Obama’s Dog and Salary (the former being far more consequential!)
Well the burning question about the new administration has now been answered. The Obama family have plumped for a Portugese Water Dog. According to the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning, blogs are better (more widely read?) if they are rooted in time and place, offering the opportunity to be treated as socio-historic virtual documents for posterity. So I think it eminently worth noting the breed that will be entering the White House at the end of April after the First Family have enjoyed a spring-break.
The breed is not common in the UK but I can see its popularity growing, where the US leads we will follow, if you will excuse the cheap pun. Related to the Poodle, a German Water Dog, and as I prefer to call them Das Pudel, I can vouch for the intelligence and beauty of the family. Apparently they also have webbed feet…
The other thing in the news today has been the former Chief of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s pay-off pension deal. According to reports he is on an annual annuity of £650,000. Now what I wonder is how anyone could actually believe that morally, what they delivered, was worth that much whilst gainfully employed. So how that sum could be acceptable in retirement beggars belief. Well obviously if you are Fred Goodwin himself your belief is actually richly endowed, but his belief in what? His part in the bank today posting the biggest loss of any British corporation ever, running into billions? It strikes me that the arrogance required, not to mention the bare-faced cheek, is of equally gigantic proportions to the financial loss of RBS.
To put it into perspective, the US President can expect to earn a salary of $400,000 annually, which in today’s market equates to £277,120. So for actually working at the White House, Obama is receiving less that half of that which Fred is getting for putting his feet up.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against fat cats, I have one at home myself who lands like a sandbag every time she jumps down onto the floor. Managers and Directors are paid a lot because they have a lot of responsibility, both corporate and statutory and the majority work hard and conscientiously for shareholders and employees. This situation just ain’t right whatever way you look at it. Sir Fred hasn’t yet offered to hand some of his largesse back. Maybe he will do the decent thing and drop a few bags of gold back off at the Treasury, maybe he won’t and the media hue and cry started (again) by Mr too much power for my liking Peston will force the government to try and do something. Frankly I don’t care, it’s too late. The fact that it was agreed as a deal in the first instance shows what a warped way of going on we had got into.
At least Obama is in a job and, despite the low pay, I am confident he will do slightly better than make the dog’s dinner of it that the taxpayers of this country are currently digesting.