Baroness Karren Brady of West Ham United and vice president of eyeball rolling to Lord Sugar on The Apprentice has popped up in the Radio Times to share her outrage about the gender pay gap at the BBC.
Needless to say the baroness is not happy about it at all.
(Also needless to say it is no coincidence that The Apprentice is about to start again.)
“Most shocking was the disparity between men and women effectively doing the same job,” said the First Lady of Football.
“Emily… what’s her name? From Newsnight. Yes, Maitlis. She wasn’t on the list but her counterpart, Evan Davis, is on almost double.
“Gary Lineker earns £1.8 m, while his female equivalent, Clare Balding, is on £199,000. He is not overpaid, she is shockingly underpaid. A lot of the men should be forcing the BBC to pay more.”
Ignoring for a moment the kind of flawed logic that Lord Sugar would have torn into or made one of his trademark weak jokes about (“Lineker and Balding doing the same job? I suppose you could say they’re a mirror image as Wimbledon’s only on for a fortnight – he does fifty weeks on, she does fifty weeks off. Smirk smirk, sycophantic laughter, “You’re fired!” etc.), Saint Peacock would like to contribute two points to the debate.
The first is that if any senior “talent” is not happy with the amount the BBC is paying them, their battle should be with the agent who negotiated that salary for them.
As administrator of the public’s money, surely the BBC’s responsibility is to keep expenditure as low as possible.
Anyone accepting a salary based on their individual talent does so, or at least used to, regardless and irrespective of what anyone else earns.
The second is that when the salaries of the highest paid employees at the BBC were revealed, one of the most common observations was disbelief at just how much many of them were paid for their output.
Chris Evans, lovely man that he may be, on two million plus for playing some records and a having bit of banter?
John Humphrys getting the best part of £650,000 to try and remember who he’s interviewing a few days a week?
The consensus was that the payments to a lot of people on the list were more than a little on the high side.
That being the case then, if any adjustments are to be made, shouldn’t their salaries be lowered to bring them in line with their female counterparts rather than the ladypay boosted to parity with Gary Lineker’s millions?
What sort of business person, Baroness Brady, argues that pay disputes are resolved by overpaying everybody?
(Apropos nothing, Karren Brady’s middle name is Rita.)
(Apropos even less, Saint Peacock would be delighted to see an all female BBC.)
Meanwhile, the search for Baroness Brady’s salary from the show goes on…
All clues on this most pressing of subjects please, to firstname.lastname@example.org