Davies, Disability and Demolishing National Minimum Wage

17 06 2011

I am not ashamed to put my hands up and say I HAVE A DISABILITY.

It’s not the one I lived a decade believing it was. It didn’t suddenly come on. I was born that way… I will die that way… I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have been a higher rate tax payer, conversely I have spent some time relying on sickness related welfare benefits when I was ill. I’ve had high paid jobs and low paid jobs. I have more qualifications than your average university lecturer and I have worked in some of the most desirable professions in the world.

Philip Davies MP

Philip Davies MP. MP Stands for Moronic Prick

Now I’m being told by Philip Davies MP for Shipley, in a climate of growing unemployment, reduced availability of jobs and downright oppressive behaviour towards the most vulnerable, that should I happen to be looking for work and should I be up against a non-disabled person, I should sell myself short by offering to take less than the National Minimum Wage of £5.93.

National Living Wage is suggested as being in the region of £7.60 for non London residents or £7.85 for the over inflated prices of the Capital. National Living Wage is not enshrined in law, it’s merely a suggestion, and a lefty one  at that, according to some.  Already NMW is almost £2 short of the necessary living wage and Davies would expect someone, purely on the basis of a sickness or disability to take even less?

Then of course, lets not forget the welfare cuts for those worst off. Help for those on NMW such as housing benefits being capped or scrapped means that if you get less money but work X amount of time you’re going to end up unentitled to any further support and in relative poverty. Or should that be even more poverty than relative poverty as NMW kindly keeps you in relative poverty.

The Mirror were the first to run with the news of his latest moronic statement that disabled people should accept less than national minimum wage to get their foot on the first rung of the ladder, but it had already spread like wildfire across the twitter masses.

Disabled campaigners have spent the time since May 2010 working so hard to try to promote an environment of equality, especially in the face of Tory adversity and they are then hit with more ridiculous moronic statements. When there is already a notable increase in violence towards disabled people who are being promoted by the media as scroungers, liars and fraudsters, how will the job seekers react if they believe they miss out on a job because a disabled person undercut their wage bill?

If two people are going for a National Minimum Wage Job, neither are likely to be particularly well off and neither are likely to be able to leap from industry to industry, job to job, as they feel like it. The whole statement reeks of typical Tory ignorance. And as the media demonised those from other countries working in the UK, now the government and the journalists in their silk-lined pockets too will demonise those from within the UK looking for work. Those who have had all their state support withdrawn for being fit for work, regardless of what their own doctor says, will now be demonised and alienated more by their fellow job seekers for stealing their jobs too.

And Philip Davies who made the initial outrageous suggestion, claims on Twitter, that it was people with learning disabilities who told him they wanted this system in place, while he visited Mental Health charity MIND. Davies later responds to the Twitter outrage by claiming “Left wing hysteria now dictates that you can’t even repeat what people with learning disabilities tell you if it questions their shibboleths.”

So the Right-wing disabled job seekers must be ok with this suggestion then. I would be interested to hear from someone who was looking for work and fits this criteria and is happy to work for less than their colleagues doing the same job.

My disgust at the statement has nothing to do with political ideology and more to do with a) equality, b) morality and c) legality.

I’m sure there are multiple laws that would need amended at a ridiculous cost to ensure this was possible. I guess it’s a good way of getting rid of equalities law though. Two broken birds, one stone… or something.

A quick phone call to the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability to find out what their take on it was, “………..” < long silence, then “shocking.” SCLD spend a lot of time promoting ability over disability and what Davies is suggesting is that ability isn’t what disabled people should be offered the job on; merely their willingness to take less pay as otherwise they won’t be offered the job.

There is only so much victimisation one group of people can take. It’s disgusting to see disabled people so demonised by the government and the media. They have become the scapegoats for all the political problems of the country. Hell, you get an easier time being an immigrant in Britain these days and that’s really saying something.

And with attitudes like Davies, things are only going to get worse.

The Tories are yet again turning the people of Britain against each other.

Big Society my arse, soon there will be no society… sound familiar?





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