Thursday, April 20, 2006

Easy Money?

In the wake of a recent headline-grabbing news story about GPs in the NHS earning £250,000 a year despite the abysmal lack of funding for hospitals and healthcare services, today’s Independent has a double-page feature on people who earn similar salaries. The reader is left to ponder the question within the headline “The pay debate: Are they worth £250,000 a year?

Among those listed are a certain prime minister’s wife and barrister, a radio DJ who earns a quarter of a million for presenting a three-hour show five days a week, a few managing directors, a university vice-chancellor and a sports writer who gets his excessive salary for writing a twice-weekly column and exposing Wayne Rooney’s gambling habits. It makes you wonder why someone like Wayne Rooney should feel the need the gamble given the amount of money he earns just by playing football. But then as James Bond said “the world is not enough”. Maybe he’s saving up for a plastic surgery operation to get his face remodelled.

There’s also a former Big Brother contestant, not particularly noted for her good looks or intellectual prowess who reputedly earns her millions by entertaining readers of the Sun and Hello magazine. So who says you need looks and academic qualifications to succeed in this world?

There’s no direct mention of obscenely overpaid Premiership footballers, presumably because they earn well in excess of the figures quoted. £50k a week for kicking a ball around a field, yet teachers, nurses, care workers, farmers, paramedics and firemen work their fingers to the bone in stressful and often dangerous conditions for the benefit of society and earn less than this in a year. This isn’t an anti-football rant, by the way. I do like the game, but I think like many other people that the money players at the top level earn is ridiculous. I wouldn’t mind so much if it was entertaining, but with the amount of 0-0 draws that happen in the modern defensive game there are so few games that provide any kind of value for money nowadays.

What also springs to mind for some reason are two middle-aged rock musicians from Dublin, whose names both begin with B. I don’t begrudge them having the money – they’ve worked hard to earn it – but I do resent their hypocrisy and sickening sanctimonious holier- than-thou attitudes. Geldof is irritating, but I can just about tolerate him. However in the self-righteosuness stakes I don’t think he quite compares to Bono. This is the man who pretends to be all concerned about 3rd world debt and global poverty, then he takes his ex-wardrobe assistant to court over a fucking hat. Maybe he wanted to give Pat Spillane something to eat. How to dismantle a sanctimonious tosser, indeed.


Caroline said...

Such is the age we live in. Vanity and celebrity are worshipped while hard working people in services such as you've mentioned have to fight for ample remuneration befitting the job they do. It's just not right.

Never could take to Bono. I remember seeing U2 in Phoenix Park long before they were a big name. He seemed just as puffed up then as he is now.

CW said...

He claims to be a Christian, so why doesn't he give up his worldly possesions and donate his fortune to the people of Africa. Or better still, go and live there.

Antonio from Italy said...

I read the article on The Independent... but is that right? A certain Dipesh Shah is worth £250,000 a week? Is it a mistake, a typo?
Anyway, it's such a shame that doing almost nothing pays more than risking or ruining one's own life in a foundry or a underground mine!

Anonymous said...

Whoever said life was fair??? Wealth and success is very random and doesn't always go to people who deserve it. Are you arguing for a socialist society where everyone is rewarded fairly for what they contribite to and all excess money is redirected towards people who need it?? This sounds preferable but in reality I think people need an element of competition in order to be happy.

Still, at least footballers and musicians have had to work at some point in their lives for what they have achieved, and it does take some intelligence plus about seven years of study to become a doctor. The royal family and the rest of the aristocracy have done nothing to deserve their wealth. I would be interested to know if their existance brings in more money to this country (through tourism, newspaper sales etc) than it drains out as if not then what is the argument for keeping them??