Tuesday, 24 November 2009

the minimum wage

never meant that much in Reading in my time there, because most of the lowest paid earned more than that. You didn't find security guards on £1.50 an hour in Reading before its introduction as you did in Cornwall where many of my family live. However, the minimum wage did provide much needed protection for people in many of the jobs which are necessary for all of us to have a decent quality of life - serving takeaway and other food, cleaning public spaces, staffing shops and so on. In my time in Reading the vast majority of Labour Party members did not have to live on such a low income - most of them could afford to buy the Guardian every day. A good income does not mean you are intelligent, because very many of them thought what the Guardian wrote was true. However. Anneliese Dodds has, as I have posted before, indicated that if elected Labour MP for Reading East she would not take the full salary, but would take the average for the constituency, which she says is £35,000 or so (this is much disputed) and use the rest to staff her office. There is of course a staffing budget for an MP's office, which she has not said she will not use, but it cannot be used for political staff, so presumably that is what she would use that portion of her salary for - because it is her own money and nobody can tell her what she can and cannot do with it. A pretty good wheeze. She posted all this on a profile of her on Labour List, and it has attracted quite a lot of attention, almost all of it drawn from my highlighting of it on this blog. Now she has written a piece for Comment is Free in the Guardian (where else?) on the subject. But the subject has now been removed from her own website, which in Reading Labour fashion is entirely non-interactive. As the general election approaches Anneliese would be wise to engage with the public other than in the pages of the Guardian, whatever the boys are telling her.


Anonymous said...

Yes. Well.
I asked, via this blog, why the candidate for Reading East was not prepared to answer critical questions about her stance and I suppose this is her way of answering.
In The Guardian - rather than admitting that she read the comment thread on Jane's blog.
Not satisfied with the reply, actually, because it is totally disingenuous and is an unelected politician's answer - high on piety and low on practicality.
Anneliese, I can quite see that you think it will garner you votes in some quarters and some pats on the back from those pesky GC 'comrades' if you equate the skillset of an MP with the skillset of a hair-stylist.
I am not passing comment on your equation - but the very fact that I have picked it out is its own comment.
Would you like to defend the proposition that we are all entirely equal in every respect with regard to ability to do each and every job and therefore, take the analogy further?
Doctors/refuse collectors/architects/shop assistants/barristers/long-distance vehicle drivers etc.
Please extend your argument with reference to the proposed financial remuneration for the above. What 'wage' should they all get?

Anonymous said...

It hardly matters - Anneliese is heading for third place.

Shannon Rockall said...

This slimy focus group approach contaminates our politics. About 18 months ago I had a call from a Labour canvasser seeking support. I said it was unlikely, but not impossible, and by the way I was interested to know all the parties' stance on the long-standing promise to build a 50-metre pool.

Lo and behold - the financial crash which can only have put such projects back by years having intervened, even if it ever was on the cards - recently I had an unsolicited letter from Ms Dodds seeking my vote and stressing her backing for the idea. Presumably based on the premise that I am too stupid to realise that the country has gone broke in the meantime and it's less likely now than ever. The personalised cynicism in this has, ironically, pretty much confirmed that she won't be getting my vote - which Jane had twice.

Anonymous said...

Where are the £35,000+ jobs in Reading? Probably a small number of managers (most of whom live in the villages) plus self-employed contractors (before NI, VAT and pension contributions). Even if one excludes the high number of pensioners, part-time workers, young mothers, students and unemployed, most people earn under £25,000. Most members of Reading Labour Party earn under that amount.

Anonymous said...

Whether first or third - the premise is the same.

The electorate should be credited with a modicum of intelligence - and not treated as gullible imbeciles who will swallow this type of guff from Anneliese and then award her a vote.

Anneliese, you have made a big boob - if indeed this ridiculous idea was your own.
If it wasn't and you are parroting the Reading boys' dictat then you have no spine and simply would not cope in the bear pit that is Westminster.

Can't see you surviving a millimetre of what Jane had to rise above - sorry - but as they say 'truth is best' ( Gudrun - Women in Love by DH Lawrence).