For the BBC last Friday proved a distinctly good one. The Corp was able to report more ‘proof’ of the evil patriarchal gender pay gap. The government’s year-long mandatory reporting exercise into gender pay differentials had found, surprise, surprise, that more than three out of four UK companies pay their male staff more than their female staff. It was top of the news.
Then there was the authoritarian conclusion drawn by the influential but distinctly illiberal Financial Times from this bogus exercise. The BBC Today programme’s early morning newspaper review led with it: The exercise must spur genuine, long-term efforts to reduce disparities, not just a superficial improvement in the statistics. The FT editor’s homily was a direct call for State intervention and enforcement as the pay gap cannot be closed without ‘corporate policies and statutory underpinning to allow and actively encourage more equal sharing of family responsibilities’.
If the FT has its way fathers who want or plan to be their family’s main breadwinner can forget it. This is what it boils down to. As to mothers who want to be mothers, too bad. Fathers who want to work will have no choice but to take on 50 per cent of childcare duties regardless of what they or the mothers of their children want, let alone of what their babies and children might need. Their work patterns will have to mirror their wives’ or partners’. To iron out the gender pay gap their priorities and their practice will have to be the same. This will be the terms of their employment contract.
For the only way to enforce gender pay parity is by making mothers and fathers the same; by forcing men to tailor their work ambitions and aspirations to those of the majority of women. Whether this be fewer hours or less demanding jobs. It also means making different value or skilled jobs the same. This is the crazy logic. It is also a brand new proscription on freedom, a brand new infringement of the private sphere and a further invasion of family life. In order to work, to be employed, men and women will essentially have to rescind any right of choice or decision over the division of labour within their own families. This will be the price not just of pay parity but of work. Sameness in everything.
If you are not shocked by that, you should be.
No doubt it had Maria Miller, the Conservative MP who chairs the women and equalities committee, whooping with delight along with the BBC.
I am not sure what is more worrying – a Conservative government that has no compunction about enforcing such Swedish style social engineering on families and companies or a mainstream media, run by otherwise intelligent men and women, that persists in reporting on a policy based on spurious evidence and driven by ideology and insists this green light to State control is the future.
You begin to wonder how many times gender pay gap claims have to be debunked. As we have done here, here, here and here pointing out it reflects choice and, most recently, here on the perverse consequences of enforcement parity.
How many times does the Institute of Economic Affairs have to explain as Kate Andrews did yet again on Monday, that government’s new pay gap reporting measures fail to provide any meaningful insight into equal or fair pay for men and women in the workplace.
What will it take?
When even the fictitious British news reporter Jonathan Pie and a feminist help-mate, can see the gender pay gap for the old baloney that it is, and think it needs sending up, isn’t it time for the MSM to wake up and catch up?
This video is about the only chink of light in the blindness to sex differences now obscuring the British establishment’s vision.
But it comes with a health warning. Mr Pie still has a way to go on the road to enlightenment. A final State childcare solution to the gender pay gap is hurried in at the end (don’t worry, you see neither mum nor dad need look after the kids). Hopefully he’ll see, before too long, that idea needs to be up for mockery and derision too.