A sad reflection on topsy-turvy values

From: Mark Doel

Sheffield S11 8YN

Two items in last week’s (January 26) Telegraph illustrate the prevailing topsy-turvy values.

A man who already earns £294,000 a year receives a 6% pay increase to a new salary of £311,000, whilst Sheffield Theatres Trust receives a 10% cut in its funding.

The individual’s salary (in this case it is the vice-chancellor of Sheffield University) would cover the cut to the Theatres more than five times over.

It is beyond most people’s comprehension how a person who is already earning £294,000 a year can possibly need or want another £17,000.

In contrast, the pleasure that Sheffield Theatres brings is entirely within our grasp.

This pleasure is derived not just from what happens on the stage in big-name productions, but in the remarkable extent of its outreach activities with the people of Sheffield.

Of course, I know that there is no practical way to teem and ladle between a salary increase for an already hugely recompensed university VC and the public funding of a Theatres Trust, but they are, neverthless linked at a much deeper, moral level and it is this morality that is so offended.

It is unacceptable that collective, communal responsibilities have become so subordinated to individual acquisitiveness. It impoverishes us all.