Common sense on l’affaire Jowell

Martin Kettle in today’s Guardian

I am more interested in a larger issue, which is whether left and liberal politics in this country can learn to be more honest, more modern and more consistent about the balance between individual and collective wealth in the kind of society we are all likely to live in for the foreseeable future. The elephant in the room in the Jowell affair is not really Silvio Berlusconi. It is the fact that a Labour minister is married to someone who moves with assurance, and makes a very large amount of money, in a world that is alien (though not necessarily unacceptable) to most Labour voters.

With his network of directorships, off-shore investments, tax avoidance schemes and hedge funds, Mills (and thus Jowell) appear to many to inhabit a world in which it can sometimes seem that taxes are for the little people, greed is good, and there are no proper limits to how much an individual can earn or possess. Many in the Labour party take the traditional roundhead view of such cavaliers, expressing outrage that any Labour person should have anything to do with them. For them, Jowell is literally sleeping with the enemy.

This is, though, a world to which very many people aspire in some way, including Labour voters.

Thanks to Pete for the link.