Welfare minister Lord Freud has apologised for “foolish and offensive” remarks in which he suggested people with disabilities could be paid less than the minimum wage.
I heard this news last week while I was stationary on Gibbet Hill (the perpetual cycle of campus roadworks has turned once again and the half mile journey from Car Park 3 to the Gibbet Hill lights can take upwards of 45 minutes). No doubt fueled by my anger at the traffic situation I took the opportunity to pen a rant against politicians whose views stand in direct opposition to their office. I’ve decided not to post the rant but I do wonder how this happens. As Ed Miliband put it:
These are not the words of someone who ought to be in charge of policy relating to the welfare of disabled people.
No more than the Minister for Women and Equality should oppose equal rights for members of the LGBT community, a climate change denier should chair the Senate Committe on Environment and Public Works, a judge should believe that rape is only possible if severe damage is inflicted otherwise the body ‘shuts it down’, a supporter of homeopathy should be Secretary of State for Health, someone who believes the Earth is about 9,000 years old was made in 6 days serve on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology… there are more.
Whenever I hear another one of these I think, “How the hell did this happen? How did we end up with someone whose views are diametrically opposed to the very purpose of their position,” but I guess that is the reason. If you really truly believe that climate change is a hoax (spoiler alert: it isn’t) you will strive to put yourself in a position where you can combat and refute those claims. If you don’t believe in equality for certain groups what better way to ensure it than as a Minister for Equality.
All just a bit depressing really.