Friday, 17 June 2011

Tory MP suggests Sick & Disabled work for less than Min Wage

And so it begins.

No-one ever seriously doubted that Conservatives would challenge the Minimum Wage the minute they got into power.

Despite it being the most popular and effective policy introduced by Labour during their term in office, despite it ensuring a minimum level of security for everyone, we were all just waiting for this government to start trying to persuade us that it "constrained free markets" "held back business" or was simply "un-necessary regulation"

Even I didn't expect them to argue that sick or disabled people should work below minimum wage because they are "less productive" though. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/06/17/tory-mp-philip-davies-suggests-disabled-people-offer-to-work-for-below-minimum-wage-115875-23207976/  Whatever attempts Philip Davies MP (Con) makes to dress this up as actually being in the interests of disabled people themselves, he obviously can't see how sickeningly frightening his remarks are.

Of ALL the solutions to the problems of a fair wage, equality of employment and access to suitable jobs for sick or disabled people, paying people less simply to pander to the discrimination of employers is wrong in every way.

I've heard lot's of people say, "Oh, it's OK, the bill won't pass."

That it is even being given time in our Parliament fills me with dread.

60 comments:

  1. I quite agree with you. That attitude being voiced in parliament is sickening in itself; this needs to be rebuffed solidly, and vociferously, so the MP in question realises quite how disgusting he is being.

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  2. Oh, further, what about equal work for equal pay? That's a rule these days, right (barring increments for different experience and so on)? So for Davies's plan for the disabled to do what he claims (if it ever could), they'd have to get rid of that, too.

    Barring minor premiums for experience, any two candidates would have to be paid the same, as the law stands, minimum wage or no minimum wage. Only people who can generally negotiate in those situations are contractors bidding or canvassing, not prospective employees.

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  3. ChrisBracken17 June 2011 14:02

    On his Twitter timeline Davies is defending himself by saying those with learning disabilities suggested it to him and asking if they were callous in that suggestion.

    No, Mr Davies, they weren't being callous: merely misguided. YOU on the other hand, theoretically a responsible lawmaker, are being callous by seriously raising such an inhumane proposal in in our legislature.

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  4. Hey what next? Brink back the workhouses, but only for those who 'choose' to go into them.

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  5. I honestly didn't think this Bill would get past first reading. It shocks me that it has and I'm gobsmacked that Philip Davies think disabled people should work for less. It's hideous thought. Why not just say what they really think - that we're all worthless and should go in gas chamber.

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  6. This is the first I've heard of the Employment Opportunities bill. Gonna have a root around.

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  7. ChrisBracken: yes, it is hard to escape the suggestion that those with learning disabilities might be less likely to realise that something wasn't really in their best interests. Even ignoring that, in any disadvantaged group there will be people who, for whatever reason, collaborate deliberately or accidentally with the persecution of the group.

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  8. Ah http://munguinsrepublic.blogspot.com/ has something on it. I like that blog; I got a huge amount of hits when they linked to me.

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  9. Looking at the bill, it's disgusting and broken in all sorts of ways. Asylum seekers (and in theory other foreign nationals not entitled to work, apart from the details of the exceptions) wouldn't be prevented from working - as long as they're in detention. Sounds like attempt to get around human rights concerns on effectively-forced labour of people in asylum detention.

    I could almost believe the Tories want to put Labour on the wrong side of the debate, paint them as preferring to pay welfare than let people work, but keep themselves seeming sensitive by being on both sides, at least softly; that's why they gave it time, perhaps.

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  10. Sorry Sue, beyond this I cannot comment at the moment, I am normally calm and rational, but I am literally shaking with anger. The heartless worthless piece of ....!

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  11. What a rocky road, when would it end would you say to someone in wheelchair well you are less productive as you are slowly in getting around or take longer to go to the bathroom? Or to the obese person doing a physical job need to take a pay cut?

    Didnt this kind of thing happen years ago? There was a time when women were paid much less than men for the same work as deemed not worth it.

    If he had said young black males should offer a pay cut to get themselves into work force they are proportional more absent from there would be uproar!!

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  12. The Tories are a disgusting lot who flower their nastiness to come out smelling like roses. They are hypocritical, two faced, and do nothing for people and only look towards how to increase the earnings of the rich and if you are disabled like many of us are then they will hound you to death. I suppose they think its better then putting us all in a gas chamber is to slowly kill us and hope nobody notices it

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  13. It's good of Mr Davies to promote employment for the mentally ill and leading by example is a wonderful thing but perhaps he should fire the obvious loony he has making policy suggestions for him :-)

    BB

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  14. It is sickening sue and I'm also hearing that the next agenda by the conservatives for the sick and disabled will be sterilisation as i have often herd them make that sort of remark in private so things in going forward for the sick and disabled are going to pretty grim whilst the Conservatives are in power

    You always have to remember to understand in that what they talk about in private is the key not what they talk about in public as what's talked about in private is the true agenda

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  15. medical model all over again, an island of our very own soon

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  16. And what about those with mental health conditions that push them through cycles of higher than average productivity?

    Whatever. I wouldn't piss on Davies if he was on fire.

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  17. crying, yes a grown man crying, is it anger or frustration. i cant believe what i am reading the other lot should be crying out for his head and the tories. when is it going to stop only in death i fear

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  18. You know, I was starting to feel guilty about being a long-term benefit claimant. But sod it. If that's the way they want it, then that's the way it's gonna be.

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  19. How low can the Tories sink?

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  20. Mr Philip Davies MP (Con) has shown himself through these remarks to have little compassion or understanding for those in this country in most need of the benefits system. His ignorance is frighteningly profound.
    For instance, if such measures were to present themselves to disabled workers as the only viable means of acquiring employment, how low would wages be capped then as a minimum, and what possible logic could be deemed both suitable and acceptable to justify this? This would set a dangerous precedent for other areas of equal pay legislation to be revoked or tampered with.
    His attempts to disguise this as in the interests of the disabled are both derogatory and ignorantly inhumane.

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  21. Let's not forget who played an instrumental part in legitimising this vilification and dehumanising of the sick and disabled a few days ago to pander to the right-wing press: Mr. Ed Miliband the Labour Leader.

    Both parties are completely corrupt and are working together against us.

    The ruling class who all three main parties serve, have decided to liquidate the welfare state. They never wanted it, and they feel the time is right now to get rid of it.

    It doesn't matter whether we vote in Labour at the next general election, they will continue advancing the programme; by stealth if necessary.

    We do not live in a democracy. This is a Plutocracy with a sophisticated democratic facade.

    We have to face the truth and be pragmatic if we are going to survive. What we need to do if we are to survive is to set up a "cooperative - run by us, staffed by us, paying us" to quote Dombed.

    We need to organise it from here now, a viable business that makes allowances for our unique circumstances and limitations caused by our illnesses and disabilities, tailored for our individual requirements, and work together to compensate for our individual illnesses and disabilities.

    Even if we only made enough money to pay ourselves the minimum wage it would be better than what the ruling class has planned for us.

    The British public would likely be appalled if they were presented with the full facts of the dire situation the sick and disabled are in and how we are mistreated, but they will not be presented with the full facts, because our media is not free or fair, it is owned by the same people who prefer us to die than have to "waste" money on keeping the "weak, feeble and unproductive alive; the ruling class.

    Their media will not report it when we die due to being denied our benefits and being unable to work, they will continue to hide the truth and present a demonised "benefit scrounger" caricature of us.

    Every moment we waste trying to appeal to the common decency, empathy and compassion of the politicians that they do not have, is time and energy wasted that could be spent brainstorming what kind of business we could set up and to start organising it. The posters we have here are intelligent enough to come up with something.

    "Our lives are in their hands - do you WANT it to stay like that? grovelling and begging for every pathetic scrap they throw us?" - S.Marsh

    Either we start to help ourselves and each other now, or we are dead.

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  22. I hear you nano and in complete agreement, it needs doing now not waiting for scraps to fall our way. I am with you 100%

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  23. My God - how low is this guy?

    To think its us that regualrly get castigated as benefit scroungers/scum/lowlifes etc etc etc & this prat wants us to work for flippin peanuts?

    He clearly cannot accept that its the beloved employers that simply WON'T employ a disabled person because of the rich pickings on offer! I would wager that some of us a very well qualified for the jobs applied for but adaptations would need meeting & that cuts into the business bottom line therefore its cheaper to employ someone else.

    People fought hard to get a national minimum wage into legislation & sorry Mr Davies, we do not intend to go back now!

    Do the letters after his name mean Mr Philip Davies, monumentous prat?

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  24. Good post, nanobot. What this country needs is a proper democratic people's revolution but we know that will never happen in the UK.

    So we sick and disabled people need to seriously organise. And soon!

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  25. so lets organise then whats stopping us, i hear all the talk but no action, Lets get it moving come on people!!!!!!

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  26. The Illuminate are in flux the New World Order has begun its final thrust were dog eats dog and only the fittest will survive. We are ill prepared for the battle that comes but we have each other. Strength and honour.

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  27. He doesn't seem able to tell the difference between a "mental health" disability and a "learning" disability, either. The two are not the same!

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  28. strength and honour are not enough. there is no honour in losing your ESA,DLA. i hear all the battle cry's but no one leading them. we are a big army and we know how to organise because we are less able

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  29. Where is the disabilities minister? Has ANYBODY seen her?
    Obviously Nick Clegg and the LibDumbs agree.
    No comment from Metric minister either!

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  30. Any sort of co-op would have to have some sort of vaguely limited area of business (what things they do), and that wouldn't ever be able to include everyone who might reasonably hope to be included; thus, you need more than one. Someone needs to work out details like that.

    Also, such things need funding to get going at the very least. Given the idea for a thing that we'd (collectively) be very good at, I know a couple of potential funders, depending on whether the organisation were constituted as charitable or not. That idea, by the way, is a think-tank on disabled issues, consultants on ways to leverage home-working (particularly for disabled people), and so on and so forth. I'm not going to go out on an emotional and legal limb and try to sort it all out on my own, though. A few people need to get together to do that, and I'm happy to be one of them, but it will need to be people who have some experience/background/knowledge about that sort of thing, and mine is limited to some parts of the picture.

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  31. I have nerve damage from waist down both legs, I have multiple heart issues and that is after 2 heart operations I have sever stomach issues that prevent me from leaving home often. I have a termial blood disorder and I am Partially blind....how on earth could I work.

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  32. If you're serious, set up a series of mini co=operatives. Each one of you would be responsible for organising say, 5 or 6 local sick or disabled people who would like to set up a small business. Maybe selling jewellery they make, writing, making jam, painting, whatever. The six then work together - one might be better at the books, another better at marketing. If one if one is too sick to make a deadline, others can pull together. One might drive and be able to help with delivering orders.

    If we could prove that small co-ops like this work, we could make a good case for extending them nationwide.

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  33. Sorry if examples sound patronising. I'm really poorly with flu & not thinking straight. Basically, 5 or 6 have 6 times the chance of success as one on own. All 6 products can be sold, marketed and maybe even delivered together, or th co-op cld set up craft fairs, selling venues together.

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  34. If you're going to cover long-term variability, it means that members need to be able to step in to each-others shoes, literally do each other's jobs. Reliability through redundancy. However, if you're producing goods for sale not to order, that's not so relevant. However, that pretty much relies on it being producing goods. That's where my suitability to help something get going falls apart as well - I know about policy, analysis, academic research in social sciences and computer science (and a bit in other sciences), I know a bit about organising volunteer-led groups, once they already exist, I know about systems of governance applicable to cooperative, business and charity areas, I know a bit about funding sources and fundraising and I know a lot about IT/computing/programming stuff. I also know about the structures, principles and history of the Religious Society of Friends in Great Britain. Hard to fit into the model you suggest.

    If, however, there were a bunch of other disabled geeks with compatible sets of skills, I'd potentially be up for working with them in that area. At the moment I'm in a partnership with my fiancée trying to do web design/programming stuff to order - 1 client so far.

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  35. Sam - I just wrote an epic answer with examples of how Broken of Britain and I do things, but blogger munched it :(((((
    I've got flu, but it's inspired me to blog about it for anyone else that might be interested tomorrow if I can.

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  36. While I'd certainly be interested to read it, and I'm sure some is applicable, one important difference is that the kinds of co-op we're talking about now would be trying to actually pay people, hopefully to actually make them a living. That changes a lot, I suspect.

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  37. well i'm thinking of becoming a wheelchair hands off dominatrix
    with a whip...i could get all my jobs done by shouting orders at my clients lol... and get paid at the same time...but hopefully at least the minimum wage ...joking apart the man's an idiot.

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  38. I'm 49 years old, have Asperger's syndrome and have never worked. In order to get my first job I need to be able to offer an employer something, and I think that being able to work for less than minimum wage might just do it.

    I doubt that financially I'd be any worse off due to the complicated interaction between the various benefits I receive and the fees I have to pay to Social Services for my care.

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  39. Lee, Dont do it!!!, cause if you do then we all might as well give up. Plus your worth more tham minimum wage my friend

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  40. definatelycharlie17 June 2011 21:48

    Terrific post,nanobot.That MP is a complete tosser,but I feel he is probably striking a chord with much of the public.
    The right send out their propaganda,then it seems to them to be justified as it is reflected back in people's prejudices,which only encourages them more.
    Are we moving gradually towards genocide(according to the specifics of the 1948 UN charter)?Or is that over the top?

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  41. definatelycharlie17 June 2011 21:58

    I meant UN Convention,not charter.

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  42. Nano does make a very good point
    We have to also remember that their are businesses that would just exploit the sick and disabled if they were to work for them at below the minimum wage

    This policy wont get off the ground but as i said in my post above it goes to show how the conservatives mp's mind work in private and as i also said they have much worse on the agenda the trouble they have thow is getting rid of all of us it may well happen one day you can never tell

    It will be interesting to see what other cruel plans they have lined up for us

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  43. Oh god Lee, you even copy-pasta that here!

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  44. The response to this has been a total disgrace. Disagree and argue for sure, but don't respond in this ridiculous manner.

    Sue your article is just ridiculous. One Conservative MP has suggested some people be allowed to opt out of minimum wage legislation. This does not equal a conspiracy by Conservatives generally or 'this government' to undermine the minimum wage. Especially since the Conservative leadership have entirely rejected these ideas. I bet I can find one Labour MP who sympathises with Communism. It doesn't mean you're all crazed Stalinist Reds. This is a juvenile and childish response to suggestion you disagree with.

    Assuming Mr Davies did genuinely gain this idea from speaking to people with learning difficulties I am appalled to see people here, on a blog about securing a fair deal for disabled people, using such patronising and disablist language, out and out saying that people with learning difficulties are too stupid to know what's good for them. It's a disgrace that you would utterly reject if it came from anyone else. Apparently disabled people are perfectly capable of speaking and knowing their minds, except if they ever agree with a Tory.

    I oppose this proposal, because I think it won't help. As does the Government and 9 out of 10 other Conservatives I know. But would you really rather that strongly that a disabled person not be able to get a job at £6 an hour, rather than be able to get a job at £5 an hour? Or at least is it so morally indefensible and wicked to suggest that the 2nd possibility might be better than the 1st? I really don't think so.

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  45. Stephen Wigmore would you take less than £5 an hour and try to raise a family or participate in your local community. Would you accept less than the minimum wage because you are male.

    Just because individuals have a learning difficulty they have the same legal rights to the Human Rights Act and its specific articles which include a family life, participate in the community, and a thing called Dignity.

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  46. Everyone should read his wikipedia page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Davies#Stance

    He's THAT sort of person...

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  47. I'm really surprised to hear you say all that Stephen.

    If you read the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, the very first trick they use against workers in difficult times is to make them work for less money. This undermines, not strengthens the entire job market - right to the very top.

    The response is based on the outrage of 100 years of workers rights I think! The minimum wage is accepted across parties as a great success and to undermine it now of all times IS something lefties joke about - we have little bets, how long would it be before the blues started implying we couldn't afford it...

    Tribalism aside though, to suggest that those who are already disadvantaged or discriminated against go first is so horrible I stand by my short summary 100%.

    Even the media agreed with me on this one and that doesn't happen often does it?

    Trying to make it disablist by saying I ignore the opinion of those with learning difficulties is just silly. I would ignore the opinion of ANYONE saying they would work below min wage as it undermines every single worker in the country.

    If someone told me in a factory that they thought all safety guards should come off the machinery I wouldn't start a bill in parliament!! People can just be plain wrong and it has nothing to do with whether they have learning difficulties or not!!

    Every single jot of evidence shows that those with disabilities are better off and less exploited since the minimum wage.

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  48. Now if that were said and aimed at say someone of ethnic origin he would be hung drawn and quartered. So, we disabled should take a lower rate huh? So does that correlate with less tax and national insurance too? Doubt it.

    Yes I agree.. too many people talking about it, but no one really doing anything about it much.

    Perhaps we should take lessons from other countries where the people have stood up and fought back?

    But then again, are we too scared to fight, because through fighting we are showing ourselves as being capable and therefore we shall be judged if that we are capable of putting up a fight, we are capable far more, i.e. working.. ???

    I know I am frightened to live some sort of life now in fear of being judged.. even to the point of laughing.. :(

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  49. [QUOTE]Anonymous said
    I know I am frightened to live some sort of life now in fear of being judged.. even to the point of laughing.. :([/QUOTE]

    i know how you feel in my early years when i become sick i was forced into solitary confinement at a local level where i was living and have never recovered and today 30 years on the DWP still have a grip on me and my family by saying that they have overpaid me when they've not and even my mp cant break through and get justice for me

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  50. @Kotaatok.
    If I genuinely couldn't get a first job. And one for £5 an hour (i.e. below minimum wage) would get me that first step on the ladder, then yes I would prefer that to sitting on my ass on the dole being kept warm by my happy feeling that the sanctity of the minimum wage was being protected.

    Sue,
    It's not a case of going first or undermining workers generally. Mr Davies proposal is to give an opt-out to a particular group of people, which would thus give them an edge in the job market. HE explicitly frames it in terms of getting a first step on the ladder allowing people to gain experience and prove themselves so they can get better wages later. He has not even vaguely suggested 'we can't afford it' or that they should stay on these wages long-term.

    You are often far more even handed than the media when it comes to deliberately taking offence to largely innocuous comments. It is to your credit.

    It wasn't you I was accusing, but "yes, it is hard to escape the suggestion that those with learning disabilities might be less likely to realise that something wasn't really in their best interests. Even ignoring that, in any disadvantaged group there will be people who, for whatever reason, collaborate deliberately or accidentally with the persecution of the group." is an out and out disablist and bigoted statement that you would rightly condemn if it came from any Tory.

    Now, I agree with you. I think the risks that this just becomes an excuse to exploit disabled people is too great to risk it. But it's certainly not an entirely evil/outrageous statement up there with suggesting the reintroduction of slavery. And since it's also rejected by the vast majority of Tories and the Conservative leadership it's really not an excuse for an outburst of mindless EVUL OLD TORY SCUM. SAME OLD NASTY PARTY etc, etc, etc random chanting.

    You may think it's better someone sits on the dole (getting a lot less than £6/hour) and protects the sanctity of the minimum wage, rather than taking a job for £5 an hour and actually getting experience and being able to make an active contribution. But they might dissagree. And I do not think it is utterly outrageous to suggest they should perhaps be given the legal opportunity to make that choice rather than everyone making it for them in the name of some vague sense of worker solidarity.

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  51. Stephen:

    Regarding what you quoted: "yes, it is hard to escape the suggestion that those with learning disabilities might be less likely to realise that something wasn't really in their best interests. Even ignoring that, in any disadvantaged group there will be people who, for whatever reason, collaborate deliberately or accidentally with the persecution of the group", I apologise for not being clear. The first part, which I assume is what you're expressing concern over. My intention was to acknowledge the fact that such a suggestion (but note, not conclusion) is logically unavoidable. The second part was to say that such an idea doesn't matter for the purposes of claiming that the suggestion is a bad idea (in so many ways) and I would hope that the second part is uncontroversial.

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  52. Tough titty Stephen, scabbing is scabbing whoever does it. And yes this IS what the Tories think about behind their PR smiles - they're angry with that guy because he blew the gaff, exposed their scam which is to get people to work for as little as possible in the worst possible conditions.

    Workfare will already undermine the minimum wage; they don't need that opt-out... yet. So don't you worry Stephen - your tribe always seems to win and get more powerful, no matter how incompetent or evil you are. How do you do that, btw? After totally destroying the British economy the rich now manage to actually get the blame put on sick and disabled people - what's your secret? I'm impressed!

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  53. PS if you think working for £5 an hour is so bloody great why don't YOU do it, you worthless, heartless piece of excrement?

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  54. Stephen, the Employment Opportunities Bill Davies is supporting would give a minimum wage opt-out to ANYONE, not just certain groups.

    It's therefore completely useless in terms of helping marginalized groups finding work, since if these groups use the opt-out, they can simply be matched by people of sound mind and body matching their actions.

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  55. Hansard's full report of the Second Reading went up this morning.

    The bill failed to pass.

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  56. "yes, it is hard to escape the suggestion that those with learning disabilities might be less likely to realise that something wasn't really in their best interests. Even ignoring that, in any disadvantaged group there will be people who, for whatever reason, collaborate deliberately or accidentally with the persecution of the group."

    Who wrote that then? I didn't did I?

    But I disagree. I cannot see anything even vaguely disablist or bigoted about it. "Learning difficulties" is indeed a broad label, but both my niece and my aunt work with people with learning difficulties and I think both would agree with the above statement. They are possibly amongst the most vulnerable of all of us and by the very nature of the condition "might be less likely to realise that something wasn't really in their best interests" No doubt that is why so many women with learning disabilities end up suffering sexual abuse compared with the rest of the population. Shocking? you bet, and exactly why this group above all do not need to be singled out for discriminatory policy.

    I accept that this is not current Tory policy. Would it be if they thought they could get away with it? You bet. It's not about an ideology, it's about a bare (and it is paltry) level of protection. One out all out and anyone trying to argue otherwise is ignoring every shred of evidence.

    How about this - employers reserve the poverty inducing, depressing minimum wage for the very workers Mr Davies refers too. And the unemployed, first jobs, etc etc. Once they have proved themselves, they might just aspire to a "living wage" at some point in their career.

    Come on Stephen, minimum Wage, Sick and disabled people, the homeless. You know this won't sort out the country.

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  57. Sue that was my statement, and you managed to capture intended nuance that my clarification didn't; yes, people with learning difficulties can be easier to pull the wool over the eyes of than others; that's not a judgement on them, it's a recognition of their difficulties, just like recognising that someone without the use of their legs will likely have more problems with stairs, or that people with autism-spectrum problems are more likely to be uncomfortable in a crowded, noisy environment. However, I also stand by my point that I wasn't intending to make that a major part of the argument against Davies's suggestion, as it doesn't take any special case to justify the idea that some in a disadvantaged group will work against the interests of the group, whether knowingly or not. It's happened in all sorts of disadvantaged groups over history.

    Yes, there should be easier routes into work for these people, and many others; devaluing and dehumanising them isn't going to help long-term, and likely not even short term.

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  58. Sue. As I said, I agree with you that this is a bad idea. I don't think the risk is worth the possible gain with this measure. I oppose it as you do. What I disagree with is an avalanche of hate and self-righteousness directed against the person who suggested it. It is not such a totally unjustifiable idea to even vaguely warrant such a response.

    And no, this would not be Tory policy 'if they thought they could get away with it'. And who's they? 10.7 million tory voters, 200,000 Conservative members, David Cameron? I think 'they' is a biased caricature of who and what conservatives are that exists in the minds of left wingers and nowhere else.

    The Conservatives have supported the minimum wage since 1999, still do and show no signs of shifting on the subject. Both the leadership and 9 out of 10 Conservative members I talk to and 99 out of 100 Tory voters are in favour of the minimum wage. As are all MP's but a tiny group of hard-right like Mr Davies. He no more represents Conservatives and the Conservative Party than David Chaytor and Jim Devine mean all Labour people are thieving bastard crooks.

    We can discuss, argue and disagree about things without reducing to the level of throwing bile and stereotypes.

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  59. Stephen this is where the UK needs compulsory voting. The citizens are too disenfranchised by the political system that less than 50% of the voting population can give you a mandated government. Tory policy is strongly aligned with 'liaise faire' approach of allowing the market to dictate.
    Unfortunately Labour shifted a little far to the right to the point there was no difference between the two major parties. So people who did bother to vote went out and voted for the Liberal Democrats with a hope of making a statement to both parties. Unfortunately we wound up a ConDem alliance were there does not be any negotiation or watering down of Conservative policy along with little or no strategy to develop the economy other than to cut the state provision of services.

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  60. Stephen Wigmore,

    You say:

    "...And no, this would not be Tory policy 'if they thought they could get away with it'. And who's they? 10.7 million tory voters, 200,000 Conservative members, David Cameron? I think 'they' is a biased caricature of who and what conservatives are that exists in the minds of left wingers and nowhere else...The Conservatives have supported the minimum wage since 1999, still do and show no signs of shifting on the subject. Both the leadership and 9 out of 10 Conservative members I talk to and 99 out of 100 Tory voters are in favour of the minimum wage. As are all MP's but a tiny group of hard-right like Mr Davies. He no more represents Conservatives and the Conservative Party ..."

    First point; your position is spurious, Enoch Powell’s position was not adapted as Tory policy but the harm and suffering to minorities that his bigotry inflicted still persists up to this date.

    Secondly, the issue is not the elimination of minimum wage per se, but rather that the current laws application should be limited with regard to application to the disabled, based upon the fact that they have been deemed by a very shallow, small minded man who unfortunately happens to be an MP.
    Moreover, Davies position has been defended by Peter Hoskin, among a number of other right wing bloggers. Hoskin self righteously cites an Ohio based example quoting the praise an anonymous mother for this policy,
    “But there’s also an observation by the mother of an autistic worker: “He has a place to go and a reason to get up in the morning. I don’t care about the money.”
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/7034023/dont-dismiss-davies-out-of-hand.thtml
    You should consider the level of underpayment this employment practice has produced. This citation below is from the same article Hoskin references for his defence, although he chooses to ignore it.

    “More than 80 percent of the low-wage work force earns an hourly wage of $3.70 or less, with about 35 percent of them — or 5,200 workers — making less than $1 an hour... Nearly 1,000 make less than 25 cents an hour.

    The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour”

    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9NDD4OO0.htm
    While Hoskin and the anonymous mother may care little for the money, a quick calculation, particularly with the lower tiers of the cited scales, reveal nothing short of a deliberate and serious policy of callous exploitation of the most vulnerable.

    Given the fact that the Tory coalition has borrowed heavily from the Stateside policies of a number of right wing administrations,(particularly Wisconsin), for guidance of their Welfare “Reform”, the legacy of Davies bigotry may be far more pernicious and far reaching than what you have attempted to convey.

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