Carrie Gracie's resignation is admirable but unfortunately it won't change the BBC's gender pay gap crisis

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Monday 08 January 2018 18:15
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Journalist Carrie Gracie speaks to the media outside the BBC in London after she turned down a £45,000 rise, describing the offer as a ‘botched solution’ to the problem of unequal pay at the BBC
Journalist Carrie Gracie speaks to the media outside the BBC in London after she turned down a £45,000 rise, describing the offer as a ‘botched solution’ to the problem of unequal pay at the BBC

Carrie Gracie should be commended for her courageous decision to resign from her BBC post because of the corporation’s “secretive and illegal pay structure”.

There can be little room for optimism, however, that such action will prompt the development of a fair and transparent pay culture when the BBC’s response is to claim that its gender pay figures show it is performing “considerably better” than “many” organisations. Such a childish reaction reveals that the corporation has learned nothing from last summer’s “furore” over pay.

Gracie makes the important point that the BBC belongs to people, the “licence fee payer”, and we neither expect presenters, whatever their so-called “star status”, to be paid obscene amounts, nor for any disparity over gender pay to exist.

A start to solving the problem can be made by drawing up new contracts for all BBC employees and managers, with a maximum set at £200,000. All those who refuse to sign should be required to justify their decision, live on air, with Gracie conducting the interviews!

Bernie Evans
Liverpool

Hypocrisy from the Tories

Theresa May claims she is “not impressed” by the deeply misogynist and depraved tweets sent out over the years by Toby Young, the newly appointed head of the Office for Students.

She insists that if Mr Young continues to express such attitudes he will not keep his job.

Which means Theresa May is allowing Toby Young to keep his job.

The Tories have created the Office for Students to specifically challenge universities that “no-platform” speakers they believe are promoting hate.

Since his appointment was announced, Toby Young has been busy deleting thousands of Tweets he has posted since 2009. But they survive in the Twitter-sphere, and they are disgusting.

They are misogynist filth. They show a hatred of working-class people. In one tweet he imagines pleasuring himself over pictures of starving African children.

And Toby Young has been appointed the judge as to who is and isn’t fit to speak in the UK’s universities.

Sasha Simic
London N16

Hunt seems a little confused

If I plan to do something, I don’t normally make arrangements to do something else and then cancel those arrangements. That is not planning.

To say that instructing hospital bosses to postpone (or cancel in normal usage) all non-urgent (ie pre-planned) operations was all “part of the plan” doesn’t say much for the plan.

If that was the plan, surely the way to implement it would have been to issue instructions much earlier (at the “planning” stage?), not to book the non-urgent care in the first place.

Stephen Marr
Western Australia

The future of health care

So the Centre for Policy Studies – that bastion of liberal thought founded by those old lefties Keith Joseph and Margaret Thatcher, which lists among its aims “…to limit the role of the state, to encourage enterprise…” – think we should have a Royal Commission to look at “alternative” ways to fund the NHS.

Why bother? I can save the country hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of pounds right away by predicting the outcome. A privatised, US-style system where the wealthy get first dibs, where the rest of us wait in line for a two-tier, second-rate service, funded by insurance companies whose primary focus is the avoidance of paying for treatments in order to increase profit for shareholders.

Thanks, not necessary, Theresa May, I’ll expect my knighthood in the next birthday honours list.

Patrick Moore
Bloxham

The Government can resolve the NHS crisis they deny exists by nationalising all the services they have given away and forcing all private health services to work only for the NHS.

Imagine the next royal baby being born in a public hospital. If only.

Liza Russell
Landshut

Voting for the younger generation

With reference to older voters, Martin Redfurn states in his letter to The Independent: “They don’t aspire to change the world, they seek a financially secure future for their families, and efficient public services in exchange for an often growing tax contribution.”

If that is the case, they really should not vote for the Conservative Party.

Mark Morsman
London SE13

Trump’s Tweets

Donald Trump claims to be a “stable genius”. Does that mean he’s smarter than the average donkey?

Susan Alexander
South Gloucestershire

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