Charles Moore

Carrie Gracie’s first-world problem

Carrie Gracie's first-world problem
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Carrie Gracie is more or less in the right, but I did laugh out loud when I heard her, on the BBC programme she was herself presenting, say that her resignation from her post as China editor over the equal pay issue had brought wonderful sympathy from ‘across the country and internationally’, as though speaking of the plight of the Rohingya. People who earn six-figure salaries and are allowed, by the organisation which employs them, to complain on air to millions about an aspect of their pay are not easy for most of us to regard as persecuted victims. Even Ms Gracie’s ‘resignation’ from her Beijing post seems to permit her to stay on the staff. Hers are what young people call ‘first-world problems’. The serious problem with BBC presenters’ and executive pay is that it is much too high for a service funded by a compulsory tax on everyone with a television. Public service broadcasting should require public service salaries. Carrie Gracie made that point when she said — though she didn’t quite put it like this — that she didn’t want her pay to go up, but for that of her male equivalents to go down.

This is an extract from Charles Moore's Spectator Notes, from this week's magazine