On 26th May the BBC reported – “Call to raise retirement age to at least 70” – and the first sentence of the article read, ‘The retirement age should rise to at least 70 in rich countries by 2050 as life expectancy rises above 100, according to a new report’.
Apparently the ‘World Economic Forum said that employees should continue working until 70 in nations such as the UK, US, Japan and Canada’.
I stopped, I reread, I thought, I yelled, “What the hell?”
With no hint of irony or shame, the World Economic Forum is telling us that because we are living in a rich country and living longer we need to work longer. What kind of bizarre binary logic is this? Shouldn’t our lives be getting better and easier if we are rich? But bear with me, it gets better.
The article goes on, ‘The increase will be needed, as the number of people over 65 will more than triple to 2.1 billion by 2050. By then, the number of workers per retiree will have halved to just four’. More bloody binary logic.
What happened to advanced technology and the wealth that creates and the millions of jobs freed from human endeavour?
Here we come to the myth of our rich country. Most of us are not rich, we are only relatively rich in relation to poor countries, which is why Britain had ‘ in 2015 and 4.6 million in persistent poverty – for three of the past four years’.
We the people are not rich, only those at the top. Britain, as a rich nation, is a deeply polarised nation, the poor, as ever, are poor and getting poorer, inequality is rising, this is the myth of Great Britain, it is only great for the few, not the many, and always has been. As a nation we have seen improvements in our living standards, food and health, and, yes, we are living longer, but whilst we create wealth, we are not rich, yet the rich are telling us they can’t afford us and our longer lives so we must work harder for longer. The wealth goes up and we get to labour for longer.
Over the last couple of days a brand new scam has emerged, the selling off of NHS properties and any ‘NHS Trust that doesn’t participate in the sell-off will be forced to pay a penalty of 3.5% of the value of those assets at market rates – but market rates will not apply to assets sold’, in fact properties (assets) will be sold off at knock down prices and we (ordinary people) will be charged the difference.
This reminds me of the great education sell off by Michael Gove, when he stole playing fields and the deeds of schools and handed them out to his mates for free for their academies. Just as George Osborne did with state assets, flogging them off at mates rates.
These people are utterly and fantastically (to use Cameron’s word, describing Nigeria and Afghanistan in conversation with the Queen) corrupt, but they try to tell us it’s all for the good of the country, good for us, for hard working people, for people who’ve had their pensions stolen, for disabled people who’ve had their mobility aids stolen, for those struggling to find a job and dying from being sanctioned, for those with terminal illnesses who are found fit for work.
And last, but by no means least, these are the same people who say Jeremy Corbyn is unfit to be Prime Minister or form a government, who slander him, lie about him, attack him by every foul means available and trash his policies which call for a fairer more just society that works for the many and not the few.
The Conservative Party are the most venal, corrupt, violent, immoral, dishonest, conscienceless, greedy, grasping, evil, criminal bastards loose in our country today. If we don’t get rid of them on the 8th of June then, whilst many of us will continue to fight like fury, we might as well kiss our arses goodbye because too many of us won’t get to see them again.
I will be proud to vote for Corbyn on the 8th, it will be the most meaningful vote I have ever cast. A man who has spent his life and political career fighting for social justice. He was asked today on the BBC One Show, “Some people say that you haven’t necessarily always gone out of your way to be a PM, but you’re more of an activist, what do you say to that?” Jeremy Corbyn replied, “Is there a difference?” Ha ha ha ha ha, you’ll do Jeremy, you’ll do very nicely.
KOG. 31 May 2017