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Not Apathetic

Tell the world why you're not voting - don't let your silence go unheard

They're not voting because...

Frozen Pensions: It seems silly that...

Frozen Pensions: It seems silly that Iraqi people living in Australia were able to vote in the recent Iraqi elections - but an Englishman living in Australia can't vote in the UK elections. I'd like to vote for anyone who will do away with the injustice of having my pension, to which I contibuted while serving 12 years in the RAF, FROZEN.

"What is morally wrong cannot be economically right.) (Gordon Brown - another politician liar).

John Feltham

written 18th Apr 2005


Michael Harris replies: You've decided to live in Australia, a nation with a rapidly expanding economy and by many indicators a better standard of living than the U.K. I know this sounds terrible, especially to someone who fought for their nation, but your pension should be frozen. With an impending pensions crisis it is simply not affordable to grant increases in pensions to those who will spend their pension outside the U.K. Pensioners within the U.K. should be the government's priority as they will spend their income in Britain, maintaining the service-based economy. We need to prioritize pensions for the poorest, not those who are lucky enough to live abroad.

written 18th Apr 2005

June Borsberry replies: Frozen Pensions: What an extraordinarily confused view, Mr. Harris.

Your country lives by a Human Rights Act (seemingly) wherein it is clearly declared that there shall be no discrimination exercised between groups or persons in comparable situations. It is simply illegal, before the matter of morality or the much-vaunted British Fair Play enters the discussion.

All British veterans, subjected to much maudlin praise for their wartime efforts, were forced to contribute to the National Insurance Fund. NB "to insure" is "to make safe". We have always felt so safe about our futures, alas.

Then in times of unemployment our kids sought their living in the 'beloved Commonwealth'. Upon retirement we hoped to move nearer to them until we learned the bitter truth. Our contributions were to be ignored unless we moved to the Riviera or some Caribbean Islands, or the excited States of America which are a stone's throw from my new home in Canada. In those cases we'd be OK, even getting our Winter Fuel Allowance! That's discrimination of a high order, Mr. Harris.

And you must be joking about our living better lifestyles!! I'd give anything for my family miraculously to decide to move to the UK. It won't happen.

We save the UK huge costs in health care, far more than our general spending would provide. We contributed to the nearly 30 Billion now sitting surplus to the current needs of the Nat. Insurance Fund. Whispers are abroad that it is to be dipped into to to assist those whose private pension funds have bitten the dust. The founder of the welfare state must be revolving in his grave.

Politicians of red and blue hues have sworn to right this injustice. The advent of power, however, brings a sudden change of priorities. The Lib Dem leaders have been more specific until recently, when only a handful of faithfuls have confirmed their promise to act. Watch them.

June Borsberry
608-25 The Esplanade
Toronto, Ontario, M5E1W5

written 18th Apr 2005

James Nelson replies: Mr Harris

UK pensioners living in the Philippines get their pension indexed annually. So do those living in Israel and Turkey, and, of course, the countires that joined the EU recently.

Why discriminate?

When my mother wanted to live near her grandchildren, maybe she should have moved to Manila and commuted to Melbourne every other month!

written 18th Apr 2005

Rog Williams replies: Was Mr Harris talking about the United States? (Higher standard of living, etc etc.)

If not, why not? A British pensioner living in the US of A DOES get his state pension AND the minimum guarantee part of his company pension uprated as do those in the UK.

All political parties have behaved disgracefully over this, not merely the Labour ones.

written 19th Apr 2005

Martin Davis replies: Frozen pensions offends the very nature of equity. The intention is to channel the money to those who need it most-Clawing back the pension from those with high incomes as Canada does with it's non-contributory Old Age Security pension at least fulfils a social purpose,so does giving the pension only to those with low incomes as is done in Australia.Freezing pensions for pensioners on the basis of where they live however is capricious and unjust-that such a policy should be perpetuated by a Labour Government-supposedly the champions of the common man-is stomach churning and i hypocritical.I AM DISGUSTED-Martin Davis

written 20th Apr 2005

Brian Havard replies: Frozen pensions, that petty Scrooge-like policy, are the litmus paper for an election whose outcome depends entirely on trust. If voters trust Tony Blair, hell win by a landslide. If they doubt his word, hell probably end up with a small majority in a hung Parliament. Whats Labours track record? A high profile Socialist MP Ian McCartney wrote me from Opposition in 1993 that Labours policy was to abolish pensions freezing. Labour gained power, he became pensions minister, now hes Party Chairman. Whats he done to implement his promise? Nothing, proving you cant trust Labour. Around 60 Tories have been long term supporters but the leadership is ambivalent. LibDems in their 1993 Manifesto undertook to uprate our pensions. Party Leader Charles Kennedy said recently: We have shown that we can stick to our principles. Give them a chance to demonstrate good faith but make clear your vote is conditional on the candidate sticking to the partys declared principles by undertaking to abolish discrimination in pensions. Then theyll likely keep their other promises too.

written 20th Apr 2005

John Feltham replies: Frozen Pensions: I wonder what response Mr Michael Harris has to this.

Why is it that if members of the UK Parliament, and members of the UK Civil Service decide to retire to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa (and a few other countries) their UK are pensions updated every year Not only that, but THEY kept it secret from us for several years! How can they, and Mr Harris, justify their discriminatory actions to those of us who have their UK pensions, FROZEN?

Gordon Brown , said, "What is morally wrong cannot be economically right. But he is just another UK Parliamentary Liar.

John Feltham
Western Australia

written 20th Apr 2005

About Not Apathetic

NotApathetic was built so that people who are planning not to vote in the UK General Election on May 5th can tell the world why. We won't try to persuade you that voting is a good or a bad idea - we're just here to record and share your explanations. Whether ideological, practical or other, any reason will do.

A lot of users would like us to mention that if you spoil your ballot paper, it will be counted. So if you want to record a vote for "none of the above", you can.