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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘profession

The Public Sector Pay Scandal

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There are very few things in politics that are simple.  This is an exception.  The principle, implied by Panorama, that no one in the public sector should be paid more than the prime minister seems very sensible to me.

I already knew that BBC senior executives enjoy vastly overinflated pay but the fact that Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC, gets £838,000 per annum is shocking.   It is particularly hard to take after the absurd spectacle of the Pope’s visit.  The leader of a very minor church, presently mired in appalling scandal, has enjoyed a bonanza of free, round the clock, TV, radio and internet promotion.  I didn’t know but it turns out that Mark Thompson is a rabid Catholic.  He has a nerve to run his own private campaigns at our expense!  This is too much!

He is at the top and is the very worst of a deeply depressing list of excess and vanity.  I am sure that many of these people are very able and skilled in their profession.  If and when they choose to go into the private sector they may well make millions.  While in the public sector, every single one of them should be very grateful for the privilege to serve.

The argument about market forces, put forward by the leader of Liverpool City Council, is just a weak excuse.  If he really believes it then he needs to think again.  Believe me, real market forces will sort this out, no problem.  We will still get the very best in senior positions if we recruit properly.  Successful people will seek to make their name in the public sector first, in prestige positions, then move on to make their fortune.

I say increase the prime minister’s salary to £250,000.  These gestures of senior politicians cutting their own pay are meaningless and impress no one.  Make that the maximum that anyone in the public sector can earn.  Enforce it immediately.  All salaries to be trimmed to that level from 1st October.  I see everything in favour of this and nothing against.

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Thank God For The Prince Of Wales

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Otherwise our country would be littered with vainglorious, egotistical self-monuments to architects –  individuals like Richard Rogers who persist in the delusion that they know best.

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Prince Charles speaks with wisdom, discretion and for the conscience of the Nation.  Those who understand the unique place that the monarchy holds in British society know that he speaks for a Britishness that transcends politics, fashion and the vicissitudes of architecture.  To use their own, pretentious expression, architects create our “built environment”, the very space in which we live our lives.  What other profession charged with such a grave responsibility has failed so miserably over the last century?  Where is the great architecture of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and up to date? I can think of none but I can make you lists of the eyesores, slums and ludicrous mistakes that scar our towns and cities.

Thank God for the Prince of Wales!  To the architects, the planners, those lawyers and judges who know no respect, I say take them to the Tower!  Let them languish there until their own mistakes have crumbled into dust.  Then we might give them another go.  Until then let’s stick with the proven classics of design.  Innovation and experiment may be valid in modern art but in architecture there can be no equivalent of Damian Hirst or Tracy Emin.  They may thrive in private view but not in public.  No thank you!