That gulf in pay comes close to the 59 per cent gap revealed on Thursday by HSBC – the biggest yet reported by a British financial firm according to government data.
Thousands of large UK employers have been ordered to disclose their gender pay gaps by April, almost 50 years on from the passage of Britain’s equal pay act.
In the meritocratic society imagined by Young, the principle of merit was a way for the aristocracy to maintain their power in the face of a rising middle class. Merit provided a principle to ensure their power and privilege was maintained, concealing the fact that the rich could still buy the best education and exclude the working classes from it.
The higher the position, the harder it is for a woman to get appointed.
This will give you chills.
A security guard who raped his wife because she did not have the right coloured socks for him to wear to work has had his jail sentence cut by 21 months.
A video featuring a woman being forcibly removed from a bathroom by police has gone viral in the wake of states passing anti-LGBT “bathroom” laws.
Christy Hackney-Westmore attends a rally in Melbourne to lobby for marriage equality and for a free vote on the issue in the federal parliament. Photograph: Fairfax Media/Fairfax Media via Getty Images
The subject of sources is fraught territory for journalists. Normally I wouldn’t linger over the Canberra parlour game of who leaked what to whom, but in this instance starting with a minor mystery is necessary to our exercise.
On Wednesday afternoon Sky News political editor David Speers told his viewers there was a breakthrough on same-sex marriage on the government side. The cross-party bill (which Tony Abbott had said was the only way the issue would proceed) would hit parliament on 11 August. The Liberal party room would discuss a conscience vote on 18 August.
A sensible interpretation of this development was this could be Abbott clearing the way for a procedural resolution of an issue which fractures the government into its warring conservative and liberal factions. Not Abbott changing his substantive position, of course – the man is not for turning, and he’s made that clear. Just a bit of procedural deck clearing.
But no. Abbott’s office issued a statement which made it perfectly clear the prime minister was digging in to frustrate this issue, which is what same-sex marriage supporters fear.
“Any member can introduce a private member’s bill into the parliament but they do not come before the joint party room for discussion unless they will be voted on in the parliament,” Abbott’s spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
“It is rare for a private member’s bill to be voted on and any bill would be subject to the usual process. The prime minister’s position remains the same as it has always been and he supports the current policy that marriage is between a man and a woman. The government’s priority is strong economic management and keeping Australians safe.”
Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells saw an ‘ambush’ – and she was absolutely correct
Given the churches have been in overdrive ever since the Irish referendum to the point where the Catholic church is lobbying children in its schools on the sanctity of heterosexual marriage, and given conservatives in the Coalition are highly sensitised to any sign Abbott might suddenly fold on this issue, it was in the prime minister’s interests to make it clear the Sky story had not been sanctioned by him or his office – hence the quick statement, which was as much for internal as external consumption.
But the manner of Abbott’s clarification is a clear provocation to progressive colleagues. A few weeks ago, he had essentially sanctioned the introduction of a cross party bill. Now the position seemed to be that bill wouldn’t come to a vote.
I think it’s safe to assume the Sky story came from someone inside the government. It would be highly improbable a story about internal processes within the Liberal party would be sourced from someone outside the Liberal party.
Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells saw an “ambush” – and she was absolutely correct. Internal tensions have been brewing on this issue for weeks, and they have now boiled over spectacularly. Regardless of the source, as J.K. Rowling might say, this was mischief managed.
Same-sex marriage rocketed to number one in political discussion at a time when the government (that is, the prime minister) wanted national politics to be dominated by Bill Shorten’s (abundant) woes, stumbles and challenges.
The conservative reaction was immediate, and the message was implacable. Same-sex marriage over our dead bodies
The conservative reaction in government circles was immediate, and the message was implacable. Same-sex marriage over our dead bodies.
Government Senate leader Eric Abetz saw a progressive media conspiracy in promoting the yes case (ironically in an opinion piece published in the progressive media) and fretted about opening Pandora’s box. What would come out of Pandora’s box? Polyamory, Abetz thought on Sky News early on Thursday.
Cory Bernardi once lost his parliamentary secretaryship after a similarly ridiculous utterance. It will be interesting to see what, if any, sanction is applied to Abetz.
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Speaking of Bernardi, the South Australian senator thought the Liberal party had a longstanding policy on marriage, and the correct way to change policy was by a cabinet resolution, not a grassroots push from progressive Liberals. This sort of anarchy was intolerable, and no good would come of it.
The intention from conservatives was to project strength and resolution on heterosexual family values to the party’s base, and to push the internal progressive outbreak forcefully back in its box.
Bernardi and the government whip Andrew Nikolic largely managed it without veering into crazy talk. Nikolic said any MP who thought the government would deviate from security and the economy to a fringe issue had “rocks in their head”.
But the projection out of Abetz’s mouth on Thursday morning sounded not only incoherent, it sounded like pure terror.
I’m not quite sure what the panic is, because whether or not same-sex marriage becomes law in this country is 95% in the hands of the Abbott government, and the prime minister is not a supporter of marriage equality.
I say 95% because if the vote in the House of Representatives is as close as I suspect it is, Labor binding its MPs to vote yes to marriage equality could be the extra element to get the proposal over the line. If same-sex marriage eventually comes to a vote, and that vote falls just short, do remember that fact. Bill Shorten has plumped his credentials on this topic, but he’s also effectively killed off a binding vote for Labor on gay marriage.
I strongly suspect that’s been part of Abbott’s calculation in delaying the consideration of this issue in the party room and in the parliament. I reckon the prime minister (among other considerations) wanted to see what the Labor conference delivered to the parliament by way of hard numbers for marriage equality.
Given his socially conservative views, his connection to Christian groups and his conservative powerbase in the Liberal party, Abbott personally has a lot to lose in the internal politics of the party if same-sex marriage is legalised.
He would see his best way of managing the politics of this issue, given his own position is very much out of kilter with the views of the public, is to wait until the “no” position is strengthened, then allow the debate and vote to proceed on the basis that it will fail, this time at least.
If you think this is some default into cynicism on my part, I assure you it’s not
If you think this is some default into cynicism on my part, I assure you it’s not. We’ve seen it before.
John Howard proceeded in precisely that fashion on the republic for the same reason Tony Abbott has been delaying, dead batting and shape shifting on same-sex marriage.
It’s interesting that liberal elements in the government care enough about this reform to try to blast the prime minister out of his current holding pattern. Or perhaps this latest ambush is just an excuse to resume the government’s internal warfare, which has been roiling away since January.
The Abbott government is again playing out an identity game in public, as it has on several issues this year.
Is it liberal, is it conservative, is it both, is it neither? Behind the scenes, this is hand-to-hand combat. Hearts and minds, ideology and values.
Wednesday’s leak to Sky could well have been an attempt to flush Abbott’s oppositionism out into the public domain, into daylight, where it’s unlikely to go down very well. Polyamory coming out of Pandora’s box is also unlikely to go down well.
But looking past the running internal dynamics, looking at the specific subject at hand, same-sex marriage, I’ve been saying for some time it’s important for all supporters of ending state-sanctioned discrimination not to get ahead of themselves.
There has been an outbreak of optimism about the “inevitability” of legalising same sex marriage in this country since Ireland, since the United States supreme court decision.
The time for marriage equality in Australia is now.
Well, of course it is now. It is actually past time to end discrimination.
But this running battle in the government reinforces the point. Same-sex marriage is only inevitable in this country when there are 76 positive votes in the House of Representatives.