Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Things I am thinking about.

On this rather foggy Tuesday morning, two things strike me from reading the papers: continued inequality and the uncertainty of our future.

Firt of all, inequality.  Why do actors get paid more than actresses? Why do sportsmen get paid more than sportswomen?

Georgia Hall, a golfer who won the Women’s Open Golf Championship, said, “It’s getting better but it could do with more [equality]. On the LPGA our prize money’s going up every year but I don’t think it’ll ever be the same. What I won at the British Open is great but look at what the male winner gets. It’s roughly a million more than me.”

Women’s sport in general gets less attention than men’s. Some might say it’s because men take more interest in sport than women. This might be true. Others might say that it’s because women have better things to do than watch sport. This also might be true. Yet others might say that it’s because of the traditional role of women giving them less time to take a big interest in sport. This too might be true.

And then there is the fact that men and women do not compete against each other in sports, simply because of the difference in physical strength.

In many professions women start off with the same salary as men but when promotions and progress are taken into account the average wage for women soon falls behind.

It’s one of the facts of the still male-dominated world. Whenever George and Amal Clooney appear, much is made of his being an actor and much is made of her being beautiful but not so much about her being an International civil rights lawyer and activist. Surely that’s a more important career than acting!

Anyway, getting back to sport, you have to be pretty dedicated and have very supportive parents to get on in whatever sport it is - and probably a fair amount of luck! This is what Georgia Hall had to say:-

“I did cross-country and football and I was in the boys’ cricket team. I was the only girl. I was a pretty good batsman because I would swing my bat like a golf club. I used to really whack it. I didn’t know it at the time but it was tough for my parents. They didn’t tell me this until a few years ago. But they always had to sell some things for me to have enough money for golf lessons and tournaments. We lived quite far down south and so dad would drive me for four hours to get to a two-hour lesson and then drive me back – on top of working.

What I won at the British Open is great but look at what the male winner gets. It’s roughly a million more than me. “Golf is one of the most expensive sports you can play. You need to pay a lot to join a club, you need golf clubs, all the equipment, lessons. It was hard and I missed three majors I’d qualified for because of a lack of funds. I was in the top three in the world as an amateur but we couldn’t afford to get to me there. I could only get to the British Open.”

So it goes. But she was fortunate. Not everyone gets to make a living doing something they really love.

Meanwhile the Brexit vote creeps up on us. Debate continues about what can and cannot be done.

Today’s newspaper tells me this:-

“The UK can unilaterally abandon the article 50 process, a senior adviser to the European court of justice (ECJ) has said, in a significant boost to anti-Brexit campaigners. Campos Sánchez-Bordona, the court’s advocate general, said he believed EU law allowed a country to revoke article 50 – the provision of the Lisbon treaty invoked by the UK to give two years’ notice that it intended to leave the union – without requiring the formal agreement of the European commission or other EU member states.

In his formal opinion, Sánchez-Bordona said it was essential MPs knew they could stop the Brexit process, dismissing the UK government’s claims the issue was hypothetical. The UK government and European commission had insisted the Brexit process could be stopped only by unanimous agreement, even though EU treaties were silent on how an article 50 application could be withdrawn.”

We shall see!

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