hating rich people, even churchmen who should know better. In a capitalist economy this is to be expected to some extent as different outcomes are a feature of the system, but certainly things have accelerated in the past few years in the UK.
A few drivers I can see are:
1) Huge increase in state spending has left much of the populace dependent on state handouts, with recession and the huge debt run up, these must fall and to counter this the cry goes up of soak the rich to prevent this.
2) During a difficult recession many people are struggling and unsurprisingly become more envious of those who have more - also as jobs are more scarce the chances of someone improving their own fortunes becomes smaller, perhaps making them more bitter about those who have.
3) The opposition Labour party in the UK have no alternative political offer to the governing Coalition. As such they are the ultimate political opportunists. With no policy differentiation, they are instead going for ad hominem attacks and have stuck on calling the Government 'posh boys.' Ever since Tony Blair left office the Left Wing of the Labour Party has increased its class based rhetoric.
4) There is also a confusion bourne of immigration. The new Sunday Times rich list clearly shows that most of the very rich are foreigners who have come to live in London - not British people made good on the backs of the workers. It is a different form of immigration compared to that which has held down unskilled wages, but an impact of the choice made by the last Government to encourage rapid population change in the UK.
I think all of the above are the key factors - have I missed any? One is a macro state issue, the second a result of economic changes, the third political and the fourth a combination of political/government regulations. I can't really tell which is the dominant one, although 1) and 3) seem to drive the behaviour in the media.
It is worrying though, the constant whine about people who succeed will either make people not want to do it, or drive those who do to live elsewhere. The usual retort is that people don't leave and this is bluster, but one look at the migration statistics shows that 143,000 British citizens emigrated in 2011, a 12% increase on 2010 - the trend is up from a collapse in emigration during the financial crash. With only 1% of taxpayers contributing 25% of income tax, this is the equivalent to 260,000 people - so not many have to leave to make a real dent in the Government's income.
Where I am seeking more information is how different things feel now to say the 1980's or 1970's - I was only a child then and have no real feel for how much the rhetoric was for hating the rich. Certainly it feels to me as if things are headed back this way, but will this fad pass with the recession?