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[Image: theunboundedspirit.com]

[Image: theunboundedspirit.com]

“By the end of today, Britain’s top bosses will have made more money in 2015 than the average UK worker earns in an entire year,” according to calculations by the High Pay Centre thinktank.

“The calculations show that earnings for company executives returning to work this Monday will pass the UK average salary of £27,200 by late afternoon on ‘fatcat Tuesday.’

“FTSE 100 Chief Executives are paid an average £4.72 million. The High Pay Centre found that even if CEOs are assumed to work long hours with very few holidays, this is equivalent to hourly pay of nearly £1,200.”

The rest of the article is on the High Pay Centre website.

Vox Political‘s attention was drawn to this by a tweet from Josie Long: “Have a look at this. It takes two days for the people at the top to surpass the average UK salary. Two days.”

According to Russell Brand’s book Revolution (which has a lot more in it than most reviewers want you to know), human beings and higher primates have an in-built sense of fairness and it seems clear that the pay of these FTSE100 bosses offends that sense.

Russell quotes a laboratory experiment in which “monkeys in adjacent cages… perform the same task for food. Monkey A does the task and gets a grape, delicious. Monkey B who can see Monkey A performs the same task and is given cucumber, yuck.

“Monkey B looks p***ed off but eats his cucumber anyway. The experiment is immediately repeated and you can see that Monkey B is agitated when his uptown, up-alphabet neighbour is again given a grape. This time when he is presented with the cucumber, he is f***ing furious; he throws it out the cage and rattles the bars. I got angry on his behalf and wanted to give the scientist a cucumber in a less amenable orifice. I also felt a bit p***ed off with Monkey A, the grape-guzzling little b*****d.”

Who can blame him? The figures from the High Pay Centre betray an even worse situation, if you think about it, because most people work a lot harder than FTSE100 executives, simply to survive. Why are they guzzling grapes while we have to cope with cucumber?

According to Russell (again), “studies show that [this inherent sense of fairness is] less pronounced in environments where people are exposed to a lot of marketing.”

So all that “Buy this – it’ll make you sexy” advertising is actually telling you that it’s okay to have more – and better – than the next person. If it’s okay for you, then you have to accept that it’s okay for someone else to have more – and better – than you. Right?

Well, is it?

And if it isn’t, what are you going to do about it? Bend over and wait for someone to stick a cucumber up your “less amenable orifice” – as usual?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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