TOM Conti has been part of so many local campaigns and street protest photo-calls over the years, I’ve wondered once or twice in the past whether he ever fancied standing for an election in our borough. He was once linked with a possible run for the London mayoralty but it never came to pass.
This weekend he was on familiarly waspish form, spicing up a normally tame Sunday Telegraph set piece in which celebrities talk about their finances presumably to brighten up the text in the business pages.
What’s has been your best investment?, the newspaper asked.
“Buying my house in Hampstead 29 years ago was the only financially sensible thing I’ve done because it’s the family’s security,” Tom replied. “It has gone up in value about 15 times. If the Stalinist Mr Clegg ever got his desire for a mansion tax, we wouldn’t be able to live here.”
Hampstead is actually often cited as flashpoint territory for the mansion tax debate, where some elderly residents have seen their properties rise greatly in price over time they’ve lived there but are themselves not cash rich.
Camden Lib Dem leader Keith Moffitt did not use the word ‘Stalinist’ at the West Hampstead Life hustings last week but he did agree the idea was an “unfair tax”, which his members locally had been trying to get their national counterparts to drop.