That is, Dave knows. You may not, especially if you’re a reactionary, racist, homophobic, misogynist global-warming denier (a conservative, in other words).
You may think that what’s wrong with Britain is exactly what Dave thinks is right.
Such as the NHS, so envied by all other European countries that none of them has tried to emulate it.
Or our comprehensive education that kindly doesn’t overburden young minds with superfluous knowledge, such as how to read and write.
Or our economy that has every characteristic of a pyramid scheme.
Or our army dwindling down to the size of a barely adequate police force.
Or the tectonic demographic shift caused by uncontrolled immigration, most of it from the low-rent part of the world.
Or trading our sovereignty for the honour of becoming a province in the EU.
Or… well, you can probably mention other things along similar lines. But that’s because you don’t know.
Dave knows, and he has generously shared his knowledge with Times readers. Britain has only one serious problem: women getting paid less than men.
First Dave expressed a heartfelt hope that his two daughters will “experience gender equality in the workplace when they start their careers”.
Eton obviously didn’t teach Dave that ‘gender’ is merely a grammatical category, and the word he meant is ‘sex’. Then again, I don’t think he has to worry about the earning potential of Nancy and Florence, ‘gender equality’ or no. Dynastic privilege will take care of that.
Then Dave modestly took credit for the growing number of women in business, politics and even the army, which he described as “a cause for celebration”. But “the job is not complete. The Commons is nearly a third female; it should be half.”
This is misogynist discrimination if I ever heard it. Just half, Dave? When women make up 50.7% of our population and men a paltry 49.3%? Where’s the ‘gender equality’ in that? (And if a man became a woman, would he/she be entitled to an automatic rise?)
It must be exactly 50.7% and never mind any other characteristics we expect in our legislators, such as integrity, courage, intellect, patriotism, honesty.
Now let’s talk turkey, which is to say money.
Dave acknowledges that the ‘gender gap’ for full-time workers under 40 is almost zero. But some discrepancy still exists, and “I’m determined to close this gap.”
One might think that the government can only close this or any other pay gap in the private sector by mandating how much companies must pay, and to whom. This in effect amounts to crypto-nationalisation, and I thought Miliband lost the general election.
Dave is going to force companies with more than 250 employees to “publish the gap between average female earnings and average male earnings. That will cast sunlight on the discrepancies…”
It’ll also cast a dark spell over morale in the workplace, but then Dave has only ever worked in politics. And average earnings is a meaningless concept anyway. On average, Bill Gates and I make millions every year, so what does that tell you?
It’s likely that whoever owns a company with 251 employees draws a seven-digit income, all in. If he has the misfortune of being male, how many female employees would need to have their salaries quadrupled to close the gap in average earnings?
Dave’s right: there’s work still to be done. And – are you ready for this terrifying statistic? – “while they are 47 per cent of the workforce, women are just 34 per cent of managers, directors and senior officials.”
The gap doesn’t seem inordinately large, considering that such jobs require long hours, and some women between 25 and 40 still haven’t given up on childbirth and the ensuing care. Of course in Dave’s ideal world the burden of childbirth would be equally divided between men and women, but science hasn’t quite reached that point yet.
But not to worry; Dave has it sorted. First the outrage: “when women have children, many cannot afford to go back to work full time… That then prevents them from moving through the ranks.” Then the solution: making childcare tax-free, which would be “worth up to £2,000 per year for every child”.
Excellent idea. But Plato and Marx had even a better one: taking all children away from their mothers and making them wards of the state. That way their minds can be shaped to fit the state’s needs, not their mothers’ silly ideas.
While Dave’s proposal is different in technicalities, it’s identical in substance: mothers have no business bringing their children up, reading them fairy tales, teaching them right and wrong. Someone else will take care of all that.
Actually, this present brainstorm dovetails neatly with Dave’s other pet project, homomarriage. Two women marry each other and presto! – no children, they can both “move through the ranks” with no outside distractions.
Aren’t we lucky to have as PM a real Tory who knows exactly what’s wrong with Britain and how to put it right?