Saturday 18 June 2011

Philip Davies and reported speech

The MSM and various 'charities' are up in arms about the fact that Philip Davies said that the disabled are second class citizens who should work for less than the National Minimum Wage etc etc. blah blah blah.

Only he never said either of those things, did he? Philip Davies simply stood up in Parliament and reported what other people had said to him. His speech is included right at the beginning of this YouTube clip* (it's not in Hansard yet):
It seems highly unlikely to me that Mr Davies would make such a claim if it weren't true, so the whole thing is a storm in a tea cup.

If, for example, an MP were to report that some of his constituents had told him that they would like cannabis to be legalised, or that some of his constituents wanted to "send all the darkies back" (and I'm quite sure that most MPs will have heard just about everything), would that MP then be castigated as a drug fiend or a racist?

Probably he would, and that's the worrying thing. How are you supposed to have a debate if you aren't even allowed to report what voters actually think and say? Whether you agree with those sentiments or not is a separate issue.

* As to the substantive issue, discussed in the rest of the YouTube clip, Philip Davies is completely right of course - there shouldn't be a National Minimum Wage in the first place. If we want to alleviate poverty, then do it via the welfare system, funded out of everybody's taxes, and don't try to fob it off onto individual employers.


WitteringsfromWitney said...

Interesting too MW that Esler continualy interrupted PD, yet let the Talking Head say what she had to say!

Agree with your final para.....

JJ said...

A left-wing opportunity to kick the Tories, nothing more.

gordon-bennett said...

Granted it is currently illegal to pay less than the minimum wage but notice that the lefties argue from the position that the law implies a moral standard which must not be gainsaid.

It's convenient for them - whether a beeb presenter or simple-minded leftie talking head - to disallow the distinction between illegal and immoral.

Mark Wadsworth said...

WFW, ta. The crap hurled at him in that short section are but the tip of the iceberg.

JJ, also on opportunity for the Cameroons to engage in a bit of Davies-bashing to burnish their 'caring sharing Tory' credentials.

GB, interestingly, the presenter asks Davies whether he though the disabled were better off before the NMW was introduced (which is about twelve years ago - so scrapping it would by definition not set people back decades as the bossy woman claimed) which, by definition he must do.

However, clearly by then Davies had been re-educated and refused to answer "Yes" and said he'd given up arguing against it.

Tim Almond said...

Did you hear Esler's tone about the minimum wage, as though the idea that scrapping something that's only been around for a decade was heresy?

I think Davies just got caught unprepared, so avoided it.

Fact is that the minimum wage does destroy jobs. I've seen it.

You know what's really evil? Government don't want you earning £4 an hour while learning a valuable skill like programming (which is a far better use of 2 years than paying for a degree).

But they're pretty keen to have you working for nothing through some Freie Deutsche Jugend programme for fake charities, doing something utterly pointless like sweeping up leaves.

James Higham said...

Only he never said either of those things, did he?

But even if he did, I can't see the problem with it. Less productivity, less pay. If it's the same productivity, same pay.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JT, Davies said that he had given up arguing against the NMW.

JH, no, what I mean is that Davies never said that the disabled (or ex-convicts, people with learning disabilities etc) were 'second class citizens' or that they 'should' be paid less.

Anonymous said...

Do not forget that one purpose of a minimum wage is to protect the tax payer from greedy bosses.
Remember the welsh electronics factory where workers had over half their income from benefits as they were paid about a pound an hour. The factory owner took home over a million pounds a year. Fair ditribution it was not, the workers choice was that job or the dole. Who really paid the workers wages, the tax payer, who took all the dosh the boss.
Get rid of the minimum wage and watch the income support benfit bill rocket as the greedy bosses pay pitances and force the tax payer to make up a living wage for the workers. Sure there are some jobs that are not done because of the minimum wage being higher than the earning rate of the job, then society has to decide whether to subsidise that job (e.g.litter picking) or not have the work done at all.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Anon, you really haven't thought that rant through, have you?

If your factory owner earns a million pounds a year, then the chances are, he's paying half a million pounds a year in tax, which is quite sufficient to pay £5,000 a year dole for a hundred people. If he then chooses to employ a hundred such welfare claimants, then good luck to him - it all evens out, doesn't it?

If the alternative is outsourcing it all to China, then better to pay benefits and scrap the NMW, surely?

Derek said...

The NMW doesn't make payment of slave wages impossible. It only makes it illegal. So desperate people will still work for slave wages if they are not eligible for benefit for one reason or another and cannot qualify for a well-paying job.

That is why a universal basic citizen's income, is so much better than an NMW: by subsidising all wages whether slave wages or banker wages it ensures that everyone has a decent minimum income.

In effect by removing the desperation element it makes slave wages impossible rather than just illegal. And impossible is better.