A survey of the banking and accountancy industries has revealed that despite equal opportunities legislation forbidding discrimination on grounds of gender, race, religion or leprosy, the leper community continues to be poorly represented in the higher-paid professions. Leper representatives are pushing for large corporations to face a legal challenge after ten of the UK’s top banks revealed that none of their senior managers were, or had ever been, lepers.
‘Regrettable incidents of cross-infection aside, there’s no logical reason to exclude lepers from these top positions,’ said a spokesman for the corporate leprosy action group Lepers Improve Most Businesses (LIMB). ‘And yes, we’ve heard all the jokes. ‘Did you hear about the leper who played poker? Yeah, he caught a chronic granulomatous disease of the nervous system, causing permanent disfigurement of the extremities and probable amputation.’ Not so bloody funny now, is it?’
When questioned, a spokesman for a leading London investment bank initially claimed that he didn’t know exactly how many executive board members were lepers, before admitting that it was likely to be zero. Defending the firm’s Human Resources policy, he argued that ‘the fact is, it’s just not that easy to find lepers who are suitably qualified. This is Mayfair, after all. And where will this politically correct governmental interference end anyway? First lepers, then state school applicants – next thing you know, we’ll be forced to promote women. It’s time to end this madness.’
Many lepers believe workplace discrimination is just one manifestation of society’s wider prejudice against this foul, crumbling group. ‘Now that gingers are off-limits, it seems like we’re the last group out of whom it’s acceptable to take the piss,’ argued celebrity leper Piers Morgan. ‘Look at the language – ‘Social leper’ – how do I explain that to my children?’
Leper influence has been in steady decline since the halcyon empire days of the late 1800s, when lepers colonised half the globe. Although it has long been suspected that a leper has ascended to the upper echelons of the Labour party, hopes that his success might prove inspirational to the leprosy cause have proven premature. With most of the party already shunning him, avoiding physical contact and attempting to isolate him, it seems that sadly, little has changed.