The commentators 17-10-14
...on British politics
Lord Freud was merely stating the incontrovertible truth that a few people, through no fault of their own, are so restricted by their disabilities in the tasks they can perform that the market value of their labour will inevitably be less than the minimum wage. In other words, no company can employ such people without expecting to make a loss on the transaction.
- Tom Utley, Daily Mail
Instead of discussing whether there might be a system (as there is in other counties) whereby the government could top up the pay of an employee to minimum wage levels and thus find them some meaningful work (with the social and therapeutic benefits it can bring) we’re discussing the political prospects of a Minister nobody had previously heard of. Seems like a strange priority.
- Christian May, Independent
If this were a fairer world, Lord Freud would never be facing calls for his resignation as welfare minister. He would not have been forced into a public apology after being caught musing insensitively about whether some disabled people “aren’t worth” the full minimum wage, and could make do with £2 an hour. He wouldn’t have gone to ground yesterday. All this would never have happened, because in an ideal world Freud would never have been a minister in the first place.
- Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian
Could the government broaden work opportunities for the learning-disabled by introducing exemptions from the minimum wage, or should employers always pay the minimum wage but receive tax relief if they take on the learning-disabled? It is not a debate we can have, however, so long as Ed Miliband is out to score easy political points by quoting people out of context.
- Ross Clark, The Times
Freud was an accident waiting to happen. He’d already had three run-ins – one when he declared the benefits system let people “have a lifestyle” on the state. Asked whether his wealth meant that he could not understand life on benefits, he replied: “You don’t have to be the corpse to be at the funeral.”
- Chris Blackhurst, Independent
Thursday 25 September Judges for the Editorial Intelligence comment awards announced their shortlists today, with ten nominations for the FT, nine for the Times, five for the Guardian, four for the Independent - and two for SubScribe.
The Times and Sunday Times scored a clean sweep in nominations for the main award of commentariat of the year, which will be decided between David Aaronovitch, Camilla Cavendish, Daniel Finkelstein and last year's winner Caitlin Moran.
Guardian's Jay Rayner was shortlisted in the food writer category, but said that he did not wish to be considered as that award is sponsored by Tesco.
The awards will be presented on November 25.
See the full shortlists here
The crime of rape is not about the level of violence inflicted, but about possession and subjugation.
That it may take place in a comfortable, rather than hostile, environment; that it may be the result of a failure of self-control rather than a deliberate act of aggression makes no difference to that central fact. The core offence is that of a man believing he has the right to do what he wishes with a woman, regardless of whether she objects.
And until that message gets through, there will always be men - and women - who think that there are different "degrees" of rape, with some more acceptable or understandable than others. The level of violence or the ordeal suffered by the victim may be reflected in the sentence, but the basic crime is still the same.
- Press review
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