Another disgusting Tory wants to exploit the vulnerable..

Jun 18th, 2011 | Filed under Politics

I’m not going to get into the finer detail of why, but suffice it to say that Philip Davies MP’s proposals to “bend” the minimum wage in the case of the most vulnerable in society get me more angry than any other political issue. For entirely selfish reasons, I’m sure, I believe that protection of the mentally handicapped (a phrase I use with many years of practice and nothing but affection) against the disgusting ambitions of the Tories is the most important thing we should be doing.

Anyway.. Makes me pretty angry.. But more than that, I’m shocked at how he’s been allowed to get away with saying some of what he has. The BBC’s article on his suggestion starts as follows:

A Conservative MP has suggested “vulnerable” jobseekers – including disabled people – should be allowed to work for less than the minimum wage.

But it’s not the jobseekers who are prohibited from working for less than the minimum wage. The law isn’t in place to stop them doing it. It’s in place to stop employers from paying less, so really the article should read as follows:

A Conservative MP has suggested that employers should be allowed to pay “vulnerable” jobseekers – including disabled people – less than the minimum wage.

So what we’re really saying here is that if you’re “vulnerable”, then companies should be allowed to “exploit” you for “increased profit”. What an admirable approach!

He seems to be saying that businesses discriminate against the disabled. This is true. His proposed solution? To sell the disabled into exploitation in order to bribe businesses to employ them. He justifies this by saying that we should pay no attention to whether something is right or wrong, and need to instead work pragmatically with the world in which we live.

Bullshit. If the world is wrong, then far from adapting to it, we must change it. If people seeking employment are being discriminated against, then we shouldn’t be trying to bribe businesses not to do that with the offer of cheap labour, we should be attacking those businesses and forcing them to behave in a way befitting a civilised enterprise.

Trying to bribe businesses into employing people by removing employee protections is a very typically Tory thing to do. I’m unhappy enough with it when it comes to exploiting the poor, but when it comes to exploiting the disabled, trying to fashion them into the Tory definition of “productive members of society” by underselling their labour to businesses, I dare them to try it. See what happens when you pay for employment figures with the sweat of the vulnerable.

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