“The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.”
This is a statement that I stood up and made in school back in the last days of Thatcher, so the fact that inequality is even more gross today, is an issue that seriously needs addressing. And quickly.
Russell Brand, and director Michael Winterbottom, have created a film that explains the reasons behind the financial crisis, while documenting the gross inequality that we, let’s be honest, always seem to face. There’s nothing ‘current’ about an ongoing fact.
The rich have got richer, A LOT richer; where a CEO of a major British company used to earn 10 times the average wage of his workers, they now earn 200 times. And, according to Oxfam, the richest 80 people in the world own as much as the poorest 3.5 billion.
But the ethos of the film is that #ThingsCanChange
While some of Brand’s suggestions to readdress the balance seem a little unrealistic in their demand – would the super-rich ever agree to 90% tax? – others, such as a decent living wage, so that the average worker doesn’t need to work two jobs to survive, or rely on benefits to top up wages, are just common sense.
The Emperor’s New Clothes is a must-watch in the run-up to the General Election, however, while Brand and Winterbottom have succeeded in amplifying the issues, the answers, it seems, have been left to us.
To be fair, it takes more than one man to bring about a revolution. But he’s got our back.
Words: Sarah Hardy