The Gender Pay Gap? …. Man Up!

Where do you stand on this gender pay gap?

Do you believe there is such a thing?

If you do then you’re probably female and an idiot and too stupid to think past the headlines.

Still reading?

Good for you, I’m glad you’re still with me and my flippancy hasn’t made you run away like a cry baby.

Even more so if you’re female, I’m glad you stayed. You’ve got balls! ūüôā

Let me explain why there is no gender pay gap for the hard of understanding.

Firstly, to pay men and woman different rates for the same job is illegal in most of the civilised world and has been in the UK since 1970 and the US since 1963.

Secondly, although it’s true in the statistics published yesterday, see link below, which provides details of the differences in mean and median pay between male and female employees, The reason that there is a difference is because of the roles that each gender is predominantly employed in with males having more senior or higher paid technical roles.

So let me condense that for you. There is no gender pay gap, Any comparison is invalid because you are comparing apples with oranges.

The difference in mean or median earnings is because women are underrepresented in the higher paid roles, That can’t be solved by employing people based on gender because higher paid roles are based on ability and education, not gender.

Note that employing people based on gender is also illegal.

That difference in education and ability between individuals paid higher or lower rates regardless of gender comes down to personal choice, effort and ability.

Am I saying that women are less capable than men?

Are you fucking mad? Of course not.

As a father of a son and two daughters, I’d never under underestimate the capabilities of my daughters, quite the opposite, my goal is to help educate them academically and in the school of life so that they succeed in their chosen careers.

After that it comes down to their choice and if they choose a lower paying position, then it’s not because they are less capable, It’s because that’s the choices they made.

Condensing and generalising that …

Hard or in demand degree = Maths, IT, Accountancy, Medicine. Law, Engineering = Well paid career.

Easy or less in demand Degree = Media studies, social science, history = low paid job.

Apprenticeship = Decent income based on ability particularly if self employed.

No education = it’s not the end, but it’s not going to be easy.

As I explained to my kids, it’s their choice, but there are long term consequences.

Of course education isn’t everything, there are lots of people making decent bucks without a degree, skilled plasterers, plumbers, builders, salespeople. People earning because of their individual abilities. Not bleating about invalid comparisons because they didn’t make an effort.

Let’s imagine a man is in a low paid job, he looks at his company and sees that he’s in the lower quartile, Why is that? It will be most likely because he didn’t try too hard at school, not because he’s got a dick.

But one things for sure, he’ll get on with it and not act like a fucking victim.

Besides, here’s the truth, If you’re not happy with your job and want more pay, ask yourself, how do I do that? Then make the effort and change it. It’s really up to you.


UK Government data on all companies with over 250 employees

An excellent info graphic from Sky clarifies it’s not gender, but representation.

Jonathon Pie interviewing a feminist condenses the argument

Role Reversal?


One day around this time of year, ¬† only 20 years ago I was helping my son to his first day at school. ¬† ¬† He had just turned 5 and couldn’t tie his laces yet.

So we bought him shoes with Velcro fasteners as recommended by the school.

The last thing they want to do is spend time with pupils teaching them how to do stupid things like tie their laces.   That would be individual tuition and detrimental to the group so they say.

This is diametrically opposite to the fact that they have to accept and include all sorts these days,   disabled kids,  kids with personality disorders.

Are they not more detrimental to the group as a whole?

Yet they are foisted upon our kids, ¬† ¬†the former necessitating more than their share of the teachers attention, ¬†the latter creating disruption at every opportunity, ¬†mostly because they don’t want to be there and aren’t getting what they want.

These days it’s all about inclusion.

“An inclusive approach reflects a move away from a deficit model which focuses on aspects of the learner as the problem, where the learner is viewed¬†as deficient in some way. A deficit model also pays inadequate attention to factors such as social expectations, or aspects of the education system or learning environment that could be changed to enable diverse learners to participate and learn. Also, categorising an individual or a group by a single or a few characteristics may be misleading and doesn’t recognise the whole person.”

Don’t you hate that shit?

Well maybe you don’t .. in that case you are most likely¬†a bit of a hopeless case and incapable of functioning at a high level, ¬† where rewards are based¬†on merit and the best excel.

A bit strong .. maybe? … Honest .. totally.

Why should my kids education suffer because someone else kids aren’t as capable?

Shouldn’t less fortunate kids with physical or mental issues be educated separately to the level they can achieve and allow the majority of kids to receive their education as expected rather than splitting the available resources on a bunch of no-hopers?

Not exactly PC .. huh?

Well fuck off if you don’t like it, ¬† but I’m fed up including everyone, ¬†thats not how life works.

The fact is ¬†this small nation that we live in doesn’t have the resources to include everyone and lines need to be drawn.

I’m sick of listening to Nicola Sturgeon and her like telling us about social inclusion, ¬†yet the reality is Scotland does not have the money to pay for this and the social systems will collapse if we leave the UK.

Seems to me that allowing everyone a vote,  has given the mediocre more of a voice than they should have and the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

Anyway .. I digress from my original subject ..

My son is well out of school and university and has started a career in IT ,  even my youngest daughter is now at university and on her career path.

The point of this story was that at lunchtime,  I was out buying shoes for my dad,   81 years young and still out and about every day.

But he had the stroke 10 years ago and can’t bend down to tie his laces, ¬† but he can just about manage Velcro fasteners.

There’s a certain irony of being at the level where you can’t tie your laces, ¬†where the roles are reversed from father to son.

That’s my definition of middle age, ¬†when your kids are grown up and no longer need you, but your parents are on the decline and need you more than ever.










A Band Of Angels?

A band?

Naah … You’re having a laugh mate!

His argument is that a band is any group of musicians with 3 members or more and there happens to be 4 of us sitting in my house trying to put a few tunes together.

But it’s that definition of musician which is a bit of an issue!

Okay,  I’m downplaying it a bit,  but we aren’t really a band,  more a collection of loosely-coupled pals who would like to do better than we are at the moment.

Isn’t that the same for every “band”?

Not that we want fame or fortune,  not even on the horizon or in my most secret dreams to imagine myself playing to an adoring audience.

I just like being able to play a few tunes.

We started off last year as what can only be described as a rabble,  a collection of guys trying to play the same tune in the same key and keep time.

It isn’t as easy as it first appears.

All i needs it for one guy to be out of time,  or have forgot to adjust the capo  on his guitar so that he is playing in a different key and it sounds hellish.

What you have to learn is that someone has to lead,  keep the central timing and others need to fall behind and play rhythm or lead,   not all playing the same thing at the same time.

Individually,  the guys are all talented,  to one degree or other.

But what I’ve learned is that individual talent isn’t enough when you play together.   You have to be prepared to take a back seat and let the other guys take the lead.

But that has to be reciprocated or it falls apart.

The problem with any group of people is pleasing everyone,   thats were most bands fall apart with “musical differences” .. that could be that you want to play Simon and Garfunkel and I want to play Stone Roses.

There have been times when the journey has been tough,  I personally don’t see the point in playing out-dated crap like “The Letter”, “Homeward Bound” or “The Streets Of London” .. just because its all that one of the other guys knows how to play.

It’s a group thing,  you play to your strengths,  music you like and what you think your market is and will get a positive response from a mixed crowd.  If someone doesn’t shape up then they need to ship out.   Thats really up to them.

But its coming together and we have another wee charity gig coming up.

Thats going to be a hoot,   fortunately its a few months away yet so there’s lots of time to practice and most importantly in my book agree on the arrangements of who is playing which part, without that,  its a nightmare and I’m out.

My backing piano track for Angels.


Talking Fast, Thinking Slow!

He sits directly across from me at my bank of 6 desks.

He looks the part,  always dressed sharply, fashionable hair and fuzz.

But my God,  does he talk one load of shit.

Not only does he talk shit,  but he does it at the top of his voice.

I’m sure that his patter and fast talking impresses the young girls, ¬†but not this “old” dude .. ¬†the guy is all talk .. he opens his mouth before engaging his brain .. talking fast, ¬†but thinking slow.

He never ever thinks things through,  always jumps to the obvious conclusion and never considers the wider implication that changing one thing may have on another.

Listening to him most days gives me a headache, dealing with him is painful.

The guy that sits beside him isn’t much better.

Both of them in their late-20s think they know it all, ¬†couple of wide-boys that either start or finish each sentence with “man”.

Call me old-fashioned but their bad diction and lack of vocabulary is an indication of insufficient education and abilities both in and out the work-place.

There is the proof that having a university degree does not make you clever.

Its been a while since I’ve wrote a blog entry, ¬†at least two weeks, ¬†the system I’ve been been brought in to get up and working is now fully operational.

The guys sitting across from me are part of the team who were working on it for over almost two years before I started.

When I started the project was over a year late and 5m over budget at 20% complete.

Now that its live, ¬†the team I’m working within are moving to a support model rather than development.

There’s going to be job losses … . 2 from 12.

Guess who?



Eight From The Eighties – Day 3

Day 3 of my 8 songs from the 80s as nominated by Alan.

In 1984, I was a daft boy ( what’s changed??!! ūüôā ) working in the shipyards in Govan, Glasgow. 

But there was no work.

So they transferred a few hundred workers of various trades to work at Swan Hunters shipyard in Newcastle.    

I spent the whole of 84 working in Newcastle on the Ark Royal aircraft carrier and a replacement for the Atlantic Conveyor container ship which had been requisitioned by the government to carry troops and equipment to the Falklands war where it was destroyed by two Exocet missiles 

We were all put up in cheap hotels and B&Bs in Whitley Bay, out of season and freezing cold with the winds coming off the North Sea. 

There were wild times on the weekends we stayed down, the bars in the hotels were open all night for us residents and some guys made full use of it. Some went over the top by distracting the night porter so that others could raid the bar.

The place I stayed in had a couple of bars and this song was popular then, the bar full of people singing its anthemic chorus, but nobody really knew who Nelson Mandela was. 

I believe in his quote in the image above that education changes the world both globally and personally.  

Education freed him,  education freed me from shipbuilding and a cycle of boom and burst and living just above poverty. 

I think this song is the proof that music raises public awareness and that changes the world. 

Just as well it was a catchy tune or Nelson might have stayed locked up! ūüôā

The Lessons in Failure 

Today across Scotland,  150,000 kids recieved texts or opened envelopes containing their exam results.

According to the SQA,  the percentages of passes is up on last year.

My daughter Claire was up all night waiting for her text to come in and texted me when her arrived at 6am.

Last night in the kitchen, ¬†I tried to talk to her about it, ¬†but she was so anxious that she didn’t want to discuss.

After each exam, ¬†I’d asked her how she felt and she wasn’t feeling confident.

Which may be true, ¬†but is difficult to gauge because like lots of other kids, ¬†she’s her own worst critic.

Last night in the kitchen, ¬†I aware of her anxiety and didn’t really want to discuss either, ¬† I just gave her a hug and told her that theres no point in worrying about something that you can’t change, ¬†that’s already done and is out of your hands.

Whats more important is to deal with the consequences.    Not that I actually said that.

I told her that no mattter what,  we would deal with it,  good or bad.

Fortunately her results were good,  AABB,  and she has entry to the degree course she wanted.

i’m delighted for her, ¬†proud of her, ¬† it’s another bridge crossed along her path.

But what if she had failed or her grades weren’t good enough as will have happened to many other kids?

Disappointing yes,  but you deal with it.

As a parent you put your disappointment second and help them deal with it.

It’s their life, ¬†they don’t need to be reminded that they failed, ¬†they know already, ¬†they’ve seen their mates pass and although they are happy for them, ¬†they wil be gutted for themselves, ¬†they don’t need us giving them a hard time.

Failure is part of life, ¬† it’s a crossroads that leads us to two paths.

The first path is we learn from our mistakes, try harder and take the test again.

The second path is that possibly this road isn’t for us or not at this point in our lifes.

Academia isn’t for everyone and just because a child failed an exam, ¬†doesn’t make the child a failure.

If you happen to have a kid that didn’t have the best results, ¬† I’m sure you’ll provide all the support and guidance they need.

They have their whole lifes ahead of the and everything will work out okay in the end.

10 years from now, none of these exams will matter.

Continue reading “The Lessons in Failure¬†“

How do you change the world? ¬†…. #education #humour #perspective

Nelson Mandela once said that “Education is the most powerful weapon in the world”

Wise words from a man who changed the world by his thoughts and actions. 

Yesterday,  I was at my sons graduation, my wee boy has turned out to be a fine young man.    I’m very proud. 

Sitting there in the Barony Halls with my ex-wife and all the other proud parents what I noticed is that not only are younger people better looking than we were at that same age. 

Probably because as parents we’ve provided for them more than we had in our own upbringing when the world wasn’t as commercial. 

But what I noticed yesterday was that the diversity of people graduating was incredible. 

People of all races, colours, I dare say creeds and sexualities,  with their families and friends,  all fully loaded with their greatest weapon and ready to take their place in the world. 

The world isn’t perfect,  I doubt it ever will be,  personally I don’t want a world were everyone thinks the same or were we are told how to think and ostracised for non conformance. 

University provides a formal education but it does much more.  

It also provides the means for people of different backgrounds to come together,  develop as people,  appreciate other people’s perspective,  learn that you’re perceived enemy is just another person facing the same struggles in life as you are. 

Call me naive,  but I think while we keep educating people the futures bright. 

Right enough of that hopeful stuff. 

In reality,  my ex wife is an arse,   But that’s another story. 

Last night armed with their new educations,  my son and his fellow graduates after their various family meals all went out and got pissed together. 

That’s how you change the world,  sitting down,  talking shite, solving the worlds problems and having a laugh about it. 

It’s hard to have prejudices when you’re sitting getting pissed together?

Or banging each other?

One of the young guys graduating yesterday,  white guy with a name like Kahish MacLeod. 

A right good mix of Scottish and something else.  

He’s hardly likely to have any prejudices  with that background. 

So here is how you really change the world ..

And don’t take this the wrong way ..

But fuck everybody

Or as the big guy in the sky would say,  love everybody. 

It’s hard to feel hate when you’re giving love. 

Maybe what these Jihadi’s need is a bit of education, a piss up and a right good shag?  ūüôā

Work Stories – Progress?

Thought I’d share this today ..

It’s a beautifully graphic read and although the outcome was predictable, it still had me a little choked.

Fathers and sons, sons and fathers .. It’s a bond that will always remains special, that is unless the guy is a selfish d1ck who leaves his family, sons or daughters.

I love what that man gave to his son was an informal education, a lesson for life. He was stuck with a horrible job and wanted something better for his pride and joy.

Continue reading “Work Stories – Progress?”

Train Stories – The Journey Continues …

25 years ago my son Steven came into the world.

Where did that go?

Now he’s 6 foot 2 tall handsome intelligent funny and a real fine young man that I’m proud to call my son.

Forgetting about the divorce trauma etc.

He’s had a few ups and downs in that transition from child to adult.

He fluffed a year at uni,  his own fault,  he was lazy and was partying when he should have been studying.

But he qualified with a 2.1 honours degree in Cell Biology.  A pretty good degree for the research he wanted to do.

Unfortunately after a year of searching there were no jobs available.

That’s the hard reality for lots of kids these days, ¬†we educate them but the jobs just aren’t there for them.

Steven upped his hours at the supermarket to get a little income but his confidence was affected.

That age group of 18-25 has the highest suicide rate for young men.

They’ve listened to their teacher, studied hard, ¬†or maybe they haven’t, ¬†but in either case they realise that the world as projected on tv with fast cars, fashionable clothes and hot girlfriends just isn’t there for them.

They reach a point were they don’t know what else they can do. ¬†That their life is meaningless and going nowhere and now they have a 40k student loan to deal with when they do find work.

On top of that they feel disappointed that they’ve let their families down.

20 something years of age with their full life’s ahead of them and these poor kids choose to end it because they can’t see a way ahead and think that they have let us down when it’s the other way around.

As a society we let these kids down by not guaranteeing them a job at the end of their degree course.

Education shouldn’t be there just for its own sake. It should be there to fulfil a purpose of moving your life forward, giving the kids the benefit of growing up before they have to face the real world and earn a living.

They shouldn’t then start paying back a 40k student loan, an albatross preventing them from getting on the housing ladder and getting on in life.

Education costs, ¬†there’s no free handouts, ¬†but as a society, we should pick that cost up and consider that an investment in having an educated taxpaying workforce.

Continue reading “Train Stories – The Journey Continues …”