Saturday 28th October
What a world we live in. Some have millions, a few have billions – while many millions live on almost nothing. And this has very little to do with how hard people work; which is what the Tories would have us believe. Their ‘fairy story’ is that if you work hard you can achieve anything. In fact, this nonsense pervades popular culture; follow your dream and anything is possible. Well sorry to disappoint you but we cannot all succeed, we cannot all win the X factor or be premier league footballers or top fashion models, or whatever the manufactured ‘dream’ is. There is of course some truth in the idea that working hard brings rewards, but it is in no way guaranteed, and may be due more to fortune than the amount of effort expended.
Those fortunate enough to have inherited wealth have a head-start. I have worked for a few terrible bosses who just happened to inherit money and would never have got to be in charge on their merits. Even Gordon Ramsay was ‘helped’ incredibly by his banker father-in-law – though they have fallen out dramatically since. Most people my age have benefited incredibly by the rise in house prices, enabling them to buy second homes out here in France where prices are much lower. No great financial skill involved I can assure you, as one who benefited in exactly that way. Ye, I worked hard, though I suspect no harder than many others who were not so fortunate.
The problem we have, and maybe have always had since humans first started to farm and put by surplus food for lean years has been one of re-distribution. We all know the saying that if you gave ten people a thousand pounds in a year’s time one or two would have doubled their money while most will have spent it. And it is true. Some people just are not so clever financially, and never will be, but does that make them any less valid as people? Well, in Tory eyes, probably yes.
And so, I believe the problem is in re-distribution – or a lack of it. I prefer to live in a society where everyone is valued, and those who are clever, or lucky, or better at making money should contribute through taxation in re-distributing some of that wealth. We all benefit if Society is more equable, rather than the dog-eat-dog competitive market place. What the rich always fail to explain that where there are winners there are also always losers.