Donald MacInnes: It's not asking for the Moon if you get paid in old newspapers

 

Excuse my beginning with such a personal question, but are you worth your salary? You certainly don't need to answer, but I only ask because of two things which happened this week. The first was that, due to a piece I wrote a few weeks ago bemoaning the lack of spending on the US space programme, I was offered the chance to interview an actual Apollo astronaut; someone who has walked on the Moon.

Look out for my conversation with Charles Duke in this paper at a later date.

Anyway, in preparing for that interview – and in the spirit of "it takes a village to raise a child" – I decided to ask a few friends if they had any questions they wanted me to put to such a genuinely heroic adventurer. One which cropped up often was: "How much did you get paid to walk on the Moon?"

I shan't be asking Mr Duke this, as I am almost certain when he was saluting the flag on the lunar surface, he wasn't thinking: "Is it pay day today? Oh gee, do I need us to get paid today! If the 30th falls on a Sunday, we usually get paid on the Friday, right?"

Anyway, given my rant about the fiscal strangling of Nasa, you'll guess I don't care how much Mr Duke was paid.

The second thing which happened this week to trigger this rumination on salaries was a tweet I received from – well, let's just call him a non-fan. On Monday, I wrote a column about trying to buy a new laptop.

It was a light-hearted, (supposedly) funny bit of rubbish which was not meant to trouble anyone. However, the aforementioned tweeter accused me of being an overpaid, sneering intellectual with nothing to say. Firstly, I will hold my hands up to the last part of his comment. As I have admitted repeatedly in this and other columns, you've come to the wrong place if you expect me to extrapolate the impact of this week's events in Westminster or ponder "What Next for the Arab Spring?" This is the Gag Department. They don't call me The Earl of Puerile Flippancy for nothing. Just be grateful the personal finance editor cuts out all the jokes about bogeys.

But "sneering intellectual"? I only sneer if my girlfriend suggests we have a salad for dinner and I'd sooner watch Noddy than Newsnight. As far as me being "overpaid" goes, if I told you that I get paid in old newspapers, which I lug home to fashion into papier-mâché sculptures to sell on eBay for a tiny profit, would you believe me?

d.macinnes@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

    £50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

    £13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

    Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own