Dining across the divide: ‘I’d like more inheritance tax for billionaires – he thinks it should be 100% for everyone’

Chris, 28, Newcastle upon Tyne


Occupation Marketing executive for a technical solutions company

Voting record Always Labour in general elections; at locals, may occasionally throw one out there for the Greens

Jake, 48, Newcastle upon Tyne


Occupation NHS clinical commissioner

Voting record Has always voted Labour in the UK; lived for a time in Canada, where he voted Liberal

Amuse bouche Turned his front lawn into raised beds, hoping for a substantial potato, leek and cabbage crop

For starters

Chris I had the barbecued onions with marinated garlic, pine oil and leek ash, then herb gnocchi, watercress, beenleigh blue. I’ve been to the restaurant before – one of my friends is really into tasting menus.

Jake I’ve got a neurological condition, which means my memory is very poor. So I could tell you what I had, but I’d be fantasising my perfect meal. Whatever it was, it was bloody gorgeous.

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Chris He’s happier with the current Labour party than I am, and I think probably more critical of Corbyn, but he did say he didn’t think Corbyn was this commie antisemite tyrant. Which is always a nice place to start.

Jake The Labour party moves around, and I stay relatively down the middle. Sometimes they’re to the left of me and sometimes to the right. We were both more interested in the issues than the party.

Chris and Jake

The big beef

Chris We talked about whether or not boomers should pay more tax. He was more on board with that general statement. I was a bit more reserved. For me, it’s not an age issue, it’s a social class issue and a wealth issue. I hate the term “boomer”, anyway. It’s fair to say they may have had a better run of it in certain social and economic frameworks: education; the housing market; less wage disparity. But there are still people within that who live in poverty and struggle.

Jake In terms of paying for housing, if anything I came across as maybe a little more leftwing than him. I feel strongly that one of the things Labour needs to do more of, and hasn’t done in the past few years, is be a lot more radical in terms of inheritance tax. Baby boomers have done incredibly well in terms of property prices.

Chris My argument against that would be that people of the boomer generation who have a little bit of money, their kids might not have a lot of money and are trapped by the economic cycle. I’m in favour of heavier inheritance tax for millionaires and billionaires, but not for people leaving £5,000 or £6,000, which could be really helpful.

Jake There’s an awful lot of luck involved with inheritance. You don’t choose your parents. I’m probably in favour of 100% inheritance tax. I know the right wing of the party wouldn’t like it, because it hasn’t been through the Daily Mail test, but I’m of the view that we should stop being so timid.

Chris and Jake

Sharing plate

Chris I’m totally in favour of legalising all drugs. I don’t think there’s any such thing as bad drugs, just bad application.

Jake I had a view a while ago that drugs should be very heavily policed. I’ve become more liberal over the years. My rationale is if people are buying drugs illegally, they don’t know what’s in them. I do think there’s an advantage to having them decriminalised, so you can break the links between the consumer and the criminal network.

Chris and Jake

For afters

Chris We talked about Covid. I’ve got a little bit of a libertarian streak in me. There should definitely be a mask mandate, people should be vaccinated. I’m so far from an anti-vax idiot, but the idea of a government programme of forcing everyone to get a vaccine, otherwise you’re excluded from public life, seems a little bit distorted to me.

Jake Perhaps, unsurprisingly, given who I work for, I feel quite strongly about making sure everything is following the data. You really do need to be led by experts, rather than going with some libertarian fetish. I guess it’s shaped by my experience – I had quite a serious health issue that involved me being in hospital for three weeks in 2020. There’s nothing like being in hospital as a patient when there’s a pandemic on to make you appreciate how serious it is.

Chris and Jake


Chris Whatever niggles it sounds like we had, he was a stand-up bloke.

Jake It was a bit of a bromance, to be honest.

Chris and Jake

Additional reporting: Naomi Larsson

Chris and Jake ate at Dobson & Parnell, Newcastle

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