My dad is a good honest man who eats Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup with thick cut white bread at least three times a week. My dad will say, sincerely, when we've forced him to take us to Wagamama and he is eating his ramen: "This is nice, but would be better with some nice bread," and by nice bread he means Kingsmill thick cut. My dad uses Head and Shoulders Original. My dad doesn't drink water; he just has mug-tea with two sugars all through the day. My dad likes going on holiday to the same place. My dad supports Tottenham Hotspur and gets cross when they lose, which is a lot. My dad will talk obnoxiously loudly, not realising that the people next to him are wondering what's going on, and when my dad sneezes he makes an incredibly loud noise that sounds like he's shouting "HANIYA!", but he insists he's not doing it deliberately.
My dad is the best dad in the world. But is he woke? Of course he's not woke; he's a white British man in his fifties, maybe sixties, I don't know. But by god he means well and has no ill will in his heart. This is why I'm convinced that if he was in his twenties now, he'd be the most politically correct lad of them all. So over the course of a few weeks, I'm going to see if I can enlighten him to the new ways of the world.
This week, I asked him to explain the gender pay gap.
VICE: Hi dad. Are you ready for this?
Woke Dad: No.
Why? Are you worried?
Is this the question?
No. We're just chatting now.
Oh, I thought it was the question.
You seem worried about this task.
Anxious. [Laughs and does a "shucks" face he does a lot]
So: what's the gender pay gap?
Everyone's heard about that. You know, ladies. They aren't getting the same as men, are they?
Yeah, they're still not, and it's not fair is it. In some jobs they are. I mean, if it's airline pilots or something.
Are you sure?
I… I don't know. Lots of the top jobs must be paid the same. Doctors must be. Teachers, too. They're on grades, so they must. But the opportunity to be a headmaster is not so great, is it? When do you see a lady headmaster? I've not seen one. Have you?
I don't think we have. You know, ladies climb... ladies climb for their careers, and I'm sure it's a lot slower than it is for men.
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How much do you think the gap is in the UK?
Probably not very much. In the UK, it's probably closer than some other countries, I dare say…
Than, like, where?
Other countries, where they don't like ladies working much.
Why do you keep saying "ladies"?
Alright, women then.
Laaaaadies. [Little Britain voice] I'm a laaaady.
Yes. Go on, have a guess then.
Probably like 30 percent less.
Not that much! It's 9.4 percent – nearly 10 percent.
There should be a pay gap between good people and bad people. Some people are just lazy twerps.
Right. There's been some big news about the gender pay gap this year. Do you know what it is?
Is this in the news? I only read the paper on Sunday sometimes, so don't trick me, Han.
It's that basically big businesses have to put gender gap information on their websites. Do you think that's a good idea?
Well, if you've got nothing to hide you've got to be transparent, haven't you? Just like with the politicians and their bloody expenses. They boo hoo, but look mate, you've spent it, you share it.
Too right. Do you think you care about the gender pay gap more because you have daughters?
Aw, thanks, dad.
No. I just think fair is fair. If someone's doing the same job, you get the same money. If someone's doing a shit job, then hey ho, off they go. You know what? There's probably a lot of jobs ladies do these days better than men – I'm sure there is.
No, I wouldn't go that far. I'm glad in politics there's slowly more and more ladies – sorry, women – creeping up the ladder. Men fluff around a bit.
They really do.
A group of men fluff around more than you'd believe. Women are a bit more organised, I think.
I have to agree. You're sounding like a feminazi now.
What's that? Feminism?
Anyway, I've seen men fart around with my own eyes. I was in the civil service for five years and they're all duffers in there. They'd never make it in the real world, in business. You know grandpa – he was in the civil service, too, and he was indecisive, and I do remember he had a report once and it said: "You're indecisive." My dad was really angry about that. He told grandma and she said: "Well, you are" [laughs very loudly, people look over]. Some of those duffers – not always old duffers either, young duffers all over the show – I thought, 'Mate, you'll never make it, you couldn't get a job anywhere else, the civil service is actually spot on for you.'
Okay, wait. We're going off topic. Women. Pay-gap.
I hate that Nicola Sturgeon, though.
Why do you hate her?
Well, she's really – it's not the accent – she's really aggressive. I don't like aggressive, bully women.
The ones who act exactly how men do.
No, no. It's just her manner maybe. And, the fact is, she wasn't in favour of Brexit, and now they want a second referendum. The thing was, she wants independence from England, but she wants to be in Europe. So she's going to be dictated by Europe anyway.
Anyway. So basically, in conclusion, the pay gap is bad, right?
No money for lazy old duffers. More money for women and I think we'd be back on track. There you go. Can we stop this now?
Yes. Thanks, dad.