Rich List : 1000 Parasites Rule UK by (@RCGFRFI)

On 18 May, the Sunday Times pub­lished its annu­al fawn­ing trib­ute to the extraordin­ary wealth of the richest mem­bers of the rul­ing class. The Sunday Times Rich List 2014 tells us that ‘the rich have nev­er been rich­er’ and that to join the ranks of the 1,000 wealth­i­est people in Bri­tain requires a for­tune of £85m, and £190m to join the richest 500, more than double the £80m it required ten years ago. Oth­er fig­ures show:

Their col­lect­ive wealth is £519bn, up from £449bn a year ago, and double the 2009 level of £258bn.
There are 104 bil­lion­aires liv­ing in Bri­tain, and more live in Lon­don than in any oth­er city in the world.
The report says that ‘our super wealthy are giv­ing great­er amounts to char­ity than ever before.’ How­ever, the gush can­not hide the real­ity: that the amount they gave last year, £2.5bn, was a tiny frac­tion, 0.5%, of their wealth. You do not stay rich by giv­ing it away, but giv­ing a little bit is help­ful PR.

In a strik­ing demon­stra­tion of the dur­ab­il­ity of the 1688 set­tle­ment between the mon­archy and the landed aris­to­cracy, the lat­ter remain the wealth­i­est Brit­ish-born people: the Duke of West­min­ster (£8.5bn), Earl Cadogan and fam­ily (£4.2bn) and Bar­on­ess Howard de Walden and fam­ily (£2.5bn).

More broadly, recently-released fig­ures show that the top 10% of house­holds hold 44% of private wealth, five times that of the bot­tom 50% of house­holds (9%): one in 11 house­holds have a second prop­erty. Much of private wealth is based on house prices, and with the num­ber of £1m prop­er­ties doub­ling since 2008, and prices rising by more than 16% in Lon­don, it is evid­ent that a tiny minor­ity is doing well out of aus­ter­ity.
But then that is its pur­pose: to impose a fun­da­ment­al and decis­ive shift in the bal­ance of wealth and power in favour of the rul­ing class and its hangers-on.

The Sunday Times help­fully spells out what this means for the rest of us: ‘After cen­tur­ies of rul­ing the world, west­ern demo­cracy is on its last legs, crushed under the weight of a bloated state. If we want to stay at the top of the glob­al heap we must look east, where the Asi­an mod­el – min­im­al wel­fare, restric­ted rights – is pro­du­cing the world’s most suc­cess­ful soci­et­ies.’ Such suc­cess in Bri­tain must now be meas­ured by the soar­ing levels of bene­fit sanc­tions and food bank usage.

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.

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