VULNERABLE BRITAIN: prick a young doctor, an old pensioner bleeds. Deprive a Waspi or a graduate, and the economy has a haemorrhage.

The State pension age reform is not a welfare issue any more than young doctors’ pay & contracts are a health issue, or the number of cops on the beat is a law & order issue. Giving less and less to more and more citizens is a survival issue. It unites us all in the end.

mesnip18716 One of the reasons that awareness of the Women’s State Pension robbery is so low involves the pretty obvious tendency of the right wing media (and the BBC) to treat it as a specialist financial ‘niche’ issue buried away in the Money pages. In fact, it is just one especially pernicious element in a global cacophony of crap – persuading those pauperised by neoliberalism that what they’re suffering is their own fault….and to which there is no alternative. Highlighting case histories of cruel blame-storming visited upon Waspi Women continues at The Slog today….but this must be seen in the context of the bigger picture: undeserving greed robs the deserving vulnerable….unless they stand together.


There’s a brilliant tweet from Anna Chen on Twitter this morning:

chentweet

Although it could easily be dismissed as over-generalised propaganda, in fact the gag is a 100% accurate description of the neoliberal élite 3-card trick. I would’ve gone for a politician, a 25 year old and and Waspi myself, but then I picked up on this astonishing piece from today’s FT:

pensiondividends

It’s a shame that the fire of debate ever went out, really. Just when you thought Phillip Greed was a one-off despicable medallion-&-hairy-chest wide boy who robbed his pensioners blind in return for a fat yacht to match his equally fat bottom, it turns out he is merely one of many.

We always knew that, of course – but it’s so depressing, sometimes one tries to forget the reality. Here’s an extract from another harrowing Waspi story that arrived in my email box last night:

‘I was born 17th October  1955, I  spent the first year of my life in Edinburgh’s  Sick  Children Hospital. Had long periods of I’ll health  thereafter  but started work at 12. After leaving school I started full time work  and worked constantly. I hoped to retire at 60, unfortunately  I  now have to work till I am 66, through no fault other than bad government. 

‘My health is not helped by having to handle  and move vulnerable  adults  as I am a Night Support  Worker. We have been robbed of our rightful entitlement. My friend  passed away last month  aged 60. Where has her payments  gone? So many people robbed, neglected  and let down, shameful.’
Katie, Edinburgh

Robbed, neglected and let down. Sums it up pretty well, I’d say….except that one needs to say a lot more. The cheating, neglectful mugging is being carried out to pay for a tax system that turns a blind eye to the offshore rich – and does nothing about swine who embezzle other people’s retirement. When the ghastly Robert Maxwell did that, at least he had the decency to fall off his yacht and die. And back then, his act was seen as exceptional. Not today: in just 25 years, the act of a man dismissed as “a monster” by the media in 1991 has become a weekly commonplace throughout the West.

The bullying choice of older women retirees is also a further attempt to wriggle off the hook of amateur fiscal management by George Osborne – who said  in 2009 that Britain was sinking in a sea of debt….and left it 50% deeper in debt than it was when he started. It is a cowardly way to claw back a fraction of the money blown on egomanic ideas like HS2, Connecting for Health, the Iraq War, and Trident renewal. But above all, it is show trialling: the choice of innocent scapegoats to explain away forty years of financial incompetence.

The strategy is very clear, and can be summed up as follows:

Tackle one vulnerable minority at a time, and you can get away with murder

The demography of the maths involved isn’t difficult to grasp.

At any given time, under 0.5% of the population needs to be hospitalised. So one can cut budgets and screw doctors with relative impunity. Hence the creeping success of Sweeney Hunt, the Demon Barber of National Health Street:

huntsweeney

However, the strategy (like the neoliberal model itself) is based on a profoundly blind stupidity called Zero Foresight.

As and when Waspis start entering hospital thanks to mental and dietary problems, these are some  of the realities they will find:

  • The number of qualified healthcare scientists has declined for each of the past five years, with the numbers in 2014 below those of 2004.
  • Current health expenditure in the UK is 8.46% of GDP in 2013. This compares to 16.43% in the USA, 11.12% in the Netherlands, 10.98% in Germany, 10.95% in France, 10.4%  in Denmark, and 10.2%t in Canada.
  • The UK has 2.8 physicians per 1,000 people, compared to 4.1 in Germany, 3.9 in Italy, 3.8 in Spain, 3.4 in Australia, and 3.3 in France.
  • The UK has 2.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people, compared to 8.3 in Germany, 6.3 in France.

I am not going off at a tangent here: the interaction between NHS and ESA/fitness for work management is huge for patients over 60. The National Audit Office (NAO) asserted just three months ago that ‘there are currently far too many older people in hospitals who do not need to be there. Without radical action, this problem will worsen and add further strain to the financial sustainability of the NHS….Longer stays in hospital have a negative impact on older patients’ health as they quickly lose mobility…..the true figure for patients aged 65 and older who are no longer benefiting from [hospital] care could be as high as 2.7 million days per annum….Workforce capacity issues in health and social care organisations are making it difficult to discharge older patients from hospital effectively.’

So you see, this isn’t a niche issue: everything is connected. But if hard-up Waspis are discharged more quickly, their home conditions will mean they could very quickly wind up in hospital again. This is what tends to happen, Theresa May, if you have no money….every cut becomes a cost to the State.


Yesterday, I showed that the Waspi destitution is real, and the inability of vulnerable groups to spend can only worsen the economic situation when the model in use requires an insane credit-fuelled level of repeat-purchase just to stand still. Now read three comments about the lifestyle these women are already struggling through:

‘I gave up the highest salary and took on work to fit around my husband’s working day to make ends meet.I continued to do this for many years.  At one point I had three jobs, all of which were low paid but fitted in with family life. Most of my employers offered a zero hours contract even though I continued to pay my tax and national insurance in the knowledge that it was contributing towards a pension.’

‘I looked to see how to claim my pension, expecting it to be reduced because of my time abroad, not to be yanked from under my feet altogether. I am not eligible for any other assistance and where I live jobs are few. There is nothing in my fields of expertise, especially an older woman. My husband has a 1 hour drive to his workplace so we are not exactly in the hub of city life.’

‘Having been informed aged 58 that my State Pension Age would be extended by six years,
 I felt very shocked, but then I realised that the types of Project Work and Industry I was working in were a recession. The Nightmare turned into a reality in 2015, when I was paid off in May of that Year along with thousands of other people. The outlook here is bleak: even cleaning ladies can’t get jobs.’

It’s not hard to see where I’m going with this one; but just in case any of the Cabinet are reading, I’ll explain. Cutting the cost of workers via zero hours contracts and minimal benefits reduces their ability to save for a pensions….they become, eventually, more reliant on the State pension that they were previously. Ageism (still a genuine bigotry untouched by the hand of government) means that, effectively, removing the promised State income with little notice (at, say, age 58) means you are putting women back on the dole and in need of ESA….plus all the overhead – and private sector incompetent greed – that goes with it. And an economy overdependent on financialised capitalism produces manufacturing/other services recession….which puts older people on the dole and even mor in need of a State pension….but above all, dear HMS Mayflower crew, who are these people supposed to consume goods under those circumstances, and oh never mind, it’s so obvious it hurts. What do you think, Damian?

greenblank

Oh dear. Let’s try the Justice Ministry….Chris Grayling – don’t you see that injustice is more expensive than doing the right thing?

graylingdense

You see, this is where most conspiracy theorists go wrong: they assume that it’s all part of a clever plan, all part of the Big Push towards the New World Order. But actually, it’s more usually a set of idiots all in the same room having daft ideas, none of whom could cross the bloody road without detailed and constant assistance.


There is only one way to stop the Boris dancers mincing around the Maypole, picking off one innocent social group after another until everyone’s skint: to have all the bullied see that each group’s fight is every other group’s fight.

Doctors, Nurses, Bobbies, Waspis, teachers, young unemployed, squaddies, care workers and students are being systematically picked off and set against each other. In the immediate aftermath of Hitler’s takeover in 1930s Germany, this little bit of black humour was doing the rounds – and it proved to be tragically prescient:

“Please Mr Hitler, don’t arrest me….arrest the SA.

Don’t arrest me just yet….round up the Jews.

Don’t arrest me now, Hitler….gas the insane.

There are bigger fish than me Hitler….arrest the Communists.

Oh, you mean it’s my turn? Will nobody defend me?”

Austerity is bad for the Budget, the economy, the UK’s borrowing requirement, the equable sharing of community burdens, but above all the more vulnerable citizens in society who tend to do the dirty but vital jobs nobody else wants to do.

The first step on the road to Freedom from Injustice is an alliance of the undervalued in our culture – for they represent an army more valuable than any other.

If not now, then when?


Last night at The Slog: Was your dad a dustman?

11 thoughts on “VULNERABLE BRITAIN: prick a young doctor, an old pensioner bleeds. Deprive a Waspi or a graduate, and the economy has a haemorrhage.

  1. Now imagine that these people who apply these cuts actually think they’re doing the right thing!

    There are enough businessmen who think the same way and wonder why their profits keep shrinking. Since they cannot be wrong, they continue treading the same downward path, always hoping that the economy will get better.

    Which, if you hear this from the lips of a businessman, it is a sign that they don’t know how to do business.

    Just as a government that cuts spending to ‘save money’ does not know how to govern. In which I include Germany – for all their super-tight regulations that the corporations hate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think part of the problem is lack of cohesion in society, it’s the ‘Me Me Me’ culture, and if it ain’t happening to me, then I don’t care, it’s not my problem, I’ve too much to worry about myself attitude. Here in the UK you see it all the time, people tossing their litter out of car windows, throwing their rubbish away when walking in the street, somebody else’s problem, double parking when, with a little or no effort they could park normally a few metres up the street, nobody waits at junctions or roundabouts anymore, they just pull out, after all, you’ll brake won’t you? Why should I wait for you attitude? Until that changes…It’s like the old adage, ‘familiarity breeds contempt’, and the fact is, (at risk of derision here) there are just too many of us on this tiny island.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. When your close to dividing everyone your very close to uniting everyone against you! and this is Corbyn’s appeal to some usefulness to many and why he is so feared by the very few!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. http:/ /www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/16/even-owen-smith-wants-to-increase-the-national-debt-by-270-billi/

    This could be the answer. Spend ,spend and spend till we drop.

    Like

  5. Thanks JW for your well written & well argued posts, they give me hope. I have never been hugely political but have joined Momentum & am amazed at the response at local level for bringing about change. It seems to me that this is the way forward to bring about social justice in this country.

    Like

  6. Superb post JW, I am still a daily reader but work is a bit hectic. Oddly the main cause for this is the continuing effects of the criminally insane debacle that is connecting for health.

    Yes you thought it was gone, dead and the money vanished. Well, no….

    In some kind of bizarre fit of pique the DOH decided to reanimate the dead corpse of CFH (or at least its central nervous system) the central patient administration and record system backbone called ‘Lorenzo’

    This system is about as much good as a canoe in a desert, actually that is hopelessly generous. In the desert, you could at least ignore the canoe, or set it alight to attract attention. It is more like a canoe filled with concrete that you are forced to balance on your skull whilst whistling ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’ out of your arse in a minor key.

    Because, as you rightly report, so much money was thrown into the bottomless pit of development, the DoH are trying to retrieve some ‘value’ by inflicting this system on the NHS. Trusts are being inveigled into adopting it because unlike other proprietary patient administration systems – Lorenzo is ‘zero cost’ – ie no charge at point of delivery. The problem is the 25% productivity loss that is crippling everybody to the point that things are just not happening.

    I will send you more news on this when the coroners reports start to flow – and yes there will be some.

    On a separate issue your WASPI coverage is excellent and I think wholly worthwhile, I can confirm there is now a steady stream of WASPI age patients now coming into the care of mental health services due to the exact dynamics you highlight above. Many of them don’t even know about the WASPI campaign they just accept the situation and try to cope, until they can’t.

    Keep up the good work JW.

    Like

  7. The blame lies entirely on the “choc ice” Constituency Labour Party where so called Labour MPs and Councillors on the surface are actually tory BLUE underneath. My Neil Coyle Labour Constituency Party voted 104 to 95 to support Owen Smith under the exclusion of new members rule and a single televised hustings between the two candidates. In other words it was crafted to fit Coyle’s profile.

    The problem with Labour MPs is they mostly come up through local authority politics and are so heavily compromised and incahoot with the private market (hence Smith was a PR for a drug company) not least through the rentier housing market bubble that has been a feature of both Blairism and recent governments, that they are in effect sold out by the time they put their plump buttocks on the green benches of the Commons.

    Hence the Brexit vote was a bore AGAINST CORRUPT WESTMINSTER as much as the EU and the Tories have a hook through their lips which will murder them over the next twelve months. Let’s hope JC can have a clean out of the Labour MPs so the Left can re-establish itself as the Natural Party of Government in the UK.

    Like

  8. WASPI women get yourselves a big old inflatable , big, a couple of hundred on board, get yourselves out into the channel ,radio in your engines crapped out ( mayday) and you require immediate assistance. Then they’ll notice you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “You see, this is where most conspiracy theorists go wrong: they assume that it’s all part of a clever plan, all part of the Big Push towards the New World Order. ” Actually no , these failings are a direct consequence of New World Order . And its been happening all over the Western World .
    ” Shelter line stretching around the corner , welcome to the New World Order ” ( Bruce Springsteen , The Ghost of Tom Joad, 1996 .
    The Waspis are merely the latest vulnerable people on the list .

    Like

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