Poor Georgie

Monbiot that is:

There is an inverse relationship between utility and reward. The most lucrative, prestigious jobs tend to cause the greatest harm. The most useful workers tend to be paid least and treated worst.

Still hasn’t quite grasped the solution to the diamonds and water paradox….despite the solution being published 239 years ago.

63 comments on “Poor Georgie

  1. To be fair, he works for a newspaper which is long-term loss-making and whose circulation is falling. Its editor still makes £500k per year.

    His colleagues are journalists who write about subjects of which they appear to know little or nothing, and who are famously incapable of using statistics. Some of them make £100k+ per year.

    Its no wonder that he think rewards are unfairly distributed – the evidence is all around him.

  2. Ever notice how people featured in Guardian stories have no agency?

    Those downtrodden Hewlett-Packard workers have had their morale crushed yet they choose to continue working for the company. Or poor Carol, rushing from house to house, looking after old people: she is paid less than the minimum wage but doesn’t even consider changing jobs.

    In the Guardian’s worldview, your profession is stamped in your passport for life: George Monbiot, Journalist; Carol, Carer; Tim Worstall, blogger metals specialist Ukip spokesperson irritating right-winger who refuses to be pigeon-holed. Thus all efforts are concentrated on trying to improve the lot of workers in big companies, rather than improving the job market to grant those workers more freedom.

    No doubt it suits Guardian journalists to imagine that a job is for life. Alas reality is catching up with them.

  3. Andrew M:

    Yes, when I read the parts such as:

    “Carole’s company gives her a rota of, er, three half-hour visits an hour. It takes no account of the time required to travel between jobs, and doesn’t pay her for it either, which means she makes less than the minimum wage.”

    and

    “She is shouted at by family members for being late and not spending enough time with each client, then upbraided by the company because of the complaints it receives.”

    I was just thinking why doesn’t she complain until they fire her or just quit and then sue the fuck out of her former employers.

  4. Andrew M:” improving the job market to grant those workers more freedom.”

    Well said–that is exactly what’s needed.

  5. ‘she may have to get them out of bed, help them on the toilet, wash them, dress them, make breakfast and give them their medicines’

    Admirable and all that obviously, but I’m failing to see the unique skill set George’s carer is displaying here that 50 million other people couldn’t provide ? It seems the concept of demand and supply has passed George by. Except of course when it comes to selling books or opinion, where there is obviously sufficient demand to read half-baked enviro-activist wank, to make the author a multi-millionaire by charging £ 12 for a paperback on such subjects as how we can fight deforestation to reduce the effects of global warming.

    Cunt

  6. Worzel,

    He posts all of his earnings here: http://www.monbiot.com/registry-of-interests/

    It’s nice to see he gets next to fuck all in royalties for his shite books. I’m not sure if I’d prefer his low royalties are because no one wants to read the tiresome cunt’s ramblings or because evil capitalist publishers are ripping him off.

  7. I was just thinking why doesn’t she complain until they fire her or just quit and then sue the fuck out of her former employers.

    Yeah because lawsuits are easy and cheap.

  8. Royalties on books are meant to be small – if they are large, then your agent under-negotiated the advance (or the book became an unexpected hit). Like most authors, he gets a big spike of an advance every so often (there’s a bunch of translation or reprinting advances, but there’s just one primary advance in that list: £8,800) and then a steady trickle of royalties once the book has earned out the advance.

    From a purchasing editor’s point of view, you will hit your target profit margin if books average earning out about 90-95% of their advances. Some will be radically under and some radically over (you always get an occasional flop and an occasional break-out hit) so you want most books to be about the advance.

    Successful mid-list authors (which is what Monbiot is) will earn their advance out and then get relatively little in royalties. That’s why the royalty cheques are so small – the books have more or less sold out.

  9. “But surgeons and film directors are greatly outnumbered by corporate lawyers, lobbyists, advertisers, management consultants, financiers and parasitic bosses consuming the utility their workers provide. ”

    Note the careful omission of premium journalists and public sector management and authority leaders.

    Also note that he doesn’t mention the treatment meted out to the likes of Carol, is done in spades with equally hardworking and caring nurses, doctors, teachers and policemen by their employer, HM Government.

    Carol may well be paid (illegally) below minimum wage, but at least she’s getting paid something

  10. Dongguan John – Geez. I feel a little bit sorry for him now.

    I read somewhere that sexist men with traditional views earn more than politically correct New Men (are new men still new?), so my advice to Georgie is:

    * Get rid of the poncey waistcoat, it makes you look like a waiter. Get a haircut that doesn’t make you look like a dick. And wear a proper suit – Hugo Boss is my favourite, Armani is for ponces – but don’t wear a tie. Instead, show off just a touch of manly chest rug for the ladies. Debbie Orr will be slipping off her seat when she sees the difference. So will young Owen.

    * Give yourself a manly nickname like “Chopper” or “Ace”. Don’t get carried away though – “Fanny Destroyer Monbiot” might alienate some readers due to trying too hard.

    *.Next time you see Polly, slap her on the arse and tell her to stick the kettle on. She loves a bit of rough.

    * Park your 4×4 across two disabled spaces at the Guardian car park, to show your alpha dominance. Then bully some interns. If you can’t get one to run to the toilets for a cry, you’re not doing it right.

    * Take Rusbridger out for a curry and a lapdance, and say “listen mate, Chopper’s got 2 kids to feed – that I know of. I’m one of your top writers so stop being a cunt and show Chopper the money, or Chopper might have to fuck off to the Daily Mail” (talking about yourself in the third person is a good alpha male trait that Steve recommends).

    It’s not rocket surgery.

  11. Interesting that he groups film directors with surgeons in the “good and useful” category. This is perfectly in keeping with the snobbish Guardian upper middle class viewpoint – film directors and musicians may make colossal fortunes without comment, but professional footballers (99% working class) are grasping scum.

  12. “But surgeons and film directors are greatly outnumbered by corporate lawyers, lobbyists, advertisers, management consultants, financiers and parasitic bosses consuming the utility their workers provide. ”

    And how’s a filmmaker going to make a film without people and subcontractors working on it? People and subcontractors who want contracts? Contracts that will be prepared and enforced by corporate lawyers? Who’s going to create the ad campaign for the film? The director? Ask Disney how that went with John Carter. Who’s going to finance the film being made? Pixar would never have made those brilliant films without Steve Jobs’ and Disney’s money.

    The trouble with the old commentariat is that they have no clue about the worlds with which they speak. Their perspective on things mostly comes from fiction – the world of business looks like Modern Times, Dilbert or Office Space in which bosses are sadistic, lazy and stupid.

  13. Rob

    reminds me of Murphy’s vote-winning suggestion that Premier League footballers be subject to a maximum wage – the hypocrisy is breathtaking

  14. The Stigler

    Having worked in financial services, a large number of people are employed both enforcing and ensuring companies adhere to the myriad of regulations that have come out in the wake of the crash – does he classify these people as ‘useless’, I wonder?

  15. “Ever notice how people featured in Guardian stories have no agency?”

    Of course they think ordinary people have no agency – it’s just dieletical materialism. People react soley to their economic conditions and class, innit. Somehow, though this uniquely applies to the lower orders yet not to Grauniad columnists.

    Or the evil tories did it. Cos nobody ever had sh1tty working conditions under Callaghan……..

  16. “Parasitic bosses”.

    It’s nice to know that in George’s World, companies run themselves without any management.

  17. “corporate lawyers, lobbyists, (both jobs that would not exist with out politics) advertisers,( actually needed) management consultants(not needed but would not exist without the wealth produced by the free market–those poor old soviets had to work out the logistics of mass murder as best they could–they couldn’t afford management consultants), financiers (some need but more nowadays because the courageous state drains so much money in taxes) and parasitic bosses(some are:some aren’t) consuming the utility their workers provide( they provided this utility spontaneously did they? All off their own bat?). ”

    I want a £67000 a year job writing shite in the Guardian. They don’t yet dream what the word clickbait truly means.

  18. It must be very confusing for Our Georgie, living in the modern world when the only lens he has to look through is 150 years old and was wonky even back then.

    I imagine it’s infuriating when you have quasi-religious certitude of your worldview and yet it is so utterly unhelpful in understanding how the modern world works. I imagine it makes him rather cross at times that he just can’t understand why things happen the way they do.

  19. Steve:

    “And wear a proper suit – Hugo Boss is my favourite, Armani is for ponces ”

    See, I was with you up until then.

    Hugo Boss and Armani are both for ponces. A real man would buy a tailor-made suit, and would be on first names with his tailor (but his tailor would never be so bold as to call his client by his first name. Lord, Sir, or plain old Mr only).

    I saved up from an early working age and bought myself a tailored suit. Best purchase I’ve made, and I look and feel the dog’s in it.

  20. GlenDorran,
    I don’t own a tailor-made suit, but if I wanted one I’d book a holiday to Vietnam and get one there. The total price (including holiday) is far cheaper than the price of a tailor-made suit in the UK.

  21. Does he admit that the commentariate which he is part of and all of his mates in professional political activism, the creative industries and the like live off capitalisms/workers surpluses by his logic?

    I always find those who are utterly dispensible in economy such as those listed above nearly always take issue with the economic system that produces them.

    It’s not to say that they can’t complain about capitalism but they should be more gracious and aware that only so far in history has caputalism managed to deliver so many creatives and the like, vastly out producing all other systems.

  22. Nonsense. A real man wears a tweed suit, and possibly a purple velvet smoking jacket on the weekend, when with friends.

  23. *dispensible as if our only measure of value is basic utility. Of course if some pays you money to write or paint a picture you are by our standards adding value

  24. Ian B:
    Parasitic bosses, indeed. The organisations he most admires, the BBC, the NHS, Government will have deeper and larger layers of useless management than just about any private sector company. Plenty of parasites there.

  25. How barkingly naive do you have to be to think that starting salaries for Oxfam and Goldman Sachs would, should or could be the same?

    And not even the most swivel eyed free marketeer thinks that pay always exactly matches value.

    As for R4′ You and Yours. FFS, it’s where satire goes, not to die, but for a nice comfy lie-down.

    How much pocket money should we give Georgie for his infantile BS? At least the contemporary he sneers at has grown out of it.

  26. Hugo Boss and Armani are both for ponces. A real man would buy a tailor-made suit, and would be on first names with his tailor (but his tailor would never be so bold as to call his client by his first name.

    Indeed.

  27. Looking through his ‘registry of interests’ this looks about a fair compensation for his writings:

    “2 fridge magnets from William Blunt & Sons”

  28. I don’t own a tailor-made suit, but if I wanted one I’d book a holiday to Vietnam and get one there. The total price (including holiday) is far cheaper than the price of a tailor-made suit in the UK.

    Weell. I live part-time in Thailand where everyone gets suits made. And I’ve also been to Vietnam where my wife got some very nice suits made. The problem is twofold:

    1. You have no idea how good the material is. I’ve yet to see an Asian tailor tell you which mill he’s got the material from, whereas the chap I use tells me it is these guys and sticks their label in the suit.

    2. Which style are you after? An English suits is cut a certain way (very slim around the hips) and is cut very differently from a French suit (looser fit) and an American suit (big around the chest, and often shiny). I was thinking about buying a French suit but decided I didn’t want to look French, so I went to an English tailor to give me a suit in an English cut. Now what cut do you think an Asian tailor is going to give you? I have no idea, but I suspect it will be whatever style he has done his apprenticeship on/is copying/has seen on TV or a mish-mash of everything.

    That’s not to say an Asian suit is a bad option, it’s not. But it cannot compete with a properly tailored suit from England.

  29. I get my suits in Hong Kong. What happens there, as I understand it, is the ‘tailor’ measures you up, you pick the material and design and he emails the details to some factory in Shenzhen where it’s made overnight and sent over the border to the shop in the morning.

    If I want I can call the guy from home with what I want and he’ll have it sent directly from Shenzhen to Dongguan.

  30. If you want an Asian-made bespoke suit, the best option is to head into London and find one of the 10,000 Asian tailors who stalk the City providing precisely this service: they measure you on the spot and send the details to China, where they make it. No need to go anywhere near Asia.

  31. GlenDorran – H Boss started out by making uniforms for the SS. So not so much for ponces, really.

  32. Tim Newman,

    Yes, but then the Vietnamese suit is a lot cheaper. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

    OT, following your comment yesterday about the conduct of French in meetings, perhaps you’ve read this piece on American vs English vs French conversation style in the NY Times? http://nyti.ms/1BNatmg

  33. Rob Harries,

    “I always find those who are utterly dispensible in economy such as those listed above nearly always take issue with the economic system that produces them.”

    Not really. I doubt that George is referring to people like John McTiernan (Die Hard), John Milius (Conan the Barbarian) and Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake) when he refers to “film directors”. People who are republican/conservative and have made films that people hand over money to see.

    Many film directors in this country would love communism. They could make their dull pro-state, anti-capitalist movies and know that they’d get paid rather than having to make something that the proles like.

  34. Tim Newman :I esp like your tailors “out-of-hours” number.

    In a country where help against (real) criminals is hard to come by at any hour and medical help “out-of-hours” if iffy, it is good to know you can always call your tailor. That is service.

  35. @ Dongguan John
    He gets £60k a year after expenses and his savings amount to £6k. Someone please report his financial adviser to the FCA. As he is self-employed he pays his main income tax and NI in two bites after the year-end (and, presumably VAT quarterly) so he owes HMRC about £20k, more half of which is due for payment in/before July. He’s been spending more than his after-tax income.

  36. @john77:

    For someone who denounces businesses as being concerned with the short term, those accounts look like he hasn’t really done much planning for the future, and not just to pay his tax bill.

    His pension pot willbe worth around £100k to give his £5k pension.

    It isn’t clear if he’s bought his house outright, but it looks like he’s going to be relying on that. Ironic, given his condemnation of speculative property holdings.

    For a man of his age earning around £60k per year to have cash savings of just £6k isn’t evidence of someone qualified to opine on finance.

    Is he expecting an inheritance?

  37. “For a man of his age earning around £60k per year to have cash savings of just £6k isn’t evidence of someone qualified to opine on finance.”

    I first read that as “per year”, which would still be a bit on the low side… But in total??? Srsly?

    “Many film directors in this country would love communism. They could make their dull pro-state, anti-capitalist movies and know that they’d get paid rather than having to make something that the proles like.”

    Not sure they’d like being paid a pittance in non-convertible currency though, even if they were privileged enough to use the special shops.

  38. yeah he says he has no investments other than his pension and house (doesn’t state his equity in that) plus his 6k cash at bank.

    On what does he blow his income? I’m thinking rent boys.

  39. You can blow a much higher income than that quite easily without the assistance of rent boys. But it tends to involve lots of flying, sports cars, and swanky hotels, all stuff Moonbat claims to eschew.

  40. I see he has an ex-wife. That may explain his circumstances: divorce lawyers can eat up the cash.

    I also see he has rich parents, so that could answer my question about inheritance. (Unless they’ve written the idiot child out)

  41. Monbiot lives in mid-Wales. That’s pretty good money for the area. No doubt if he was in London he’d have more networking opportunities and would be earning more; but he made his choice.

  42. I especially enjoyed the vitriol thrown at former university friends who had the temerity to grow as people rather than stay as 21 year old dreamers. Do you think he sends Claire Perry a Christmas card?

  43. @ Andrew M
    No, his wife and elder daughter live in Mid-Wales. Monnbiot lives with his mistress and younger daughter in Oxford in “a house in which I have no equity”.

  44. @john77

    It’s amazing how many of these professional moralisers about tax (Ritchie) or the environment (Monbiot) have no qualms about leaving their wife for a mistress. Morality stops at their bedroom door.

    (For the avoidance of doubt, in my view what they get up to in their personal life is up to them. But if they are going to denounce others “morality” then they becone fair game themselves).

  45. Tsk, that’s ‘Tory’ morality. Doesn’t count for the likes of George. Do what thou wilst and fuck up your family. Families are a bourgeois concept anyway.

  46. Without proper cotton shirts, life is meaningless.

    To think there were many that got through two world wars only to spend their declining years surrounded by nylon, often in terrible colours.

    Heros, all of them.

  47. @ GlenDorran
    It is not *my* business what they do between the sheets or in the bluebell woods but when they dump their responsibilities on “Society” i.e.the rest of us, then it becomes our business. Guido Fawkes (not a pleasant character but at least not hypocritical) points out that Millionaireband’s latest poster boy, Martin Freeman, worth lots of £millions, allowed his partner to declare herself bankrupt when she owed HMRC £120k.
    No, I just cannot imagine how she spent enough money that she didn’t have enough left over to pay the tax on an income of more than £400k when her partner was making £xm and payng most of the school fees and household bills.
    Maybe that is because my memories start with rationing under Attlee and an enduring mindset for the following decade that didn’t waste stuff by throwing away useful items.

  48. “I was reminded of this while listening last week to a care worker describing her job. Carole’s company gives her a rota of, er, three half-hour visits an hour. It takes no account of the time required to travel between jobs, and doesn’t pay her for it either, which means she makes less than the minimum wage.”

    Two broad courses of action here:

    1) What a story of for a campaigning left-of-centre paper (or for any paper): disgraceful treatment of the elderly by a corporation plus illegal avoidance of the NMW. Let’s nail these parasites!

    2) Write incoherent, self-pitying article about rich people. And, indeed, self-congratulatory. Poor chap, the years marching on, but no money, no house and no job security. If only he hadn’t cared so much, or had to.

  49. Andrew M:

    OT, following your comment yesterday about the conduct of French in meetings, perhaps you’ve read this piece on American vs English vs French conversation style in the NY Times?

    No, but I have now. Thanks! In particular, this:

    Life at Versailles was apparently a protracted battle of wits. You gained status if you showed “esprit” — clever, erudite and often caustic wit, aimed at making rivals look ridiculous. The king himself kept abreast of the sharpest remarks, and granted audiences to those who made them.

    Anyone who’s spent any time in France would be forgiven for thinking the Revolution never actually took place: a more class-ridden, hierarchical place is hard to imagine. And this:

    Practically every time I speak up at a school conference, a political event or my apartment building association’s annual meeting, I’m met with a display of someone else’s superior intelligence. …Jean-Benoît Nadeau, a Canadian who co-wrote a forthcoming book on French conversation, told me that the penchant for saying “no” or “it’s not possible” is often a cover for the potential humiliation of seeming not to know something.

    In spades.

  50. I see he has an ex-wife. That may explain his circumstances: divorce lawyers can eat up the cash.

    From my vantage point working in the international oil industry, I can assure you that there are few quicker ways to clean yourself out short of drug addiction and gambling than getting a messy divorce in late-middle age (just as the house is paid off). You can double the damage if you subsequently hook up with a Thai floozy you met in a bar.

  51. Steve – “And wear a proper suit – Hugo Boss is my favourite, Armani is for ponces – but don’t wear a tie.”

    I am with you on this. I keep meaning to buy a Hugo Boss suit. Precisely because he designed SS uniforms and so wearing it will make the right sort of people cry a little on the inside. Although it is an interesting question – how long does a company have to exist before collective guilt no longer applies? We know it can’t be 2000 years because no one blames the Jews any more for nailing Jesus up. So I guess the bad news is that those shareholders of Hugo Boss who had nothing to do with the Nazis whatsoever only have another 1950 or so years to go.

    “Park your 4×4 across two disabled spaces at the Guardian car park, to show your alpha dominance. Then bully some interns. If you can’t get one to run to the toilets for a cry, you’re not doing it right.”

    I like where you are going with those disabled spaces, but for the rest I have to politely disagree with you. It is only acceptable to send an intern to the toilets for a cry if he is of the biologically-male variety. By birth anyway. There is a difference between a gentleman and a cad. You can be an Alpha without being an Ar$ehole.

    And beating your nanny to death before doing a runner for Kenya is definitely a no-no even if your wife is a little insane.

  52. Rob: “A real man wears a tweed suit”

    It is a sign of the decline in sartorial standards that tweed, which was once the clothing of deliberately dressed down socialists such as Shaw, is now seen as smart and traditional.

  53. Richard – “It is a sign of the decline in sartorial standards that tweed, which was once the clothing of deliberately dressed down socialists such as Shaw, is now seen as smart and traditional.”

    Clothing for men has always moved from the sports field, to the military, to casual wear to work wear to formal wear. It is depressing but inevitable.

    Which means, no doubt, that one day the Royals will turn up at Ascot in their formal Shell Suits.

  54. If gardian journalists invested some time in educating and researching their pieces, rather than sucking d1cks in local toilets, we’d all be better off.

  55. Pingback: Diamonds or fool’s gold? | Homines Economici

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