JOBS FOR THE GIRLS?
A shamingly or shockingly long gap since my last post, partly (but only partly) explained by my being away on holiday for a while. Back in Cornwall now, in the wet wind that has become our default daily weather. Although summer visitors, usually confined to more prosperous resorts, are seldom aware of it, this is still almost the poorest county in the UK, and still qualifies (along with Sicily and Northern Portugal, for special EU subsidies. As has been said, when England sneezes, Cornwall gets pneumonia - which will be even more noticeable if the present government really introduces regional rates of pay in public service jobs, as it has threatened. When I was first involved, as a "quangaroo" - a member of quangoes - with the public services (NHS etc) there were regional rates of pay, which ensured that nobody from more prosperous areas would ever apply to work here, because it meant a drop in salary. Do we want to re-introduce immobile and aggrieved workers in the public sector and a low (because uncompetitive) standard of work? Yes, says one feminist friend. The chaps, she thinks, will be leaving in droves before they get stuck for keeps in a low-pay area, which will mean more public sector jobs going to women.
Which is not , I told her, what I'd call another triumph for feminism.