Luke Johnson doesn’t get it
Luke Johnson, the Pizza Express owner-turned private equity millionaire, has written in the Financial Times today about how ‘socialism’ is threatening to strangle heroic capitalist entrepreneurs (like himself). Some of the signs of this ‘socialism’ that he points to are the 50p tax rate (of course – funny how that has really got under greedy rich people’s skin), subsidies to GM and Chrysler to pay for their “massively over-rewarded” (sic) workers, and strangling laws like (oh yes, here it comes) health and safety. You’ll note that no one ever specifies which industrial accidents or diseases they would be happy to inflict on their workers.
The whole article is an extended whinge by someone so rich they don’t have to bother about the problems facing ordinary families – such as debt, illness and low pay (like the workers in Luke’s Pizza Express restaurants before he sold them for millions in 1999). Apparently the big problem facing the world economy is that Luke Johnson and his pals haven’t got enough millions! How do people this greedy sleep at night?
And about those GM and Chrysler workers, Luke – where DO you get off telling people so much poorer than you that THEY are over-rewarded? The employment costs that have laid US car companies low are the health insurance costs which companies run by British entrepreneurs like Luke don’t have to pay for because they’re taken care of by our ‘socialist’ National Health Service, funded by general taxation which (still, despite the 50p tax rate) still falls more heavily on ordinary workers than on fatcats like Luke.
Christian teachings famously argue that it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. But it is apparently not so difficult for them to get self-serving twaddle published in a daily newspaper!