Friday, 31 August 2012

Where The Wind Blows: Did they protest against Atos?

It has been reported today that the hiding of the Atos-branded lanyards by the entire GB paralympic contingent at the Opening Ceremony was not a protest after all. It was simply, the official explanation says, because the wind was causing the lanyards and badges to blow around too much, and the GB contingent therefore tucked them into their clothing.

Leaving aside the vital political aspects of this whole Atos affair for a moment, let's simply consider just how believable this official explanation is.

Firstly, the paralympians from almost all the other countries had their lanyards prominently showing, though there were a few individual exceptions. Presumably the inconvenient wind was blowing for everyone else as well?

Secondly, while people do make clothing adjustments in response to the weather, those adjustments are very variable. The most one can observe is a tendency. See for yourself. Whatever the weather is today, get out in the streets and look. Say it's chilly and wet. While you can see a tendency for people to wear warm and water-resistant clothing, by no means everyone does. In a sample of two or three hundred people, some (for various reasons, such as lack of forethought, personal preference, fashion and so on) will buck the trend.

To issue an official explanation for the GB paralympic contingent, numbering about 300 physically and mentally tough people, hiding their lanyards because of a bit of wind, is to insultingly assume a degree of credulousness in the public of 100%, or close to.

Isn't it far more likely there is another more unifying explanation than the weather?

As to what that explanation really is, we wait for better evidence.
Meanwhile, for me the most likely explanation given the known facts and observations is: the GB Paralympic Team were protesting against Atos and more especially the employers of Atos, the Department for Work and Pensions.

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