Socialist Worker

Troublemaker

Issue No. 2501

Them that’s got are them that gets—we ain’t got nothing yet

Some 120 billionaires have stashed a total of £343.9 billion in Britain.

There were 53 billionaires when the Tories took office in 2010.

The total wealth of the richest 1,000 people is £575.6 billion.

Bizarrely this was reported as a bad time for the rich because some rich people have lost some money.

The overall wealth of the richest 1,000 people rose by a staggering £28.5 billion last year—nearly £78 million a day.

To put that into context, that increase alone could pay for over 1.8 million jobs—paid at the real Living Wage rather than George Osborne’s fake one—for a year.

Property investors were among the hardworking strivers doing well in The Sunday Times Rich List.

Sibling property tycoons David and Simon Reuben topped the list of Britain’s wealthiest people after seeing their net worth rise by £3.4 billion to £13.1 billion.

Of those on the 1,000-strong rich list who have significant investments in property, 100 saw their wealth increase over the past year; seven were new entries.

The combined wealth of those with investments in property in 2016 is £137.8 billion, though many have other assets.

Near the top of the rich list is the Duke of Westminster, owner of Grosvenor Group, whose wealth increased by £790 million to £9.35 billion.

Next on the property rich list are the Barclay brothers, owners of the Telegraph newspaper. They saw a £500 million increase in their wealth, making them worth £7 billion overall.

Earl Cadogan and his family are worth £5.7 billion after a £900 million rise.

US financier John Grayken, worth £4.4 billion, is just one developer cashing in on the property bubble.


Philip Green got millions out of BHS

As the clothing chain BHS goes bust, it’s worth recalling Sir Philip Green.

Green bought BHS in 2000 for a sum of £200 million and controlled it for 15 years. But it was registered under the name of his wife Tina, who lived in Monaco.

In 2004, Green’s family got a £40 million dividend from BHS.

A year later, he collected a £1.2 billion dividend from Arcadia—the group that owned BHS. It was more than four times Arcadia’s profits,

It wasn’t taxed, since it went to his wife in Monaco.

Green was appointed by David Cameron to “lead a review of government waste”, in 2010.

Sir Philip Green bought himself a third luxury yacht a few weeks ago.

He flogged off BHS a year ago.


MPs—don’t examine our bank accounts

Charles Walker, the Conservative MP for Broxbourne, said “I’ll bring forward a private members bill in Parliament to ban curtains from people’s homes.” It was his planned revenge for a suggestion that MPs publish their tax returns.

He was instrumental in pushing George Osborne to exempt MPs from anti-money laundering checks.

MPs are listed as “Politically Exposed Persons” (PEP). This means banks usually subject them to extra checks to prevent money laundering or stashing it in offshore tax havens.

Charles Walker said it is treating MPs like “African despots”.

After the bleating from Walker and others, Osborne will now “exclude… specified categories of persons”.

Happily that means MPs.

Because it’s not like MPs would ever avoid tax.


Leftists won’t shock easily

Troublemaker has just received a rare boost to her self-esteem.

A study published in the Journal of Personality a couple of years ago showed left wingers were less willing in an experiment to give innocent people electric shocks.

“Women who had previously participated in rebellious political activism such as strikes or occupying a factory” held steady and refused destructive orders.

People described as “normally friendly” followed orders because they didn’t want to upset others.


Streeting's Bleatings

Wes Streeting is nominally a Labour MP. Troublemaker starts the first in an occasional series on his wisdom

Streeting responded to the election of a black Muslim woman as NUS president with, “I struggle to see how she can reasonably claim to represent mainstream students”. He tweeted, “NUS is lost I’m afraid.” No, you are.


All Down

£200 million - Amount hedge fund boss Crispin Odey lost last year. He only has £900 million left

£460 million - Amount hedge fund boss Alan Howard lost last year. He’s down to a mere £1.04 billion


Commons Speaker John Bercow turned his garden into a mock minefield for an exhibition last week.

MPs were invited to take a mine detector round a marked course to see if they could discover the whereabouts of dummy devices.

If only they had been real.


The board of the Robert E Lee elementary school in Austin, Texas, —named after a Confederate general— decided that it should rebrand. They asked the public for their thoughts.

Some of the most popular suggestions include the Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance, and Schooly McSchoolerson. But the most nominations went to the Donald J Trump.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 26 Apr 2016, 17:42 BST
Issue No. 2501
Share this article


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.