Neil Hudson: Time to end The Sunday Times Rich List

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It’s time to end The Sunday Times Rich List.

This annual celebration of self-indulgence, out in May, is nothing now but a symbol of needless extravagance, of moral bankruptcy, a distasteful essay in inequality.

What began as a curious gaze into the world of the super-rich, a kind of over-the-fence chuckle at those savvy-brained individuals who either through hard work or luck managed to amass great personal wealth, has become something else entirely.

It is now much more than a sneak-peak at the lavish luxury enjoyed by those who make up its ranks and whom, by implication, we are somehow meant to emulate.

It is everything that is wrong with our culture. The Rich List now stands as nothing more than a vile and wretched compendium of greed and avarice, a cesspool of vanity overflowing with the acrid foam self-assurance.

What are we to make of those between its covers? After all, they have excelled at acquiring material objects - at this, they are the best.

But have they made the world better?

No doubt some have but then that’s not the point of the Rich List is it? The point is to celebrate material wealth. The question we need to ask is this: is that enough?

Is it honourable to be very rich? Is it admirable? Is it brave, courageous, selfless? Is it inherently good in any way?

The answer to all the above is: no.

Making money is about one thing and one thing only: making more money. It has no intrinsic worth. So, what is to be done?

Perhaps we need A Good List instead of a Rich List. Something which, at its core, measures how much an individual or company has made life better than how much money they have in the bank.

Surely that’s what matters. Not whether you have enough mular to afford diamond-encrusted wheel hubs or a G6 or a superinjunction. Aren’t we past that stage yet?

Nominations for the Good List open here, today. The rules are simple. To qualify, you must have done something which makes life better.

Rich/poor: doesn’t matter. Email me and together, we’ll change the world.


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