The five stages of Tory grief

Or maybe there aren't as many as five.  I'm still watching the car crash unfold on Twitter, where gullible Tory representative of the Campaign For Gullible Marks Against Political Correctness, who you might remember from the classic 'Why is it racist to black up?' letter and half a gazillion fat-headed and ill-informed comments in lame tabloid stories is attempting to defend himself for saying some things in the Commons today he really shouldn't.

He said that because people with learning disabilities are often turned down for work, they should be allowed to work for less than minimum wage.  I know, right?

How his defences have unfolded has amused me greatly.  There have been four stages so far.

1.  The 'Enoch Powell' manoeuvre:

To be fair, Powell never claimed he was repeating anything black people told him, but still.  "It's not my fault, someone else said something.  Wasn't me." except Davies was obviously endorsing that by raising it.  That's if it was ever said by someone else in the first place.  Mind (the people he claims to have been meeting when he heard this) have called the idea 'preposterous'.

2.  The 'Pollyanna' gambit:

Hey, this is good for everyone!  Surely you want things to be good for everyone, don't you?  Hah!

3.  The 'no, you're the meanie' defence:

This is also known in wanky terms as a 'false dichotomy'.  Either you want disabled people to work for less than minimum wage or you don't want them to work at all.  There is no position saying we need to try to change people's perceptions and make sure employers don't discriminate .  That just doesn't exist, stupid.  Stop trying to make an argument that doesn't even exist.

4.  The 'don't blame it on sunshine, don't blame it on what I said, don't blame it on the argument, blame it on the lefties' trump card:

It's the last-ditch of the dolt in trouble.  Call your opponents names, create a strawman and then get the hell out.  'Hey, you're only annoyed that I challenged you and you can't take it!' it says.  No, people including Tory MP Edward Leigh are criticising an embarrassing and discriminatory proposal that is stupidy stupidy stupid,.

Imagine anyone arguing that to combat racial discrimination in the workplace, employers should be allowed to pay black people less.  Oh, sorry - black people should be allowed to work for less pay (sounds less weird that way round, doesn't it, Philip?) You'd laugh them out of town, right?

And, as @MediocreDave points out on the Twitter - women appear to be discriminated against in the workplace and paid less.

Let's hope step 5 is acceptance, eh?  Acceptance and a proper apology, not any of this 'I apologise for any offence I caused' rubbish.  An 'I'm sorry I said that, it was pretty stupid,' apology.  As it is, we have an example of squirming around to avoid taking responsibility for your own actions a naughty four year old would be proud of.


Steve said...

Reading the transcript, it's also nice to note that Mr Davies apparently doesn't know the difference between mental health problems and learning difficulties.
Presumably, this is part of his Campaign Against Political Correctness - not even bothering to learn the definition of non-offensive terms.

Jake said...

Mr Davies is apparently unaware that there is already a perfectly good mechanism for employing disabled people at the Jobcentre's expense on a probationary basis.
And that it's called the National Minimum Wage for a reason; it's just about the absolute rock-bottom minimum sum per week necessary to meet one's basic requirements for nutrition and housing.

Anonymous said...

I like how he tries to make himself sound smarter by saying "shibboleths" instead of "beliefs" or "opinions"... which is a shame, because that's not what shibboleth means. A shibboleth is something about the way you speak that gives away something about yourself.

For instance, calling your mother "mam" is a shibboleth that would give away north eastern or Irish roots. Or, say, trying to fight discrimination by saying "Let's have more discrimination" is a shibboleth that gives away the fact that you're a total idiot whose opinions on matters of social importance aren't worth two figs.

OllyJ said...

@Jake: and given that these people have disabilities to work around, they probably need much more than the national minimum wage gives them.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to comment on how I'm appalled by the absolute audacity of this MP making a suggestion to make people with learning disabilities work for less than NMW.

Do I have a learning disability? Yes
Do I get turned down for work? Yes
Can I afford to work for less than NMW? HELL NO!