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The Big Money

November 4th, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · No Comments · Politics

How strange to not only find myself in agreement (sort of) with David Cameron, but to find myself in agreement with him twice in the same day.

First of all I read this story where, as part of the ritual Tory BBC-bashing ((and nothing to do with the current Brand/Ross storm in a teacup, Pure coincidence he says)) Dave says that the director-general, Mark Thompson earns too much because he is doing “one of the best jobs in the country”.  The job may involve long hours, intense media pressure, the prospect of being unable to take a holiday without work interfering, but it does carry its own intrinsic rewards and is seen to be more inherently enjoyable than, say, working in the BBC canteen, or manning the BBC front gates.

I look forward to this opinion being taken to its logical conclusion, with jobs that are inherently shitty being paid more simply because they are shitty. Let’s face it, how many of us would do our jobs if we were not paid to do them?  If money did not exist I would still fancy being a film star, singer, helicopter pilot, director-general of the BBC or leader of the opposition – so why should those jobs pay more than picking items from a shelf in the Argos warehouse or sweeping the streets?  If the DG on approximately £800,000 a year is overpaid for doing a supposedly cushy job, where does that leave the directors, bankers and others earning much, much more?

Is this the start of a Tory policy to reduce or cap executive salaries and increase the minimum wage significantly?  Somehow I will not be holding my breath: I think it only applies to the BBC.

The other bit of Cameron sense today is that he is rumoured to be insisting that his frontbenchers give up all their extra jobs.  Quite right too.  It will be about as popular with his frontbenchers as the the idea that £800k a year is too much will be with the bankers and boardroom-dwellers, but it is the right thing to do.  In an ideal world the backbenchers (of all parties) would also be prevented from taking extra jobs, but this is a start.

If it does happen it will be interesting to see if any of the frontbenchers suddenly decide they would actually prefer to leave the shadow cabinet to spend more time with their second jobs families. How would our own Francis Maude manage without the other 5 or 6 incomes for example?

I am eagerly anticipating the next Tory policy. What will it be?  Removing charitable status for private and faith schools?  Nationalising the railways?

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