Phillip Davies, the MP for Shipley, suggests that those with mental health disabilities should be able to opt out of the national minimum wage to be more competitive at the work place. Because, according to him, disabled people are less productive in the work place. Yeah right - I'm sure my dyslexic, dysphraxic and depression-prone hard-working friends would be very pleased to hear that. Especially the following quote made by him.
“Given that some of those people with a learning disability clearly, by definition, can't be as productive in their work as somebody who hasn't got a disability of that nature, then it was inevitable that given that the employer was going to have to pay them both the same they were going to take on the person who was going to be more productive, less of a risk, and that was doing those people a huge disservice.”Apart from discriminating based on disability being against the law, I don't see how anyone with a learning disability would be less productive. Many people cope in work with a learning disability and prove themselves just as capable. In fact, in some cases, even more so because they feel like they have to work twice as hard as "mentally abled" people just to prove they can do it. Some of the most successful people in history and in the world have proven themselves to be far more successful in life because they refuse to let such prejudices get them down. In fact, I did a quick Google search to prove the point; apart from Richard Branson and Winston Churchill whom the Telegraph listed, we also have
- Hans Christian Andersen (dyslexia)
- Daniel Radcliff (dyspraxia)
- Beethoven (dyslexia)
- Leonardo da Vinci (dyslexia)
- Agatha Cristie (depression)
- Michaelangelo (depression)
- Anthony Hopkins (dyslexia)
- Albert Einstein (suspected dyspraxia, Asperger's syndrome)
- Bill Gates (Asperger's syndrome)
Despite the critism and the outrage, Philip Davis is unapologetic, claiming that disabled people have to "prove themselves" before moving up the payscale and that "left-wing hysteria" is to blame for the criticisms he received. Well, sounds like this MP needs a pay review because if we were to follow his suggestion, I think he is earning far more than his brain cell states he should earn.