Mansion Tax

The prospect of a Mansion Tax has really rubbed rich people up the wrong way.

Myleene Klass has stated that the Mansion Tax, which would be aimed at properties worth over £2m, would affect “little grannies” in London. I believe that’s what she’s concerned about as much as I believe that David Cameron really cares about whether or not the Green Party are involved in the TV election debates.

Millionaire Myleene stated that £2m wouldn’t get you much in London, and that these “little grannies” will have had these properties passed down to them through the generations. Firstly, as I have touched on in a previous blog, some wealthy people are completely out of touch with the real world, therefore, what Myleene Klass classes as “not much” could well be a mansion to someone like us. Secondly, if people are getting mansions passed down to them through generations, these are the types of people who are born into wealth and don’t have to lift a finger their whole lives. Thirdly, if the Mansion Tax would cause these people so much hardship (although, what they call hardship and we call hardship may be totally different things), they could move away from London and purchase a whole street in the North.

Other well-off people have spoken up against the Mansion Tax. Do they expect people to show sympathy for them? If you have a property worth over £2m, you’re a very lucky, wealthy person.  I have seen a lot sympathy for these rich people in the press…but maybe that’s because the people who run the media are very wealthy people with £2m properties. Take it with a pinch of salt. And be under no illusions, very few of these people went from rags to riches. 99.9% of them were privileged from birth and had opportunities presented to them on a platter. The other 00.1% will know what it’s like on the flipside of the coin and won’t oppose the tax.

I’ve seen a few common arguments against the Mansion Tax. One is that a person may have bought a house for much less than £2m originally, but it has since gone up in value. So, am I supposed to shed a tear because the value of someone’s property has skyrocketed? Wait, isn’t that what dreams are made of!?

Some say it’s not equitable because the cash-poor asset-rich owner of a large house is liable for this tax. In other words, these are people who inherit a mansion and blow their money on a hedonistic lifestyle instead of getting a job. If born to the underclass these people would be called scroungers, deadbeats and bums. If they’re so cash poor, why don’t they sell their £5m mansion, buy a £1.5m property (if that’s not beneath them), and then live on their £3.5m? You wouldn’t have to work a day in your life with that sort of dinero. Or they could keep the house, and maybe just sell off one of their Ferraris, or a Rembrandt, to help pay the tax.

A Mansion Tax would help reduce wealth inequality in the UK and redistribute resources to help people at the other end of the scale. The rich will still be rich. The poor will still be poor. But it would be a step towards improving the quality of life of the worst off amongst us.

Bring on the Mansion Tax.

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The Primitive Working Class

It’s no secret that the elite upper class that run the United Kingdom are completely out of touch with every day working class people. This is obvious due to the constant blunders that we witness on TV, radio, and social media. They are so out of touch that when they try to look ‘in-touch’ they look more out of touch than ever.

Rory Stewart (MP) describing his constituents as “primitive”. Michael Fallon (Defence Secretary) saying that towns on the East coast are “under siege” and “being swamped” by migrants. Lord Mandelson saying unemployed Brits are unwilling to work. Would he work in poor conditions for minimum wage?

I know Alan Duncan (MP) wouldn’t. He famously complained that MPs were treated like “s–t” and had to live off of “rations”. For those of you that don’t know, MPs get a basic pay of 64 grand a year, not including expenses. My heart bleeds.

Similarly, Boris Johnson (Mayor of London), described the £250,000 earning from his newspaper column as “chickenfeed”. Maybe if you’re a supplier for KFC.

Gaffes like this are commonplace, and they’re all very funny until you realise that these people aren’t cartoon characters. They are actually making real decisions about our lives. They are the ones representing us worldwide. Most of them see the working class as a curiosity at best, sub-human at worst.

This is dangerous because 1) they are making decisions about things they don’t understand and 2) they are causing people to turn to despicable political parties such as UKIP (who are also out of touch upper class elitists, only with nastier intent and ideology).

The UK is stuck in a rut. I believe the 18th century parliamentary set-up we have is out-dated. We need a huge political reform that encourages a representative cross-section of society to make decisions at the highest level.

Baby is Born

Baby is born.

Baby is brought up in a mansion in the countryside. Baby has everything he needs, and more. Baby has the best food, baby has the best toys, baby even breathes the best air.

Baby goes to the top schools, baby is taught English, Maths, and confidence to the highest level. Baby goes to the best university. Baby walks straight into a high-paying occupation thanks to family contacts. Baby makes sure he makes friends with other babies in roles of high power and baby makes money. Baby makes sure his friends make money. Baby calls in debts and pulls strings and rises to power in politics.

Baby has the right look. Baby has the right luck. Baby becomes Prime Minister. Baby rules the country. Baby stops being Prime Minister. Baby calls in debts he accrued from his leadership and walks into a very high-paying job for a few years.

Baby retires. Baby moves into a mansion in the countryside. Baby has everything he needs, and more. Baby has the best food, baby has the best toys, baby even breathes the best air. Baby watches his baby get a high-paying job and rise to power. Baby dies, aged 90.

Baby is born.

Baby is brought up on a council estate. Baby has nothing. Baby is malnourished, baby has simple toys, baby breathes in toxic air from nearby factories.

Baby goes to state schools. Baby is taught keeping out of trouble, street smarts, and self loathing. Baby walks straight into unemployment. Baby makes friends with others like him. Baby gets a job in the factory. Baby never makes money.

Baby works so he can live. Baby works so his baby can live. Baby keeps working. Baby never retires. Baby dies, aged 60.

The Chosen Ones

Inequality is everywhere you look.

There is race discrimination, gender discrimination, nationality discrimination, sexuality discrimination, age discrimination, and religious discrimination everywhere. There’s even discrimination discrimination, where people are discriminated against depending on who they themselves discriminate. These are all very real. But, in my opinion, these are all sub-categories under the umbrella of the ultimate inequality tool: class discrimination.

Let’s just look at one of the highest employment positions of the UK: Prime Minister. How many Prime Ministers came from wealthy backgrounds and studied at OxBridge? Answer: all of ’em. So let’s have a look at my situation. I was born into a coal-mining/steel-working family. I studied hard and got decent grades despite living on the breadline. I wanted to go to university, so I got a job at a popular DIY chain and worked there for a year before getting a place at Sheffield Hallam University, where I studied hard and earned my degree.

After all that, which is more life experience than any UK Prime Minister in history has ever had, I had statistically zero-chance of becoming Prime Minister. In fact, a life in politics was never put forward to me as an option throughout my whole academic life. Why? Because that sort of job isn’t for the likes of me.

In the 80s we had our first female Prime Minister. Thatcher managed to break a glass ceiling within the sub-division of gender inequality. But, of course, she didn’t break the titanium ceiling of socio-economic discrimination because she was an out-of-touch OxBridge toff.

And this is much bigger than the Prime Minister role. The same can be said for all the other high-powered, influential roles in the UK: religious positions, big company executives, media head honchos, and, of course, those damn dirty bankers.

The country is run by a council of Chosen Ones, and it has been since our Kingdom became United. The positions of this council are as hereditary as our monarchy and we have reached a situation where a privileged few who are born into power control the 65 million people who inhabit our islands (despite there being many more intelligent, experienced people who are better equipped to run the country).

This issue is right under our noses and it never gets mentioned. Is that because people can’t see the forest for the trees? Do the Chosen Ones distract us with other issues so we don’t see the elephant in the room? Do people think this is the way it should be, and that lower class scum shouldn’t be allowed to make the big decisions? Is it because people think it’s something that can’t change, so why waste time discussing it? Meanwhile the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

The class gap is putting a lot of people under immense pressure, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that a portion of the upper class are completely out of touch regarding underclass issues (“the unemployed are lazy” “the mansion tax will destroy us” “let them eat cake”) – and, scarily, i’m starting to see more and more evidence of certain upper class people viewing the working class as lesser being, and not worthy of the type of life that they themselves enjoy.

I think we need a big change urgently, and I believe change comes from the bottom up (the people at the top don’t want change because, well, they’re at the top!). But has the working class got any fight left in it, or has the relentless barrage from Tory governments turned us into submissive dogs? I know that France took a stand when the government tried to raise the retirement age to 62, but the UK doesn’t seem to care that our government want us to work till we’re dead so that we’re not such a burden on the state.

Are the Chosen Ones here to stay?