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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > June 2017 > Leith on language

Leith on language

Embarrassment of riches

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 the 95 per cent, who noted that an MP’s starting salary is £74,000. Yet it was also greeted with almost equal horror by those in the 5 per cent who very much don’t like to think of themselves as rich.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s June issue: Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Martha Gill and Helen Pidd examine the election chances of the three main political parties. Wheatcroft explores the Tories’ remarkable ability to rise from the ashes and assert dominance, Gill questions why the Lib Dem revival isn’t quite getting off the ground and Pidd examines Labour’s prospects after poor performances in the recent council and mayoral elections. Also in this issue: Christine Ockrent asks if France’s new President Emmanuel Macron can charm the parts of France that didn’t initially vote for him, AC Grayling assesses whether the rise and rise of drone warfare warrants a new ethical code for conflict and Francine Stock explores whether Pixar can continue to captivate modern audiences.
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