Socialist Worker

Now the parasites are taking over mansions

How many more do you expect us to take, Mr Blair?

Issue No. 1836

No. We're not talking about asylum seekers... The mansions here are owned by two English men. Chilham Castle belongs to multimillionaire Stuart Wheeler. He bought the 400-acre estate in Kent because he said the three people in his family 'needed somewhere bigger to live'.

He makes no worthwhile contribution to society and got his fortune from a gambling business. He has, however, contributed £5 million to the Tories. Dodington Park belongs to James Dyson, the vacuum cleaner millionaire. He forked out £15 million for the mansion, which sits in a modest 300 acres near Bath. It was built in the 16th century with money from the slave trade.

Dyson knows a thing or two about slave labour. He shut his factory in Britain (sacking 800 workers) and moved production to Malaysia, where he pays just £1.50 an hour.

Dyson and Wheeler are just two examples of the parasites living the high life in palatial homes in Britain. 'New country houses for the mega-rich are rising on a scale unknown since the 1940s,' said an Observer article last year. 'This spate of building conspicuous private mansions suggests a new confidence and ostentation among the rich.'

Exclusive estate agent Knight Frank says, 'The number of people looking at £1 million homes defies belief. Even above £2 million there are around 1,320 cash buyers looking at the moment, and only about 360 houses in that bracket came onto the market last year.'

You could have read about Dyson's and Wheeler's new homes in glowing articles in the Daily Mail and Daily Express last week. The nauseating lifestyle features came a few pages after both papers spewed out bile about refugees who are forced into temporary accommodation centres.

That's not really surprising. The millionaire-owned press have every interest in getting the rest of us to blame anyone but the millionaires for the problems we face.

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Sat 1 Feb 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1836
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