Pensions blackmail

Previously David Cameron made it quite clear that he plans to force pensioners to ‘voluntarily’ work for their pensions. But now suddenly he promises people the triple lock pensions when pensioners will vote them in for another turn.

Even Miliband promises the same triple lock pensions, meaning pensions rising well above inflation.

Already opposing voices are being broadcast that call this pension unaffordable, implying that pensioners will have to endure cuts to their pensions sooner or later. Questions are asked by news readers, whether pensioners can keep on getting cold weather allowance or their free travel. As the poor young workers will have to pay for this.

I think it is just despicable that pensioners are being put under such pressures. They are told vote for us or lose your pension. When eventually there are already plans in hand to cut pensions and make pensioners do voluntary work.

It is quite ridiculous that rich pensioners get a winter fuel allowance or even any other perks. It is also quite ridiculous that rich workers can live in subsidised council flats. It seems to border on corruption that people are told that as long as they vote for one party they will continue to receive their unreasonable perks when the country is reeling from a continued recession.  This country continues to fail to means test for state subsidies and often uses a blanket approach, which results in poorer recipients losing the same perks as the rich ones. For example taking away free travel for all pensioners hits the poor ones very hard indeed.

I would find it impossible to vote for anybody that tries to get into government under pretences that pensions are only safeguarded if I vote for this or that party. Quite obviously only the House of Lords, the Queen and MP’s have been getting steady increases and now they want to cut the pensioners off to be left behind just like the rest of the country.

At the same time Miliband promises an end to undercutting of wages by foreign cheap labour. Obviously higher wages mean higher taxes and that should pay for pensions, yes Cameron does not want to raise taxes and chooses the Russian option of low taxes for the rich. I am just not going to vote and just watch which way the cookie crumbles.

The 2013 Honours List

I am just not getting excited about the Honours List any longer. It is the result of a boring and irrelevant process to give those that attract a lot of public attention a Queen’s Honour. People like the creator of Moshi Monsters or actresses.

Whilst there are fire crews and ambulances, together with volunteers battle to save and help flood victims here in the UK, the entertainment industry gets top honours. The Queen is a batty old lady, who is totally removed from reality.

What should be honoured are attempts to ease the suffering from freak weather conditions and to help the planet.

Yet a record number of women got honoured at a time when there is little compassion for the poor and needy. My theory is that single career women have little sympathy for those in need. Just at the moment little workers are the most repressed. Police workers are on strike so are other public service workers. It would have been good if at least one of those honoured would have refused the gong in favour of those who work hard and never get anything, but that didn’t happen this year.

But that just shows how corrupt current society is in Britain, those at the top are very much aligned with the government, that created 100 new peers, raised the Queen’s allowance, raised the MP allowances, whilst the rest is stuck on the minimum wage or gets below inflation rises.

28 Jan 2014, just to complement this story of Royal malaise, it has been reported that the Queen is unable to control her finances and down to 1 Million in reserves, holds lots of parties but cannot repair her estates and palaces.

Duncan-Smith is bonkers

But unfortunately, due to the latest Olympic anthems being bonkers is fashionable these days, so Duncan-Smith can call himself bonkers but he can happily be that way because it is free.

Freedom has taken some very strange avenues in Britain, in that freedom has been taken to repress those most in need of state assistance, namely the jobless and otherwise underprivileged  citizens of this state.

The latest attempt to repress the jobless even more is to restrict the rise of unemployment benefit well below inflation. Policies that openly repress the unemployed could only come from a Conservative and that makes it clear that the poor could never join the Conservative Party and be happy within because one just cannot vote for ones own demise.

There are no jobs and so Duncan-Smith ‘cleverly’ decides to lower the standard of living of the jobless, who are mostly manual workers because it had been decided to outsource all production to other countries like China. It had been decided to outsource high-tech jobs, to do with call-centres to mainly India, making many British residents jobless and unable to find work. Of course it is quite logical to presume that if there are no jobs there is no work.

In our area, the East End of London but still near the city, with many and the most poor of the whole of the UK, here in Tower Hamlets, we are getting lumbered with attempts to divert the doom and gloom by opening more and more housing estate based gardening schemes. That is to get the poor benefit recipients out of their homes to get them to garden a wooden tub, the size of your bath tub and to grow their own veg.

That now has taken a new twist in that one local estate has been proposed for getting a community garden the size of your average bathroom of about 10 sqm.

Whilst one cannot possible grow a viable amount of any vegetable in very small spaces I suggest it is slightly cheaper just to go out and purchase the fruit and veg and that also takes a certain amount of exercise.

But it shows that the only attempt to a down to earth attitude of this government is, that people are encouraged to grow their own veg in bath tub size plots, which probably is good enough to grow 10 cabbages. Is that then the reason why Iain Duncan-Smith thinks he can reduce benefits even further, because people get a small plot of land to grow their own potatoes and that then is seen to make up for the shortfall in income?

One of our local schemes in Hollybush Gardens area, was visited by he Prime Minister’s wife, by Prince Charles and the London Mayor Boris Johnson. Previously tranquil green spaces have been transformed into garden tub holding areas, which are used to grow anything from green beans to potatoes. Quite obviously no estate has not even remotely enough space to allocate each household a garden tub.

Iain Duncan-Smith has devised devilish plans to make the life of unemployment benefit recipients a misery. Mothers with young children, who are forced off Income Support are routinely given appointments to attend the job centre for interviews just around the time when they either have to collect or bring their child(ren) to school. Non attendance is booked as such and benefit entitlements ceased to make life just that little bit harder. This drives young mothers onto soup kitchens and communal feeding centres to get a bag full of basic groceries for about 3 days. In a lot of cases it also brings young mothers to have another child, so that they can escape the cynical employment advisers who seem to have no other fun in life but to take the mickey out of young mothers.

Whilst both the Queen and the former Archbishop of Canterbury urge people to volunteer more, the ones that do the brave step to come forward and volunteer are ruthlessly pursuit by Iain Duncan-Smith’s department to get them off any benefit they may be on. If they are disabled they are told they no longer are disabled because they can volunteer, if they are unemployed they are told they did not do enough to get paid work because they volunteered too much.

Iain Duncan-Smith is sheer scum. Between the two of them Iain Duncan-Smith, David Cameron, we will find the sole reason why people will avoid to vote Conservative ever again in the foreseeable future. If the Liberal Democrats have any stamina left, they would just leave this government to allow them to die off.

Even the Pope has expressed his concern about the ‘rampant capitalism‘ that is responsible for our problems worldwide. But Iain Duncan-Smith happily supports his donors by making the victims of rampant capitalism suffer that little bit more. Every little helps, doesn’t it Iain?

New Year’s Honours

I think that it is quite remarkable how the BBC makes public opinion in a not so good way. The BBC tried very hard to concentrate on the problem that occurred for Mr Hogan-Howe as Met Police Commissioner and the Pleb Gate affair. For Mr Hogan-Howe the Honour bestowed to him by the Queen in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list could not have come at a better time But just as the BBC closely reported on the Pleb-Gate affair, it would have been better, I think, to also report in head-line news that Hogan-Howe has gotten Knight  Bachelor and the wording on his honour says, I quote: “Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM is a role model for single-minded crime fighting. He oversaw a 30% fall in crime over three years as Chief Constable of Merseyside; anti-social behaviour fell by 20% in a single year. Now Metropolitan Police Commissioner, he has brought new energy to action on gangs, guns and knife crime, using zero tolerance tactics and sustaining front line visibility. He oversaw the policing of London during the Diamond Jubilee, and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Whilst many good people of the UK got double honours by getting medals in the games and getting into the New Year’s Honours list for many public servants getting the Queen’s Honour is a lifeline at a time when public perception makes them questionable turbulent news.

In this particular case I think the BBC should stir less and report more. They do a lot of selective reporting to steer people’s sentiments into particular directions.

Ken Lvingstone, I think has made a very good point, similar to Danny Boyle. Both worked for the Olympic Games 2012 and were offered New Year’s Royal Honours and both turned them down. Ken Livingstone saying, he already got paid for the work and it was part of his job and Danny Boyle did not want to become special above everybody else.

It does seem that very many people get these honours just for doing their jobs for which they get paid. So why are some getting honours for doing their jobs well and others don’t. It does seem to put the spanner into the works of day to day relationships between people, that some get honours and some don’t.

For winning Olympic sports, the athletes already get medals and the UK medals were bigger and worth more than the usual ones. It is a sporting honour to win and that way they get sponsored for with huge tax payer’s support already.

I think that honours should be reduced to the very special few who do work that is of particular national importance or is voluntary and does not get other recognition.

But it is not as such I think a personal achievement for the Queen to give out honours, it is merely a national appreciation ceremony, which is frankly not necessary on that vast scale. In the UK people start to expect an honour just for doing what others do in any case, just to do good for their country, for wanting to prop up their pride in their own abilities and they do not get any special honours for doing so.

But does it mean that those who get the honours do their jobs better than those who do not in similar posts? It is a rather embarrassing concept I must say because why should some do get an honour and others don’t for doing equally well? Considering that people who do get honours are not necessarily living a clean lifestyle, as the case of Jimmy Savile shows and later have to be stripped of their honours, shows that the whole concept is rather childish.

Queen praises army of volunteers

and especially those volunteers who took part in the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. There seems to be a little disarray between the Department of Works and Pensions and the Queen because currently I am still due a hearing before the DWP tribunal hearing whereby the DWP wants to deny me one pensions credit and Unemployment benefit because I organised a Queen’s Jubilee party as I reported earlier on.

Merry Christmas everyone

The darker side of the Jubilee

John Prescott urges enquiries into the treatment of volunteers for the Jubilee celebrations who  apparently had to sleep in the street and had no access to toilet facilities during 14 hours of volunteering. Some were paid the £2.60 minimum wage whilst others refused it to keep on getting benefits.

I personally thought some of the performers at the Royal concert sounded rather coarse in the voice and it was all a bit geriatric. Great musicians they are without a doubt but they used to sound much better years ago. But the miss-management of the proceedings should not be blamed on the monarchy but rather on those who are in charge of organising the events.

As I mentioned in the previous post I thought it atrocious that the elderly Royal couple had to stand for a prolonged period of time in the relatively cold and wet and windy weather. We would not expect our pensioners to endure such conditions under normal circumstances. The outside temperatures were not above 12 degrees. Then of course the ‘work program’ again that drafted in workers without proper facilities. Obviously the Queen herself is an amazingly fit and healthy person for her age with lots of endurance but that is unfortunately not so across the board, not all pensioners are that healthy and fit though they live generally longer.

I am in a way quite glad that John Prescott took up the blight of the unpaid volunteers because previously the Labour Party and Unions usually only trumpet out for the contributors to the party and as such unpaid volunteers usually have not enough money to pay to political parties and/or unions. They are kept in such poverty that they cannot pay for any type of support and that is also of great concern. Whilst employed workers usually enjoy plenty of support the volunteers are kept in a dismal state of neglect normally.

Listening to the broadcasts to include our own party, it was easy to get drawn in, into the widely enthusiastic hysteria that was edged on by mass enjoyment but there were many critical points to these celebrations that were badly thought through.

I could not blame the Queen for that but the masses and masses of back-room organisers who were in charge of putting it all together.

Of course communities did enjoy parties across the country and we got the money to do so but in our own case I made sure we had plenty of well trained volunteers and they were all kept save and dry indoors. I would not have wanted any of our pensioners or volunteers having to work in the wet rainy weather.

As the organisers no doubt knew about the British weather, they should have calculated for that and the Queen and her husband should have been spared the ordeal of the hours standing in the wet and cold weather outside and the stewards should have been given access to shelter and toilet facilities.

At least at the forthcoming Olympics the volunteers are properly looked after. They get a free uniform, a travel pass and free food. But the thought of Sir Paul McCartney closing the opening ceremony? Well I did not hear him sing at the Queen’s Jubilee but if his voice is anything as coarse as that of Elton John, then I don’t know whether we should allow some of our younger people to take over and do something fresh. It was however wonderfully done to open the Royal concert with musicians from the Royal band merged with Robbie Williams who sounded at his best. Unfortunately that was much too short and the bear skins clad players went off the stage too soon.

During the BBC London radio broadcast the word cake was mentioned again and again and that reminded me a bit of the French situation where the Queen recommended cake when people could not afford bread. At our party I spend hours making sandwiches with butter and they were very popular and sold out quite quick.

I think the foreign observers throughout the world will have a good sense of what is a show put on at any expense and what is a caring and well thought through public event.

The UK, the uncaring nation

I must say, I am thoroughly disgusted and it is literally keeping me awake tonight, that the UK felt fit to put their elderly monarch, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband through the ordeal of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations the way they did.

The Duke ended up in hospital with a bladder infection, that is the official version, and that could, in my view, have been avoided.

I would not have put our own pensioners through the ordeal of having to spend half hour outside in the cold on Jubilee day but our Queen had to endure 90 minutes standing in the open air when the temperature was forecast for only 12 degrees with wet and windy weather. The Duke is 90 years of age.

Some people wouldn’t force their dogs to go for a walk on a day like that but we expect our elderly Queen and royals to spend hours outside in the cold and rainy weather. Even under an umbrella, I thought it was too cold for a pensioner to spend prolonged periods of time outside, that is why I moved our own street party indoors into our community centre.

It is unbelievable that the organisers of the Diamond Jubilee did not have a plan B for a cold and rainy weather. That was more than inflexible and I think unworthy organisation for our great nation. Of course the flotilla itself was very impressive but we should have shown more care for our elderly royals and should not have forced them outside for hours in that weather.

There should have been a plan B and an indoor celebration should have been available for bad weather. Shame on the organisers of the Queen’s official Jubilee celebrations.

the unthinkable proposal

From my uneducated point of view and just having browsed through British history, it seems that the question of Scottish independence has always been a thorn in the eye of the British monarch and heads rolled over the issue.

Scotland certainly has some good points to proof and an excellent case for selling itself more. But I wonder whether this latest drive for Scottish independence will become a huge headache for the Scottish electorate or not.

In the long run I think government functions will go further north and that Scotland will become the new Capital of Britain in about 75 year’s time but then it would be better for the Scots to be part of Britain rather than not.

Why does Mr Salmon now exploit his new found popularity with an independence vote, is this what the Scottish voters voted him in for? I wonder whether the electorate should have to be told prior to election that this is what will be on the menu rather than spring it onto people once in office. That is in principle a very valid point for our democracy to consider what politicians have to declare as future plans before people vote them in.

At least this drive for Scottish independence will keep the papers busy for some time to come.

I just read that Lord Wallace says that a Scottish referendum without permission from the UK government would be against the law and it would be worrying if any elected government would break the law. There must be a lot of reading going on at the moment.

Why honour anything?

I have just read some stuff on the New Year’s Honours list and I am very disappointed that the down-ward trend on who gets the honours is more than apparent. Somebody actually got a honour just for turning away from crime and doing what most of us usually do, that is not to commit crime and one person got an honour making sure drug addicts get clean needles. If he gets an honour for turning away from gangs, all of those who never committed crimes in the first place should get honours too. If a nurse gets a honour for giving addicts clean needles then all those who do not use drugs should get honours too.

As if there are not enough outstanding law-abiding citizens around who truly improve the lives of the people who bring quality to our society. The Queen is making bad examples a virtue. I would like to express every respect to those who refused the Queen’s Honours. Fact is that those who genuinely contribute to society with outstanding art or scientific work for example hardly need the Queen’s approval to do so in any case.

I just wonder whether the Queen has gone soft in the head and whether there should be a pension age for monarchs.

It is in forgiveness…

Just having watched the Queen’s Christmas message, I feel very up-lifted and confident into this country now. It gave me a sense of belonging and her words to say it is in forgiveness that we find God’s love, were very moving indeed. A very Merry Christmas to all my readers.

Seeing how many countries belong to the Commonwealth puts the European squabbles into a more relevant context. Europe knows it does not just deal with one little Island above the mainland.

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