Saturday, July 01, 2006

It Asda Be A Joke

In 1992, a senior correspondent on a national newspaper earned, I am told, around £40,000. Someone of my acquaintance has just taken a job on a national newspaper, in a specialist role, for £35,000. 14 years later. Now, that is more than a lot of people, but that is not the point. Even underestimating inflation, the £40,000 would now be £60,000. Clearly someone, somewhere, is having a laugh. I think we know who it is. The Asda-isaton of our society continues apace. There is nothing wrong, on the surface, with low prices, or low wages if they still give spending power. After all, it is all relative. The first packet of fags I ever bought cost 37.5 of your new pence. However, this concept will always be skewed in favour of the boss class. Low prices, they say, mean lower wages are acceptable. But the gap is inherently biased against the worker/consumer. Not to mention the child making trainers in China or Bangladesh. Something for three pounds is expensive if you only have £150 a week to pay for everything. In America, $30,000 dollars is considered to be a middle class salary, which even there is arrant rubbish. Anyway, back to the newsroom. We all know the printers were bastards, particularly the National Graphical Association president, a Mr M. Mouse, and his deputy, Mr B. Bunny, but I am sure you will recognise the phrase that if you tolerate this, your children will be next. And, my scrbbling friends, they have been.


barbara worth said...

Hello Granny

I think there are some strange things going on in the economy. One as you say is the advent of cheap imported goods. The other is house price inflation.

I feel as if I know a number of middle class people who are cruising along and not trying very hard in their jobs. However, they feel very financially secure because of the equity in their house (or houses). In fact, they put a great deal of energy which perhaps they once put into their careers into buying, selling, renovating, extending etc houses. Particularly if you are a dual income couple, you can fund an awful lot of borrowing on two quite modest salaries and in effect become a part-time property developer. I am wondering what the eventual knock-on effects will be. I don't think it is good for the SME end of the economy, which is the only aspect I know anything about.

Sam Brady said...

I've been a journalist for the past 26 years, and whenever I've worked for newspapers I've always been paid pisspoor wages. So now I've moved over into PR, which is, of course, better paid but soul-rottingly dull. I've worked mainly for regional papers in the past but also for teletext companies. The money was quite good in teletext, but, my God, the work was SO BORING. At times, I was fighting for oxygen.
Seems to me the nationals are going the same way as the regional press. They pay peanuts. They are staffed by monkeys.

hangthedj said...

I am one of these monkeys.

But then again I am 23 and earning more in London as a national hack than I would ever be earning back in Warrington to write stories that I wouldn't wipe my arse with.

galatea said...

It's too late, far far far too late. Starting salaries in journalism are now in the order of ten to 14 grand, an amount only sustainable if one is living at home rent-free/heavily subsidised by parents/also working as a whore.

And the newspapers love it - the deskilling means that you can have two eager young graduates rewriting press releases for the price of one senior hack with all that obsolete stuff like contacts and experience.

oliver said...

Funny that, the first packet of fagsI bought cost 10p. Even the dictators are getting younger!

Ellee Seymour said...

I used to get paid 3 guinneas for writing my weekly woman's page at the age of 16 (I had an old fashioned editor, I promise you I'm not that ancient). I only hear guinneas now as a monetary term at the horse race sales in Tattersalls, Newmarket, where quite a few noughts are added on the end.

By the way, what's the price of being a sperm donor these days? There is a shortage of UK volunteers, seems they are worried about being traced by kids they may father via a test tube.

stalin's gran said...

Guineas only have one n...apart from that Ellee, thanks for a truly surreal contributiion. Mor3e of the same please. If you are interested in sperm donors, I can think of a few