Tony and I are deeply concerned about the poor poverty

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The Independent Online
Tony Blair is apparently concerned about the Poor. Perhaps he'll get over it. I'm more concerned about billionaires. I find them obscene. They clearly do not understand the value of money, or how useful it would be in the right hands (mine). They seem to spend most of it on their own birthday parties. Michael Smurfit spent a million on his, the Sultan of Brunei pounds 17m, most of which went to Michael Jackson.

The wealthy love each other because they no longer feel comfortable with normal people. It makes for a very restricted social life. Poor Di tried to break out by cleaning out James Hewitt's cupboard, but where did it get her? She can't shake that money off, no matter how hard she tries,

And charity is not the answer. The rich associate that with tax deductions. They seem to have no idea that they simply owe us, all of us. But that's okay. I'm willing to teach them.

I have a dream ... in which everyone can own a swimming-pool. There's a very simple solution.

Solution to the Ills of the World No 378: Poverty

Poverty is a lack of purchasing power. This can be quickly remedied by issuing every citizen with a Switch-Rich card, discreetly graded according to your annual income. Why should everybody pay the same price for a sandwich, after all? With the Switch-Rich card, the price of your purchase would accord with your assets, so that the poor would pay the normal price, the pleasantly well-off would pay double that, and the excessively loaded would pay quadruple, (or more, depending on circumstances). The extra proceeds would go straight into health, education and public transport.

As for billionaires, here drastic steps are called for. They would be refused a Switch-Rich card, and thereby all purchasing power, until they had halved their fortune. This would go on every year until they were no longer billionaires (though these guys have a way of making a billion when you're not looking). They would also be charged 100 times the normal price for anything they buy. Thus, to participate in society at all - go to a night-club, buy a television licence - they would need to have made a huge contribution first to the public coffers. They would be rightly penalised for being so filthy rich, giving the message that such behaviour is not welcome ... Oh, perhaps we should just chop off their heads after all.

So Soon after Mandela's miraculous visit, it seems we're trying to recreate the old South Africa here. The policeman who caused fatal injuries by beating Brian Douglas over the head with a baton got off in court. Douglas's brother said the family will be taking "appropriate action". Good luck to them. The police are planning to take "appropriate action" too, apparently, whatever that is. Why don't they just admit that beating people over the head is NOT an appropriate action?

The policeman supposedly felt "threatened". A policeman in America recently felt so threatened by a chihuahua dog that he shot it. I'm filled with pride at my own self-restraint. I feel threatened most of the time, even on the telephone, and I haven't murdered anyone yet.

The farmer who shot the burglar felt threatened too. This case is a bit trickier. The burglar was well warned by signs at the farm that the occupants might not take kindly to intruders. In fact, no one takes kindly to intruders. The case seemed to turn on whether or not a burglar has a basic right to burgle in peace. When the farmer got off, the burglar, who has committed more than 90 burglaries, said, "I just hope he can live with himself."

Solution to the Ills of the World No. 379: Divorce

House-wives everywhere! Ever wished for more stability in your life, more intimacy and fidelity from your partner, a relationship built on strong foundations? Why not marry your house?

The National Enquirer reports the wedding in Portland, Oregon, of a woman and her three-storey house. The couple had already been living together for 20 years, but decided, with the mortgage finally paid up, and the rats cleared out of the basement, that it was time to tie the knot. The union was celebrated in the attic with 25 guests.

The house-wife claimed that her house-band allows her to delve into every crevice without a creak of complaint, protects her from storms, and even welcomes her family. Once a year the happy pair enjoy intimate relations, with the help of a chimney sweep. It is hoped that their coupling may result in a few garden sheds.

Gives a whole new meaning to swinging from the chandelier.

The aborted twin row spawned a thousand twin stories: "My sister and I didn't even have to look at one another to know exactly what the other was doing" ... "I fainted at what I later discovered was the precise moment she had died" ... Twindom is fascinating, I would happily have had triplets! But it's a side-issue in the recent abortion witch-hunts, the real purpose of which was to keep women down. The news coverage of this case, which turned out to be a non-case when the hospital eventually admitted the operation had already taken place, seemed aimed at devastating the mother involved and reopening old wounds for anyone who's ever had an abortion.

The offers of money to enable the woman to carry both babies to term seemed the only sensible thing to come out of it. Pro-lifers should put their money where their mouths are. It is expensive having babies, and fewer and fewer men seem to think they need to help out in this area. As long as women are expected to handle the whole business of child-rearing on their own, the more they'll have to make tough decisions about abortion. And it's nobody else's business if they do.