If you are so concerned about wealth inequality and want to see more income redistribution, why are you so rich?
Polly Toynbee replies:
There are of course many ways to class humans – richer and poorer – but also nicer and nastier. You have devoted your life to poison and malevolence.
You are always hammering on about my earnings – as if they were in any way exceptional for someone in my profession – and adding in bizarre figures of your own plucked out of the air. Do you hammer on about Littlejohn’s or Paul Dacres? Unlike them, I have frequently been open about my earnings, as you know – about £110,000. I advocate open tax returns, as in Finland, which you probably wouldn’t support. I write often that I think the distribution of rewards unjust – yes, including my own.
“Champagne socialist” is your charge against those on the centre left with professional salaries. I presume you mean we are class traitors for not being Tories to protect what we have? Odd idea that people must always be selfish and vote with their wallet. Or you say we should be Gandhi-like saints and give everything away before we can advocate being taxed more. The point about tax is that’s it’s collective – it’s an “I will if you will” deal. I see no hypocrisy in any of this – but no doubt you will go on spreading ad hominem empty spite – instead of engaging fairly with the substance of the argument.
Read my book Hard Work – all about crossing the class line. I have never, ever pretended to be anything other than what I am, from a family of middle class academics and writers, and lucky.