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.