A "champagne socialist" is a pejorative political term originating in the United Kingdom. The phrase refers to politicians that are perceived as having socialist tendencies in their ideologies but disregard socialist ideals in their daily life. The term generally is used as an attack by opposing politicians to portray and ridicule their opponents as hypocritical.
The label arose from the perceived activity of proposing toasts to famous socialists with champagne. A similar concept, with aristocratic privilege in place of the benefits of capitalism, comes from the 19th-century philosopher Alexander Herzen, who in From the Other Shore (1855) wrote "It is they, none other, who are dying of cold and hunger...while you and I in our rooms on the first floor are chatting about socialism 'over pastry and champagne.'"
Those who have been labeled as "champagne socialists" include Geoffrey Robinson, (ex-Paymaster General and chairman of Coventry City Football Club), Gavyn Davies (former Labour Party donator, Goldman Sachs banker and BBC chairman), Vanessa Redgrave (actress and prominent socialist) and John Prescott (current Deputy Prime Minister).
The same concept has different names throughout the world: