A conservative Member of Parliament is under fire in Great Britain for his thoughtless treatment of a one-legged, recovering drug addict and father of one who had the temerity to ask him for some money.
To make matters worse, the 6’8” Daniel Kawczynski loomed over wheelchair-bound Mark McGuigan as he admonished him to “Get a job. Find some work.”
“I can’t get a job. I can barely read and write,” said McGuigan, a child of alcoholic parents, who grew up in foster care. “Look at me, I am missing a leg. I said that to him but he just started getting more and more aggressive. It was horrible.”
Kawczynski (pictured above), who was President of the University Conservative Association at University of Stirling in Scotland after attending school at St. George’s College in Weybridge, Surrrey, told McGuigan, “I know it is hard, I have struggled, too.”
The MP, who is a strong supporter of welfare reform, is now facing a wave of negative publicity and ridicule from the British press.
“Conservatives believe, very deeply, that everyone is capable of improving their lot if they really want to,” wrote political journalist Alex Stevenson. “This is nice and comforting for those with middle-class backgrounds who are now enjoying the glittering prizes following their public school education; they had to get a lot of homework in on time, after all.”
But the 41-year-old Tory defended his actions in the altercation with McGuigan.
“He asked me for money so I asked him what he was doing to find a job,” he said. “He said, ‘I can’t get a job.’ He had difficulties in literacy and numeracy. I told him there were Government initiatives to help him with this.”
But McGuigan (pictured below) said that the politician should be ashamed of his “sanctimonious” behavior.
“I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth like most MPs,” he said.
“Instructing a stranger to get a job implies an instant moral judgment,” wrote Stevenson of the incident. “Mr Kawzcynski might have been trying to help but by intervening in this matter he implicitly places himself in a position of knowing superiority.”