The best management talent - Roy Mayall

Roy Mayall on the latest round of managerial pay hikes at Royal Mail.

Submitted by Django on August 2, 2010

The Royal Mail’s Annual Report was published on 3 June, containing details of its executive pay for the previous year. According to the figures, Adam Crozier, the retiring chief executive, received more than £2.4m in the year 2009-10. With bonuses and pensions that figure rises to £3.5 million. Ian Duncan, the group finance director, took home a total of £1.4m, while Mark Higson, the managing director of Royal Mail Letters, received a total of £1.7m. Adam Crozier is the highest paid public sector worker in the country and his income puts the paltry figures earned by top Whitehall mandarins to shame.

I earn £8.98 an hour. I work a 20-hour week. I’d like to work more but there are no full-time jobs available. My basic pay is £177.28 a week, before deductions. That’s about £9200 a year. That means that I would have to work for nearly 380 years to earn as much as Adam Crozier earned last year.

Fair enough. Adam Crozier obviously has 380 times my needs. He must have a house that is 380 times the size of mine. He is 380 times taller. Maybe he has 380 stomachs to fill. Perhaps his dick is 380 times bigger than mine and he needs 380 partners to service it. He must have 380 times the intellectual capacity as his brain is clearly 380 times more developed than mine. His value to the world is 380 times greater.

I’m reminded of those giant statues the pharaohs used to build of themselves. Ramses II had a statue at Memphis which was 36 feet high and weighed 83 tonnes. It used to stand in Cairo Square, but has recently been moved so it can be restored. Ramses was worshipped as a god. The size of the statue reflected his inflated view of himself. An equivalent statue of Adam Crozier, proportional to his relative income, would have to be more than 2000 feet tall.

From that great height he must look down on most Royal Mail employees the way Harry Lime looks down on the people of Vienna in the famous scene on the ferris wheel in The Third Man.

Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving? If I offered you £20,000 for every dot that stopped would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spend?

Donald Brydon, the chairman of Royal Mail Group, has said:

These Directors are running a business with a turnover in excess of £9 billion in a tough marketplace and Royal Mail needs to be able to attract from the commercial market the best management talent.

Brydon, of course, considers himself to be some of that ‘best management talent’. It’s a self-perpetuating system. The ‘best management talent’ employ ‘the best management talent’ in order to ensure that ‘the best management talent’ are always in control.

As for that old ‘marketplace’ excuse, I think we’ve all see through that by now. These bloated wages are not imposed by some outside force, but by themselves. The marketplace is the euphemism by which these huge disparities of income can be spun. Executive pay is on the rise while our wages are being squeezed and the service is being run down.

Originally publised on Roy Mayall's blog