Reports suggest that more than half of FTSE 100 CEOs have now taken a substantial cut to their base salary in response to the Covid-19 crisis. To date, a select band of university Vice- Chancellors and senior leaders have done the same, with 20% salary reductions fast establishing themselves as the default figure. In this article we ask: Whose attention are these pay cuts intended to grab, and to what end?
The slogan Stay Alert has had a pretty bad press. Politicians and pundits have revelled in its vacuity. As a slogan, they say, it lacks the clarity of its forbear, Stay Home. At least in the days of Stay Home, the people of England knew where they stood. Along with their counterparts in Wales and Northern Ireland, the authorities in Scotland will shortly have to wheel out their own new slogan. How much should we really be expecting a slogan to do our thinking for us?
Before the pandemic, few would have argued that saving life should be the ultimate goal of public policy. And yet we now find ourselves facing up to questions about how far we should be willing to go to save life, how calculations of quantity and quality of life should play into the decisions we make, and how we should understand notions of cost and benefit in the context of life and death. This article explores these questions, testing out some of our deepest intuitions along the way.Share