That was the month that was… July 2018

By Rebecca Dalton

Rebecca Dalton

She was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar – that much is true. But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t need anyone else to pick her up and turn her around, make her into someone new. This sister was doing it for herself. The 28-year-old native New Yorker beat veteran Democrat, and predicted future party leader, Joe Crowley in the primary ballot for November’s important mid-term elections. It caused a major shock to the Washington establishment, and a minor outbreak of unfortunate ‘dad music’: Crowley marked his defeat by picking up his guitar and dedicating a rendition of ‘Born to Run’ to Ocasio-Cortez.

It certainly looks like nothing’s gonna stop her now; if she wins her place in the House of Fun (aka Congress) she’ll be the youngest woman ever elected.

And that really is enough dreadful puns on terrible 80’s pop songs.

Meanwhile, you may remember a year ago the BBC was forced to reveal the pay packets of its highest earners. Cue much astonishment that so many men were paid so much more than so many women.

Auntie promised to do better. Several high-profile white, middle-aged men were given very public pay cuts. But, learning a trick or two from governments past and present, this year the Beeb altered the way it presents the figures. The production arm has been hived off and is called BBC Studios; as a commercial entity it doesn’t publish how much it pays its stars. This means many top presenters have conveniently fallen off the best paid list, and others such as John Humphrys only have the part of their salary paid by the licence fee in the public domain.

It was a cunning plan and should have highlighted the increasing proportion of women edging into the top salary brackets, while fudging the issue of the stark pay differential with men.

The new figures were revealed, and (drumroll…) ta da! Now there are no women at all in the top 10 highest earners. Claudia Winkleman is still head girl: but now down at number 13 on the list.

Good Job!