Middle Britain needs to change its tune

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This table is from the TUC’s pamphlet pamphlet, Life in the Middle:


UK income distribution


It shows why people are angry with MPs.

It shows how the projection of what is ordinary is so wildly misrepresented by the media.

It demonstrates the need for massive reform in the distribution of income and wealth in the UK.

But as the BBC report, that same media have created a narrative that is designed to perpetuate the inequality in the system:

"Middle-income Britain holds noticeably different values from those above them in the income hierarchy," says the report's author, Stewart Lansley. "They are more pro-state and strongly support government action to tackle inequality."

For example, 55% of Middle Britain believe the government should redistribute income from the better-off, as compared to 35% of the most affluent 20%.

And only 32% say the super-rich deserve their wealth, as opposed to 47% of the top quintile.

However, Middle Britain is evenly split on whether making Britain more equal is a more important goal than "encouraging people to better themselves, even if it makes for more inequality".

And 43% of the middle group would oppose limits on how much wealth an individual could accumulate.

The ambiguity of their attitudes - and their own aspirations to join the upper-income groups - could impose constraints on how far any government might want to go to tackle inequality, which the TUC says should be a top priority.

The emphasis is mine: the relevance is that it is increasingly hard to be upwardly mobile in our society. In that case Middle Britain has nothing to lose by changing this narrative. As Rita in Educating Rita said:

There must be a better song to sing

There is. The difficulty is persuading them of that against the mass of the media which is intent on keeping their incomes and share of wealth exactly where they are.

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