Polly Toynbee makes a good point, but fails to draw the right conclusions. She says:
Yet another report shows how inequality can also cause early death. It's not diet or ignorance that kills the poor, but low ranking in the pecking order.
She's referring, I guess (you wouldn't expect links in the Groan, would you?) to this. It merely corroborates what we already know - that social inequality kills.
What Polly doesn't say is what should be done about this. The solution is not more progessive taxes, though these might be justifiable upon other grounds. The reason for this is simple. If people in power - like bosses - can't convert that power into money, they'll convert it into something else, like status. Remember the 1970s? It's no coincidence that high taxes were accompanied by absurd distinctions in status, like "executive toilets". Much the same was true of the old Soviet Union, as Trotsky pointed out.
Taxes, than, aren't the solution.
Instead, the answer is to abolish the pecking order itself - abolish inequalities in status and power.
Herein, though, lies an embarrassment for Polly. Status inequalities - in both the state and private firms - are commonly justified on the (largely erroneous) grounds that there is an elite which has the skill and expertise to run things.
Polly, largely, subscribes to this myth. In this sense, she is part of the problem, not part of the solution.