Last Christmas I spent a night on the streets with Manchester’s homeless in what was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life.
It was a night which reinforced my belief in the divide between rich and poor in this country, and how that divide seems to be getting bigger every day.
And that old familiar saying the ‘rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer’ became all the more evident earlier this week, with the release of the Panama Papers, which showed how many of the world’s elite are using offshore accounts to hide their wealth from the taxman.
On top of that, just two days ago news broke that those ‘Rich Kids of Instagram’ accounts that everybody loves to hate (myself included), were the first port of call for detectives when investigating the filthy rich for fraud.
Turns out, the aggravating children of billionaires are highly likely to flaunt the cash and luxuries that daddy’s trying to hide from the authorities, over social media.
For example, in one case a parent claimed to have no proper valuables, but when a security firm looked on social media they found a photo of him on a $25m (£17.5m) yacht in the Bahamas.
In another a firm managed to seize a ‘newly acquired private jet’, after a 30-something son posted a photo of himself and his dad posing in front of the plane.
In the aftermath of this article, we spoke to the 24-year-old stockbroker behind the Rich Kids Of London Instagram account, who told us: “I hope my page won’t get in trouble that’s the thing I’m worried about!”
I have read the articles about detectives using my account to bust people for fraud etc. I have nothing to do with this and I have never been informed by detectives or anyone about this.
I don’t feel like this is my responsibility. All people that I have posted on this account are genuine and honest people.
He told me he set up the account five months ago in a bid to ‘motivate’ people to succeed in life.
I decided to do it because I have always loved seeing rich kids’ lifestyles, and I wanted to show them to motivate everyone to do well in their life.
Call me old fashioned, but I don’t see how the fuck these kids, whose main skill is being born out of the right vagina and inheriting a vast amount of wealth, could ever motivate me to do anything.
People all around the world, including millions in the United Kingdom alone, are barely surviving at all, month in month out.
Seeing the sons and daughters of the lucky elite ‘wiping their arse’ with £50 notes isn’t going to motivate them to magically succeed, especially when the odds are stacked against them.
He went on to describe the kind of stuff people send in:
People do send pictures of their luxury lifestyle, party lifestyle, holidays etc. Also I have had a few from private planes, yachts and helicopters before.
On my original article somebody criticized my last line which read, ‘shame they still have more money than I’ll ever see in my life’.
The comment read: “What do you mean you can’t see that much money in your life? Just go on their Instagram…Boom there’s 60 mil worth of shit.”
And therein lies the problem…
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.