Socialist Worker

The Troublemaker—Richest 26 people have the same wealth as poorest half of the world

Issue No. 2638

Jeff Bezos

The world's richest man Jeff Bezos has plenty of reaons to laugh (Pic: Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia)

The combined fortunes of the world’s billionaires rose by £2 billion a day last year, while 3.4 billion people were forced to survive on less than £4.27 a day each.

The 26 richest people globally now hold the same wealth as the poorest half of the population.

The results of a similar survey for 2017 showed the richest 43 people owned the same wealth as the bottom half of the population.

In the ten years since the financial crisis, the number of billionaires has nearly doubled.

A new billionaire was created every two days. Oxfam’s Public Good or Private Wealth? study showed the wealth of billionaires rocketed by £700 billion in 2018.

The 12 percent increase in the wealth of the very richest contrasted with a fall of 11 percent in the wealth of the ­poorest half of the world’s population.


The world’s richest man, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, could fund Ethiopia’s health budget with 1 percent of his estimated £108.7 billion fortune.

Meanwhile, the poorest 10 percent of people in Britain now pay a higher proportion of their income in tax than the richest 10 percent, the study added.

The charity said forcing the top 1 percent to pay an extra 0.5 ­percent tax would raise an estimated £324.6 billion per year worldwide.

An estimated 10,000 people die every day due to a lack of healthcare, while 262 million children miss out on any schooling at all.

As a result, the report concluded, the number of billionaires owning as much wealth as half the world’s population fell from 43 in 2017 to 26 last year. In 2016 the number was 61.

The report said, “Governments face a choice between a life of dignity for all citizens or continued extreme wealth for a tiny few.”

Training new bosses to claim expenses

When the London Business School recruited Francois Ortalo-Magne to become its dean in August 2017, it offered him a salary of £501,000 and free accommodation.

But the package has not stopped the administrator being assiduous with his expense claims, charging for a £1 bag of salt and vinegar crisps from Marks & Spencer.

He claimed for a £1.90 bag of chocolate almonds, a £1.25 antibacterial gel and a £10 drink described as a “222 detox”.

For students paying £82,000 to study for an MBA at the school this year it might be a little galling.

The dean’s wife, Sondra, has also been a beneficiary of the school’s generosity, often accompanying him on overseas trips. Her flights cost nearly £20,000.

It’s a small glimpse into the lifestyle of the man responsible for training the world’s future bosses.

Only five police officers lose jobs for misconduct

Only five police officers in England and Wales who faced misconduct cases were dismissed in the past three years.

In two thirds of the 48 cases directed by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, “gross misconduct” charges were not proved.

There were 48 directing hearings across 19 police forces in the three years to October 2018.

In 33 cases gross misconduct, the highest level of disciplinary charges that can result in sacking, was not proved. Charges were upheld against 15 police officers—five were sacked and ten received other sanctions.

Nearly half of officers who in October were listed as “suspended from duty” had been suspended for at least a year.

A Metropolitan Police officer suspended since 2014, who has been paid more than £150,000, has retrained as a priest.

  • PANIC! ok, now breathe. Troublemaker is happy to bring to the readers’ attention the Deluxe Brexit Box to start your Brexit Stockpile. It has a stove and 60 servings of main meals, 26 breakfast servings, 23 dessert servings and 48 portions of meat and some other stuff. A snip at £595 (reduced from £635). You can have the non-deluxe version for £295. But you deserve the best.
  • Rich racist Nigel Farage chartering a private jet to fly to Strasbourg puts another dent in his man of the people nonsense. The MEP trousers up to £700,000 on top of his £90,000 EU salary. Farage bragged about a mystery businessman paying for the flights.

Abuse cops on trial over fake evidence

Detective Constable Sharon Patterson and Lee Pollard, a former detective constable, are accused of forging documents and concealing evidence over three years.

They allegedly forged pages purporting to be from prosecution lawyers.

The two are accused of misconduct in public office in Essex police’s child abuse investigation team between 2011 and 2014.

Pollard is further accused of deliberately destroying four photographs that were “relevant and important exhibits”, and Patterson is said to have forged a witness statement.

The officers, who live together in Colchester, deny the charges.

One allegation against Patterson involves a teenager who said that she was regularly raped by her father for five years from the age of six.

Her account was supported by a sister’s previous allegations, and the mother gave “highly relevant” details when interviewed by Patterson.

But the officer instead recorded that she was “unwilling” to make a statement.

She advised a supervisor that the claims were those of a “bitter” ex-wife trying to make life difficult for her former husband. The investigation was dropped.

The trial continues.

Failing Free school shuts

Tech City College in Islington, north London, is to close.

Back in 2014 Islington teachers warned that the proposed free school threatened to create a “wild west” of schooling provision.

Tech City College was a new name given to the college when it was taken over by new private sponsors having failed an Ofsted inspection.

It is closing in the summer due to being “financially unsustainable” with only 49 students.

The Things They Say

‘People keep saying—down with the rich ’

The queen’s nephew, the 2nd Earl of Snowdon, complains that people don’t understand how hard it is to be wealthy

‘Politically correct nonsense. The National Trust is kowtowing to left-wing populism’

Robin Page of the Countryside Restoration Trust describes the National Trust’s plans to remember Peterloo Massacre

‘Animal rights headbangers’

Odious Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn on opposition to penguins being put on an ice rink

‘Did anyone ask the penguins?’

Littlejohn loses it

‘I’m surprised that Prince Philip hasn’t felt he wants to contact me and inquire as to how I am’

Emma Fairweather, who was injured in the car crash involving the Duke of Edinburgh

‘I always wanted to meet a royal— but not this way’

Another passenger hit by the Duke

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