I find that politicos today have the urge to utter something in order to be seen doing something, it could be bizarre, rather than being logical and careful. They make inaccurate statements which foster proposals of legislation, which in turn have to be rescinded or be modified. Here are examples.
Longevity Again For years I have been stating that the longevity of my generation is a blip caused by repeated periods of austerity, coupled with the need to exercise, as public transport was the main means of travel, and with no TV, and Radio being in its infancy, exercise and sport were our main amusements, especially from March to October. The Government, however, is using its own extrapolations as a ruse to avoid continuing with pensions, and promulgating it as a theory, while at the same time inferring, by policy and rhetoric, that we are all in danger of dying of either obesity through bad eating and lack of exercise, liver damage through excessive alcohol consumption, and, worst of all, drug abuse. You can’t have it both ways and the statement we will be a population of 80m in the future, may be because of immigration, rather than indigenous child birth, certainly not longevity, virulent new, antibiotic resistant bugs, will see to that.
Dustbins In NI If it had been the first of April I would have suspected a joke, but there was a report on the 6 o’clock NI News, last night, that people were to be fined £100 for putting out ‘contaminated’ bins for refuse and particularly recycling; ‘contamination’ meaning the inclusion of a prohibited material. Actually, where exactly does one find people with this level of ability to think up such an idea? This morning I could find no reference on the BBC NI Website, so the absurdity must have reached our masters and they have pulled back into their shells. Just to ram home the point if ever it should it arise again, we can’t guard our bins on the street from 7am, to avoid someone else putting an illegal material in our bin; or as we do, 8pm the previous night, so we get a lie-in. I’m sure at the rate they work, bin-men will only glance in the top of the bin, not rummage, so it could be contaminated further down. Anyway, in this day and age, I am sure the recycling industry will inevitably have to face ‘contamination’ through accident, absentmindedness, but not sheer disregard for the rules, and will be able to deal with the odd wrong article, it is only logical!
The Xmas Rail Debacle. This business of repairing or modifying the track and essentials of the rails network over Christmas, and running over time, should have been anticipated and the work conducted in such a way that it could be done piecemeal. I suspect the lack of specialised workmen was more to do with labour relations than bad management – perhaps blackmail. The outcome of a stupendous fine, in millions, only may be necessary, and only may reduce the possibility of a recurrence, but the money should really be given to those hampered at such a time of family reunion, not the government who will use it for some other reason, even waste it, but as the people can’t prove they were hampered, that solution is useless.
Pensions. Talking about funding, in this day and age the surety of banks, insurance companies and the Stock Exchange is so worrying, if not debateable, that pensions are now a source of worry. Pensions are essential if we are not to face a growing welfare budget and a breakdown in our financial and social condition. If the government has to bail out in the way it has and proposes, it seems logical that the tax payer is picking up the tab for mismanagement in a big way. I have failed to understand why our MPs, who are supposed to be caring for us, haven’t long ago made the Government responsible for a universal pension scheme along the lines of the one for the Civil Service, (which, incidentally, it is trying to weasel out of as I write,) – a contributory pension, with an input from the employer, who ever he is, all paid to the Government. We would then, theoretically, avoid our pensions disappearing along with our jobs, or Government and private employers forcing us to go into a tricky market as amateurs, and or using some disreputable agents or companies, to make our own arrangements. Just think of those who, seeing what had happened to others’ pensions, bought property, which is now in danger of reducing in price and stagnation. It is our Treasury, it is our money doing the bolstering, so why not take out the unknown from the equation and ensure all those still working have a secure, if not necessarily affluent old age.