I wonder if this is the right time to start to rock the political boat? My regular readers will know my feelings on the Brown premiership but there are many issues that need addressing and the conference season is almost upon us.
I’ve campaigned for a better deal for pensioners ever since I joined the ranks as an early retiree in January 2001. I’ve attended the Pensioners Parliament and participated in protest marches. None of these seems to have had much influence on our policy makers. At one of the Pensioner Parliament meetings the then minister Steven Timms addressed the assembly. To say he was arrogant and unfeeling would be a classic understatement. He was addressing a largely retired trade union membership but with many who had lost their pensions through the likes of Murdock and Co. I can remember his words to this day “you’ve never had it so good” The hall fell silent and then the furore broke out. “Shame, disgrace and lynch him cries started to emanate from the floor. I was just really sad that a minister of the crown responsible for the well being of us pensioners should feel like that let alone make his views public knowledge. His views on that day though do seem to reflect what as been a steady decline in the governments attitude to us. I was sponsored for that event and had to do a short report on the proceeding. Because I had been required to do this during my career I decided to do this one in verse: -
I went to the conference of the NPC,
the pensioners Parliament at Blackpool by the Sea.
The minister came to give us his view,
there’s no more cash for folks like you.
You’ve never had it so good was his outrageous claim,
the cry from the floor was shame shame shame.
Pensioner credit is here and its going to stay,
it doesn’t really matter what the pensioners say.
He can’t understand why we make a fuss,
you now all get free rides on your local bus.
We paid for our pensions, was the cry from the floor.
why cant you help us, you paid for a war.
Turner reports this year on the pension position
the government wont say if it will really listen.
A future that’s fair for one and all,
is labour`s motto and rallying call.
There’s nothing fair for pensioners today,
look at the council tax and what we pay.
Our claim we feel is not overrated,
a fair share of the wealth that we created.
He was eventually escorted from the room by his minders. I have a lot of other examples of lobbying of MPs in respect to pensions so perhaps I might make post more on this later. PS he’s still a member of the government at the treasury. Ummmmmmm.