The ultra-rich hold the nation to ransom again

Greed is good, or at least that’s what the bankers and CEOs of the biggest companies think.   What is surprising is not their avaricious self-interest and total indifference to everyone else, but the blatancy with which they flaunt it.   As their leader so movingly put it, they’re all in it together – the CEOs of Ocado and Kingfisher, those Labour sell-outs Lord (Digby) Jones and Lord Myners (both worth a bob or two in the City), and inevitably Boris Johnson.   The only omission was Blair, but no doubt it would have been too much of an embarrassment even for him now that he’s reputed to be worth £40 million.   The cacophony of financial selfie that Balls’ modest proposal has elicited is extremely revealing.   It shows what a tin ear they have to the tightening squeeze being imposed on 90% of the population, where 60% of voters sampled in a poll approved of Labour’s move, even including Conservatives.   It shows what arrogance they have about their own self-importance, as though a small increase in tax for those on more than £3,000 a week is going to ‘threaten the recovery and cost jobs’.   It shows their utter coldness towards any idea of fairness – that in austerity a decade long the richest 1% should contribute a tiny amount to assist those who are struggling or jobless or destitute.

The only thing that slightly spoils this epiphany of vanity and greed is the concession that Ed Balls made that the reintroduced 50p tax rate should be temporary.   If it to restore an element of fairness in our deeply dysfunctional and grotesquely unequal society, it should clearly be a permanent change.   Indeed in an economy in which the very richest 0.1% of the workforce (some 30,000 persons) now take home more than £1 million a year, the FTSE-100 CEOs now pocket £86,000 a week, and 0.0o3% of the population (the very richest 1,000 persons) have according to the Sunday Times collectively increased their wealth since the crash by £190bn, it is surely unwise to close off the option that the top rate might have to be raised to 55%.

But the immediate business onslaught on the restored 50p rate points to another important factor.   This financial/business elite has become inured to thinking under the system of neoliberal capitalism of the last three decades that they can not only hold the nation to ransom with their demands, but they can control government too.   That mistaken arrogance has to be faced down.   Their latest demand to have the final say on the tax system is not supported by anyone but themselves, they think they have a right to indulge in tax avoidance on an industrial scale, and they think they can blackmail government to suit their private interests.   This trade union of the ultra-rich needs to be taught a lesson, and this is as good a place as any to start.


2 thoughts on “The ultra-rich hold the nation to ransom again

  1. for a start lets get rid of the blairites from the party then you get rid of all private companies in the nhs and work fare projects charities you got to be mad to allow them to be called this taking bodies for monies this is never charity work they killed the goose were sick or disabled people went for a hour or more on days they could now they say its proving they fit to work butnow they sacked all those dwp workers from the social security offices who helped now its find out yourself but how can you save monies onlt to give it to the private sector who screw us more that’s not labour its a tory way jeff3

  2. Excellent points, well made Michael. The rich 1% must surely be made to bear their fair share in future? After all it is the future tax payers who will pay for the massive wealth transfer to the super rich that is now taking place…..

    And yes many [most?] of their number appear to be sociopathic and could not care 2 hoots about the common man or woman.

    The failure of Labour to oppose this sociopathic group is a key factor in the disaffection that many people have with so called “representative” politics in the uk. How exactly are we being represented?

    Old school right/left politics is virtually redundant now I think. The only split that really counts is the 1% versus the rest of us, as you demonstrated very well in this article. More and more people are waking up to this reality. Just not enough of them and not quickly enough……

    Those that are already awake do not have any hope in the old school for their salvation. They’ve given up on you all. They have no expectation of you anymore.

    The current government has amply demonstrated that what you say in your manifesto is irrelevant when it comes to the exercise of power. I’ve no need to spell this out to an insider I’m sure. The sheeple didn’t even seem to notice…..

    The mainstream media is fully controlled now so why would they. They’ll certainly not find out there hey? Long live the free internet!!!! [some hope….]

    Tinkering round the edges of the tax system will not solve this problem. Only something radical will be enough. Something like a wealth or asset tax. And Labour would be mad to signal that in their manifesto……

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