How to survive in Tory Britain
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This will not endear me to those scores of people who believe I’m some Tory-funded Goebbels, but I actually agree with one or two points in the May manifesto. Moving from a triple to a double lock on pensions, for example. There’s an internal logic and integrity to the proposal, a certain verisimilitude, for it very much affirms the MayBot’s commitment to govern ‘for the whole country’. Having taken things away from children, poor people, students, middle-class people, military people, ill people, mentally ill people, disabled people, energy companies and Hugh Grant, the MayBot has done what none of her forebears dared do: she’s pilfered something from the larder of the grey redoubt. She’s taken something from old people. It allows us to look back with a certain degree of fondness on the Cameron years, for we really didn’t appreciate just how good we had it. Back then, if you managed to navigate the hazardous rapids of British life, dodging the missiles hurled at you by a madly cackling George Osborne, and survived into pensionhood, you were rewarded. You’d be old, ergo you’d vote, almost certainly for the Conservatives, and you’d have beaten the game. Quest completed. You could sit back in relative comfort, watching endless reruns of Poirot and Murder, She Wrote, secure in the knowledge that the meritocratic system was paying you back for your years of toil and hard work. For the peculiar fact of the matter is – or was – this: because you were old, and voted Conservative, you were rewarded with Socialism. Curious, isn’t it? But true. You have your heating paid for, your bus passes covered; you might have relief on council tax, you get free prescriptions; defecating is a smooth, easy process, et cetera, usque ad mortem. And you were guaranteed a true living wage. The triple lock, introduced in 2010, ensured that pensions would rise with the higher of inflation, average earnings, or 2.5%. The MayBot has pledged to scrap the latter of these, and for sound economic reasons. After all, if the treasury were to screw up the British economy – which it inevitably will, as its forecasts are reliably absurd – it would be impractical and expensive to guarantee the entirety of Britain’s grey mass a 2.5% increase in their pensions. It’s actually an egalitarian approach, for if everyone else is to be reduced to abject beggary it would be highly unfair to exempt almost 20% of the population for no better reason than their stubborn refusal to pass on.
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