It would be funny if it wasn’t so bloody awful. Last week (9th Feb) the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair (where else?) played host to the Tory Party fundraiser entitled the ‘Black & White Ball’. It’s an apt title, as there, for all to see in black & white, was the very reason we’re not “all in this together”: a gathering of as many money-grabbing, benefits-sanctioning, hedge-fund-managing, tax-dodging bastards as you’ll ever see in one place this side of Davos.
You know the sort. The type who will see you sanctioned or imprisoned for claiming benefit incorrectly, then say, “oh, I made a mistake, I’ll just pay it back” when they’re found to have embezzled £20,000 from us to pay for their castle portcullis to be polished. The sort who, after lecturing us about the ‘feckless, idle layabouts’ falsely claiming a few million over the top, will then shovel billions out of the country without paying tax on it, into the accounts of their wives’ companies registered in the Cayman Islands. The ones who wanted to tax pasties, for Christ’s sake! They all arrived in their limos, having paid up to £15,000 for a table at the ‘do’, to bid for lots at an auction to raise funds for the Tories.
It would be in bad taste for me to list the items for which they were bidding (you can see them here); suffice it to say that one of them was your own private jet to Santorini and five nights at ‘The Villa’, a luxury suite with it’s own private spa at the 5 star Grace Hotel. Now I don’t know about you, but I would have to work overtime for the next 500 years or so to even contemplate bidding for that! The sheer arrogance of holding such an ostentatious cash-fest whilst simultaneously hectoring us to tighten our belts and be glad of our zero-hours contract jobs, proves that they’ve given up even trying to keep a straight face about inequality. The only thing missing was George Osborne lighting his cigar with a £50 note.
Whilst we all strive to strive to get on with our lives and cope with the loss of our public services as a result of austerity, it is worth remembering that if the majority of party donors, attendees and bidders at this noble event simply paid the tax that they should, there would be no need for a single cut. Not one.