Jeremy Corbyn has launched his election campaign with a “whose side are you on?” speech targeting the super-rich, tax dodgers, big polluters and “bad landlords”.
The UK Labour leader specifically hit out at five billionaires: sports retailer Mike Ashley, property kingpin the Duke of Westminster, petrochemicals boss Jim Ratcliffe, hedge fund head Crispin Odey, and finally, Rupert Murdoch.
While most Australians mightn’t be familiar with the first four, their collective sins run from alleged workplace exploitation to mass pollution to failed eviction/redevelopment plans to quite literally capitalising on Brexit by betting against the pound ahead of the referendum.
Corbyn’s proposed crackdown includes new taxes, possible capital controls and private school reforms with The Guardian reporting that wealthy Britons now plan to up and quit the UK if Labour takes Downing Street.
Millionaires and billionaires were apparently calling their lawyers and accountants for advice on uprooting both themselves and their money to Switzerland, France and the like, with some doing all but signing the forms and even floating early gifts to their children in fear the Labour leader will slash the threshold on inheritance tax.
Of course, plans to leave a first world country the minute a leader plans to redistribute wealth aren’t exactly new. See for example The Sun’s 1992 election day headline, “If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights”.
Still, for anyone genuinely worried about losing their ultra wealthy friends across the pond, keep in mind that Jeremy’s critics are also bleating that “Jews will leave if Corbyn wins”.
So grain of salt and all that.