He said that because people with learning disabilities are often turned down for work, they should be allowed to work for less than minimum wage. I know, right?
How his defences have unfolded has amused me greatly. There have been four stages so far.
1. The 'Enoch Powell' manoeuvre:
To be fair, Powell never claimed he was repeating anything black people told him, but still. "It's not my fault, someone else said something. Wasn't me." except Davies was obviously endorsing that by raising it. That's if it was ever said by someone else in the first place. Mind (the people he claims to have been meeting when he heard this) have called the idea 'preposterous'.
2. The 'Pollyanna' gambit:
3. The 'no, you're the meanie' defence:
This is also known in wanky terms as a 'false dichotomy'. Either you want disabled people to work for less than minimum wage or you don't want them to work at all. There is no position saying we need to try to change people's perceptions and make sure employers don't discriminate . That just doesn't exist, stupid. Stop trying to make an argument that doesn't even exist.
4. The 'don't blame it on sunshine, don't blame it on what I said, don't blame it on the argument, blame it on the lefties' trump card:
It's the last-ditch of the dolt in trouble. Call your opponents names, create a strawman and then get the hell out. 'Hey, you're only annoyed that I challenged you and you can't take it!' it says. No, people including Tory MP Edward Leigh are criticising an embarrassing and discriminatory proposal that is stupidy stupidy stupid,.
Imagine anyone arguing that to combat racial discrimination in the workplace, employers should be allowed to pay black people less. Oh, sorry - black people should be allowed to work for less pay (sounds less weird that way round, doesn't it, Philip?) You'd laugh them out of town, right?
And, as @MediocreDave points out on the Twitter - women appear to be discriminated against in the workplace and paid less.
Let's hope step 5 is acceptance, eh? Acceptance and a proper apology, not any of this 'I apologise for any offence I caused' rubbish. An 'I'm sorry I said that, it was pretty stupid,' apology. As it is, we have an example of squirming around to avoid taking responsibility for your own actions a naughty four year old would be proud of.