The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Saturday, August 05, 2017

the truth about men and women

A media campaign masquerading as reportage, is underway in Ireland at the moment, promoting the feminist conflict theory notion that women in the national television broadcaster RTE, are less well paid than men as part of a deliberate discriminatory policy against their gender.
So it is the dog days of August and our fair land's bankrupt newspaper groups with their usual unerring instinct for truth, ie they're reliably wrong about everything, are once more trying to drive the peasantry out of their tiny cotton picking minds with endless contrived stories about male patriarchies deliberating underpaying the wimmen.
You should keep in mind that this is a peasantry only barely sane to begin with.
Similar assertions vis a vis male patriarchies are being made about women's pay scales at the BBC in Britain.
The implication is that some arcane international cultural plot is behind an organised policy of misogynistic pay discrimination.
Mr Kevin Myers a contributor to the British based Sunday Times newspaper (owned by Rupert Murdock) has suggested that factors other than discrimination explain the apparent disparities in comparative male female remunerations.
Any of us who have worked in a Western European or American workplace in the last thirty years know that male female pay scales are the same. Such differences as exist occur mainly through statistical anomalies.
For his efforts to broach this subject Mr Myers has been fired from the Sunday Times.
The excuse for firing him was some reference he made in his article to the Jewishness of two BBC presenters which has led to his bosses accusing him of anti Semitism.
Mr Myers in noting the cultural ethnicity of Claudia Winkelman and Vanessa Feltz had added that Jews are not known to undersell their wares.
I don't think his reference was anti Semitic. It was worse. It was unfunny. But hardly a reason to fire him. The reference to the Jewishness of Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz was a Myers attempt at avant garde roguishness. Sometimes he carries it off. Sometimes it falls flat. I would assert that on the day in question, it was merely a pretext to fire him.
Mr Myers real crime was to question the pieties of modern conflict theory feminism.
Ho hum.
I would counsel Rupert Murdock that firing people in this way is a very unattractive thing to do.
The public won't like it.
And I think his newspaper will suffer for it.
If Mr Murdock really cares about all those newspapers he and his family own, he might like to think about public attitudes to robber barons firing people on a whim.
Truth be told, I'm not that sure that the Murdock family really are all that good at running newspapers and television stations. They're very good at borrowing money from banks to buy newspapers and television stations. That I'll admit. And the banks seem terrified to stop lending to them in case the whole edifice of the Murdock Corporation comes crashing down in a welter of frivolous staff firings and tasteless amoral content. So the banks keep giving them money. You know the old gag. If I owe the bank five thousand quid (and I do) that is a problem for me. If I owe the bank fifty billion quid (as Rupert does) that is a problem for the bank.
But is there any Murdock owned newspaper or television station on the planet earth with a sound business model, I mean an ongoing relationship with customers?
Are any Murdock businesses generating revenue?
Are any in profit?
Have any of them a future?
I don't think they do.
As for my own two cents on the issue which is the real cause of the firing of Mr Myers, ie his questioning of the clapped out feminist conspiracy theory currently being hawked around Ireland and Britain that evil males have for generations maliciously underpaid the unwatchable leg waxing harridans at RTE and the BBC just for a larf...
My views on men and women's pay issues are encapsulated in the brief yet interminable reminiscence below.

It was the dulcet Summer of 2004.
I was having tea with Rowena Baines, the Assistant Editor of the Leinster Leader, a newspaper from which I drew a salary at the time.
Rowena said: "We've handed the pay negotiations over to Rosie Probert and Clotilde Boule."
I was aghast.
"You put those two in charge of the union? Why would you do that? Why would you put two people in charge of the union who can barely pass themselves with the rest of us?"
"Well James they kept bitching about Trevor."
Trevor was Rowena's husband. He had been our union rep for a decade.
My eyes widened.
"Of course they kept bitching about him. They bitch about everybody. So you gave them the union?"
"James you've heard the old phrase: Set a thief to watch the cookie jar. Now we're going to see if it works."
"I've heard the phrase. It's about the most stupid piece of nonsense masquerading as a proverb in the history of stolen cookies. You're all mad. If you put a thief in charge of the cookie jar, you will have no cookies. If you put Rosie and Clotilde in charge of the union we will have no pay rise."
"We're going to find that out James."
"I think I know already."
A few weeks later we met again for lunch.
"How are the pay negotiations going?" I enquired.
"Rosie and Clotilde have finished putting together our claim and they're bringing it to Mr Stewart this evening," answered Rowena.
"Tell me more," quoth I.
"Okay," sez she, "the basis of our claim is that women are paid thirty percent less than men at the Leinster Leader."
There was a pregnant non sexist pause.
"But it's not true," I blurted out finally.
"It's statistically true," said Rowena.
"And how is that supposed to help the five men on the journalistic staff put in for their pay rise?" wondered I.
"The issue is inequity between the rates paid to men and to women..." said Rowena trailing off.
"But women in the Leinster Leader are better paid than the men," I exploded. "The basic pay is the same but most of you have negotiated personal deals that give you more money than most of the guys."
"Statistics show we're thirty percent behind you," insisted Rowena.
I stared at her.
If the honorable people are willing to propagate this stuff, what hope is there for the world.
"The only reason the statistics show a thirty percent disparity between male and female pay rates," I ground out, "is because the Sports Editor has been on the staff thirty years longer than all the rest of us. Phil Throgmore in the Sports Department has had thirty years more service and therefore three decades more bonuses and payrises. He's getting thirty percent more than the women and slightly more than thirty percent more than the men. He's getting paid what he's paid not because of some evil plot by the Freemasons against women and not because he's a man. He's paid what he's paid quite rightly because he's been here thirty full years longer than the rest of us. It's nothing to do with his gender. It's to do with him being here since 1962."
"James the statistics still show what they show. Women at the Leinster Leader are paid thirty percent less than the men."
I leaned across the table in a non threatening non paternalistic cuddly tree hugging hippy dippy new man kind of way.
"Gender politics," I said softly (I really did), "is much too important to use to tell lies."


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