Monday 9 May 2011

The sickening Sunday Times Rich list

The 2011 Sunday Times Rich List, published this weekend, reveals that the 1,000 wealthiest people in the country are now worth a combined £395.8 billion. They have seen their fortunes rise by almost 20% in the last year. The number of billionaires has risen from 53 to 73, while nine people have seen their fortunes rise by £1 billion or more during the past 12 months alone.

It is easy to accuse people like me of having 'chips on our shoulders' when we raise the subject of obscene wealth. I come from council house stock, I watch my parents work themselves to the bone, on often less than minimum wage, cleaning and gardening for those far more affluent than themselves. I have seen real poverty in the UK in both my own estate life and during my vocation as social worker and priest.

I have had to watch people cry at the fear of losing their homes, and hear their stories of debt and going without food so that at least their kids can eat. We do not appear to 'all be in this together'. During this recession, some appear to be doing very well thank you very much. Sir Philip Green and his wife, who resides in Monaco so as not to pay taxes in the UK, have increased their personal wealth by £95 million to a staggering £4.2 Billion - all the time avoiding nearly £400 million in taxes for the Arcadia group (Topshop)

It feels like its never been a better time to call for a revolution. They keep telling us that there is no such thing as class war, but class and wealth divides have never been so apparent. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting screwed. The only 'good news to the poor' must be a fierce challenge to this obscene evil.

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