CONSIDERING the size of his paypacket, you’d imagine John Humphrys would have a pretty big garden.

And, after a lifetime of live broadcasting, you might think the 76-year-old former presenter of the BBC’s flagship Today Programme would perhaps covet some quiet time tending his perennials. Or quiet time doing something else. Anything else.

Sadly not. Instead, Mr Humphrys feels compelled to spend his retirement shouting about equal pay.

In case you don’t already know, he doesn’t seem to see what all the fuss is about. And his latest comments on equal pay at the BBC, which came following Samira Ahmed’s victory against the corporation at a tribunal, suggest a particularly pernicious new edge to the usual arrogance, hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness he relies upon to make his points. This time he goes down the victim-blaming route.

READ MORE: Laurence Fox labelled a ‘disgrace’ following BBC Question Time race row

“By the time all the pay complaints have been dealt with, there will be even less money left for programmes,” he wrote in a newspaper column (one of his many lucrative post-retirement gigs), referring to the large numbers of outstanding pay claims against the BBC by female members of staff.

So, let’s get this straight. On Planet Humphrys, when the BBC acts unlawfully by failing to pay women the same as men, it’s somehow greedy of those who have been wronged to expect payment of the back-money they are owed. Should the discriminated against perhaps be weighing up BBC budgets before they complain?

In Mr Humphrys’ mind the £600,000-plus he was paid annually - more than triple what any of his female Today colleagues received - must surely have come from some special budget marked “Male Talent and Charisma Pay”, rather than the same pot of money that, like any other, could also have gone to “programmes”. It’s laughable.

READ MORE: Marianne Taylor: The BBC is better off without Humphrys and Neil

Victim-blaming has long been a trope used in sexist structures and institutions across society of course, whether it be employment practices or sexual harassment. And up until now it has worked pretty well, preventing women from speaking up over injustices and crimes, making them feel guilty when they do.

But, as the tenacious and long-running equal pay claim against Glasgow City Council showed, women are simply no longer prepared to put up with such nonsense. Even if it means cash-strapped public bodies will struggle to meet the costs of their discrimination.

Logically, of course, these same cash-strapped public bodies have historically benefited financially from failing and refusing to pay women equally. And, as the mammoth Glasgow claim, which was fought on behalf of mostly working class women also highlighted, institutions - including trade unions - will often go to quite extraordinary lengths to cover up inequality and avoid paying women what they are legally entitled to.

Mr Humphrys has long had a particular bee in his bonnet about equal pay, of course. During former BBC China Editor Carrie Gracie’s high-profile claim he was caught moaning about her case off-air, complaining to another well-paid male presenter about how much money they might lose, laughing about how he would still earn more than any of them. Classy.

This is a man who often pontificates about his working-class Welsh roots, and likes to cast BBC women seeking equal pay as entitled. During this recent outburst he singled out Woman’s Hour presenter Jane Garvey for behaving “as though [they are] making a heroic sacrifice for humanity rather than enjoying a privileged job most people would sell their souls for”. Does he think this also applies to the Glasgow women, I wonder, most of whom were carers, cleaners and childcare workers?

READ MORE: Letters: It is time to take a long, hard look at the future structure of the BBC

With this in mind it’s time we dispelled yet another trope of this debate, that there is somehow “deserving” and “undeserving” equal pay, based on salary or class. The law is for everyone.

In truth it is Mr Humphrys who is entitled and privileged, angry at any challenge to unquestioned male dominance, unwilling to acknowledge or examine the part it has played in his own high salary and longevity.

Instead of sending the elevator back down, as Jack Lemmon used to put it, Mr Humphrys seems intent on punching down. He was wearing his prejudices on his sleeve long before he left the Today Programme, of course, treating news items about gender and racial equality with a harrumphing sneer.

If he can’t bring himself to be supportive of others in his own profession seeking to be treated fairly and lawfully, he should at least have the common decency to stop making money off the back of discrimination against them.