Last night, Gaynor, Ellie and I sat down to watch “Made in Dagenham”, another of those lovely films that describes how “ordinary” people stood up to be counted and made a real difference. In this case, the struggle for equal pay for women. Those women car seat makers, at Ford’s in Dagenham, even managed to get this enacted into law over 40 years ago. Although, it has to be said, the struggle still goes on.
As I sat down in front of the computer this morning, the attitudes displayed in the film brought to mind an article in “The Guardian” on Wednesday on number plates that feature on the DVLA “suppressed” list. According to the report, this came to light after a “Mr Islam” was told that his surname, rendered as 15LAM, was deemed “inappropriate” whereas KR15HNA wasn’t, although JE55US and AL14LAH also were. Revealingly, PEN15 was “released” some years ago (an interesting concept that) whereas VA61ANA wasn’t allowed. This latter I find particularly revealing of attitudes towards matters of sexuality. Which leads me onto my final observation.
Now, what people do with their money is, largely, their concern provided that it isn’t directly harmful to others. However, I have to say that sometimes wealth seems to like being shouted about in a way that I find, somewhat, crass. Driving up to Derbyshire last weekend, we were overtaken by a car with the personalised number plate, HI8TAXES. Interestingly, it was a Bentley. It said so much about the flaunting of wealth today. Maybe, however, it was always so. Personally, I believe, like President Obama and, I suspect, millions of others, that a better measurement of our worth, than how much we earn, is how much we help others.