Sunday 8 December 2013

Are they all in it together?

It's a peculiar thing, but whilst listening to certain BBC programmes I find it hard not to think that BBC employees are even more detached from public opinion than MPs.

This morning's Broadcasting House discussed the vexed topic of MPs' pay, following IPSA's recommendation of a whopping 11% pay rise for our elected servants. 

From what I can gather, much of the British public seems to be against such an outlandish (tax payer-funded) pay rise. Would BH reflect that public concern?

Tellingly, not a single MP responded to the programme's call for them to come onto BH and defend the proposed pay rise. Paddy said they'd been calling since 6 o'clock. 

My first thought on hearing  that was, 'What would an FoI request tell us about who BH rang?' 

How many MPs did they ring? 33? If 33, did they ring 11 Labour MPs, 11 Conservatives and 8 Lib Dems, 1 SNP member, 1 Plaid MP and a Green? Or did they ring 32 Conservatives, and one DUP MP? We'll never know - but we can certainly guess!!

Anyhow, that's rather besides the point. 

Paddy and BBC political correspondent Alan Soady discussed the matter. 

Paddy's introduction stressed that most MPs are paid less than most GPs and many BBC bigwigs, thus pre-disposing us to think that MPs are actually, despite what we think, underpaid. 

Paddy also ostentatiously stressed the word 'independent' in IPSA and then laid out Sir Ian Kennedy of IPSA's justification for the pay rise before inviting BBC Alan to expand on Sir Ian's justifications (which he promptly did). 

Paddy then described Sir Ian's proposals as "a balance" before quoting Dave, a BH listener, comparing MPs to Millwall supporters - people no one likes (poor things). 

Was that a representative e-mail? I rather doubt it.

Is it a case of tax payer-funded birds flocking together? Does license-fee funded Paddy really understand the irritation out here, in the real world, with such greedy public sector grabbers? How much does he earn? More or less than MPs?

I don't think he understands at all.

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