Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 February 2010

Record wealth gap

'Filthy rich' get richer: Challenge the bosses' greed!

Dave Nellist on the Unite Jobs demo , photo Harry Smith

Dave Nellist on the Unite Jobs demo , photo Harry Smith

AFTER 13 years of Labour rule, the gap between the rich and the rest of us is now wider than at any time for nearly 70 years. A new 460-page report from the 'National Equality Panel', a group of academics, shows that the wealth of the richest 10% of Britain's population is now 100 times that of the poorest 10%.

Dave Nellist, Coventry Socialist Party councillor

The top 1% (600,000 people) each share wealth per household of 2.6 million or more, whilst one in ten of those living in local authority accommodation on the edge of retirement have assets worth less than 3,000 - little more than the furniture in their homes and the clothes they wear.

That's the consequence of Labour's transition to a big business party, "intensely relaxed" to quote Peter Mandelson, "about people getting filthy rich".

Recently the right-wing press accused Gordon Brown of playing the 'class war card' after he said that Tory inheritance tax policy was "dreamed up on the playing fields of Eton".

But Labour accusations of Tory policies promoting inequality now look hollow after this report shows Britain as one of the most unequal societies in the 'developed' world, and with the highest rate of poverty in Western Europe.

Relative standards of living are not merely 'statistics'. As the Independent said: "children of poorer people live much harder and shorter lives than those of the wealthy". In Coventry in the area I represent, St Michael's, the average age at which men die is 65; in the next-door ward, Earlsdon, represented by the Tories, it is over 77.

The report explains that some of the biggest inequalities opened up in the 1980s under Tory governments. But three terms of a Labour government have not narrowed the gap because they have championed, rather than challenged, the bosses' economic system. Why should we give them another term of office?

We were warned - Peter Mandelson (again) wrote in his book The Blair Revolution: "New Labour's ..... strategy is to move forward from where Margaret Thatcher left off". These damning figures show that the seamless transition from Tory government to Labour only accelerated the disparities of capitalist society.

Whatever the exact mix of MPs from the three main parties in the next House of Commons, all three stand (with minor differences of pace or degree) for the defence of the market economy, and the leading role of profit in determining how society is structured.

Need for alternative

That leads them all to the same conclusion, that to 'balance society's books' requires not reducing the disparities of wealth and poverty, but their retention. They believe that the bill for bailing out the bankers, their bonuses and their casino economic system should be passed on to ordinary working people and their families.

The report asks "whether the costs of recovery will be borne by those who gained least in the period before the crisis, or by those who gained most and are in the strongest position to bear them". Left to the existing parties the answer is clear.

The ever widening inequality in British society shows the urgent need for a socialist alternative, and for a new independent political voice rooted in the organisations and communities of the working class.

Socialists and trade unionists establishing the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) are taking the first steps towards building a mass force to challenge that inequality.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 3 February 2010:

'Filthy rich' get richer: Challenge the bosses' greed!

War and occupation

Taliban insurgency, poverty and corruption Brown's Afghan crisis deepens

Chilcot Inquiry: Millionaire Blair has no regrets

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Fight new attacks on London's NHS

Save our A&E!

Youth fight for jobs

Civil service Young workers get organised

Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) activities

No cuts and no fees in further education

Young people blocked from access to education

Socialist Party news and analysis

Council criminalises dissent

Socialist councillors back school's protest

Weak growth - the best that capitalism can offer

Fast News

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Trade unionist and socialist coalition

Bob Crow launches Portsmouth TUSC

Scottish TUSC steering committee set up

TUSC Coalition sponsors

Socialist Party workplace news

Unison general secretary election: Fighting left challenge needed

Defend the four: Courts show what side they're on

Civil service strike ballot as talks fail

Fujitsu strikers determined to save jobs and pensions

International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka: Violent election campaign puts Rajapakse back in power

Tekel workers demand general strike in Turkey

Betrayed - PTSD casualties of war


Home   |   The Socialist 3 February 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleTrump's tax attacks

triangle'Paradise' for billionaires - austerity for us

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleTories torn - bin them now

Wealth gap:

triangleThe have-yachts and the have-nots

triangleFighting the great tax robbery: taxes and regulation or socialist nationalisation?

triangleThem & Us


triangleAnti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangleBlairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed


triangleTamil Solidarity AGM & public meeting

triangleSocialist Students national conference


triangleMobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee



Unite protest against blacklisting


Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain



Arriva bus strikers stand firm



BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes



Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test



School staff strike against privatisation



Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services



PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference


North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters


Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest



Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000



TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections



Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students



Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice