Warning: This post was published more than 10 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
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Many thanks for your understanding.
On the Today programme this morning, some Labour official or other insisted that the pension reforms they’d come up with were designed to be ‘non-partisan’ and they hoped to reach a ‘cross-party consensus’, not play party-political games. The claim was repeated on The World at One, and quite possibly on many other news broadcasts throughout the course of the day. Of course, making such claims simply sets up clear criticism of any party who dares to point out flaws in the White Paper, so really it’s a good strategy. If only they stuck to it.
Unforunately, they didn’t. Tonight, I received an email from the Labour Party (much like those I’ve received in the past):
The proposals we are publishing today represent the greatest renewal of our pensions system since the post-war reforms implemented by Clement Attlee’s government… Since 1997, we have made real progress in tackling the appalling legacy of pensioner poverty we inherited from the Tories, so far helping a million pensioners out of poverty.
Non-partisan? I think not. Why is it that even when they think they’re doing the right thing, the Labour spin machine just can’t help pumping out lies? And how can they say they’ve had ‘real progress on pensioner poverty’ when Council Tax has soared, and OAPs imprisoned for failing to pay? I just don’t get it.
Mr Hutton’s changes mean that I will be working until I’m 68. That’s fine, I have nothing against working into old age. I mean, most 68-year-olds can’t set a video recorder, and I’ll no doubt have a similar incompetence when it comes to the medical breakthroughs and technologies of the 2050s, but I’m sure that won’t be a problem. And when I’m taking your blood or excising some growth, I’m sure you won’t be too worried about my small tremour. And at the end of a twelve-hour shift, I’m sure you’ll forgive my aging brain for prescribing a drug that just happens to react with something else someone else gave you.
Of course, working to 68 will allow me to earn the money to cover the student debts that Labour have given me – otherwise my net income over my working career would be reduced.
Not that much of it matters anyway: Predictions are that there will be 3,000 junior doctors unable to find suitable training posts by the time I qualify. If I never get a job, I’ll never have to retire. Now there’s a cheery thought 😉