Rich people are poison?

A confirmation that hate is the basis of Leftism

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has defended Treasurer Wayne Swan's attack on the "vested interests" of the super rich, describing his comments as core Labor values.

In an essay published in The Monthly magazine, Mr Swan accused a handful of entrepreneurs, including Australian mining magnates Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer and Andrew Forrest, of using their incredible wealth to pursue vested interests.

Those interests had resulted in "ferocious and highly misleading" campaigns waged against the federal Labor government's mining tax and pricing carbon plans, he said.

Opposition frontbencher Christopher Pyne dismissed the comments as a form of class warfare.

Ms Gillard defended the comments, saying they represented core Labor values. "In Australia we've done something unique. We've had the ability to grow stronger, but also to continue to be fair," she told reporters in Canberra today. "That's a great Labor tradition." "That's a great Labor vision for the future, that is what Wayne was pointing to," she said.

Ms Gillard urged the "very very rich" - people she said tended to be able to exercise considerable power - to share that vision

In the essay, Mr Swan said wealthy opponents of measures such as the carbon tax and mining tax misrepresented "their self-interest as the national interest" and were part of a new global concentration of power in the hands of a few.

"Australia's fair go is today under threat from a new source," Mr Swan wrote in the essay. "To be blunt, the rising power of vested interests is undermining our equality and threatening our democracy. "We see this most obviously in the ferocious and highly misleading campaigns waged in recent years against resource taxation reforms and the pricing of carbon pollution."

Mr Swan took particular aim at Ms Rinehart, describing her recent raid on Fairfax shares as an attempt to "wield greater influence on public opinion and further her commercial interests".

The attacks come as the Government takes a tougher approach in selling its economic message. Labor is keen to prevent a repeat of the corporate backlash against its original mining tax that helped bring down Kevin Rudd's leadership and led to a weaker version of the impost at a time when the Budget is under pressure.

"This poison has infected our politics and is seeping into our economy," Mr Swan said.


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