I realise that the content of this post is going to offend a lot of people, and if not, then at least be found unnecessarily divisive at a difficult time. But it isn’t the job of a commentator to wait until the dust settles, and “time has healed all wounds”, to speak out. The Windrush decision is a crime against real fairness – and the natural equality that goes with waiting your turn. Worse still, 50’s born women are being quietly back-burnered by Corbyn Labour.
All I propose to do is set some facts before open-minded democrats, and then see how they react. I propose just this one brief clearing of the throat before we start: I was born among Jewish majorities, I very nearly married a Chinese immigrant, I have had both Indian and Vietnamese partners in the past, I spent seven years bringing up a young family within yards of Brixton’s front line, I was a lifelong opponent of apartheid – and I travel widely in Africa and Asia. I am certainly not a Little Englander and emphatically not a racist.
- Back to 60 and Waspi State pension victims have been campaigning for the restoration of their embezzled pensions for over a decade. The government and media have largely ignored them. They have invested hundreds of thousands of Pounds in legal help, PR and organisation. They are still without any sign of any redress in either pension restoration or back payments.
- The Windrush scandal was picked up by the media a month ago. Today, Amber Rudd has announced compensation for all of them…and the waiving of all reasonably incurred fees in the cases involved.
- Whatever else you say about it, the political class of Britain have severally committed fraud by offering a legal promise of female pension rights over 60 years, and then welching on the contract after 40 years.
- The Windrush case is far more complex, but does seem to be a disgraceful example of (variously) over-enthusiasm, passive racism, incompetence, and the desire to please voters fed up of being ignored about immigration issues for over 20 years. There is no proof whatsoever as things stand of any criminal offence being involved.
- Equally vague and confusing are the statistics about exactly how many Windrush victims there are. The Guardian says “an unknown number” which could mean 1 or 6.7 million. 4 days ago, the estimate was “hundreds”. Labour MP Clive Lewis “compiled the figures” but declines to give us a number. The Independent says nothing about numbers at all. The Mirror says “some” have been deported. The Office for National Statistics says, “The Home Office has no idea”. So those of us schooled in this sort of spin might be forgiven for thinking the number is not that large. Sticking a finger in the air, the Home Office gives the same “Dunno mate” answer about Jihadists in the UK and estimates them at around 15,000. So let’s say, 15,000.
- The Backto60/Waspi statistics are far easier to collate, because we have all the birth records. Women aged 55-64 today are just over 3.6 million in number, and they do not represent all of those immediately affected. A proportion estimated at around 15% either have no funds, no husband, no job, or all three of those unhappy states. As I have demonstrated in numerous Slogposts over seven years, they have been systematically underinformed and misled by three successive governments as to the timing and seriousness of the SPA reform. We are talking about roughly 540,000 women immediately affected by a lifestyle spent living in anything from severely restricted circumstances to absolutely abject poverty.
Now, an “ist” obsessive would say, “This is an open and shut case: the Backto60/Waspi women are being discriminated against because they are female, old and white”.
I do not say that. I say, “These women are being discriminated against because they are, relatively speaking, more vulnerable and less media savvy…..plus what we’ve done to them is going to cost a fortune to put right. Whereas Windrush isn’t… because the numbers involved are quite small”.
I also suggest this: “The Windrush scandal has been pumped up by Left spin doctors in a concerted attempt to divert attention away from Labour’s appalling record on anti-Semitism. At most 15,000 Windrush victims thus find themselves (albeit very late) in the right place at the right time. 540,000 defrauded Fifties-born women – 36 times as many – have not been quite so lucky.
I do not think it’s a racist decision; but a lot of older white people in Britain will. More potential cultural divisiveness will be stirred up….and both sides in Westminster – playing games and opting for quick fixes – will rightly by blamed for that.
Can cheated female pensioners really look to Labour for justice?
Playing to the Gallery is the last thing that will ever produce an egalitarian society. The Tory party has been money-grubbing in its gallery appeals on the Windrush issue, and Labour in turn has been virtue-signalling like a man with an onanism problem.
Ironically, many Backto60/Waspi women are relying on a Labour victory to deliver them justice, because – as with every last group who might give him their votes – Jeremy of Galilee, our man on the spot with the loaves and fishes, has said he will “put right State Pension injustice”. Suitably vague; as vague, in fact, as the number of Windrush victims.
Nevertheless, Cobynista Labour has now adopted what looks like a radical solution. This is how Labour’ policy looked in the press last year:
Labour will call on the Government to lower the retirement age for women born in the 1950s, enabling them to retire from 64 years of age on a reduced state pension – instead of 66.
Debbie Abrahams, the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, will make the announcement during her keynote speech to party delegates gathered in Brighton for Labour’s annual conference, accusing the Government of a “chaotic mismanagement” over the reforms.
Ms Abrahams’ account of Conservative ‘chaotic mismanagement’ is a little light on the verité, but let’s just magnify the nature of the “promise”, shall we?
‘enabling them to retire from 64 years of age on a reduced state pension – instead of 66′
Some Waspi women would settle for this, many wouldn’t. But by definition, nobody in the Backto60 organisation would accept that. From 64 on a lower pension? No mention of restitution of lost monies? No mention of sixty as the SPA?
Labour’s idea of “justice” falls well below what these women deserve.
This is what Labour’s local election manifesto says today. Headed ‘Dignity for Pensioners’, it pledges:
‘Labour will guarantee the state pension ‘triple lock’ throughout the next Parliament. It will rise by at least 2.5 per cent a year or be increased to keep pace with inflation or earnings, whichever is higher…..Over 2.5 million women born in the 1950s have had their state pension age changed without fair notification…..Alongside our commitment to extend Pension Credit to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable women, Labour is exploring options for further transitional protections, to ensure that all these women have security and dignity in older age.’
I applaud the pledge to extend pension ‘credit’ to the 540,000 most vulnerable women, although I find the “credit” word disturbing: I would expect it to be interest-free, and not a debt to be picked up by the children.
The rest of it is puffery and woffle, even more vague than the Abrahams ‘promises’ of last September. “Exploring options’: dear oh dear oh dear.
So ladies, if you’re walking around on the assumption that Labour will look after you properly, forget it.
Like any other Party when it comes to money, Labour will look to fight for its own franchise of supporters, or at the lowest cost….and often both.
For the many not the few, eh? In this instance, Corbynista Labour has demonstrated better than I could suggest that, in reality, when it comes to Justice, they prefer the few to the many.
I wish to make it clear at the outset that any and all thread comments obviously designed to provoke racial hatred or violence will be trashed.