But so profoundly unfashionable that no one will say so:
Philip Davies, the MP for Shipley, claimed the disabled or those with mental health problems were at a disadvantage because they could not offer to work for less money.
Relaxing the law would help some to compete more effectively for jobs in “the real world” in which they are “by definition” less productive than those without disabilities, he claimed.
The remarks stunned MPs on all sides and forced Downing Street to distance the Prime Minister from Mr Davies. Charities and equality campaigners condemned the suggestion as “outrageous”. During a Parliamentary debate, Mr Davies told MPs that the minimum wage of £5.93 per hour meant disabled people who wanted to work found the door being “closed in their face”.
The minimum wage does indeed mean that those who do not offer £5.91 of output per hour do not get jobs.
Take a not entirely hypothetical example. A Down’s Syndrome lad employed by a supermarket to carry customers’ groceries out to the car, round up trolleys and so on.
We could certainly argue that this is good for him. Out and about, yes, we do all know that Down’s is associated with a cheery and gregarious nature. Work, his own income, fun being had by all.
Is it worth £6 an hour to the supermarket? Dunno. But that isn’t actually the point.
If it’s only worth £3 an hour to the supermarket then the job is only going to exist, our lad is only going to be out and about and chatting to people, if the supermarket can pay him no more than that £3 an hour.
But wait! No one can live on £3 an hour!It’s immoral to be paying that little!
Sure, no one can live on £3 an hour. And it may or may not be immoral to pay that little. But markets, as we all know, are amoral. They really don’t give a shit about morality: either that job pays £3 an hour or that job doesn’t exist.
So, what should actually happen? Me, callous bastard that I am, say that the supermarket should be able to pay the £3 an hour, employ the boy as both he and they would be happy to do. The not enough to live on bit, well, that’s us as a society saying that it’s immoral, so it’s us as that society who have to top up those wages. We have to put our hands in our pockets directly and give money to the lad.
Both for the moral reason that we should be willing to pay for our sense of morality and also so that the costs of our sense of morality are made plain and clear. Hell, if we really do think this is moral then we’ll actually enjoy paying the extra: self-righteousness is a most enjoyable emotion.
And yes, this is true of all and any, disabled or not, whose production is not worth £6 an hour. Insisting that they be paid that means they don’t get jobs at all. Allowing them to sell their labour for what it is worth then topping up their incomes directly from our pockets is the only moral method of dealing with low value labour.
The MP was warned that he would be questioned over the remarks by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
And they can fuck right off. Since when has the freedom of speech of a Member of Parliament in Parliament been subject to the questioning of bureaucratic race mongers?
Hang them, yesterday.