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When we accept that money changing hands is not the only benchmark that identifies a corrupt Government we soon begin to understand what’s wrong

January 2, 2019 Leave a comment

No, Brexit is not the only ailment affecting this Government. In fact, what the slippage of time and the way we simply overlook so much allows is the strange and growing idea that there weren’t any problems before Brexit came along.

This is of course complete bullshit.

But it’s useful if you are a politician and you know that you have lost control of the very comfortable gravy train that you have been holidaying on, all too often for a very long time indeed.

For some reason, deeply embedded in our psyches is the strange idea that behaviour is either acceptable or unacceptable depending upon whether it fits within some written or identifiable set of rules.

Yes, the ambiguity of what we call social norms presents an increasingly difficult challenge when so many people are hell bent on changing the communal perception of what is considered to be acceptable – often for purposes which are only aligned to their own.

But without this interference, there had existed a code which worked well until the point when it allows something to go very, very wrong.

Set in this mould is the definition or understanding of what it is or means to be corrupt. And to what it means to therefore miss behaviour which should be included, which is not, and that which through its absence explains a great many things about the way that the world and our political system actually works and impacts upon us all right now.

In its purest form, corrupt action or behaviour is apportioned to financial payments or monetary payoffs to secure contracts, favours or influence in Government.

We hate it.

We hate just the idea.

We hate even the slightest whiff of it.

That is why the Parliamentary Expenses Scandal created such a furor.

But is that the nearest that the UK ever gets to experiencing anything corrupt within the Governmnet System?

I would say no.

And if we open ourselves up to the real definition of corruption and what it is to be corrupt, we soon realise that in fact, there is a whole lot more besides.

During 8 years as a Borough Councillor, I never actually saw money changing hands between Councillors, Officers and the 3rd Parties beyond. But the smoke which was the tell-tale of brown envelopes was never far from conversation, particularly when planning matters were being discussed. It was very clear to other Councillors and members of the general public that decisions went very differently to what it would have been fair and reasonable to expect on a number of occasions and that it was as such only fair to assume that there had been some kind of preferential or pecuniary treatment involved, as there was simply no other logic to support it.

Smoke however, isn’t in itself a form of proof. And whilst I still find myself writing about questionable planning practices which carry the overriding suggestion that there is an unseen force or influence involved, we cannot prove anything against anyone until some form of proof has surfaced which proves that they – and their corrupt practices were actually involved.

But the problem runs much deeper.

Finding that brown envelope or the trail of a financial transaction is much easier than it will ever be than to prove that impartiality of thought does not exist and therefore preferences or prejudices are being employed at a very non-evidential level.

Corrupt behaviour is far more than just that which is focused upon money changing hands.

You are corrupt and engaged in corrupt practice the moment that any form of bias is entertained in the execution of a choice or decision taken from a position of public responsibility whether that position be elected, appointed or some form of agency is involved.

To give this some context, we all find the stories of MP’s appointing family members, old boys networks and friends of friends getting plumb jobs in industry a very distasteful practice – and this is when there is no discernable link or impact upon the public involved.

Look a little closer and you soon know that any form of discrimination which disadvantages what should be the natural choice for a role, decision or policy will inevitably have negative consequences that reach far beyond the obvious. We can only conclude that corrupt behaviour has been involved.

Play all this out on a National stage and when you see politicians gorging themselves over the trough of opportunities that face them, we can soon see that money changing hands is in no way near as damaging to the practice of trading off their votes and therefore responsibility in exchange for career benefits, job security, patronage or where any opportunity to make a name for oneself has become involved.

We also forget that self-interest neglects the responsibility to ideas, actions and practices which will benefit the many, rather than just the few.

And in the days of Brexit, this is perhaps the most damaging and reprehensible form of corruption which is plaguing all of our Parliament, because this sell out is over the future of an entire nation. The cost of which is incalculable to everyone beyond those who have the positions of influence and power today, where priorotising themselves is the only motivation they consider to have voice enough to listen to and to allow to become involved.

 

 

 

 

It’s time to have confidence in our own destiny and accept that in today’s World, standing alone will make the UK a whole lot more

January 1, 2019 Leave a comment

‘We are doomed!’ is the current epitaph of the Remain-at-all-costs and all those amongst us who live by the belief that this Country cannot and is incapable of doing anything on its own.

The sell-out mentality which has gripped the direction of both the Media and the Government itself would be best placed in the archaic nest hole which would be the foredeck of some wrecked ship as it deceptively lifted into the air before crashing into the see and coming to rest in the dark, freezing depths way below. Not in the foreground of one of the greatest opportunities that the UK has stood in front of for past generations and beyond.

Many of the self-interested politicians and influencers who are so convinced of the need to remain in the comfort zone which they believe to be in their own image, mistakenly consider their own destiny to be entwined with that of the whole Country and the People who surround them, not realising that self belief of an entire Nation does not equate with their own gutlessness and is in fact the key to something much better for us all after we leave the EU and step bravely into the world of our making which will soon follow beyond.

‘Doing it properly’, by embracing a pathway even more rigorously than anyone has done so before, doesn’t mean that you can suddenly make the unworkable work.

It means that you are blind to what everything around you is telling you. That you are a fool and are setting yourself – and in this case a great many innocent people – up for a very big fall.

However, whilst that can be viewed as the inevitable further integration with the EU that will happen if the Remainers should ever get their way, or indeed the catastrophe which will follow Corbyn’s Labour in the form of a Marxist mess if they win a General Election against a Conservative Party that is still led by May, it does not fit with the evolving class of political opportunists who will align themselves with what resembles the best option to facilitate a rise in their own fortunes.

With the May ‘deal’ unattractive to even some of the most militant Remainers, it was inevitable that many other pretenders would push themselves into the leadership frame, championing some other cause or another painted up or repackaged idea, selling it as the new and improved or latest form of the same old Holy Grail which will ultimately deliver everything for them, but nothing for anyone else.

We have had Norway, Canada plus plus plus and even something about Switzerland from the quasi-Brexiteer brigade. Now we are having Singapore MK2 as the model posted by the born-again-Brexiteers who in the Summer of 2016 sounded almost identically like everything we heard from then new Prime Minister Theresa May.

If it sounds like we are going around in circles, it is because we are.

Nothing is going to change until we, as a Country, break new ground and literally stop going round and round.

Our future is not to remain inextricably linked with the ‘European Project’.

Nor is it to parrot ourselves or model our future on the past, present or future of any other Country.

Their destiny is theirs, just as our National destiny is very much our own.

The obsession with plans has to stop if we are ever to begin succeeding.

The future of the UK depends upon proper Leadership, not some dubious plan measured up against a PH Scale where Acid & Alkaline have been replaced with Leave & Remain.

Our political classes are simply out of any new ideas.

UK politics is without original thinking.

And so it is little wonder that our would-be leaders are raking around everywhere to find something new to anchor their dimming light to, whilst attempting to rally a new direction from the other politicians around them. Politicians who themselves are so self-obsessed, that they can no longer discern the benefits of being within and working for a community as the only surety for them comes from the reliance on ideas which are their own.

We are now perilously close to a point where we will need an entirely new parliament. One untainted by the corruption and self interest of the existing party political system and the obsession with benefit and kudos to the individual, disregarding members responsibility to the electorate who elevated them to their positions. A responsibility they now take for granted and believe that they possess and therefore own.

‘We can be the new Singapore’, ‘be just like Sweden’, or ‘model ourselves as perfect Europeans’.

How about actually just being happy with being British. Having confidence in our own destiny and accepting the truth that in today’s World, standing alone will make the UK a whole lot more?

 

 

Are our MP’s sleepwalking us towards Dictatorship?

December 20, 2018 Leave a comment

Brexit has pretty much taken over political life in this Country at the moment and it is set to continue doing for some time.

The most regrettable part of all of it is the division that the whole process has caused, and I am sure that if any of us were to stop, stand still for just a moment and reflect upon how we really feel about other people, whether they voted Leave or Remain, as soon as you take the politics out of the equation, we like all of them pretty much the same.

As regular readers will know, I have been blogging about the Brexit process pretty much non-stop for a number of weeks now. I make no apology for continuing to hold the genuine conviction that the best future for the UK and all of it’s People will be experienced as a Sovereign Nation and standing independent of Europe on our own. I also understand why people have and do reach other conclusions too and accept that if I held precisely the same experience and understanding that they do, my views would almost certainly be the very same.

The reason for being here and writing today however isn’t about Brexit itself, but about the issues for democracy upon which the Brexit process has become embroiled and underpinned. Issues which are actually not new, but have been forced into daylight by the behaviour of our Politicians over the European Referendum, the ongoing debate over what will happen after 29th March 2019, and what now seems like the eternity in between.

Whilst hiding in plain sight, Politics in the UK has been broken for a very long time. In fact, the downward spiral has been in play since at least the 1980’s when Margaret Thatcher was PM, and has probably been in motion since long before that time.

People become Politicians in this Country for as many worthy as non-worthy reasons. But the way that the Political System now works, with a near-monopoly status of a triumvirate of Political Parties holding sway over the gain or loss of Parliamentary Seats, it is the people at the top of the Parties themselves which now hold the real power over Policy in this Country, and not each and every MP working collectively, as it always should be.

The system corrupts entrants just as soon as they have been elected. They are greeted with the choice of becoming subservient to the will of the people who lead them if they want to progress, thereby selling out all thought of genuine representation of the people who elected them. It has simply become a numbers game. Those who lead the Parties are in charge of everything that we do and it is a majority-sum game which itself gives the lie to the idea that we are now living in a genuine democracy.

In simple terms, those who can win the Party, run the Country.

All good until the point that a major decision is tossed back to the Electorate in the form of a Referendum, bucking the long-term trend of autocracy operating in Parliament all but name, and bewildering those who have become complacent with their place within a broken system which feeds itself on ensuring that the status quo is fully maintained.

In a system that has increasingly worked because there has been a top to bottom absence of genuine leadership skill, the moment arrived in 2016 when the UK suddenly required real leadership, but no real leadership was actually there, available and ready to lead.

Be under no illusion, the crisis that we are all experiencing now began in earnest the very moment that an MP who represents all that is wrong with this broken system found herself achieving the dream of making it into No.10. From that point the decisions were only ever going to be about maintaining the ‘existing’ system, and for that to happen, everything that came after had to be favourable to what we now call ‘Remain’.

But under the cloud of considerable democratic intervention, the writing was from that point on the wall. And whilst what appears to have been blunder after blunder and opportunity missed after opportunity missed seems to easy to blame upon the People’s decision to instruct the Government to deliver Brexit, the truth is much darker and may now be the real reason why the UK could instead of capitalising fully from Brexit as it should have done, inadvertently be about to experience what will feel like a considerable fall.

The sickness and condition of British Politics exists because the political classes at all levels of Government are now made up in the majority by very ambitious people who put self-interest, furthering their opportunities and being seen to have ‘glory’ before any recognition of what their positions and responsibilities were created for.

In Parliament, Members at all levels are now putting their own aims first, being disingenuous in painting themselves as the equivalent as the shining knights riding to the UK’s rescue from an out-of-control Brexit, when the cause of the very problems they are telling us they are equipped to solve are of their own making, not of the People who Elected them, despite the proposition of a second referendum which is by the very nature of this action, the clear Statement that we are now being told.

That Parliament tossed this decision affecting all our futures out to the Public and now plans to rescind upon the obligation to them which then followed, using whatever method that it can, has simply removed all value from the democratic process, which in an already politically disenfranchised Country, is now making tangible the foundations upon which an alternative to this disrespectful treatment of the Public en masse could very realistically stand.

Now before you get carried away and think I’m simply setting up the suggestion that a Corbyn-led Government is now imminent, whilst that in some respects could be true, its manifestation because of everything that is happening, could actually be a catalyst to something much more profound, which sweeps away the corrupt and pyrrhic forms of democracy that we are used to, including the political parties as we know them, and opens up a very different kind of door.

Yes, the self-interest in Parliament has now reached such levels, that consensus is possible no more.

And this means that if groups of MP’s cannot work together in the majority to take the decisions that each and every one of them was elected for, thereby making the Parties they represent completely defunct, we must surely be in the position where the responsibility will fall on an individual to break the deadlock not only with Brexit, but with just about every policy where lack of consensus has led to damaging forms of compromise which never hurt the people making the decisions, but make life very difficult for the people they never consider, at cost to everyone and everything and a whole lot more besides.

We can only hope that if it happens, this will not become the UK’s Trump moment. But if our MP’s continue with this unbridled attack on the little that is left of our democracy, they will soon have zero legitimacy and not be left in the position to decide.

History tells us that such an option manifested could be quite chilling.

But if such a thing as a worthy dictator existed, compared to the current shower in the majority sitting across Parliament giving the lie to our democracy, it is quite possible that the People of this Country might not actually mind.

A Referendum upon a Referendum is one Referendum too far

December 17, 2018 Leave a comment

img_2233Last Wednesday evening, the Conservative Party lost, or rather surrendered collective responsibility for its own direction on Brexit. With it, democracy in the UK may have been served a terminal blow.

Whilst we now know that the latest stage of Britain’s political chaos began when the present incumbent of No.10 first boomed out ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and meant no such thing, this has been a much longer process. One delivered by political parties of all colours and shielded from open view by our own trust and reverence for politicians being massively misused, taken for granted and abused.

Yet a watershed moment arrived when that contempt for the people went too far.

Our politicians miscalculated the response that would come back in the form of a decision on policy which they tossed out to us on the pretence that there was a decision that was itself simply too big for elected representatives to take themselves.

They did not get the result that they were expecting and had complacently assumed was coming when the Vote for the UK to Leave the European Union was won.

Not only did these self-aggrandised leaders not like it, many of them have and continue to do everything that they can to frustrate the will of the people.

Now after creating a completely avoidable mess, the continuing attempts to frighten everyone to admit that their decision to Leave was wrong and the myth that there is no better option available for a secure future for our Country than the one they have created, they are now advocating a second referendum to try and fix the problem. The blatant inference being that it was the decision and not their own obfuscation and failure at every turn to implement a proper Brexit since which is fundamentally wrong.

The simple truth is that the decision of the British People to Leave the EU called the bluff of a political class.

Members of this self-serving non-representative culture have and still believe that they have the natural right and authority – once elected – to manipulate anything and everything to suit what they want, what serves their own purposes and everything else required to ensure that they get their own way.

The narrative that suggests the decision of the people went the way that it did because Leavers didn’t understand what they were voting for isn’t just a lie.

It also demonstrates a complete misunderstanding and contempt for many of our MP’s own position and responsibilities. That of what the purpose of an elected representative of the people is actually for.

No, most of the People didn’t understand the detail or rather the minutae of what they were voting for in the EU Referendum.

But it is not the Electors who are supposed to understand the detail of any Policy.

It is the Elected themselves who have sought and as the direct result of their Election to Office been given the responsibility to deal with the details, thereby accepting their obligation to deliver upon the direction they have been given by the people.

By Parliament voting by a considerable majority to give the decision on our Membership of Europe to the People through a plebiscite, MP’s surrendered their right to dictate the direction and end result of the choice that was made.

They also obligated themselves to then do whatever would be necessary with the detail that they should all clearly understand, to execute our departure from Europe. Not with the bells and whistles and ties ins that work for them. But with the result that was intended, which was and remains very clear. That is to Leave and not be restricted by any form of tie to the European Union anymore.

To now seek to overturn the original and democratic decision of the people demonstrates either that those advocating it are wholly unworthy to hold public office.

They have already failed to do what they were told by the People to do.

What is more, they have done and continue to do everything they can to frustrate the process. And now, believing that their game of bluff, counter bluff and pretending that they have done everything that they were supposed to do has began to pay off, they wish to deliver the final insult to the Electorate that gave each and every one of them their position of responsibility, by making the clearest statement possible that it is only the People and not they who have ever done anything wrong.

The problem is that as with most things that our Politicians have been doing for so very long, they have completely misread the People. Underestimated the ability of people outside of the Westminster bubble to accurately perceive what they are up to. To still think that by simply telling People whatever they decide the truth should be, the People will simply believe.

The Electorate has been tired of Politicians for a very long time. But the nature of our current political system and the monopoly of the Triumvirate of Political Parties which has existed over a period of decades has meant that Tribalism itself has played the most significant role in Elections. This has left very few Electors in marginal Constituencies to place a Vote that will really decide who gets the opportunity to lead us. A choice from the same-old same-olds, taking new blood which might make a difference and bring legitimacy back to our democracy, rather than leaving the corrupted apparatus of Party Politics to decide.

This is a story of the Politicinas own making.

But it is now a future for politics which is going to be reclaimed by the People. Prized from the hands of the Parties who have boundaries and collective views which are set against, rather than for the best interests of the People. The People who Elected this shower, with whom the Politicians only have self interest and no longer have a mandate to hold Office because their purpose and the will of the People is not in any way aligned.

If they continue with this travesty and push a referendum upon a referendum back to the people, it will not be the result of that referendum upon which the future of the Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat Parties will be defined.

For within every Election that follows a Referendum which will give the lie to the existence of a respect for democracy within our sick political system, there will no longer be a choice which follows the direction of the Political Parties as we now know them.

When the choice comes to appointing the representatives of the people, it will from then onwards be set between electing Politicians who represent only themselves, and electing Politicians who represent us all.

A Referendum upon a Referendum without having first delivered the instruction from the former, questions the legitimacy of the latter, simply because it questions what the first was actually for.

This is the act that could kill off democracy in the UK once and for all.

image thanks to unknown

Britain’s Political Crisis: Politicians should remember that glory is little more than a temporary illusion which benefits no-one in the long term. It should be just the happy consequence that it is, rather than the reason for being and doing itself…

November 7, 2014 Leave a comment

Einstein-Quotes-1-2

If you could speak to any of today’s MP’s, back before they entered politics, and asked them why they got involved, would most of them honestly tell you that it was because they wanted to be an MP, or because they wanted to make a difference?

Sadly, we all probably know the answer to this question very well. In it lies much of the truth behind not only the problems that this Country now faces, but also the uncomfortable reality that sits behind Westminster’s façade. The British political establishment is morally inept, and there is nobody offering anything even remotely like the leadership that the Country needs in order to bring balance and to deliver a system of Government which genuinely is fair and fitting for all.

People are awakening to the complexities of our political system, albeit for many, they are simply on the receiving end or rather the effects of a comprehensive range of policies that have usually been cobbled together for no better reason than that of political expedience, usually because their precursor was failing to work just the same.

It was once said that the simplest solutions are the most intelligent. Indeed one of the most pertinent and indeed relevant quotes which relates to the way that Government operates would be Albert Einstein, when he said ‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough’.

Some may question the validity of quotations from a world renowned scientist. But Government is and has been run by generations of politicians who are doing little more than testing out theories and face-saving solutions on an electorate that they have arguably treated little better than lab rats or guinea pigs.

People across the demographical boundaries of British society feel that this is exactly how they have and are being treated, and the reality is that political philosophy and the other tools used to progress the interests of one group of people over another, continually fails to deliver anything balanced, or which does not have negative implications for somebody, somewhere else.

We live in times when the disparity between the lifestyles of those on low incomes and those who might be considered to be financially rich, are almost permanently in the media spotlight, encouraging feelings of distance and difference which would probably best be summed up in the sense of the ‘them and us’ cultures you often find present between the tiers of managers and staff within different organisations.

But rather than seek and use the many opportunities available to work with the reality that perception is everything, a seemingly continual flow of politicians gain elevation to their seats and immediately forget that they were elected to be the channels of communication and influence on behalf of the areas they represent.

Often by default, they then become the slaves and ‘yes men’ to someone else’s set of political ideals – all of which usually represent very little that we would recognise as being akin to a way of working and the delivery of solutions which consider the implications and impact upon us all.

Those who have direct experience of operating within the political world will know only too well that democracy today only works for those who are in charge.

Hearing other politicians agree with what you say when you speak out and say something is wrong, is often followed by the contrary and white flagged acknowledgement that ‘you can’t change it as this is just the way things are’. This kind of statement certainly shouldn’t resonate with anyone who entered politics because they genuinely believe in delivering something better for all. However, the fact that so many MP’s are still seen to be sticking with the status quo says much about their motivations for being there.

Whilst change has to start somewhere and many will admire Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless for the steps they have taken, UKIP is so far untested beyond its ability to win by-elections for Westminster and seats within a European Institution which other than being little more than the glorified committee stage of a bureaucratic law making machine, would itself fail to exist for them if they were to ultimately achieve their publicised aims.

At a time when the UK is effectively bankrupt, cuts and economies are being ineptly focused upon the bottom line of expenditure, rather than the transformation and institutional change which would help us ensure the future of services such as the NHS, those provided by local government and many not-for-profit organisations, rather than on the continually increasing risk which will come to us all as a result of their destruction. We desperately need a new start in politics which reflects the responsibility to the public that politicians have, rather than the retention of their seats at the next election which they want.

Cynical as it may sound, we are now experiencing a form of government which begins its next election campaign the very next day after the votes were counted from the last, and you may well wonder what would have happened to us all since May 2010 if the modus operandi of having a whole 5 years to get reelected had been replaced with the battle cry ‘we have only 5 years to get something done’.

The argument and justification for change becomes flawed when personalities are brought into the mix, and however we might feel about the personal ideologies or backgrounds of David Cameron, Ed Milliband, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage or anyone else who is in the political sphere, to simply concentrate on ‘playing the man, rather than the ball’ just takes us straight back into the problem that all of them – together – are continuing to create and maintain.

Likewise, jumping on the bandwagon of anarchy, propagated by probably well-meaning public figures like Russell Brand, will also yield very little long-term fruit for a population which is desperate for wholesale change for the better.

Change of the kind that will serve us all well can only come from transformation of the system that we already have.

Destruction of that system – however unfair it might seem to be right now – would lead to a level of uncertainty which would leave people grappling for any alternative which would quickly answer the many questions that widespread lawlessness would almost certainly bring.

If you need to gain some kind of perspective on this, it might be worth considering the situation in Syria and North Iraq which precipitated the arrival of Islamic State – the true impact of which we still as yet do not know.

Everything we do is now based upon mitigating the existence of fear. The most public and consequential proponents of this are the political classes themselves and until they all – as individuals – begin to acknowledge the personal fears that they have, and then rise above them and embrace the level of responsibility they have to us all; work with the risks, and then make decisions that are truly in the best interests of all, nothing is going to change.

Political parties offer a refuge for those who feel they have no choice but to work with others just to get things done. But political parties are now one of the biggest elements of the problem itself and political philosophies are little more than a trap for those who do not have faith in anyone’s ideas, other than their own.

Whoever you vote for in 2015, without change on the level that politicians all now need to embrace, we are simply heading for a lot more of the same, and probably in way which will be far worse and more painful than anything we have witnessed or experienced before.

Thinking about others and how our actions will impact upon them isn’t just some kind of selfless sport or charitable notion for those who have spare time and money on their hands. By considering others, we ultimately consider ourselves.

Politicians on all sides and at all levels would do well to bear this in mind and remember that by concentrating on the real issues that face them today, the electoral results for tomorrow will in turn take care of themselves.

Glory is little more than a temporary illusion which benefits no-one in the long term. It should be just the happy consequence that it is, rather than the reason for being and doing itself.

image: wonderfulengineering.com

Annuities: Has another election winning time-bomb been lit that will devastate the futures of normal people just so a Political Party can get back into power?

March 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Annuity-sale_2367580b

Read the latest opinion polls and it is easy to conclude that George Osborne’s 2014 Budget has had the result that he was looking for.

With both next year’s General Election and perhaps more importantly, this year’s European Elections firmly affixed in his mind, it was certain that polices would materialise which were likely to incentivise voters in the short term and once again take attention away from what will happen as a result in the long.

However, the steps to remove an obligation to invest at least some of a pension pay-outs on annuities may take this quick fix and opiate-like vote winner into an entirely different league when it comes to rolling over the problems facing the current Government in to the difficulties which will almost certainly be faced by normal and everyday people in the future.

Pensions are a hateful topic for most people simply because the funds within them are untouchable. To struggling wage earners, reading an annual statement from their provider and seeing how funds can be growing at a healthy rate, can certainly be a torment. It often gives that siren-esque gremlin on their shoulder the perfect opportunity to preach a tale of how much better that sum of money would serve them if it were in their own hands right now.

As many already know, the realities of long-term money management requires a lifetime without financial challenges at best, not to mention the most exquisite forms of discipline at a very personal level . This is why pensions – and until this week annuities, have been safely kept out of reach. Temptation and therefore all the basic requirements and influences that come with living a life today are or have been safely kept at bay, without any of those threats being responsible for the potential hells that may without them come from many of our own tomorrows.

Removing the obligation upon retirees to ‘buy’ an annuity will naturally – and very understandably – be perceived as a massive gain for many. The caricatures of OAPS in Ferraris may in practice turn out to be anything but unreal once the Policy comes into effect.

But when people have experienced a lifetime of financial prudence and responsibility, exchanging this and the future they have banked on for what is arguably little more than a lottery win situation could turn out to be very costly indeed.

Windfalls are by their very nature difficult for almost everyone to deal with in a reasoned way because they are naturally habit-breaking in the extreme. Having large ‘disposable’ sums of cash suddenly available can seriously skew a person’s view of the world on what might actually be a very temporary basis indeed and a study of the effects of sizable cash wins on real-world people may have served the people behind this plan very well.

This really doesn’t seem like a policy which has the best interests of the retirees in mind and especially so when you consider the state of the Country’s finances and the most recent comments suggesting that the State Retirement Age with have moved to 70 by the year 2040. Hardly comforting news if you have no annuity to top up an insufficient State Pension and therefore are left with the glaring possibility that you will have to continue working until you literally drop.

With life expectancy rates going up all the time, what sort of desperate circumstances are people reaching pensionable age from next year now going to have to face, long after the Coalition Government knows the result of the 2015 General Election or Mr Osborne’s tenure in No. 11 Downing Street has well and truly ended?

Annuities may indeed have become yet another product or service which serves the interests of those making profit before it ever will the customer. This however, doesn’t mean that an approach to savings and income of this kind still doesn’t have its place. In fact, you might argue that similar products have a much bigger role to play with the State’s ability to support even our existing OAP’s dwindling almost by the hour.

Hardly a prudent or considered form of policy making on behalf of those who are falling over themselves to look after their own elect-ability today at the expense of everyone else’s tomorrows, is it?

image thanks to http://www.telegraph.co.uk

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