You have to be of a certain age to remember the Abba song Gimme, Gimme, Gimme - although the line did go on to say "a man after midnight". Well the first part of the song, and therefore the Blog title seems to apply neatly to some recent revelations, but for the follow-on lyrics frankly in my particular case the last thing I want is a man after midnight. Each to their own.
But the Gimme bit ...? Maybe I'm getting overly sensitive (unlikely) but there has been much in the news of late about pay and pay differentials. It's a subject that has been a favourite theme of mine over time although more in the nature of my concerns over widening gaps between "haves" and "have-nots" and without it being controlled the possible fallout that will eventually arise.
It all started with the appalling revelations about the disparity in pay in the BBC between the men and the women. Are Chris Evans, somewhere in the £2.2m p.a range, or Graham Norton with his salary plus the money from his production company worth the money they apparently receive? Certainly when Jeremy Vine was asked on his radio show if he thought he was overpaid he was stumped for an answer. (And just as an aside, I haven't heard too many people ask the question about whether Wayne Rooney is worth his £13.5m a year.)
Well, I guess I would have been stumped for an answer too, because you should pay people based on the value they bring - and the audiences they entertain, and personally I think these entertainers work very hard. As a result, and for once, I actually don't have a problem with some of those pay cheque amounts.
I do however have a problem, big time, with the disparity in pay between the men and the women at the BBC. It's a total disgrace. And I certainly don't buy the argument of one of the higher paid men who said it was the fault of the agents not to have negotiated better terms for their women clients when in many cases the agents represent both sides of the gender equation in the same business, and would have been aware of the disparity.
The Gender/Pay gap is not however my focus here. It is money itself which, like it or not, causes many problems. You will say it's human nature. You look over the fence at the house next door that is bigger than yours and you want one the same. You look at how much people spend, and the shops they go to and you are envious. So you seek to enrich your position and almost get to the point where your ethics and morals head for the door. If you have a decent amount of money already, the little devil inside you still wants more and doesn't care what ploys you use to get it.
Maybe I am more naive than I thought possible, but I have witnessed recent cases where a job seems to be undertaken because of the money being paid to do it, rather than for the sake of the job, and the responsibility that comes with it.
I am not referring here, by the way, to those people who need to take any job with any pay, because they cannot live otherwise, but this is from people who have already worked and are comfortably off - without being rich - but for whom money is their driving force. That said, we also have the recent plethora of fraud cases where people have been claiming money for disabilities and then found to have been competing in various sporting events or climbing mountains.
Personally I find it disappointing. We seem to have fine-tuned the well-trodden path of give and take into an art form called take and take. We are becoming selfish - not universally, let me add because being an optimist I still believe there are more unselfish people out there than there are selfish ones.
But how much is enough, how much is too much and how much do you need? The argument that a professional footballer is worth £10m a year, for example, because he has a limited playing career suggests that if he plays for only 3 years at that level he will earn £30m. Divide that by a 45 year working life gives you £650,000+ per annum. What's the average wage in Britain - some £28,000 a year? Hmm. There's something odd here, isn't there?
Anyway, back to the point. We are living in a world where greed has become commonplace. And where, sadly, in some countries where there is a welfare society it has become easier to take money from the Government than to go and find a job. I am not saying that everyone is lazy but if you are faced with a situation where you get paid roughly the same amount for going to a job every day ... and paid for not going to a job - what do you choose? It lowers self-esteem and raises the sense of entitlement - for which someone has to pay!
Which brings me back to where I started. This was from the premise that some people who should know better seem to be happiest when singing the opening line of "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme..."