Ahead of the local council elections, the following is a political broadcast on behalf of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
HAVING viewed the footage of that United Airlines training video for new staff on how to eject vulnerable passengers from overcrowded planes, I feel many of us might have been overhasty in our judgments. As I said to my chum, Big Tam: “I didn’t realise United Airlines employed the Department of Work and Pensions to provide security on their aeroplanes.” I was of course jesting: after all, if it had been the DWP doing the chucking-out they would first of all have targeted wheelchair-users, a section of society that, if we’re being honest here, are mollycoddled far too much if you ask me.
Certainly, losing the use of your legs can represent a significant setback as you travel through life’s great adventure. Occasionally though, I wonder if we extend disabled people too much leeway. On one hand they want the fully ambulant community to treat them as "normal people", then they’re off protesting to Nicola Sturgeon and her soft-touch government whenever we grant them their wish.
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They can’t have it both ways.
Yet, the DWP are unfairly condemned when they ask claimants for disability benefits to prove that they are unable to work.
Just because you’re in a wheelchair, matey, doesn’t mean that you can’t work in the construction industry where all sorts of opportunities exist for those who require a degree of flexibility in their work patterns. This being Holy Week I think we should pay heed to the words of Jesus in John 5:8 when he commanded the crippled man to “Rise, take up thy bed and walk.” Yet when the DWP make exactly the same pronouncement in the name of austerity they are roundly criticised.
The hand-wringing liberal brigade have been filling their boots with the United Airlines footage. Predictably, they pointed out that the chap being dragged out of his seat was 69 years old. The inference here was obvious and rather lame; that if you are on the cusp of decrepitude then you ought to be treated a little less forcibly. Well, life just doesn’t work like that, sunshine. And anyway, if I ever reach the dawn of my three score and ten I’d be jubilant that corporate Britain was refusing to judge me just because I was a senior citizen and that they still wanted to shaft me as much as they shaft everyone else.
And anyway, the chap didn’t look very vulnerable, did he? His apparel seemed to include expensive tracksuit bottoms, a designer sweatshirt and branded training shoes. That suggested to me a degree of health and fitness, showing that Sunny Jim was anything but vulnerable.
When oh when are we all going to get the message that life is not a bowl of cherries and that the world doesn’t owe any of us a living or indeed special treatment? We are fast becoming a nation of layabouts and whingers.
This week we also learned that Jes Staley, the much-respected Chief Executive of Barclays Bank, is being hounded simply for doing his job.
Mr Staley, a hard-working chap who is worth every penny of his £8.25 million-a-year salary, is being investigated by watchdogs for trying to uncover a whistle-blower in his company. Well, d’oh; of course he was. You don’t seriously think that a top bank like Barclays would pay someone that kind of money and not pursue whistle-blowers, do you?
If banks are to attract the most talented executive staff they must be free to hound and harry those wretched individuals who might threaten their remuneration and that of other top executives. These anonymous snoopers are the sort of people that stand between rich and powerful people being able to come and go as they please and do as they like. I mean if rich and powerful people can’t do as they like, then they’ll just take their talents to the UK’s overseas competitors. And don’t let’s kid ourselves that just because a bank has a whistle-blowers charter, it ought to mean much.
Don’t misunderstand me here: I accept that these people can perform a useful function in stopping grunts at the lower end of the wage scale helping themselves to bonuses to which they are not entitled. Bonuses have their place, of course, but they should be deployed sparingly and only given to the top one per cent of earners in a company.
At least that way you know the cash won’t be spent in Poundland or Aldi or the sort of restaurants which employ illegal immigrants.
But when a hard-working man like Jes Staley is targeted then you know the whistle-blowing service has gone way too far.
If you ask me it’s prolonged exposure to Europe that’s risked turning Great Britain into this something-for-nothing society. And that’s why we must all celebrate getting out in the nick of time. You see, Europe is full of uncivilised countries like France, Italy and Spain that have all been destabilised by revolutions and civil strife. This has rendered them all soft and squishy as they cave in to demands like workers’ rights, equality for women and that blasted Living Wage. You can bet your bottom dollar that these Hand-out Hombres all actually encourage whistle-blowing. And as surely as night follows day, violent insurrections against the aristocracy follow unfettered whistle-blowing.
Britain was great when the indolent masses were occupied fighting wars against these countries and their second-rate empires; not joining hands with them and allowing the free movement of fuzzy-wuzzies and Gunga Dins. When the working classes knew their place, they also accepted that they wouldn’t probably get to live that long so it was our job to help them out with a bang. And so it was our job to provide them with enough wars to take their minds off the drudgery of their everyday existence. It was all working a treat until we were persuaded to join the EU.
Now though, normal service has been resumed and we can set about the urgent task of putting the "Great" alongside "Britain" once more. The Spanish have already had their collars felt by Her Majesty’s Royal Navy and the French and Germans can look forward to the same treatment if they don’t behave themselves over the terms of Brexit.
Look, I know people get queasy about the prospect of wars, but ask yourself this: when was the last time British industry operated at maximum levels of production? And were we hidebound by disability benefit claimants and whistle-blowers then?