As June approaches, the minds of the Great British public inevitably turn to a concentrated selection of topics; balmy summer afternoons, strawberries and cream and the sound of racquet striking ball… yes, you’ve guessed it – Wimbledon. For two weeks, the eyes of the nation become fixed on south-west London as once again, the (arguably) most famous and most prestigious tennis tournament gets under way.
Our house is no exception. My mum and brother are huge fans of Wimbledon and sit for hours watching the matches, or discussing the players at mealtimes; bemoaning, along with the rest of the country, as each British player gets knocked out. It doesn’t matter where we happen to be at the time. I have many memories of holiday cottages in the Lake District or Yorkshire, lying slumped in a chair or desperately trying to otherwise distract myself from the boredom which inevitably descends on me at this time of year.
In today’s news, Conservative MP Philip Davies offered a unique and quite frankly, baffling solution to one of the UK’s hardest hitting unemployment problems. Those who have physical or mental disabilities, Mr. Davies said, should ‘be given the option’ to offer themselves for employment at less than the minimum wage (which currently stands at £5.93p/h).
His argument, condensed, is this. Disabled people are heavily discriminated against in the employment market. When given the choice between a disabled applicant and one who is more able-bodied, employers will automatically choose the able-bodied person as they will be ‘more productive’ and ‘less of a risk’. As a result, disabled people are being done ‘a huge disservice’, as they are not given the chance to prove otherwise. He believes that disabled people should be given the choice to work at a lower rate to make employers more likely to employ them in a cash-strapped economy.
There are more than a few issues I have with this idea.
Last night was, well… interesting. Last week, I would never have imagined that I would spend the evening in a darkened tavern, playing a wooden board game with an orc, a warrior monk and a high priest of the Sordanite faith. We struggled to see the dice under the feeble light of a single candle. With our counters mostly captured the orc roared his approval at a game soon to be won; that is, until a cold breeze and shrill cackling on the air announced the presence of air demons! One swirled around our table and blew out our light, then disappeared into the darkness as the sound of chairs scraping backwards and swords being unsheathed left our game completely forgotten.
Oh, and did I mention? I was an elf.