When I rage over thoughts of money
RAGE and rebellion fester in me daily as the chasm widens between wealthy people and the rest of us. And if I, a middle-aged, middle-class, woolly-haired, woolly-minded liberal with a small “l”, can contemplate the overthrow of the state and forcible redistribution of wealth, whatever are the impassioned young bloods who can't get on the property ladder thinking?A YouGov survey last summer, commissioned by the Fabian Society, asked 3,000 Britons what they thought various professionals should earn.
RAGE and rebellion fester in me daily as the chasm widens between wealthy people and the rest of us. And if I, a middle-aged, middle-class, woolly-haired, woolly-minded liberal with a small “l”, can contemplate the overthrow of the state and forcible redistribution of wealth, whatever are the impassioned young bloods who can't get on the property ladder thinking?
A YouGov survey last summer, commissioned by the Fabian Society, asked 3,000 Britons what they thought various professionals
should earn. The discrepancies reveal why more and more people are likely to join me on the barricades, demanding égalité. Here are a few of the survey's findings, with actual average salaries in brackets: the Prime Minister should earn £135,000 (£187,000); company managing director £120,000 (£750,000); GP £70,000 (£103,000); Premiership footballer £62,000 (£676,000); secondary school head £52,000 (£63,600); hospital nurse £33,000 (£26,000); bus driver £22,500 (£19,500); police constable £29,500 (£21,000); supermarket checkout worker £15,000 (£12,000).
What has set me sawing away at the chip on my shoulder is the mere £50,000 to £55,000 needed by Neatishead and Barton Playgroup for its new building - the equivalent of a new hairdo to a footballer's wife, or a couple of spring posies for Elton John. But this drop in the ocean to some is giving the playgroup committee major headaches and causing them to use such words as “desperate” and “depressing”.
Without that relatively small sum, the 33-year-old playgroup could fold - a major blow for a community which has already lost its post office. Surely this sort of sum is peanuts compared with the health of the village and the social wellbeing of its children?
I visited the group at Neatishead Victory Hall recently and sympathise with their plight. They badly need a new home, and parents have begun voting with their feet by taking children elsewhere. Apart from the poor heating, kitchen and toilets, organisers face the slog of bringing everything out of storage and putting it all away again after each session to clear the hall for other users.
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I remember that hassle well from the days when it was my turn on the parent rota at Swanton Abbott Playgroup. In recent years Swanton Abbott has gone through a similar battle to fund a purpose-built home for its playgroup. At one stage it too had SureStart cash dangled temptingly in front, only to disappear at the 11th hour. The happy news is that Swanton Abbott did eventually nail down its SureStart funding. It has moved out of the village hall and its wonderful new pre-school home will open for the first time at Swanton Abbott School next Monday.
I wish Neatishead a similar happy ending. I wish SureStart would cough up for them too. Failing that, I wish the Beckhams would buy a home there, Victoria would book Cruz into the playgroup and send him along to his first session with one of her cast-off designer handbags for a raffle - that should pay for the lot.
But most of all I wish we could
re-establish some sort of just financial balance in our society so ordinary folk like me didn't feel aggrieved enough to sit here and plot a 21st century peasants' rebellion.