Elderly punished for hard work
From: Mr Norman Backhouse
I agree with Wendy Senior about the older generation being seen to be responsible for the ills of this country. Younger people don’t choose to admit that it was our labour, dedication and sacrifices that built the life that they enjoy.
I was born in 1931 and throughout the 30s dad could only get work ‘half time’ or not at all. He applied to the National Assistance Board for help and was given tokens to get foodstuffs.
At the outbreak of war our whole school was evacuated but as the ‘phoney war’ went on dad brought the family back home to Bradford, after which the bombing commenced.
I left elementary school when I was 14 and worked all my life until retirement.
When I returned home after 18 months of my National Service in the Middle East I found to my dismay that the firm I had worked for had closed down. The Labour Exchange directed me to Bradford Corporation Passenger Transport to be a bus conductor. I was told firmly if I refused the job I would get no dole! I eventually joined the nursing profession which was very poorly paid for many years.
When I married we went to a building society for a mortgage but the manager told us he couldn’t help so we had to live in rented accommodation until we raised enough for a deposit.
We struggled to make ends meet for many years with our first holiday abroad being our Silver Wedding anniversary.
We now have a comfortable retirement thanks to our diligent scrimping and saving but fear that if we need care, our hard earned money will disappear rapidly because the country we have worked for is prepared to penalise us for our diligence in saving.
The lesson? Do not save
From: Mr D Hirst, Dewsbury
The tv programme ‘Don’t Pay Or They Will Take It Away’ varies slightly to my circumstances, ‘Save And They Will Take It Away.’
The following may sound like a fairy tale but the facts are true.
I started work at 14 years and I finally retired at 69 years. I never had any unemployment benefits and for 40 years paid superannuation towards my pensions. I saved hard to ensure we could enjoy an independent retirement.
At the age of 90 years I still pay income tax and my savings are a bar to any benefits.
Because of my age and disability, my wife having dementia, I have two daily visits from carers which I pay for.
My savings can now be compared to carrion and the vultures are gathered.
Kirklees want £350 annually (an admin fee) plus an increase of £1.80 per hour for the carers. This will bring the carers expenditure to £271.50 per 28 days. My (pension) increase will be £13.80 weekly so bang goes the state pension rise.
So don’t save it, spend it, then you will qualify for the welfare hand-outs enjoyed by the ones who did not save.
Yes, lefties are real fascists
From: Greg Sheen (ex-Wheelwright Boys Grammar School Latin scholar)
I was standing in the fish shop queue reading ‘Ed Lines’ last week (how working class is that?) and the item about fascism really resonated with me, as I had recently been reading an online piece about the same subject and felt compelled to copy and paste a comment by a reader which may be of interest:
‘Are fascists as irritating in Dutch as they are in English? Is Clegg the most punchable politician after Corbyn? Do the offspring of fascists grow up to be fascists or can they become raving socialists? If a tree fell on a fascist in a wood with no other people around would the sound of the fascist being crushed make a sound? Do fascists like lamp posts? Does fascism give you cancer?’
Obviously heavy on the sarcasm and irony but, nonetheless, an insight, albeit obtuse, into the exact meaning of fascism (I loved the Latin reference in the piece, by the way!)
As Mr Lockwood suggests, it would appear the liberal left, especially the extremists, would never accept being put in the same bracket as the ‘Nazi’ right when that is exactly what they should be!
Left is fuelling populism
From: Alec Suchi, Bradford
Further to Mr Lockwood’s article, ‘The Far Left are today’s fascists’, it is clear that the liberal-left are not the legitimate successors of the traditional left who had campaigned for a more equitable distribution of wealth and a fairer society based on class politics.
In marked contrast the liberal-left have abandoned attempts to transform the economic system but instead advocate identity or special interest politics, as evidenced by its promotion of multiculturalism, diversity, feminism, egalitarianism, homosexuality and transgenderism.
The traditional white working class cannot relate to those values and consider them alien, irrespective of any perceived merits in them.
Labour’s traditional core base consider that the party had abandoned them by repudiating traditional class politics in favour of what is often referred as the progressive agenda.
Consequently many former Labour voters have chosen either to abstain or vote for UKIP and related parties.
Furthermore, Brexit and the election of Mr Trump in the USA suggest that the values of the liberal-left are being rejected as people adopt populist causes.
In the Netherlands, Mr Wilders’ party enjoyed increased support and the presidential elections in France may give further impetus to the populist cause.