Sunday, 19 May 2013

Animal Farm

Brace yourselves for what the Sunday Times aptly describes as the “potentially toxic announcement” next month that MPs are to take a £10,000 pay rise.

Pause while that sinks in….yes, £10,000 – each.

I’m guessing that will include all those who cheated their way to huge dollops of extra cash through the second homes scandal, many of whom don’t seem to have paid the price.

Will it include the high-profile liar, Huhne, who seems to be at large again after an indecently short period of time, complaining that he can’t afford to pay the legal costs awarded against him?

They will say of course that all the fiddling exposed by The Telegraph in 2009 was a result of poor pay and we need to address the root cause of the problem etc, etc.

I’m not clear what account this takes of the fact that these public servants went into the job knowing what the terms were and have suffered no more injustice than that they’ve not had a rise for a number of years.

Hey – welcome to the party, guys.

It’s not as if you’ve seen a part of your business rendered completely unviable by an arbitrary decision to slash by 60% the amount you can get paid for doing the same job, with no cogent explanation other than that we need to keep insurers happy.

To a large extent the consequences of that will not be continued pay freeze, or even pay cuts – but unemployment.

Meanwhile, we’re closing down the NHS, we’re wiping civil legal aid, we’re savaging the criminal justice system, we’re shutting courts up and down the country  – all because we can’t afford it.

But those inflicting the pain get more, substantially more?

One senior MP has expressed concern that they’ll be accused of having their snouts in the trough (you reckon?) but that “voters may not like it but if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”.

I agree. See, for example Peanuts and Cleaning bills

But why is it OK for innocent accident victims to make do with cheap, shoddy service? Why must ordinary folk take their life in their hands, literally, every time they go to hospital? Why must those threatened with loss of liberty trust to a fixed-price truck driver for representation before the law?

While those in government scoop the benefit of the savings, so they can pay privately for their essential services and keep all their insurer and banker chums sweet, and a chair at the boardroom table warm for when they finally slip away from this exciting and rather insulated public life.

We’re all in this together, are we? Read Five grand (twice). Check Osbo’s shopping list.

I don’t buy it. Seems to me some animals are a lot more equal than others.

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