A few weeks ago I commented on Facebook that the Tories seemed to have discovered a cache of 'The New Statesman' episodes that were rejected for being too outrageous even for Alan B'Stard at the heyday of Thatcherism and were having a competition amongst themselves to see who could propose the most outrageous idea of all.
Today Philip Davies MP (Conservative, Shipley), seized the prize. Christopher Chope MP (Conservative, Christchurch) was front-runner with his private member's Employment Opportunities Bill, aiming to undermine the minimum wage by creating a situation in which it would be legal for individual workers to be bullied into opting out of the Minimum Wage, but Davies leapt into the lead by using the debate on that bill to propose that disabled people should offer to work for less as they "cannot be as productive in their work".
Davies openly acknowledged the disablism that denies disabled people the opportunity to enter the workplace, no matter what the Equality Act might say, but, rather than challenging his Tory-voting chums over their open contempt for the law, proposes that the law should be changed to allow disabled workers to be treated as an underclass of workers, who can expect to see demands that we work for less than the minimum wage if we want a job.
Other Tories were quick enough to condemn him, but words are easy. Davies admitted the awkward truth, that disabled people face near ubiquitous discrimination in finding work. Abusing us off ESA and IB won't fix that, condemning us as scroungers won't fix that, the only solution is to take the fight into the HR departments and the Directors' offices and force them to live up to the promises of the Equality Act (an act Davies voted against).
Are the Tories willing to put their actions where their mouths are? Or did Davies simply say what they really think?