US Senators refuse to work after 2pm

The US Republicans really are being silly, since the Health Care bill passed.

Firstly, John McCain spat his dummy out:

There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year. They have poisoned the well in what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.

Now Republican Senators are refusing to work after 2 o’clock in the afternoon, invoking a little known Senate rule.

So they’re paid generously by the taxpayer to work a full day, but are refusing to do so.

Had it never occurred to them that this tactic might backfire on them?


BBC will have to reveal what it pays its top "talent"

This is a victory for licence-payers. From the Times:

The BBC will be forced to open its accounts to the National Audit Office after the three major political parties agreed that the Government’s spending watchdog should be able to investigate what it pays its stars.

So at least in future, the National Audit Office will be able to see the salary figures. I’d like things to go further so that licence payers can know the salaries. It has been ludicrous that licence payers haven’t known what the BBC is paying Jonathan Ross, Terry Wogan, Chris Myoles etc. They deserve to know. It’s their money. The defence given by the BBC is that it is personal, private information. Indeed it is in a normal situation. But if warning is given through contracts that “top talent” will have their salaries revealed then such “top talent” have an alternative – go and try to work somewhere else which isn’t funded by the licence-payer.

This could, theoretically, lead to a situation where the BBC is starved of a few big names who don’t want their salary revealed. I doubt it. Stars have never kicked up too much of a fuss about telephone numbers being bandied around in the media, as guesses for what they earn. It improves their “marketability”. But even if the revelation of salaries does cause “talent” to go elsewhere, then I think the BBC will survive. The BBC is awash with money and covers a staggering multiplicity of outlets and media. A curb on top salaries, through National Audit Office transparency, will be a great help in bringing the whole industry under a bit more control. Currently, perhaps in the past, the BBC has been paying huge salaries (we don’t know for sure because they have never revealed them). By doing so, they have perhaps artifically inflated the market place for stars. We don’t know, because we have never seen the figures.