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The New Fallacy

John Rentoul

The New Few Or a Very Britis The New Fallacy

Ferdinand Mount – The New Few, or A Very British Oligarchy (Simon & Schuster, 26 April 2012)

Now might be a good time to post my review of Ferdinand Mount’s comically trite book. It starts with information that “everyone knows”, namely that the gap between rich and poor is widening. It isn’t. But it did in the 1980s as a result of policies pursued by Margaret Thatcher when Mount was head of her policy unit at 10 Downing Street.

It is surprising how few people know this. Norman Lamont, a former chancellor of the exchequer, asserted on Newsnight last night that Britain had become more equal under Thatcher, and that the gap between rich and poor had grown under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. This is almost the opposite of the truth, yet so strong is the myth of growing inequality under New Labour that I expect a lot of people nodded along with it.

The rest of Mount’s book, therefore, can safely be ignored.

Previous book reviews here.

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