Thursday, 30 June 2011


What terrible thing did we do today? We went on strike to protect our pensions.

But isn't the government asking people to save for their retirement?

Yes, yes they are.

Out of their wages?

Yes, I believe so.

And isn't it a bit like Robert Maxwell thieving the pension funds of hardworking normal people through his own financial mismanagement?

Yes, it is. How perceptive you are.

But other people are worse off and don't have a pension with such good conditions. You greedy, greedy public sector workers.

These terms haven't been handed to us on a plate. They have been negotiated and fought for, and need to be protected (last time we saw off an attack was 2006 when the current SELF FUNDING pension scheme was agreed.)

£10,000 a year is not a lot of money to live on. When you can't work again. And you've given your working life to public service. If other people are worse off, how does that make it right?

It's like people saying to the Ford women factory workers who brought about the Equal Pay Act "You shouldn't be striking because there are women factory workers in India who get 4p a week!" (btw Ford had to change their practices globally after this, which improved the working conditions of people around the world.)

It is nonsense. How is our not striking going to help them?

And if conditions improve for workers in one sector, it sets precedents for other industries to follow. People power, instead of just exploitation.

Come off it. What about those lovely long holidays you teachers get?

I'm sorry. I'd rather not, to be honest, especially as the prices go up for us. And for those of us without kids, we can't get away from them in school holidays. But the holidays are for the families too - you parents do want to spend some time with your kids, don't you... don't you?

Yes yes. But you're still greedy, other people in this country are worse off...

Let me break it down: if we have less money when we retire, and can't afford our rent and bills and food, then we will be MORE RELIANT ON THE STATE.

And will be competing with those other people who didn't have a decent pension scheme for a shrinking pool of money instead of being self-reliant because we saved throughout our working lives, as the government has exhorted us to.


It is a false argument to set working people against each other and distract from the corporations who are the real money thieves.

It is hard to understand why public sector workers are getting spanked for saving money out of their own wages, towards supporting themselves in their old age when they can no longer work.

I love the headline of this Torygraph article that Rog sent me. "Shock Horror - Teachers' Prudent Financial Management revealed!!!"

Everything we've done has been transparent - we've put our money into a sustainable, affordable scheme & everyone knows where it is and what we've done with it. Which is more than you can say for the banks who got us into this crisis in the first place...

The whole point to the protest against cuts in education, health and welfare is that they are wholly unnecessary, ideologically driven and that there is an alternative.

It's misdirection and lies, but what do you expect from short term Tory thinking?

140 odd years after Marx wrote Das Kapital, & I can't believe we're still falling for this lame old Divide & Rule shit.


  1. The financial adviser "expert" from Hargreaves Lansdown just said on BBC News a teacher starting on £20,000 and retiring on £40,000 will get a £28,000 pension which would need a £900,000 fund in the private sector.

    Is he talking out of his arse or should the private sector be on strike as he said because of the unfairness of it all?

  2. Probably, Geoff.

    "What about the Government’s argument that teachers’ pensions are too expensive?

    The House of Commons Select Committee and the National Audit Office have both confirmed that the cost of public sector pension schemes will fall as planned. Lord Hutton’s final report says that public sector pensions if unchanged from now would fall from 1.9 per cent of GDP now to 1.4 per cent of GDP in 2060.

    This agreement made provision for teachers to pay more for their pensions, or for other changes to be made if the valuation requires it. This shows the willingness of teachers to accept their share of any increasing costs – but the Government wants to abandon that agreement and impose changes without any informed basis from a valuation and, for the move from RPI to CPI, without any negotiations at all.

    Are teachers’ pensions “goldplated”?

    The average pension in payment from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme is just £10,000 a year. Only 5 per cent of pensions are for £20,000 or more. Over 90 per cent of teachers who responded to the recent NUT survey on pensions agreed that the scheme is fair and affordable. Your pension is your recompense for a lifetime in teaching. The decision to attack your pension is political not economic"

    I direct you here and here for people who explain the maths better than me.

    I just don't get the logic of it, which seems to be 'the private sector is fucked and heading for a penurious old age, so let's fuck the public sector up too.'

    Sound economic sense, that.

  3. Presume you've seen this, and quite justifiably want to slaughter all journalists and sell their families into slavery as a result.

  4. I've been doing my best to avoid all media for the past couple of months Tim. That headline is quite funny, not to make light of this family's tragedy, but the Mail were clearly DESPERATE. I should have put a brick through a shop window yesterday, that would have perked them up.

  5. Thanks, Ian. That cheers me up.