One newspaper above all others is hot on Fat Cats, those earning eye-watering sums of money while many of those they serve - and many of their own employees - struggle to get by. And that paper is the Daily Mail. It matters not whether the Fat Cats are in the public or private sector: the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre will be on their case, splashing that excess all over the front page.
Why the f*** shouldn't I have my wad delivered by Securicor, c***?!?
Well, up to a point: there is one product out there whose boss has overseen a decline in sales over the last 14 years of over 40%. Staff engaged in producing this product are being subjected to cutbacks in both numbers and salaries. Management is fearful of losing ancillary revenue, to the extent of publicly exhibiting their nervousness for all to see. And overseeing this slow and steady decline is one of the fattest cats of all.
No prizes for guessing that this litany of failure is the Daily Mail itself: from a high in 2003, when it moved 2.5 million copies a day, the Mail has now fallen below the 1.4 million mark. Star columnists are being forced to take pay cuts. Specialist staff have been sent down the road. The recent screaming denunciation of Stop Funding Hate shows how scared the Mail’s bosses are about losing advertising revenue. Yet Dacre remains aloof.
How aloof? As usual, most of the press establishment, subscribing to the iron code of Omertà, does not report such matters, but to its credit the Guardian has told readers “Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre's pay jumps 50% to almost £2.5m … Editor-in-chief of Mail titles earns £1.45m in salary plus £856,000 payout from company’s long-term investment plan”. And he spends an increasing amount of time away from the office.
Although Dacre is a workaholic, and has in the past bawled out those who fail to put in the shifts he does - including Christmas Day on occasion - he spends more and more time away on holiday, perhaps under sufferance after being ordered to by his reassuringly expensive private doctor (the Mail’s antipathy towards the NHS is not unconnected to Dacre and other top brass having gone private for decades past).
The nuances of the Dacre remuneration régime vis-à-vis the ordinary Mail reader are explained in layman's terms
And the headline numbers are not all: as Mark Sweney’s article points out, “His total remuneration of £2.37m - up 56% on £1.5m in 2016 when he had yet to receive his first LTIP payout - follows a 20% slump in DMGT’s share price after the company reported a sharp drop in annual profits and warned of a tough year ahead”. The shares slumped by 20%, yet there is Fat Cat Dacre trousering a 50% pay rise.
Can it get worse? It certainly can, two times over: one of the reasons given for Dacre’s mammoth pay packet is “investing in strong brands of digital consumer media, particularly Mail Online”, something to remember when his apologists claim it’s a totally separate business over which he has no influence. And the second Dacre demerit is when Sweney tells “Dacre … has accrued a pension pot that pays out £708,000 a year”.
Failure was never so well rewarded. So when the Daily Mail whines about someone being paid more than the Prime Minister, don’t forget that Paul Dacre is being paid 17 times as much. And when he retires, he’ll still be getting almost five times as much.
And this is someone who claims to represent ordinary working people. Pass the sick bag.