Sunday, 12 July 2015

PARASITIC PENSIONERS?

PENSIONERS: THE NEW PARASITES?


What a damned mess the British Labour Party finds itself in. Its old Socialist heart is buried deep beneath a layer of subcutaneous corporate fat, the obese result of the Blair years, when sucking up to the City was seemingly part of the long-term plan for securing a nice corpulent future for a stars and stripes-kissing warmonger. So today we have one of the original ‘Blair’s Babes’,
Harriet Harman shamelessly supporting Osborne’s benefits cuts, Tristram ‘the handsome one’ Hunt in the Observer telling the faithful they should be more ‘patriotic’ whilst supporting a sub-Thatcherite air-head, Liz Kendall. Another Kendall supporter, Chukka Umunna, was congratulated by some Tory harridan on BBC’s Question Time for ‘thinking like a Tory’. Of course he does. That’s the replacement of Clause 4 - ‘think like Tories’.
Meanwhile, the party’s metrocentric corporate ‘suits’ are getting their M&S knickers in a twist because something called a ‘Socialist’, in the threatening shape of Jeremy Corbyn, is moving up the popularity chart for the forthcoming comedy of a leadership election. All of this, however, seems irrelevant when one realises that May 7 2015 was the Labour Party’s final swan song. This particular parrot is well and truly expired, gone to its maker.

Yet there are bigger social problems for an electorate adrift on a sea of effluent.
One of the oldest weapons governments have at their disposal is still in use by our newly-elected rulers. The ancient principle of ‘divide and rule’ encourages divisions among the electorate to prevent organised opposition to government policy. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the growing gulf between Britain’s younger generation and UK pensioners.
George Osborne’s welfare cuts are viciously aimed at the under-25s, for whom the ‘national minimum wage’ will not apply. Scrapping housing benefit for those aged 18 to 21 will impact seriously on many families, where up to 4 million under-30s are still living with their parents. The removal of caps on student loans will soon place a university education beyond the reach of the poor. Even those young people who have found work realise that becoming a ‘hard working tax payer’ is no longer enough to get you on the first rung of the housing ladder. Meanwhile, by a media campaign of insidious stealth, the unfairness of this situation is being diverted from the Chancellor onto another sector of society, the old. Some suggest that David Cameron’s wooing of the aged, by maintaining pension increases and other benefits, was a device to hoover up those extra ‘grey’ votes to put him back in number 10. If so, it worked. But as a ‘divide and rule’ weapon it will no doubt bring Osborne, who still needs to find more massive cuts, much joy. Set the young against the older generation and as the discontent soars, he will have new choices. Rather than redress the imposition of further misery on the young, he may well have hidden plans to level the playing field by ‘punishing’ the aged, now that their votes have served his purpose. This has already begun with the removal of the over 75s TV licence. This gave the new government doubled satisfaction. Not only has it saved them £608 million, they have been able to shift the debt onto an organisation they openly despise and would dearly love to privatise, the BBC.
A new report by a think tank, The Intergenerational Foundation, takes aim at UK pensioners.
One of its founders, Angus Hanton, (left) suggests pensioners are ‘bedroom blockers’ because once families have grown up, these old parasites continue to live in houses with spare bedrooms. (His own parents, however, rattle around in a £1.5m five bedroom suburban house …) Hanton castigates the old by suggesting they say “We did something to deserve our comfortable lives, we’re entitled” adding “the baby boomers are experts at that.”  Is being old, with all its aches and pains, the daily descent into immobile senility and monthly funerals, such a ‘comfortable life’? Must we feel guilty for working for 50 years for today’s three meals a day, a roof over our heads and a bit of medical attention?
1931 (the decade Cameron is taking us back to) and look - not an Armani suit in sight!


If you’re young, consider this; being old is no sin. We can’t help it. It will happen to you, too. However, the drive for social equality and the battle against austerity is a battle we should all be fighting, young and old, shoulder to shoulder. It’s not an age thing: it’s a human fight, and the powerful people we’re struggling against are not human; they are another breed from a strange world, it’s the planet known as Greed.  

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