MY brain hurts.

My feelings too. It's the fault of Nationwide Building Society chairman Geoffrey Howe (no relation to Lord Geoffrey of that ilk, though the Tory politics perchance overlap).

Geoffrey, if I might call him that while other alternatives spring to mind, says fat cat pay is too hard for we, the people, to understand. We just don't get it, in all senses of the phrase.

Bankers, you see, are like footballers and pop stars. What, they dribble rings round you while singing "We will, we will Northern Rock you"?

No, you have to pay top pound to get the best. Not sure how that works with pop stars, as they're neither offered salaries nor hawked around the transfer market, but let's not quibble. For it's all beyond our understanding.

Nothing daunted, we don our thinking baseball caps and do our best to fathom our fiscal superiors. Bear in mind, what we're trying to understand isn't like maths, science or a language. There isn't actually anything to learn.

You just have to know that these people are, in some mystical sense, the best. They are druids, if you will. And you don't have access to their mystical grove.

Look at Geoffrey. He gets £300,000 a year for a three-day week. How he manages that is a mystery. He was on £250,000 last year.

At the same time, Nationwide's chief executive Grahame Beale's basic salary rose from £650,000 to £850,000 (actually about £2.25 m with bonuses and perks), an increase of 27%, while three other executive directors got raises of 34%.

Let me do the introductions. Rate of inflation – bankers. Bankers – rate of inflation. I'm surprised you don't know each other already. Oh, look, here's someone else you ought to meet: austerity.

I don't want to quibble again but if they had to give the Beale a 27% pay increase then logically that means they weren't paying him enough before, and so couldn't have attracted him to the job in the first place.

Ergo, he shouldn't be there to get the increase. He should be, you know, abroad, where all the people who don't get paid enough go. Apparently.

But let it pass. Let's watch Geoffrey wave his mistletoe as he intones this mystical spell: "This is a society problem, this isn't a Nationwide problem. There is a huge mismatch between what pop stars earn, footballers earn, business people earn, bankers earn and what the man on the street earns.

"A lot of people just find it hard to understand why there is such a big differential between what the man in the street earns and what senior business people earn — whether they're bankers or whether they're in other jobs."

He added that it would be a "disaster" if Nationwide, Britland's biggest building society, were to slash pay. Disaster, eh? Sounds undesirable.

Nationwide is of course a mutual, but among other desirables to the Geoffreys of this world are those shareholders who turn up every year, clearly unable to understand this fat cat pay malarkey any more than the ordinary prole in the street.

Here's an odd thing. In my capacity as a nosey press person, I've been to meetings of the Socialist Workers' Party and shareholders' AGMs. The shareholders were by far the most militant and angry.

But, like the Socialist Workers, they can't change anything. At Nationwide's AGM, the pay rises were described as "morally obscene". But what's the point?

Morality counts for as much as logic here. As Nationwide member Alan Debenham noted, Beale was paid 15 times as much as Chancellor George Osborne. "But then I suppose we have to accept how difficult it is to run a building society compared to the entire British economy."

The real trick in all this — the talent, if you will — is how they get away with it. In a month when McDonald's issued a financial skills McBudget for minimum wage workers that forgot to factor in heating and assumed a 60-hour week, you realise we're now suffering insults of pre-revolutionary France proportions. It's just a mercy, for the bankers, that today's sans-culottes are more of a sans clue lot, who find it all just too difficult to understand.