Lord Freud recently said that people who are disabled are “not worth” the minimum wage when discussing the fact of how to get more disabled people into a working environment. He then continued by saying that we can work on this issue nationally if a disabled person “wants to work for £2”. I’m sorry but this actually makes me incredibly angry- hence the blog post. I like to think of both my blog and Youtube channel as a happy place, but I also want to lead in example, and to do so I want you all to know that I am completely and utterly against this frame of mind.
Yes, I was born with one hand. No, I do not cast myself as a disabled, but I do understand that many do cast me as such. I have worked for huge amazing companies such as HMV, Waitrose, BBC and Channel 4 and can say that I have been treated rightly so as any ‘other’ employer and I believe that I worked just as expected in comparison to any ‘other’ employer- ‘other’ implying as non-disabled. So when Freud spoke out and obviously thought that the idea of paying £2 an hour to disabled people is ok, I felt that I needed to tell you that I think it is disgusting. The “disabled” are human beings, they are not slaves, and to be honest, a lot of “disabled” individuals are incredibly clever and are strong in specific skills due to lacking in something else- you have to make up for yourself somewhere. I mean Lord Freud, would you offer Stephen Hawking £2?
I understand he may have been put on the spot, and some are arguing that this is why he said such ludicrous words, but if Lord Freud, of whom is a “British journalist, businessman, Conservative politician and welfare adviser” can not speak his mind under pressure, then I’m not sure who can. I do not accept this as an excuse.
I don’t know a solution to this problem of “disabled” people being pushed in to this corner, but what I do know is that I will not stand for it, and I really hope that you will not either. Lord Freud’s comments are regressive and contradicting the great progress we are making as a country and we cannot afford to have this seen lightly. Please feel free to comment down below, because I really would like to hear your opinion on the matter (even if you completely disagree) and please, please share this.