Lord Freud minimum wage or top up state

Kay Allen

Freudian Slip or Freudian Analysis?

Kay Allen Friday Opinion Piece

A Freudian slip, also called parapraxis, is an error in speech, memory or physical action that is interpreted as occurring due to the interference of an unconscious (“dynamically repressed”) subdued wish, conflict, or train of thought guided by the ego and the rules of correct behaviour. They reveal a “source outside the speech”. The concept is thus part of classical psychoanalysis.

Lord Freud’s very name is a gift for political sketch writers and many of them are now wondering whether his apparent parapraxis earlier in the week was an accurate representation of his thinking.

Whether his comments – recorded at Conservative conference fringe event – that disabled people could be paid less than the minimum wage were an honest representation of his thinking or not, the great grandson of Sigmund Freud, the founding father of psychoanalysis, has since apologised for “foolish and offensive” remarks. But Labour is calling for his head…

I was at all the party conferences and was at in the said fringe and I heard the jaw dropping remark!

The original message was probably directed at the fact that unemployment among disabled people has remained static at 50% for decades and the Government is keen to tackle this issue. And the figure is 12% for people with a learning disability. We do indeed need to debate and tackle this issue.

But the minister’s apparent slip-of-the-tongue has now distracted from what one imagines were his genuine efforts to try and emphasise some of the financial and institutional barriers disabled people might face when seeking employment, and spark a debate on the subject.

Well debate he has got.

Disabled people have voiced their concern at yet again another view which is patronising , fails to grasp the rights issue and that disabled people do not want ‘taking care of’ but want rights to employment, barrier free environments and rights to social care when needed.

Penny Pepper, Write and Activist voiced her view on BBC Newsnight that she was very alarmed and that his comments were offensive. It highlights the muddle that Government is in around employment policy for disabled people.

The Government, including the Prime Minister, have been quick to rebut and distance themselves from the comment and indeed an apology has been given.

Fringe debates have long been designed to push ideas, challenge policy and nudge political thinking. That is one of the reasons the Fringe remains popular. It should be a forum to debate and offer opinions. But was Lord Freud’s opinion a reflection of outdated thing? Maybe its time to have new advisors with new future proofed ideas.

Whats you view

Could there be a system to ‘top up wages’ for some disabled people if the employer wage was allowed to be below the minimum wage – or would such a system just pave the way for abuse? Should it be an absolute rule of respect and fair wages for all?

Please leave your view and add spark and common sense to the debate