mefacebookIn a no-punches-pulled, scathing attack on Camerlot Pensions Minister Ros ‘Jewels’ Altmann  yesterday, the boss of leading charity Pensions Life, Angela Brooks, said the British government’s Pension Minister had “failed this and future generations of British pensioners and pension savers”. Brooks added, in relation to Altmann, “Our members say they feel let down and that their faith in her was misplaced.  To say that they feel disappointed would be an understatement”. But last night a DWP source told The Slog that Ros Altmann’s appointment was “a PR move” designed to sweeten the pill of Camerlot attacks on State pensions.

Angela Brooks set up Pension Life to identify and prevent pension scams, close loopholes in pension law and rescue victims of pension fraud. Her blistering attack on Ros Altmann comes as the former Saga boss completes her first year in office.

“12 months ago, older people broadly welcomed her appointment,” said Brooks, “They thought they could continue to count on her support.  They thought that here was a Pensions Minister who thoroughly understood the issues and truly had pensioners’ best interests at heart….However, it seems like she has been shackled by the office. Her inaction – willing or unwilling – and her refusal to engage has been alarming and it has failed this and future generations of British pensioners….She has turned her back on many of the big, important issues. For example, she was, many argue, a turncoat to the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaigners who have spoken out against her for her refusal to support their demand for financial help for women born in the 1950s, who are now seeing their state pension age moved from 60 to 66 without notice. In addition, Altmann is still refusing to engage with victims of pension scams and has failed to take up calls from Pension Life and others to form a task force to crack down on such scams which are having a devastating effect on victims across the country and internationally.”

Whether she’s had her arm twisted or merely taken the Camerlot shilling remains an open question. But either way – given her self-proclaimed track record as a pensioner’s champion – anyone with an ounce of the Right Stuff would resign. This, Ms Altmann shows no sign of doing….which is par for the course with those in public office these days.

A former DWP insider last night told The Slog, “Altmann was a cynical appointment from Day 1….pure window-dressing, a classic Cameron PR move to distract from the government’s failure to catch scam spivs in the private sector,  and obvious desire to keep down the cost of State pensions. I think she knew this from the start. Her sole contribution after a year has been to warn people not to be scammed, and tell everyone her hands are tied on the WASPI issue.”

The Brooks attack coincides disastrously for the Pensions Minister with lachrymose attempts to rehabilitate herself on Twitter – see my somewhat sour observation:


I’ve been widely blocked by people on all sides of the WASPI pensions issue for what has been described in some tweets/emails to me as my ‘interfering’, ‘aggressive’ and ‘unhelpful’ attitude to WASPI strategy on righting what is quite clearly a wrong.

I will take a few lines if I may to clarify my interest in the issue – which is socio-economic and cultural but not in any way political.

I’m not in the position that getting on for 350+ thousand Fifties women now have to bear: straitened circumstances and in many cases utter destitution. But I have been the victim of a financial sector with the morals of a crocodile….and this has reduced my retirement from one of comfort to penny-watching.

Both the DWP and the Treasury are now employing and being advised by former suppliers in that sector. I warned when this process began that employing crocodiles would mean easy prey being eaten. This has come to pass on everything from fitness to work, benefit cuts for the disabled, and the Great Waspi Pension Welch.

These are the events that slashed my net worth by some 64%:

  1. On retiring, I put my SIPP in the hands of supposed management experts. In two years, the pot fell by 30% in a rapidly changing stock market. When I looked at the transactions record, they had done nothing. Not a single thing. That was £90,000 down the drain.
  2. The same year, I took my capital outside the pension and put it into a Scottish Widows retirement bond via their owner Lloyds Bank. This enabled me – according to the sell and the documentation – to withdraw 10% tax free and have the full sum refunded after ten years. After three years of withdrawals I eventually demanded a statement. It showed my fund was 30% smaller.  And the 10 year commitment had been ‘revised’….to nothing. That was another £60,000 gone.
  3. In 2009, the Zirp policy was introduced. Over seven years, lost interest has cost me in excess of £28,600, assuming a 3.5% rate.
  4. 2010 saw the massively increased use of QE – to no good economic effect. But it also turned a bear market into a bull market….purely by direct central bank cheating. That cost me another £115,000, as I had sensibly (assuming a level playing field) taken out bear notes as a hedge.

Since 2012 – when my father died and left me some money – I have handled all my own financial affairs. Without a very successful investment in gold I would today be in a parlous position; as it is, my private pension is in cash but I now need to draw upon that and depend upon a State pension I had beforehand envisaged as a ‘nice to have’ rather than my saviour from insolvency.

Now the prospect of bank bailins has been raised, I have moved most of my liquidity into the sole property I have here in France. I didn’t really want to do that, and it has been three years of stress and back-breaking effort…instead of enjoying a reasonable retirement. But I’d rather that than some sociopath telling me RBS has gone bust and so sorry, you’re a creditor, so you must pay.

I don’t doubt that the comment thread to this piece will be full of sarcasm and wiseassed investment advice. But I will tell you, through all the appeals to regulators and pleas to MPs that followed each of these disasters, after a while I began to recognise the look of smug, smiling indifference and obfuscation. And that’s why these days I say to those not as fortunately connected as I am (or rather, was) “These people are ill and they don’t bloody care”.

That’s why my heart goes out to Nick Wilson and his solo quest to bring HSBC to justice. That’s why I have total empathy with the WASPI women. That’s why I support those NHS whistleblowers who were encouraged by Jeremy Hunt, who now refuses to deal with their blatantly political dismissals. That’s why I retweet every Junior Doctor making sound points on Twitter, and hammer on about Hunt’s disgraceful rise on the back of nepotism. And above all, that’s why I am 100% behind Brexit from the EU, NATO and every other half-arsed bit of geopolitical megalomania ruining lives, destroying States, and creating millions of refugees around the world.

It has nothing to do with ‘politics’ and everything to do with decency. It is about my intense dislike of bullies, cheats, unearned privilege, jargonised bollocks, illiberal ideology, religious extremism, big brainless process, and the global acceptance of sociopathy as somehow normal.

People often ask why I’m so angry. The only possible answer is “There’s a lot to be angry about”.

Connected from yesterday’s Slog: Waspis, doctors & Brexiteers in the firing line


  1. There is indeed much to be angry about, but much of the population are in a bubble of distraction and deceit.
    Minority issues such as gay marriage, LGBT rights and transgender loos get far more attention from the MSM, as a means to divert the people from the main issue, which is always, jobs and the economy.
    On investment I prefer to lose my own money, than pay for some smart suited ,bowler hatted, brolly carrying spiv ,to lose it for me.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I agree with everything except Brexit, John, but we will leave that aside for now. As one of the WASPIs I do fully appreciate your support and fighting for our corner, when so few are willing to do so. I am lucky in that I have a small pension from working at a large blue-chip year ago, but many of my friends and family in my age group are really struggling, or in the case of a cousin who recently passed away, have given up the struggle and succumbed to stress related diseases before their time.

    I too have been left with putting all my funds into property, because it is the only way to avoid the zirp and the claw backs that are heading our way soon. I get really p*ssed off when the younger generation start bleating their govt propaganda about “baby boomers” and their property ownership. What else can we do? If I thought for one moment my money was merely safe, not even growing, I would give up my role as reluctant, and overly generous landlord. The generational divide and rule is now being rolled out by the nudge unit to hit the elderly, so I now get hit by being ill & disabled, hit for being a WASPI and now about to get hit just for being “old”. Now we discover that a**ewipe Hunt is describing you & I as “the greatest business opportunity” in the UK. Oh yes, let’s have a few more suit & boot prats lining up to fleece us.

    It sucks. Indeed there is much to be angry about.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m one of the “fools” that didn’t “invest” in any way, just left it in the building society,still got more money than I need.


  4. There is a lot to be angry about indeed, and as OAH points out, it’s only going to get worse.
    Nothing short of bloody revolution is going to stop these psychopaths because they are not frightened by the law are they? They act with impunity, knowing full well there is no consequence to their actions, they just thumb their noses at the little people that are unable to take action against them and have no redress, these folk are going to take some stopping, for their momentum and their confidence has increased dramatically over the last few years.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I do not know how many viewers you get at your Slog John, but you deserve to be “THE NEWS” on all tv channels! But because you’re a fine upstanding example of an NVE, then this will never come to fruition unfortunately!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorry to hear of your predicament financially. I used to be a dyed in the wool Conservative but since Blair and the son of Blair have found my leanings becoming more ,how shall I put it,to the left . I will never vote Labour of course but then that too no longer exists,so in short the political class has destroyed my faith in our government. The police too ,who before could do no wrong, are seen to be corrupt and liars. The banking sector is full of drug dealers ,market manipulators and has become most of the cause of the country / world’s problems where before I trusted them for advice. In short my faith in what was before ,correct and good,has evaporated. Perhaps it was always thus and we were kept in the dark but I don’t think so. As for finances,I no longer trust anyone. I decided 10years+ ago to stick savings into property. It hasn’t disappointed but here too the hand of Govt is trying to destroy what was a good investment . So I suspect that increased stamp duty and loss of tax relief on interest will be the thin edge of the wedge. The only good thing is they can’t control immigration so numbers wanting accommodation is always going up. Nor can they build so demand always outstrips supply. That said there will soon be 58k London properties coming on the market as the Eastern demand stops and people walk away on account of the slow down .
    I’m 60 next year and what pension I have is probably about as high as it’s going to get so a decision on that one will need to be taken ie wait or bale?
    Keep slogging along

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Feel exactly the same sentiment … as for the BREXIT vote just read an article the USA is not really a democracy (deceivers) all those fools turning out to vote for Trump (not that I like the guy) even if it was to be an overwhelming majority the electors are not the dam people, Hilary will be made president. Fake democracy. The exact same mechanism for the EU but more efficient you do not even have to vote to receive your appointed leader.

    So on stake now in the EU referendum is not just that the UK will have the last ever democratic vote looks like it is the last Democracy to fall too.

    Bye, bye free world welcome tyranny and violence of the neocons with the intent to suppress populations forever …

    Liked by 1 person

  8. No sarcasm or wise-assed investment advice here. Wow John, you really have been through the mill, I’m furious about many things these days and I’m furious for you now too. I would have been soul-destroyed to see my hard-earned cash and used-to-be trustworthy investments go down the tubes like that and worse sneering Gordon Gekko-types not give a rat’s ass – and here’s you STILL fighting for people who have been done over too and simply for what’s right. I take my hat off to you, I really do, and I’m sending this now to WASPI, as always. We need to Brexit now for lots of reasons but right up there on the list is so that we have in clear sight our *elected* British politicians so we can hold them to account without all this “global”obfuscation and first on the agenda will be our Right to Recall any son of a bitch who doesn’t act in the interests of the British People as opposed to their own pockets. I’ve lived through several coups, regime changes and two wars for less then what’s happening here today and seriously if there was ever a time and place ripe for an uprising, it’s England and it’s now!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. In terms of Brexit, I would like to know if anybody has any idea how leaving the European Union will improve a country led by a government (read governments) who have consistently reduced the regulations that apply to the banks?

    This is very much a British problem, and with the banks so prominent in the GDP figures of the country, how on earth is it going to be tackled, inside or out????

    The problem with pensions is but one thin slice of this larger problem – albeit one that affects the majority. Rather than the minority who have stacked the paper copies of their derivative contracts a hundred stories high, with all that this implies for Britain’s finances and the wider economy.

    About the only thing that is going to change with a Brexit ‘out’ vote is the ability of the banks to whine when Brussels threatens them with punitive regulations. If that is the case, however, Brussels will threaten to impose those regulations on the banks wishing to deal with the mainland continent…

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.


  10. Reading through John’s post and then the above comments it’s becoming obvious that the whole damned thing is FUBAR.
    I have entrusted the Tory party with my vote for the last forty years or so and now feel that trust has been well and truly spat on and kicked back in my face…never again… I have learned my lesson!
    It appears to me that the whole thing is now being run and controlled by arseholes who don’t know/don’t care how to behave like human beings, they aren’t interested in this Country and its population, only themselves. What they forget though is that THEY have been brought up/educated/looked after/allowed to develop in a Country which showed them respect and in which they should be proud to be part of, instead for their own interests, they are shitting on that Country from their perceived great height.
    I don’t think they sit as high, and as safe, as they think. I think that when the decent people, and there are still a lot of them, regain this Country, that those who have embarked on this treacherous abuse WILL be called to account, just watch the screaming and tears as these scumbags face their punishment, they won’t have anywhere to hide and they’re running out of lies to protect themselves!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Gemma
    My answer to you is inordinately simple: if we cast off Brussels, that’s one shower of sh*t less to worry about; thus we shall be able to focus on the remaining one here.
    They will no longer be able to blame the EU…as you say, our problems will remain. But there’s a better chance they’ll be dealt with – along with the criminals who helped create them.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. John .Re property as a safe hedge: I shall throw this out to those with more stamina than I.
    What is the unmentionable thing: regarding Islams attitude to property rights?
    I get the deaf ear on this one …..joining the blind eye the mass media and the plod have been issued with.


  13. resolved not to send this post a few weeks ago as I thought it would be over the top!
    Too much stuff:
    For me happening……but I fear they are: setting fritz up……….again. He has the best industries and soldiers second to none.
    But , it’s my opinion: The average German worker may well be a little too aware this time……. Plenty of form about in the world on using foreign troops to do their dirty work ……. not adverse to using criminals and aliens to make up terror thug brigades! I suspect this army will be privatised at that !
    and called “renta thug inc”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. On retirement, and not having a financial training, I too put my trust in fund managers. The galling thing for me was the statement showing my losses included their exorbitant fees -also for doing nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. John Ward

    given that the problems with a corrupt government existed in the UK long before the EU was even thought of, I wish you well with your inordinately simple answer.


  16. ” ……. British government’s Pension Minister had “failed this and future generations of British pensioners ……”

    Ah, the brave New World in which failure results in success and the resultant pecuniary rewards and career advancement.

    I was fortunate to have sussed out things just as I was setting out in life. At one time I was seriously considering that esteemed organisation called Equitable Life as my provider in old age!

    My ‘investments’ have been limited to a hedge fund venture (Man), an expatriate ‘pension scheme and a Norwich Union endowment policy – all taken out (and wound up) in the 1980s.

    In two of those cases, the substantial, supposed ‘investments’, returned little or nothing. However, in both cases, rank administrative (and ‘investment’) incompetence resulted in my receiving duplicated redemption payments (by both cheque and bank transfer) – which were never returned by me.

    Interest payments on straight deposits in a variety of currencies subsequently served me very well until retirement …… and I slept soundly at night all the while!

    I am now intent on exiting the banking system altogether.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Gemma Iwould like to turn your comment 1st para around , by asking does anybody have an idea how staying in the EU can improve the countries fortune . EU could explode Euro could implode. No one can say with certainty either way however EU has proved itself to be wholly Undemocratic , unaudited , Beurocratic, protectionist and sluggish

    Liked by 3 people

  18. JW I do sympathise . I made over 200k to my financial adviser to invest for income . 6 months on ,down 20k and they failed to inform that the monthly income was actually coming out of the capital as the fund was under performing. I can lose money like that on my own, I don’t need to pay an expert to lose it for me. Took 15 months and a file 50mm thick but financial ombudsman put us right. Avoid them now at all costs.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Well said, oldsmoothie. Don’t feel bad, no matter what party one supported all these years, we’re all in the same boat now – the Good Ship Severe Disappointment. Time for the lighted pokes methinks. For you: x


  20. The argument which says that we should remain in an alliance which is demonstrably both corrupt and undemocratic simply because we face similar problems at home with our own governments(s) is a logical fallacy. It is, effectively, a vote for no change at all. We will shortly have an opportunity to vote against dysfunctional demagoguery and should grasp it with both hands, then set about clearing up the mess that is the UK. We can and must only do this for ourselves; the idea that the EU would somehow help or protect us flies in the face of everything we know about it and is, quite frankly, preposterous.

    Liked by 4 people

  21. An excellent post and lots of thoughtful comments. Like @Gordie, I started out on the conservative side of the spectrum with lots of faith in government, courts, police, business etc. But that faith has changed with the passage of time. But I am buggered if I am going to let it get me down so I hike, learn a third language, go birding, learn photography etc. Sure, I think I now see the world as it is and I am pretty disgusted with much of what I see, sure I husband my retirement income as many retirees must do but mostly I work hard at enjoying that which I find good, inexpensive and interesting in life.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Lampitt.

    “by asking does anybody have an idea how staying in the EU can improve the countries fortune . EU could explode Euro could implode. No one can say with certainty either way however EU has proved itself to be wholly Undemocratic , unaudited , Beurocratic, protectionist and sluggish”

    The only difference here between the EU and the UK is the fact that the EU hasn’t had its accounts signed off.

    Apart from that, what with the de-regulated banks, the pound could go turtle, the economy implode… no one can say with certainty what the banks are actually up to… the whole thing is shrouded in mist!

    Hiero “It is, effectively, a vote for no change at all” – you mean, like casting a vote in a General election??? Remind me, what was the difference between Blair, Brown and Cameron? The idea that they might help or protect the British people who voted them in flies in the face of everything we know about them!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hiero, did you mean the part where you said “We can and must only do this for ourselves” – or the bit about the “logical fallacy”?

    Britain has been slackening the regulations for the city by itself for long enough, don’t you think? After all, that’s what Britain wants to do in order to keep foreign investment pouring into the country.

    Or have I missed something?

    As to logical fallacies, that all depends what you have based that logic on. After all, it’s scientfically provable – that is to say, demonstrable logic – to prove two theorems that contradict each other. It all depends on where you put the goal posts, as it were.


  24. Gemma

    No, I meant that I had already made the observation that our own pols/electoral system are no better – but they are our problem. We need to take one step at a time, and it is foolish in the extreme to expect that Remaining would offer any solution to our domestic arrangements – quite the reverse, and therein lies the logical fallacy. We need to regain our autonomy and then try and make some changes, not the other way round, that would be putting the cart before the other thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. KBO Mr Ward, another hard-hitting article. I’ll keep trying to do my little bit, shunning the financial services industry, using cash, making do and mend, enjoying my garden and enjoying the anticipation of voting Brexit.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Why Governments Are Lying About Life Expectancy

    …”Life expectancy is simply not going up as much as promised. Growing life expectancy as stated is a lie. A lie proven by a lack of old people.

    What is really going up is the age you are allowed to retire at. Why? Because countries are going broke. The justification for moving the goalpost of retirement is, of course, increasing longevity. Is this too cynical?”…


    Liked by 1 person

  27. Hiero

    just as long as you are happy.

    If you had ever experienced what it is to live in a country where the politicians are not corrupt, the bureaucrats do the work they are supposed to and the government works for the people that voted for it…

    … you might have come to the conclusion that taking any steps in the UK will only lead to the corporations and the banks taking more yet more power than they have already. It’s how they work: some call it ‘the double bind’.

    They have enough over here, as it is… and there is still the vestige of democracy here.

    I have a direct question for you, though, how many people do you meet who say “I get to vote once every five years, that makes our country a democracy”?


  28. How many people are still suffering the affects of the great Endowment Mortgage scam? I took out an endowment mortgage in December 1988 to cover a £60000 mortgage. We were promised telephone number payouts at the end of the term. After 15 years the forecast was at the end of the 25 year term it would return less than £30000! I had paid in over £19000 at this point. Perhaps this was an early version of NIRP. I renegotiated the mortgage on an interest payment only basis and cashed in the Insurance part of the endowment. Over the next two years we the liquidated all our assets and bought a house in France and have lived here for the last 11 years.

    Since we have lived here we have met 3 people who claimed that to have been financial advisers in the UK. All of them went broke in the UK. We have some American friends that live nearby. They employ a financial adviser in the USA to manage their pension funds. They enjoy visiting him because he invites them to dinner at his big house! He is either very good at what he does or rips his clients off. The evidence of their pension funds supports the latter supposition.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Gemma

    In case you hadn’t noticed, I am very far from happy. Like many others, I object in the strongest possible terms to being treated with sociopathic indifference to any notion of common sense or moral rectitude by a bunch of TINA turncoats and their bought and paid for lackeys.

    That the British political system is unfit for purpose is beyond dispute; however, this equally applies to what is happening in continental Europe under the EU. At some point the various populations will be forced to wake from their apparent slumber and confront the fact that things will only change when they take it upon themselves to make it happen, or live with the consequences of not doing so.

    If we choose Brexit, it is entirely likely that things will get worse before they get better, this must be accepted. The alternative, as stated above, is no change at all and a continuing slide into socio-economic chaos. Anything at all which disrupts the current meme is to be welcomed, things really are that bad. Vote Leave, you know it makes sense.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Hiero,

    this is why I asked you: how many people do you meet who say “I get to vote once every five years, that makes our country a democracy” Go on, ask them. They’ll think you slightly deranged for thinking about politics, though, because this isn’t Holland or Germany where discussing politics is part of café society.

    Because with an attitude as weak as is to be found in Britain, most people will put up with the consequences of doing nothing. Remember my post about the workers who have to wear nappies because they aren’t allowed breaks any more? That’s how far it’s gone in America – and it’ll come to Britain too because people need their job and will do just about anything to keep it. I have a friend in Michigan who works 15 hours a day and is pleased to be able to make ends meet. On an eight hour day, he was three months late with his rent…

    That is the kind of indolence you are up against: a culture of lazy workers and lazier corporations.

    The corporations have effectively smashed the unions in Britain, they have trampled what little protective legislation there ever was in Britain… the European Union is now there to see this implemented in other parts of Europe having seen the success it has had in Britain.


  31. Gemma dearest

    You are, to a great extent, preaching to the converted; however, that doesn’t change my view on what is best for Britain now. I don’t know about you, but that hobbyhorse of yours is giving me a sore bum. x

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I’m sorry to hear that, Hiero.

    Of one thing I am now certain, you have never lived in a democracy, so you have no idea how to make Britian into one.

    I’m sorry if that means you sat in the nettles, but life’s like that.


  33. Gemma
    Wilberforce was never a slave but he had a idea of why and how it should be abolished! the problem of over coming any electoral form is the electoral form itself,first passed the post must go! a national register of voters that can be checked is also a must! tighter controls of voting to stop all forms of cheating need to be implemented,if real change is to happen,but how do you get them implemented?
    Sometimes i think you miss the essence of what people are conveying! but hey if you have took the time to try and read this!who am i to criticise such small indiscretions of imperfection!
    I believe Hieronmusb knows what to do! and is willing to do it!just too many other people don’t! even when opportunity knocks!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. I am hoping that at last the British people are waking up to the Tory plans to , dessimate all public services with a view to , if you can pay its the Tory way ! If your poor tough s..t .

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Britain sign up to 90% of the eu rulings at present , so why opt out ? the hardline Tories want to be in control of human rights and employment laws . The only reason is , to get workers on as little pay as possible , with no unions , no holiday pay , no maternity . No rights at all ! And a backward looking view on immigration .


  36. Hiero “I wear long trousers these days and the stinging rebukes don’t really penetrate” – it wasn’t me that said their bum hurt.

    Ghost “the problem of over coming any electoral form is the electoral form itself,first passed the post must go! a national register of voters that can be checked is also a must” – and there was a referendum a year or two ago that was worded in such a way that people would be confused, and thus PR was defeated by a small margin. The forces you are up against are not stupid. Nor are they democratic: just as Hitler diddled the German voters, these guys know what he got right.

    It’s what you fought a war against…

    “tighter controls of voting to stop all forms of cheating need to be implemented,if real change is to happen,but how do you get them implemented?” Do you honestly think a British government would implement this kind of thing when their majority relies on it? Remember what Hitler did, here in Britain, he’d not have needed to…

    “Sometimes i think you miss the essence of what people are conveying!” – I think it’s more the other way around. It’s why I get trolled (or did) and Hiero doesn’t. Mind you, he is a man, and therefore the dull of wit will have the level of intelligence that can accept that he has the right to be intelligent.

    “I believe Hieronmusb knows what to do! and is willing to do it!” – I have no doubt. I met one or two in Britain as well. They’re as rare as a decent tradesman in Holland. He’s in for a hard time when opportunity does knock. Does he know the address of the other person willing to do what is required? He might need it.

    Anonymous “The only reason is , to get workers on as little pay as possible , with no unions , no holiday pay , no maternity . No rights at all !” – and few realize that Britain has the right government to implement TTIP, in or out of the EU.


  37. Gemma he may not know my address but he can find me on here any time! & others! since the vote was a narrow victory!!!


  38. Gemma

    You have a most unattractive habit of always trying to grab the high-ground, even if it means casuistically misconstruing what others have said. Also, despite your apparent wealth of knowledge, it seems that you are quite ignorant when it comes to the difference between friction and formic acid.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. JW didn’t realize that you had such a financial drubbing. You put your savings in what were excellent institutions in past times. How the world’s changed in my 80yrs. Thankfully you are a philosophical man who has picked himself up and got on positively with life. I wish you well. Keep up the ‘slogging’ for your loyal band.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. @ ikidu0
    ‘Why Governments Are Lying About Life Expectancy’

    I listen fairly regularly to R4’s Last Word, a weekly, half-hour obituary programme of those who’ve died in the preceding week. It includes celebs (deo gratias), but also campaigners, designers, engineers, etc – anyone who has made a big contributon to public life or society.

    For a long time, everyone featured was in their 80s and 90s, and many over 100. Then, suddenly, towards the end of last year, one programme featured three people who had all died in their 60s. The downward trend in age has continued for the last year, so that people of my mother’s generation (she is now 93) often continuing to a great age, whilst those of my generation (post 1945) seem to be dropping like flies in their 60s and early 70s.

    I have assumed for a long time that the increase in state pension age was part of a planned dismantling of state benefits
    as a previous Govt. has already removed the indexed increases to SERPS and its successor.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. I take all the points about deception/Waspi distress/spivs in action and all the rest. It’s all true and the worst thing is that our economy is so dependent on these idiots, their selfish short termism having destroyed manufacturing in the UK for the foreseeable future. Such is life in the UK. Brexit or no Brexit, we are sunk unless we can get these amoral financial types off our backs.

    But back to Waspis. I sympathise up to a point. It must be very annoying to be cast adrift by HMG in your 5 years of need. But there are two things that moderate that sympathy. First, we have the worst and lowest state pension in Europe. Did Waspis really plan to rely on less than £500/month? (Plus all manner of state handouts from housing benefit to pension credit.) How daft can you get! Second, the whole thing was unfair right from the start. There was never any reason why women retired at 60 and men at 65, both making the same contributions. Considering life expectancies, it should have been the other way round. So in a way, a wrong from ancient welfare history has been corrected, though of course it was about trying to save the state some money rather than the morality of a system that is over 100 years old.

    Cameron’s government is wholly about glossy PR. All those daft trips he makes to Belgium to chat up Juncker and to Berlin to charm (?) Mutti Merkel are mere PR man’s varnish. That’s all he knows. Spin, U-turn, Spin… Meanwhile the rest of us have to deal with the awful reality of the UK’s short-term future. It has got beyond the point of parody.


  42. Women retired at 60 because women were not equal to men in the job market, in pensions or any other way. The government in the 1940s recognised that and that is why the pension age was reduced to 60 for women. Nothing has changed. Certainly, nothing changed for women who are now in their fifties and sixties. Piling yet another inequality on women who have always suffered inequalities does not make for equality.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Caroline I will be 60 in two years time I think it’s a bad injustice that I have to wait another 6 years for my pension I felt so sick when I was told I had to wait it’s so unfair when I was sixteen when I went to work I was told that if I paid my national insurance and my taxes that if I had a change in my circumstance that the government would look after me who has broken there contract no me how can they just change the goal post as it suits them its so unfair,I have paid and worked all my life I am now disabled with a disease that is killing me I am on DLa but I am always made to feel bad as if I am a scrounger which I am no I need my pension back then someone else can have my DLA


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