Yesterday I said that the Tories were planning a “sinister redistribution of wealth ….. from ordinary people to the very, very rich. What you can say about Cameron, he has class loyalty! This campaign could yet be decided nationally on the issue of class”.
I was going to blog further about this but then came across Johann Hari’s piece in Friday’s Independent. Johann Hari is, in my opinion, the most outstanding commentator of our time. A switch from the lame Guardian to the Independent is worth it for Hari’s writing alone.
I started to summarise his column but could do it no justice, so I have reproduced it in full:
If you’re looking for class war, just read Cameron’s policies
“It is very hard for the British people to make a serious choice in this election without talking about one factor above all others – class. This isn’t about David Cameron’s background; it’s about his policies. It is a provable fact that he will redistribute wealth – substantially – but in a strange direction: from everyone in the big wide middle and bottom of British society, to the very top.”
“Here are the facts. He will give a £1.2bn inheritance tax cut to the richest 2 per cent in Britain – with most going to the 3,000 wealthiest estates (including his wife’s). Then he promises to end the 50p top rate of tax, giving another £2.4bn to the richest 1 per cent. Then he has pledged to cut taxes on the pensions of the richest, handing another £3.2bn to the same 1 per cent. Then his marriage tax relief policies will give 13 times more to the rich than the poor. To pay for this, he will slash programmes for the middle and the skint, like the Child Trust Fund, SureStart and state schools.”
“But this is not called “class war”. No. The nasty “class warriors” are the people who try – with hard statistical facts – to point out this rip-off by the rich. This exposes the assumptions that underpin our politico-media debate. Money being endlessly shovelled up to the top by the state is considered the natural state of affairs; anybody trying to speak for the interests of the majority is considered a rude and irrational “warrior.” These premises were best rebuffed by the billionaire Warren Buffett, who quipped: “Let’s face it – if there’s a class war, my side’s winning”.”
- Johann Hari, Independent, Friday 9th April 2010
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: Child Trust Fund, Class, class politics, David Cameron, Guardian, Independent, Johan Hari, rich, Robert Fisk, Samantha Cameron, SureStart, tax, Warren Buffett | 2 Comments »