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The BBC has a huge problem with pay, but their lack of class-diversity is just as toxic

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The BBC published the full list of its on-air “talent” earning more than £150,000 this morning, and it is a veritable smorgasbord of discrimination.

Chris Evans topped the pile, earning an eye-watering £2.2million a year, with Gary Lineker coming a close second with more than £1.75million.

Amongst the top fourteen earners there is just one woman, Claudia Winkleman, and of the entire list two thirds are men.

Black, Asian, and minority ethnic representation is also extremely poor, with just ten of the 96 being people of colour.

These are appalling statistics which should be addressed with the utmost haste.

But less obvious than the gender and racial dimensions of the list, is the class character of the BBC’s political correspondents. And it is this fact, above all, which explains their complete inability to get to grips with the current political situation.

BBC’s political correspondents

Of the 96 paid in excess of £150,000, just under a third (26) are newsreaders, journalists, or political correspondents. Anyone looking for a reason why the political establishment failed to predict (or refused to publicise) the Corbyn surge in last month’s general election need look no further than their super-inflated salaries.

The BBC, and other mainstream media outlets, have continually criticised new social media outlets (such as EvolvePolitics, Another Angry Voice, and The Canary) for existing within a ‘pro-Corbyn bubble’.

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But it is they or have been proven time and again to be out of pace with the prevailing mood.

The reason why these people cannot make sense of what’s going? Well, for a start, they live on a different planet to the rest of us – earning more than £150,000 certainly removes you daily grind faced by the majority of people in the country.

On a more fundamental level, it is also not in their interests to accurately report on the growth in support for socialist policies. Each and every one of them would face significant tax increases if Corbyn was to become Prime Minister.

But this is not just a personal matter. It is a class issue.

The majority of those on the list above are from exceptionally wealthy backgrounds, and they would not be employed by the BBC if they did not carry this “burden” into the job.

Whether in doctoring footage of striking miners in Orgreave in 1984, their horrific coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict, or the general and ongoing anti-Corbyn bias, the BBC has demonstrated time and again that its principal function is to prop up the British ruling class.

Social inequality

Far from being isolated to the lofty heights of BBC stardom, gender and racial pay gaps are indicative of the rampant inequality which sits at the heart of British society.

Much needs to be done to address these ongoing and widespread problems, and we must fight for every positive reform.

But such issues will never truly be solved on the basis of neoliberalism, which has inequality at its core. During times of economic crisis, representatives of big business use racism and sexism to divide workers, to keep them from uniting against the common enemy.

And well they might. In the last year alone, the 1,000 richest people in this country increased their wealth by £77 billion, bringing their total wealth to £335.5 billion – more than one-third of the national debt.

Meanwhile, ordinary working class people are told that we have to tighten our belts.

Corbyn’s excellent results in last month’s general election shows that many are willing to fight back against this divisiveness, taking us a step to putting an end to discriminatory pay gaps.

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Tom D. Rogers

Co-Founder, Contributing Editor

Jess Miller

Co-Founder, Contributing Editor

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