Paying for the hours

April 26, 2007


Unfortunately I have realised that my inflated monolith of a salary will soon be worth no more than a few million Zimbawe dollars thanks to Gordon’s recent discovery that tax and spend policies lead to an end to Tory Boom and Bust increasing inflationary pressure. So I hopped in the Lambo with Lola and hot-footed it down to London to Damien Hirst’s gallery where I was able to pick up a rather tastefully embalmed surgeon for a fraction of the cost of the real thing. I am hoping to put it on the door of my office to discourage any of the squitty juniors from coming to ask my advice.

On the way back we were passing the DCMS when I saw David Lammy deep in thought. I bet he was worrying about THIS problem-how to save the Wardington book of hours for the nation. Thinking it was a book of my hours which my secretary (no doubt jealous of Lola) had sent to Mrs Hewitt, I nearly made him an offer on the spot, but when he explained what it really was, I decided that I didn’t like the idea of opening Sana Towers to the public, so my accountant wouldn’t let me buy it.

But why don’t British museums sell some of their works of art to finance acquisitions. There are hundreds of thousands of pictures and sculptures in this country that never see the light of day. Why not pawn a few to pay for something that the curators are actually prepared to hang. Surely we don’t need to keep them all in case some junior minister wants to hang it on the wall of his grace and favour apartment to impress the chicks.

The Imperial War Museum has got the idea. They recently sold a rare Messerchmitt 163 (German)to pay for an almost unique DeHavilland DH9 (British). This sounds like a good deal especially as it looks like they may have enough parts to make 2 of the DH9s!

Maybe some of our other museums should follow suit. I’m sure this must happen on a small scale, but we never seem to get to hear of it



  1. Gordon’s recent discovery that tax and spend policies lead to (an end to Tory Boom and Bust) increasing inflationary pressure.

    Lol – life is a roller coaster.
    The reason Gordon went wrong, is because Blair spent the tax subisidising high priced ‘affordable’ housing thus propping up house price rises, instead of building real affordable housing, dampening house price rises.

    And because Tony Blair decided to give doctors 30% pay rises instead of employing 30% more ‘doctors’
    And by doctors – I mean people who care about patients – not people who look at patients as customers to be fleeced.

    Alas, Jason and the golden fleece.

  2. But all that aside,
    though I love the humour of lola & the lambo
    after all that is no sin – even if you are married and cheating on the wife – lol!

    But tell me, we have known Blair is a self-confessed Thatcherite, so what’s the difference between Nu labour and Thatcherism, or Cameron’s conservativism for that matter – Family values? huh – careful
    You can be dismissed as prejudiced against ‘modern’ (and not so modern) relationships.

    So what is the difference between Nu Labour and the conservatives (apart from the people).

    And now lets talk health care.
    If I have a ‘dedicated’ team of 1.3 million and a budget of £90 billion
    is it not true that all private health care offers is ways to siphon more of that lolly into their pockets and treat less people.

    After all those plebes – who don’t work, or don’t earn enough to pay tax, or don’t get BUPA and paid holidays – or can’t afford private health insurance nor private pensions – LET THEM EAT CAKE.

    As long as we have enough people to keep us in the life we’ve become accustomed to, whether it be doctors, lawyers, surgeons, solicitors, …
    who gives a damn about the rest.

    Oh and lets introduce Tuition and Top-up fees so that our off spring face less competition at Uni, and we can guarantee ‘our’ children well paid jobs too.

    But hell, who said anything about building paradise for all – We Believe In A Personal Heaven available for those who can pay – but funny how All of Us cry and bleed and die just like all the others

  3. Here’s the difference Q9. I don’t believe that you can run a country by telling people what to do, and prescribing every activity. That is the central core of Brown/Blairism. I believe you have to give people the opportunity to succeed and to fail. That way I believe we will take more personal responsibility for what is wrong with our society, rather than expecting the government to sort everything out.

    So if I have ever fallen in a gutter and found out how hard it is to get myself out then I will not walk past you but will put out a hand and pick you up. If the government gutter cleaner came along and picked me up, then maybe I will leave you there to hope he comes for you too.

    I don’t believe we should be asking people on low incomes to pay any tax at all. Brown thinks they should pay more tax and then those who know how to fill in the right forms can claim some back, so they are dependent on his largesse

    Thats why we are spending 80 billion pounds per annum on social welfare-almost as much as the NHS. And I believe that that is crippling our society, not saving it

    Now the question is how do we allow people their independence and still provide for those who are genuinely in need. That is a difficult question and not one I can answer. But believe me Q9 there is a difference

  4. Mens Sana, there are many thing I don’t understand
    But there is One I never will understand:

    Why someone on £2000 a week (and more) from the State begrudges another £50 odd income support, or whatever unemployment benefit or however much on disability benefit – because of whatever accident of birth, lack of opportunity and lack of ability or skills.

    After all they both get child allowance just the same, and I dare say some with no children begrudge that.

    Why someone on £2000 a week from the state living in a £450,000 home (with no mortgage or low mortgage) begrudges someone with less earning potential and lower income – a decent home – a low rent Council Home. Not everyone living in A council home was or is a scrounger, some are unable to get a job, some are unable to keep a job, some are simply in casual or seasonal employment, and some are simply in low paid irregular work – hence unable to ‘secure’ a mortgage.
    And of course a handful are happy to be unemployed or one of the 80,000 prisoners recycled by the state – but aren’t some of the rich people thieves too, just that they rob, extort or fleece people ‘lawfully’

    Why someone on £2000 a week from the state, or whose employer wholly or partly subsidises their BUPA or private health insurance, and private pension contributions, begrudges another on low pay or NO pay (living on benefits) the SAME health care, and the same pension rights.

    Of course if all employers provided BUPA or other private health insurance and private pensions, would that not be equivalent to providing higher NIC.

    I am not saying doctors should be told what to do.
    But if I pay a dentist £100,000 a year to fix teeth, why is he concerned about how much he can charge patients for dentistry? – Why does he offer those who CAN pay more something other, than those who cannot pay. Free treatment, means free to the patient. And nhs fees may not be as high as dentists would like, but that is because those willing to pay have set the price too high. There is a difference between choosing a restaurant and what to eat. Whether you pay £2o.00 for a big mac meal or £200.00 for a seat, you cannot eat more than your fill – however the treatment or ‘filling’ you get from your dentist if you pay £20 or £200 may vary considerably.

    And not all people out of work, chhose so to be.
    I dare say there are some who could Consultants BE.
    But alas, only junior doctors haveMichelle Tempest protesting against a government that cannot guarantee them well paid jobs.

    And only GPs get £30,000 pay rises
    yet would still presume to begrudge someone living on £3000 a year benefits. Oh the irony, don’t you SEE.

  5. Of course I see

    And in many ways you are right. Why should we, of all people, begrudge them the money

    And I don’t, I really don’t. But I do begrudge charging people tax only to give it back to them (and then only to those who know their way round the system). I begrudge a system which means that many people have no incentive to work because they will have less income. Its not that I begrudge any (honest) individual any amount of money. I don’t. But I think that people who want to work, people who make sacrifices to raise families etc should be encouraged to do so, not discouraged by the state system

    But you are right: Why should the state pay me anything more than a living wage. maybe it shouldn’t

  6. Men Sana, we are lucky that in the past ten years, employment opportunities have risen and unemployment has gone down – not thanks to Thatcher or Blair’s Thatcherite policies – but because where we are in cosmological Time, and the growth in job creation, as well as growth in the global economy.

    As you know our economy ceased to be dependant on agriculture, manufacturing or trade long ago – modern economies thrive on services – I pay you, you pay x. x pays y and y should pay me, and we all pay tax. Velocity of money creates wealth. Of course some greedy buggers always puts a spanner in the works and hoards too much, or siphons too much out of the system

    But it is ironic that a man with a family and a home will need to be subsidised by the benefits system to go to work. In a true market economy he would be paid more.

    After all why pay a doctor £120,000 and take £30,000 off him in deductions
    and pay a hospital worker £15,000 and give him working tax credit to make it worth his whilw working

    Why not pay the doctor £30,000 less
    and the hospital porter five or ten thousand more.

    The world is not fair, and even if you started with equal pay – market forces and other ‘choices’ would soon distort the outcome.

    But I do think the answer to reacing a more equitable society is not per centage pay increases.

    After all we now the difference between a 3% pay increase on £100,000 and a 3% increase on £15,000
    The answer is to put a cap on increases (taxing high incomes is one way of placing such a cap, as well as a means for the treasury to raise revenues for welfare).

    But do we believe in an ideal and more equitable society. Many people may pay lip service to it, but few believe in it. And as you know for anything to be achieved or become a reality, you need enough people to believe it can be achieved.

    Is not medicine looking for a cure for cancer?
    Is not medicine looking for the longevity pill?

    I would have thought that an Ideal and more equitable society are easier goals to reach, one could argue it is necessary first to reach these goals before striving for other goals thru ineqitable or unfair means.

  7. Lucky Lola…

    I would say the reasons museums don’t sell their works of art is because many of them have been donated and they are not allowed to. I know my father’s family donated an earthenware jug with our name on it to the museum in Wisbech many, many years ago. It was on display constantly when I was a child, but has now been removed as it has little widespread appeal.

    I do think the Elgin Marbles should be returned to Greece though.

  8. Museums do sell works of Art.
    Now the Elgin Marbles, Elle
    That is a curious state of affairs.

    Soon it could be cheaper to fly to Greece on Ryan Air to vie the Elgin Marbles, than catch a train or park in London (in addition to congestion charges & high fuel prices).

  9. Soon it could be cheaper to fly to Greece on Ryan Air to vie the Elgin Marbles, than catch a train or park in London (in addition to congestion charges & high fuel prices).

    I think it already is if you book far enough in advance. I don’t have a strong view on the Elgin Marbles. If we repatriate every work of art bought by British people over the last few centuries we would have little left. On the other hand these have a particular place in the heritage of Greece, and do belong with the Parthenon.

    But if they hadn’t been in the British Museum they would quite probably not have survived

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