From the final chapter of Animal Farm:
Napoleon makes a speech in return, expressing his happiness that the mistrust between Animal Farm and the others is now at an end. He furthermore announces that the animals will cease to address each other as “Comrade,” and that “Animal Farm” will now revert to being called “Manor Farm.” As Napoleon finishes his speech to great applause, the animals outside seem to notice something changing in the features of the pigs, but what?
As the applause dies down and the card game is resumed, the animals creep away from the window. However, they hurry back when they hear a furious argument break out. The argument is because Mr. Pilkington and Napoleon have both played an Ace of Spades at the same time. But as the animals look from Napoleon to Pilkington, from man to pig and from pig back to man, they find that they are
unable to tell the difference. (2)
The Guardian carries an extract from columinst Polly Toynee's latest book. It includes some statistics that - given Labour has enjoyed complete power in Britain for over a decade now - are stomach churning:
The top 10% of income earners get 27.3% of the cake, while the bottom 10% get just 2.6%. Twenty years ago the average chief executive of a FTSE 100 company earned 17 times the average employee's pay; now it is more than 75 times. Since Labour came to power in 1997 the proportion of personal wealth held by the top 10% has swelled from 47% to 54%. Labour did try to tug in the opposite direction, but after Gordon Brown's last budget as chancellor axed the 10p tax rate, many of the lowest paid were left bearing a heavier burden.Now, maybe I'm just not getting the Big Picture, here, Gordo, but isn't Labour meant to do something other than make rich people richer, and allow thew very richest to to enjoy their wealth without paying any income tax?
Those who make the most money, meanwhile, seem less willing than ever to see it redistributed. Tax consultants Grant Thornton estimated that in 2006 at least 32 of the UK's 54 billionaires paid no income tax at all. (3)
Oliver Wendell Holmes, an arch-conservative with many repulsive characteristics, but at least endowed with a grasp of brass tacks, famously remarked, "Tax is the price we pay for a civilised society" (4). Presumably, the opposite holds true and this last obscene revelation is a loud and clear 'fuck you' by the very richest to the rest of us, and the ideas and values that make up our civil - and civilised - society.
And all this time, the so-called 'people's party' has been in power, now lead by a man who has occasionally been know to mouth words like 'socialism' and 'redistribution.'
New Labour haven't just become the Old Tories. They've become worse.
1 - "The mythology of the rich," posted by Idiot / Savant on No Right Turn, 4th of August, 2008. (http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2008/08/mythology-of-rich.html)
2 - Animal Farm, by George Orwell. Published 1945. The quote cited is from Chapter 10. (http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/animalfarm/10/)
3 - "Meet the rich," by Polly Toynbee and David Walker, published in The Guardian, 4th of August, 2008. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2008/aug/04/workandcareers.executivesalaries)
43 - As described on wikiquote, as of the 4th of August, 2008. (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Tax)