Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/577/7226
It's tough at the top!
THE SUNDAY Times 'Rich List', the annual survey that estimates the minimum wealth of Britain's 1,000 richest people, is usually an exercise in licking the ruling class' boots. After the worst 12 months for the economy in decades, the 2009 list is a bit more sober.
The Sunday Times mourns the fact that, in total, these 1,000 millionaires are now 'worth' a mere £258 billion, £155 billion less than last year. The 37% fall is the biggest in 21 years of the list.
Sir Philip Green (number six, the billionaire, tax avoiding 'nom-dom' BHS and Arcadia boss) and Lady Green, recently had to economise for falling profits - by not buying another chain of clothing shops! Does their hardship know no bounds?
But hold your tears. The 'average' List multi-millionaire is still worth £258 million. Britain's national minimum wage for adults is £5.73 an hour so a low-paid worker would still take about 20 thousand years to save that much - if they didn't have to eat.
As the List says, the billionaires and millionaires fear a "backlash against the rich and the growing gulf between the haves and have-nots." It claims that "flaunting wealth is now definitely out as the yacht and executive jet builders are finding to their cost." And finally, they say: "The very concept of the market economy being the best way of delivering... jobs is under scrutiny as never before."
Well, the rich are listing but they are not sunk yet. New Labour intends to solve the economic crisis, made worse by the greed of the rich, on working people's backs.
The Socialist Party's aim is to make the Rich List's nightmare a reality. Take their wealth that controls the economy - 'their' factories, banks, etc. - away from them. Run these major companies as part of a democratic socialist plan of production based on the needs of the overwhelming majority of people, not the interests of a few thousand plutocrats.
In The Socialist 29 April 2009:
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis