Osborne: Ignorant and harmful [Image: PA].

Osborne really is a buffoon of the lowest order.

Almost exactly two months since Labour was divided over a comment Ken Livingstone made about the mental health of a colleague, Osborne has voiced a similar jibe about the shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

The anger over Livingstone’s claim that Kevan Jones “might need some psychiatric help” faded after it was discovered that Mr Jones, who had been angered because he has been treated for mental illness in the past, had voiced a similar comment in the House of Commons after receiving that treatment.

The consensus opinion was that any comment that belittles the condition of people with real mental health problems is ignorant and harmful, and anyone who gives voice to it is to be reprimanded.

Labour has learnt its lesson the hard way.

Luciana Berger is absolutely right to teach it to Osborne. It’s just a shame he is a poor student.

George Osborne should apologise for “flippant remarks” he made in parliament about mental health, Labour’s shadow mental health minister has said.

Speaking to MPs on Tuesday, the chancellor joked that the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, and the former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, had both “lost their marbles” – referring to the Elgin Marbles and to Labour’s plans to hold a series of open seminars about economics.

In an open letter to the chancellor, Labour’s shadow minister for mental health, Luciana Berger – who sits in the shadow cabinet – expressed her “deep disappointment” at the comments.

“Mental health affects one in four of us at any time, yet people with mental health problems still face stigma, prejudice and discrimination,” she wrote. “Flippant remarks such as those you chose to use today only serve to reinforce the gap in understanding.

“Colleagues on all sides of the House have made great strides in recent years to help challenge the misconceptions and dispel the myths that still surround mental health. Your comments do a great disservice to those efforts.”

Source: Osborne’s ‘lost marbles’ taunt reinforces mental health stigma, says Labour | Society | The Guardian

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