and 2016 could have done something about this
— Fascination Tweet (@ppazuzu) November 28, 2017
I’m actually lost for words that you of all people think it’s acceptable to tweet that.
You caused it.
— Sharon Gathercole (@Sharonwifey) November 29, 2017
Osborne may have left politics for now, but it is clear that his role in creating austerity Britain has not been forgotten. He can try to hide behind his new role, but the public will not let him off. If Osborne seeks acceptance, he must accept responsibility for what he has done.
– Read more Canary articles about austerity here.
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