WASPI BLOW: “Leadership back-pedalling on aims”


Growing feeling among Waspi rank and file that Waspi Executive “out of touch and naive”

Following two days of intense posting, retweeting and messaging on Twitter, The Slog has received claims that the small executive group in charge of Waspi strategy (WOMEN AGAINST STATE PENSION INEQUALITY) has abandoned its backdating aims “because the Government refuses to budge”.

The real danger in reporting this claim is of divisiveness at a time when the Bullingdon Club already feels it can safely ignore the claims (and in many cases, hardship) of those 1950’s-born women only properly informed of a six-year wait for their State pensions within the last five years….and in many cases, the last two years. I now therefore offer this open letter to Waspis:

Dear cheated long-suffering citizens

  1. Based on Twitter interreaction from Waspi women since last Tuesday morning, exactly 94% overwhelmingly agree that the “engagement” strategy espoused by the leadership is ‘not getting us anywhere’.
  2. I have been from the outset hugely supportive of Waspi aims, and received a great deal of insulting mail from neoliberal trolls and others hiding behind the risible “they were all told” defence. After the Commons debate when MPs voted 158-0 for a formal Government review, I posted this piece, which included the following extract: ‘if ever a bunch of people deserved to be proud of what they achieved today, then it’s the Women’s pension action group WASPI and the 158 MPs who pitched up in the Commons to vote 158-0 against the clauses condemning some 50,000 UK female citizens to live in destitution for the next six years, having been told for almost the entirety of their lives they would get a State Pension at 60.’
  3. Shortly after the debate outcome, tireless SNP MP Mhairie Black tweeted, ‘Government must now act’. Not only did Camerlot not act, they didn’t even react…perhaps not surprising given they couldn’t be bothered to turn up to the debate in the first place. In the March Budget that followed, no broadcast media broached the subject of Waspi claims, and no Treasury officials reacted to the debate: even when the Government got into hot water on disabled welfare reductions and the forced academisation of secondary schools, the question of the gigantic female pensions welch was never on the radar.The Government has not budged an inch.
  4. In a recent post, I exposed and explained – for the fourth time in seven years – the astonishing £700billion Civil Service pension scheme heist that the Commons PAC never saw and never signed off. It represents a massive and illegal embezzlement, but no mainstream medium or Official or MP anywhere – not one – will write or talk about the events involved. I believe that, in order to put the entirely reasonable claims for compensation being made by Waspi into proper perspective, this story must be told – and more people should be digging. THAT, for sure, will make this Government act.
  5. The Waspi campaign needs to get real, not backpedal. This Government is out of touch with its own Party membership – 85% of whom want Brexit. It is out of touch with its Tory local councillors – all of whom reject the schools academisation as impractical ideology gone mad. It is out of touch on the inefficacy of the sugar tax. It is out of touch with the majority of voters who did not want to see eleven times more tax cuts given to the rich versus the poor. And it is on another planet when it comes to ethics and morals. But it remains rigidly unmoved by the plight of vulnerable people across the piece. It is not going to engage with Waspi because it doesn’t need to.
  6. The biggest mistakes most pressure groups make is (1) they assume active support for their cause throughout the population; and (2) they negotiate, thinking those with power will see reason. Both are provably false – especially in the Waspi context. I can tell you from bitter experience: the Tsipras government in Greece was voted into power with a landslide majority just over a year ago. I warned them then that ‘engaging’ with a bunch of thugs in the EC, ECB and IMF would get them nowhere if they showed that they wanted to stay in the eurozone….that is, if they behaved in a reasonable manner. Today, Greece is a vassal State, and Greek citizens are destitute slaves being dumped on about everything from debt management to migrant/refugee management.

Meetings held, petitions signed and criticisms tweeted will not cut it if a group is facing a sociopathic power centre from a position of weakness. Why do you think nurses, junior doctors, policemen, squaddies, aged care workers and mental health support groups are so poorly paid and supported? Because they are dedicated, because they will do anything rather than strike, and because cynical politicians know this.

Women aged from 61-66 now – and who will be 70 in 2020 – have been given a woefully small amount of time to prepare for this pension welch, but simply focusing on that misses the key points:

i. They should not be in the position of being asked to ‘prepare for’ anything in the first place. MPs and apologist media pundits talk airily about your time to prepare: what about the six decades they had in which to prepare for the Boomer Time-Bomb…but did nothing?

ii. As I have demonstrated quite clearly using an analysis of the complete Budget proposals PDF, the Bullingdon Club could easily afford pension rights restitution for all levels and circumstances among the Boomer Waspis. Instead, it has chosen destitution for some, hardship for others, and dashed expectations for everyone in the Waspi camp.

Many ask me, “Yes, but where does the statute of limitations stop?” I find that viewpoint astonishing. You are asking me why law-abiding maternal pensioners should come second to banking clowns and smug, feather-bedded Whitehall crooks? You want me to sympathise with fatcat expenses fiddlers who pissed away our North Sea oil gift at the expense of older women and other vulnerable citizens? You seriously think I’m even remotely interested in the plight of 650 odd self-serving twerps who didn’t even have the nous to set up a State Pension fund and invest it (around, say, 1954) when the worst of the post-war austerity had gone? Well I’m sorry chummy, you have me confused with someone who gives a sh*t about any of that. You want the power? Fine…now comes the responsibility. So suck on it.

I do not apologise for the implacable nature of this position. Fine, it sets me up as one of Theresa May’s oxymoronic non-violent extremists: I’m delighted to stand up and be counted as an NVE, because it is the only game in town when dealing with NVVs – nasty vacuous vandals.

The junior doctors have decided ‘no more Mr Nice Guy’ when dealing with the arch-nepotistic nihilist Jeremy Stunt. I implore the Waspi leadership to reverse any decision it has taken to abandon laudable objectives, and realise that the time has come for ‘No more naice ladies’.

Yours very sincerely

The Slog

Connected from recently at The Slog: The Osbollocks Budget in Brief