Thursday, March 29, 2012
for awhile there the standard everyone was using was the pay of the prime minister. if you happened to be a public servant of some sort and you were earning more than the prime minister then somehow you were a dirty rotten cheat because there could be no way you were worth more than the prime minister. just couldn't be possible. (which is very odd when you consider the argument that you have to pay the best to get the best - it is obviously an argument that doesn't hold when you are a go getting entrepreneur in which case earning less than the prime minister must be a sign of failure). recently that particular measure has fallen out of favour perhaps because they have worn it to a frazzle. so a new measure has been called for. this one isn't about earnings, this one is about class. to be more precise this one is about proclaiming yourself as one of the people, being part of us and not one of 'them'. yes it is the 'gregg's pasty measure' (gpm). if you eat a pasty (for in truth it can be any pasty, not just a greggs' one) you are one of us. if you don't then you must be one of them. david cameron has confessed to having eaten one - showing that he is of the people. george osborne has been challenged on his pasty eating habits. he apparently failed the test. he must be one of them. david miliband has made sure to be seen in a greggs. it is an odd measure of comradeship and shared communion. the irony of it is that most of the commentators who have challenged cameron ans osborne are not like us - they are part of a media elite. the members of parliament who have heckled them over their eating habits are not like most of us, most of us do not earn the sort of money they do or have the perks that they do. in many ways their use of the gpm isn't so much a way of highlighting the difference between us and the leaders of the con/dem overnmnet, it is their way of convincing themselves that they are still in touch with the common herd. frankly i would prefer that cameron and osborne didn't pander and just be themselves. there is nothing more embarrassing than people trying to be something there are not (think william hague's story of pint drinking or blair's football tales). i know they are from a privileged background and no amount of pie eating is going to change that. no doubt the gregg's pasty measure will be used for a few weeks yet. in its own way it is no better than the prime minister salary one.