Imagine you’re hosting a dinner party.
And imagine you are sat at the head of a long table.
So you’re sat at one of the two short sides.
To your right, along one of the long sides of the table, sit 13 people in 13 chairs.
Another 13 sit in chairs to your left.
So there’s you.
And the twenty six.
The Twenty Six.
These twenty six people are rich.
In fact, you are sat at the head of a table that is housing the world’s richest 26 people.
13 to your right.
13 to your left.
Their wealth, just so you know, when added together comes to the same total as half of everybody else in the world.
The poorest half, that is.
So that’s 3,800,000,000 people.
On the upside, you only had to send 13 invitations for this lot.
3.8 billion invitations to 3.8 billion people would have taken longer.
And whilst you may have chairs in the loft or in the spare room.
Some would have had to stand.
This is your party.
So you can chat about what you want.
You could, for example, chat about the fact that if your 13 guests all paid 1% more tax each – then every child in the world currently not in education could be schooled.
And there would be healthcare that would save 3 million certain deaths with what was left.
All of this, if funded now, could happen now.
If they agreed to this.
Which they probably wouldn’t.
I’d be off my food, I think.
And the party would be ruined.
I find such inequality distasteful.
Exactly what to do, I don’t know.
But I do know that better taxation consideration from better governments, would help.
I don’t know that all of my guests are greedy bastards.
But I imagine that some of them probably are.
And that many would not embrace a chat about taxation the same way that I would.
Especially if I opened the conversation by saying:
It’s amazing that you can get wine as nice as this for £7 a bottle isn’t it. We like it a lot. It’s almost as amazing as something I was reading at the Oxfam website last week. Did you know that the poorest 10% of Britons are paying a much higher effective tax rate than the richest 10%? 49% compared with 34% once taxes on consumption such as VAT are taken into account. What do you think about that, then? Garlic bread anyone?”
I’d be rubbish at this party, I think.
We’d have nothing in common.
After they’d left their gifts (which had better be bloody good) I might just ask them to leave.