THE just-published Sunday Times rich list shows that in austerity-hit UK – where millions of workers have not had a rise in the ten years since the last banking crash, where the disabled and the poor are being targeted as benefit cheats, and where the NHS is being starved of cash to get it ready for privatisation – that the richest 1,000 share £658bn between them, and that in fact as Karl Marx predicted, the rich are getting prodigiously richer and the poor very much poorer as crisis-ridden capitalism continues!
There are now more UK-based billionaires than at any time in the history of UK capitalism! Sri and Gopi Hinduja are the richest people in the United Kingdom, according to the new edition of The Sunday Times Rich List published yesterday. Having first topped the list in 2014, brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja have a vast array of business investments under the Hinduja Group. The Hindujas are among a record 134 billionaires in the Sunday Times Rich List – 14 more than were recorded in the 2016 edition.
The 1,000 richest overall share total wealth of £658bn – another record – up 14% on last year’s figure of £575bn. It now takes £110m to even make the richest 1,000. Lakshmi Mittal and family boast the biggest increase in wealth within the past 12 months, having added more than £6bn to their £13.229bn fortune – one of the highest annual rises to date. Mittal is the largest steelmaker in the world and has felt the benefits of the industry’s resurgence. Shares in Mittal’s main operation, ArcelorMittal, went up sharply following a $1.8bn profit in 2016.
The 20 richest alone are worth a staggering £191.765bn and have increased their cumulative wealth by £35.175bn in the past year. Meanwhile, Labour in its general election campaign continues to seek ways to tinker about with crisis-ridden capitalism, and is paralysed before the display of the prodigious wealth and power of the bourgeoisie, amidst the growth of food banks, austerity-provoked hunger for school children, and rising homelessness for the working class.
Shadow Chancellor, McDonnell, obviously does not want to upset the UK’s band of billionaires since he is saying that those on more than £80,000 a year would pay ‘a modest bit more’ in taxation to fund public services.
Pressed yesterday on whether he was a Marxist, he came clean: ‘I want to transform the system – that’s where Marx got it wrong, we know that.’ McDonnell is not in any shape or form a Marxist. In fact Marx did not get it wrong at all. He was 100% right about capitalism! He proved that as capitalism developed, the tendency would be for the rich to get much richer and for wages to be driven downwards as the crises of the system intensified, and capitalism spread world-wide. The UK today is the living proof of this proposition!
Crisis-ridden capitalism is heading for another great share and banking crash. The Blair-Brown Labour governments created a bankers’ paradise where the bankers knew that they were ‘too big to fail’ and would be bailed out creating a permanent benefit system for the bankers and permanent austerity for the working class, all for the benefit of the billionaires, as the Sunday Times Rich List proves.
The capitalist system can’t be transformed, that is the lesson from its history of continuing and deepening crises – it must be overthrown by the power of the working class and a socialist, nationalised and planned economy established in its place, to satisfy people’s needs. Yesterday, McDonnell said that upgrading the capitalist system would cost billions, and that Labour would shortly reveal where these billions to transform capitalism would be coming from. This is an absolute pipe-dream.
The WRP is standing five candidates in the June 8th general election. Our policy is that crisis-ridden capitalism must be overthrown, and its tiny minority of billionaires be expropriated and replaced by a planned socialist economy, that will satisfy people’s needs and put an end to the current paradise for billionaires and austerity for everybody else. Vote WRP where we are standing to build a new and revolutionary leadership. Vote Labour everywhere else. Get the Tories out! Forward to socialism!