Monday, 20 October 2014

That TUC march


The first response most people gave me when I told them I was going on the Britain needs a pay rise march on Saturday was, "but you don't work." Which bothered me for two reasons.

The first is that I actually do work. I'm a writer. I might not have a standard 9-5 (or increasingly 9-6) physical get-out-the-house job. I might do most of my work in my bed, in my pyjamas, with my cat... but that doesn't mean I don't work. I'm a writer. I get paid to write. It's not the best-paid work in the world, but it's still work. And being employed in the creative industries doesn't make me unemployed.

The second reason is that, despite getting all emotional about the fact that I do actually work, it shouldn't matter anyway. The march was one to demand that all people be paid the minimum of a living wage. Each individual's employment status, and even their salary, was irrelevant. It was a march to demand better pay for those who are struggling. Anyone can - and should - support that.

I'm aware that I'm very privileged at the moment. I live at home with my parents. I share a room with my wonderful little sister. I don't have to pay to live at home and I wouldn't be able to afford it anyway (like I said, I work, but I don't earn much). Being paid below the cost of living isn't having that much of an effect on me at the minute (but it most definitely will in the future!). However that's irrelevant! The point I'm trying to make here is that you don't ever have to be the direct recipient of a struggle to believe in a cause.

There's right and there's wrong. And if I feel the minimum wage in this country is too low, it doesn't matter what my work is or how muchI earn. It's about what's right and what's best for everyone. And that's why I marched on Saturday.