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Leith on language: Embarrassment of riches

“Rich” is always somebody else

By Sam Leith   June 2017


There are two things, it is said, that an Englishman will never admit to: being drunk and being rich. So it is small wonder that John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, fell into an elephant trap when he defined the “rich” as those earning more than about £70,000 a year. For a Labour politician—particularly a Corbynite one—to suggest that only those earning in the top 5 per cent of taxpayers could be considered a bit rich was considered, well, a bit rich by a large and vocal number of…

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