Pay gap hysteria is the politics of envy and resentment

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In Gone With the Wind, Rhett Butler uttered the immortal words: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”

Or more prosaically, I couldn’t care less who earns what or whether they earn more or less than anyone else.

It’s not my business and I’m not interested so please stop bombarding me with it in the Press.

Footballers and pop stars and entertainers are horrendously over-paid for what they do. But it’s not my money so why should I care?

It’s the same with the so-called influencers on social media. This might be particularly vacuous way to earn money, but, again, it’s not my money so why should I care?

And the reality is that most people couldn’t care less what entertainers are paid.

So why is the media deluged with it? Perhaps it’s just the media that cares – alongside a small coterie of agitators.

When it was revealed that some BBC presenters, (male) got paid more than others (female), they could have taken legal action on the basis of equal pay for work of equal value. Otherwise, they could have left and got a job elsewhere – or just shut up about it and got on with life.

Equally pay for work of equal value has been with us for years and for those of us who aren’t paid by the bucketload and cannot easily just up an take our skills elsewhere: that’s what trade unions were invented for.

I had the distinction when younger of being a Conservative councillor in one district and the trade union secretary in the one next door.

We secured more for the members by working with the council than my left-wing predecessors ever achieved. They were always about confrontation which got them nowhere.

I’ve always believed in unions and I remained in one until I became part of “the management”, a group which is never collectively represented by unions because there are always more “workers” than “managers” and their interests are not necessarily the same.

Anyway, I digress. I can see that where we, the public, foot the bills or pay the salaries there is a legitimate public interest in how much is spent. I would suggest, however, that who gets what or how the cake is divided up is a matter between employer and employee.

What I cannot see is any legitimate public interest in the average “gender pay gap” in private sector firms and yet we have a kind of pink Conservative government that embraces this kind of stuff as if it is important.

Averages tell you nothing anyway and any statistics you read have probably been manipulated before you read them. I’m not a conspiracy theorist but I did spend forty years in local government, some of it in Canterbury.

Sadly, I’m afraid this is all part of the socialisation and infantilisation of the public that has been going on, probably since the last war, (to my generation that’s 1939-45). It was fuelled by left-wingers during the Thatcher years and pandered to by Blair and his successors Prime Ministers – and yes I include Cameron and May.

It started with left-wingers, unable to get elected, seeking to manipulate every grievance in order to build a coalition of the grumpy grievance pressure groups in the hope it would get them elected.

Blair then bought into it enough to throw them some bones to chew on, but like all these things, “once you have paid the Danegeld, you’ll never get rid of the Dane”.

Having been given a bone, the professional grievancers demanded more, seizing on any and every minor dispute to further undermine the cohesiveness of society, and governments fed them.

The politics of envy are nasty, they set people against each other. People do not realise they are being manipulated by professional malcontents pursuing a divisive, anti-capitalist agenda.

It’s time to wake up people and ask yourself, is somebody else’s salary really any of your business: the answer is a resolute no.

2 COMMENTS

  1. As I don’t see any other comments here, I’m not sure whether any have been made and don’t show, for some reason. Maybe no-one else has bothered to read it – put off by the give-away title that this will be a tired and predictable rant about ‘political correctness gone mad’ – or perhaps, having made the effort to trawl through it, no-one thinks this dim-witted piece warrants the effort of a response.
    To be honest, I was going to do my bit to enlighten Bob as to the causes, reality and consequences of continued inequality and exploitation in the workplace but, given that he’s no doubt heard it all before, I will save my metaphorical breath.
    Tell you what, Bob, just watch “Made In Dagenham” (again, if you’ve seen it already). Bloody brilliant film. A huge legal triumph of justice and equality for women’s rights was achieved fifty years ago – but still the battle is not won. It was on the beeb recently, so is still available on iPlayer:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rcc33/made-in-dagenham

  2. Well squeak, I’m of an age to remember the Dagenham dispute and if you’ve read what I’ve written you will see I have no issue with equal pay for work of equal value and I’ve always been a great supporter of trade unionism in the workplace, strength comes through unity.

    Having said which I think the rules for the highly valued and highly overpaid are different as they are in a position to do something about inequality in the work place, take their labour elsewhere where it will be more highly valued!

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