Friday, 24 February 2017

Public knowledge of earnings

The Kinnocks are fair game for attacks (like the Daily Mail's) on their family earnings. There is no doubt they have done well out of public service. There is also little doubt in my mind that they deserve credit for what they have achieved, separately - Glenys Kinnock is far more than an appendage to her husband - and together. I would agree that their jobs were probably over-remunerated, though there is no sign of Nathan Gill or any of his anti-EU mates handing back any part of their MEP salaries. In the extended family, Helle Thorning-Schmidt in addition to being Denmark's first female prime minister can claim credit for bringing her country's economy back on track.

Maybe all have been fortunate in the well-paid billets they have slotted into since, but this is an age when a name is worth a lot, when the entire annual wage-bill of non-league Sutton United is less than the weekly pay of at least one celebrated Arsenal player. More worrying is the part that nepotism played in securing futures for the children.

So I am not going to rush to the defence of the Kinnocks' high standard of living. However, as one who also changed his mind about the EEC/EU over the years, I would object to the charge of hypocrisy on the part of Neil Kinnock over the EU. Circumstances change. The political and economic worlds are no longer what they were fifty years ago.

However, I do believe that those on the other side of the argument should be exposed in the same way. All the Kinnock remuneration is in the public domain, but we know nothing of the real wealth of such as Donald Trump or Nigel Farage. Does Trump own even more of the USA and the Middle East than he claims, or was he only rescued from bankruptcy by his election to the presidency? Farage's salary as MEP is known, but how much is Murdoch paying him for his less-than-onerous duties on Fox News? How much is left from the pay-offs from the City traders he used to work for?

By the way, do we know how much the non-dom Lord Rothermere, proprietor of the Daily Mail, is worth?

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