According to Gordon Brown we are staggering towards another world financial crisis. Well, he has been Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer so I suppose he might know a thing or two. Although, being an important person in a government doesn’t necessarily mean that you know much. He clearly does not think much of those in power at the moment as he says we are without leaders!
His comments on austerity and bonuses and banks and the like got me thinking. In the past it was a regular thing for workers to receive bonuses at Christmas time. It was rather like the employers equivalent of e householder giving the postman and the milkman his “Christmas box”.
(By the way, here are some possible explanations for our calling December 26th Boxing Day:-
* A ‘Christmas Box’ in Britain is a name for a Christmas present. Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants and the day when they received a ‘Christmas Box’ from the master. The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families.
* A box to collect money for the poor traditionally and placed in Churches on Christmas day and opened the next day - Boxing Day.
* Great sailing ships when setting sail would have a sealed box containing money on board for good luck. Were the voyage a success, the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas and the contents then given to the poor. )
The Christmas bonus for the ordinary worker has disappeared. Was it thought to be condescending? Did employers just become too mean to pay the bonuses? Who knows?
It used to be the case in Spain that in certain, maybe all the “funcionarios”, state employees, would receive a double salary in December, to pay for Christmas and, in some cases a double salary again in June, presumably to pay for summer holidays. I wonder if that is still so. Somehow I doubt it.
Nowadays the only people who seem to receive bonuses are bankers and CEOs of big companies. All of them, of course, are people who earn enough money not to need bonuses, and as a rule the bonuses are ridiculously huge! No wonder the world seems unfair!
Talking of unfairness, here a few stories.
Earlier this year I heard of restaurants, especially the kind of family-run restaurants you find frequently in Spain, suffering from “sinpa”, short for “sin pagar”, which means without paying. People would eat and drink and then disappear without paying, especially if eating outside on the terrace. Wel, in Los Angeles a certain Paul Guadalupe Gonzales put his own spin on this practice.
He became known as the dine-and-dash dater because he would get to know women online, offer to treat them to a meal in a top class restaurant and then half way through the meal go off to answer an important phone call or simply to go to the loo, and not come back. His dates were left to foot the bill.
However, as he was seemingly more interested in food than in women he never tried to hide his identity. He has just been sentenced to a couple of years in prison. If the prison food in the Los Angeles areas is any good, maybe it was all a ploy to get all his meals for free.
Then there are the Rees-Mogg children who have been harassed by activists, who shouted at them that people hated their daddy and things of that ilk. No matter what your opinion of Rees-Mogg, and mine is not high, it’s not on to traumatise his children. The youngest one is already going to suffer from having the silly name of Sixtus!
Similarly, the “other woman” in the Boris Johnson divorce case has been getting some very sexist coverage in the press. They have apparently trawled through her social media to find the most embarrassing photos possible, feeding the public’s desire for a little titillation. Now, personally I can’t understand what she saw in the man to begin with, but it’s none of our business and she should be left in peace.
Women MPs, both Tory and Labour, have written an open letter protesting about it.
Good for them! Combat unfairness wherever you find it!
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The double salary "paga extraordinaria" is still paid twice a year even to Spanish pensioners.ReplyDelete