STATE PENSION REFORM: demolishing the ‘no money’ nonsense once and for all



mesnip18716In the next thirty minutes, the Commons will debate a pointless waste of money called QE. The Slog investigates how much it has cost, and asks how, in that light, anyone can take seriously the assertion that there is “no money left” to reinstitute the pension rights of SPA reform victims

Around 10.30 am today, there’s a debate in the Commons about monetarism in general, the Government’s continuing use of QE, and the increased inequality they have caused wherever used around the world.

It says a lot about the incipient madness of these policies – and the apathy of the publics involved – that half a decade after it became obvious QE does nothing except pump up the markets and ‘financialised’ profits of multinationals, not only are legislatures debating whether it’s a good idea, there is also still a debate about its effect on material inequality.

I’m aware of a tendency on my part to at times overuse the word ‘madness’, but on this occasion I have as my star witness perhaps the brightest man who ever lived, Albrecht Einstein. He said “the definition of insanity beyond the sub-atomic zone is doing the same experiment over and over again in the expectation of getting a different result”.

From the point of view of the average citizens’ wellbeing (and as a Benthamite, I recognise no other measure as equally worthy of consideration) QE has been a total and utter waste of money. It has also led to the further electronic creation of fiat money, and thus stored up yet more conditions for the hyper-inflation we now all face.

“Ah but,” say the pointy-heads, “imagine how ghastly it would’ve been without QE”. I hadn’t noticed it being plain sailing with it: my pension slashed by 60% and investment income by 90% isn’t what I’d call a result. It neutered the spending power of the Baby Boomers, and thus exacerbated the recession we’ve all been in since 2009. (The final insult has been to refuse to recognise that recession by including QE in the total of ‘economic activity’- a scam straight from the pages of Jonathan Swift.)

In a logic-defying bid to exacerbate this situation further, both the EU and the UK embarked on austerity policies, neither of which had even a mathematical possibility of reducing debt. From Athens to London via Rome and Madrid, economic recovery has been squashed by an ideology insisting that cutting services could reduce debt when falling trade activity was increasing deficits….and thus building up the existing national debt further still.

For their role in this farrago of f**kwitted behaviour, there is a reasonable case for the summary execution of George Osborne, David Cameron, Wolfgang Schäuble, Mariano Rajoy, Jeroan Dijesslbleom, Yanis Stournaras, Evangelos Venizelos and Mario Draghi.

Wait a minute (you ask) how did Draghi slip in there? With enormous ease actually, because he has been the architect of eurozone QE, a three-times tried policy currently in the middle of yet another disastrous inability to live up to the ludicrous hype that preceded it.

But ultimately, I’d be happy to commute all their sentences to hard labour for life if it meant we might see the public executions of Iain Duncan-Smith and that brief Blimp on the UK political radar, Stephen Crabb. Because these two have led the ultimately idiotic movement now declaring that – thanks to the amateur fiscal management imposed upon the UK since 2008 – it is “unfair to raise the hopes of 1950s women with delayed State pensions, because there simply is no money left in the budget”.

Not only has this breathtaking example  of mendacious cheek taken hold, it has also been actively supported by self-styled experts…. the leading members of whom include the smug comedian John Ralfe, and the ethically muddled Frances Coppola – the latter of whom sees SPA victims as inflexible because they refuse to be means tested about whether they should get their own money back. As the tabloid hacks are wont to remark – and the naysayers against WASPI aims have rarely lifted their ‘logic’ above that risible level – ‘you couldn’t make it up’.

We would all do well to stay with the ‘logic’ of those who call for compromise, and interrogate their motives a little more closely.

What the government would like to do is gradually persuade everyone that the Government can “no longer afford”to give State pensions. Jeremy Hunt is at the same game at the Department of Health, as were Tory predecessors when it came to rail, water and electricity provision. A small group of people in the private pensions sector will make aircraft hangars full of money if and when that nonsense becomes received wisdom. So there is clearly an agenda going on: soi-disant ‘financial advisors’ have everything to gain and nothing to lose in trying to rubbish the Waspi case….and position the ‘No Compromise’ group as unreasonable extremists on a par with the Jihadists of Daeth. Laugh if you like: it’s a natural reaction, because the anti-Waspi arguments are profoundly laughable.

This agenda does not, I hasten to add, apply to groups like Waspi Voice: their desire for ‘a practical Ask’ is based on approaching destitution and the weakness of their financial positions. Both the Government and private sector pension suppliers are fully aware of this, and it is at Waspi Voice et al that the be reasonable/compromise/no money left message is aimed: it’s a classic case of divide and conquer, and it is working extremely well.

But from base camp upwards, the agended argument is misleading, hypocritical and a complete falsification of the real position.

Ask yourselves this: the Government has so far “saved” £32billion by breaking its promise to 1950s born female SPAR victims. If RBS needed £32 billion to avoid bankruptcy next week, do you think the Treasury would say “Sorry, no money left”? The very idea is beyond idiocy.

Today’s Commons debate is about Government use of QE over the last eight years. Not counting the £780billion used to bail out our banking system – that’s more than the US spent on theirs – QE has cost the Exchequer, it is estimated, in the region of £875 billion.

To honour a promise made 60 years ago, the Government needs £32billion.

Now here’s an interesting statistic: between March 2009 and mid 2011 alone, QE cost the taxpayer £450billion. In late 2011, Osborne hastily sent out letters (most of them to WASPIs who had not been contacted about the 1995 Reform) informing them of their intention to rob them of even more money. I can’t imagine why….can you?

£450bn given to stock market traders and bankers, who continued to pay themselves obscene bonuses, and which contributed nothing whatsoever to the non-financialised economy. And £32billion taken off pensioners living on a fraction of those salaries having paid NI subscriptions during four decades.

No money left? Oh per-leeeze, do shut up.

I’m saddened that the black propaganda of these disgusting gargoyles has split a Waspi organisation already weakened by secretive leadership and amateur publicity approaches. But I do not wish the compromisers ill. I remain firmly of the view that, when faced with such a sociopathic and ruthless enemy, the worst thing you can do is weaken your hand before you start. But if that’s the tack they’re driven to through desperation well, I do understand. Many of us have, at various points in our lives, stared ruination in the face. It is not conducive to rational thought.

The carpetbaggers I detest are those who arrive on Twitter with a script that never changes and a self-interested agenda designed to enrich them and pauperise innocent female citizens. Some are, I and others suspect, employed by this DWP that has no money. Some are  collaborators bringing forward the day when they can clean up at the expense of the poor. And others still simply suffer from low emotional intelligence and an ‘I’m alright Jack’ superiority complex.

I would urge ALL those involved in this what-to-do debate in relation to The Great Pension Heist to watch the debate today on BBC Parliament. And I will take anyone’s money at 4-1 that State Pension victims will not get a mention.