Wheelchair beggars, there are jobs for you! Just ask Daniel Kawczynski

Couldn't Mr McGuigan and the Conservative MP swap roles?

Share

Never in all her centuries as a democratic beacon can the Muthah of Parliaments have known a record-breaker like Daniel Kawczynski. First MP born in Poland, first MP technically classified as a giant (almost 6ft 9in), first MP to out himself as bisexual... With such an array of pioneering achievements, the Conservative member for Shrewsbury would be excused for resting on his laurels.

But not a bit of it. On the evening of 7 October, he added to the roster of pioneering breakthroughs by becoming the first MP overheard telling an illiterate one-legged drug-addicted beggar in a wheelchair to get himself a job. If all Hon Mems shared his gift for exquisitely tailored advice, who could possibly resent their forthcoming 11 per cent pay rise?

Happily, the impromptu summit outside Westminster tube station was witnessed by a representative of the Daily Mail, which belatedly reported the incident yesterday. On noting 47-year-old Mark McGuigan asking passers-by for support, Mr Kawczynski was reported to have bent over the wheelchair to instruct its occupant to “find some work. Yes, I know it is hard,” he continued. “I have struggled too.”

Although the exact nature of that struggle went unexplained, empathy on this scale – as felt by a private school alumnus who earns £3,000 per day as a mining firm consultant for the care home-reared scion of addicts who lost a limb to septicemia – is a rare and beauteous thing. Admittedly, Mr McGuigan claims that the Kawczynski storehouse of compassion was quickly exhausted. He alleges that on being told that he can barely read or write, and reminded of the limb shortfall, the MP became “more and more aggressive... leaning over me saying, ‘Get a job, get a job’. I felt very intimated.” If people are pathologically resilient to tough love, what can you do for them?

Sadly, the interview concluded before Daniel could expand from the general to the specific. We may never know what particular work he had in mind, though in this buoyant jobs market for the illiterate junkie amputee, it might have been anything. Fighter pilot, Commissioner of the Met, test driver for McClaren, Regius professor of English .. the Government might have closed the Remploy factories, but the list of positions for which Mr McGuigan would be a strong candidate is virtually limitless.

 It could certainly extend to playing the lead in action-movie remakes. A hunch suggests that a memory of the classic Dudley Moore and Peter Cook sketch “One Leg Too Few” stirred somewhere in the mighty Kawczynski mind as he delivered his lecture. In “One Leg Too Few”, Pete played a director for whom Dud’s hopping, mono-legged Mr Spiggott auditioned for the part of Tarzan. “Well, Mr Spiggott, need I point out to you where your deficiency lies as regards landing the role?” “Yes, I think you ought to.” “Need I say without overmuch emphasis that it is in the leg division that you are deficient.” “The leg division?” “Yes, the leg division, Mr. Spiggott. You are deficient in it to the tune of one.”

In the half-century or so since that sketch, attitudes towards the limitations of disability have improved immeasurably. It is only a few months, for example, since an Atos employee, speaking on the Government’s behalf, told an incontinent Chron’s Disease sufferer to wear a nappy to work. In this heartening light, there is no good reason why Mr McGuigan should not one day swing along jungle vines.

With no Tarzan remake in development, however, what is he to do with himself in the meantime? The only mainstream job that requires no qualifications, competence or ability, mental or physical, is of course that of an MP. Whether the good voters of Shrewsbury would choose him as their representative is unclear. But factoring in any practical barriers to his election, the obvious solution is a reality TV show modelled on Trading Places, the film in which Dan Akroyd’s odiously smug and callous commodities broker swaps lives with Eddy Murphy’s druggy beggar, as first seen in a wheelchair feigning a deficiency in the leg division to the tune of two.

This will probably need emergency legislation, but once enacted I see no cause why, for at least six months, Messrs Kawczynski and McGuigan should not exchange jobs. While cocaine is more freely available within the Palace of Westminster than heroin, the latter would surely be willing to adapt. And although the former will find freezing in a wheelchair outside a tube station while being insulted by eighth-wits more demanding than his present work (his major contribution as an MP being a failed bid to bring a Shropshire cow to Westminster, to highlight bovine TB), that opaque “struggle” must have made a stoic out of him.

Shows of the kind depend on total veracity, and sacrifice will be demanded on both sides. Mr McGuigan will have to put up with his new colleagues’ continual bleating as to why, under that marvellous we’re-all-in-it-together banner, the likes of Daniel deserve even more than that 11 per cent hike. Mr Kawcynski, meanwhile, will be required to jettison a leg. If anyone can lend us a Black & Decker electric chainsaw in decent working order, who knows, perhaps we could offer that job as star prize in the next Independent charity auction. If I had the dough, I’d buy that lot myself, and give it to Mark McGuigan for Christmas.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Service Desk Analyst- Desktop Support, Helpdesk, ITIL

£20000 - £27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Service Desk Analyst - (Active Directory, Support, London)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst - (Active Di...

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, VBA)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letters: The West flounders in the Middle East morass

Independent Voices
David Tennant as Hamlet  

To vote no or not to vote no, that is the question... Although do celebrities really have the answer?

David Lister
All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition