Archive for June, 2013

A piles of copper penniesI’m getting a bit fed up now of the constant carping by Government and the national media on how ‘wealthy pensioners’ are the new scroungers and that they don’t deserve the benefits they currently enjoy.

I have to state here and now that I have always, throughout my working life, thought that we – the working majority – have a duty of care towards those in retirement and those unable to care for themselves.  As I am fast approaching this venerable stage of life I see no reason to change my opinion now.

Nor do I believe that the rights and benefits I have worked towards all of my life should be reduced or removed.

What is wealth? What do politicians and newspaper columnists mean when they talk about wealthy pensioners?

We are all led into thinking that millionaires like (for example) Lord Sugar should not be entitled to a free bus pass or winter fuel payments. Because of course, he is wealthy. He is wealthy by any scale we use – but I still think that if he and others like him have paid their dues for all their working life, as I have, then they should the same benefit as the rest of us. However – can you honestly see him using a bus pass or actually noticing his winter fuel payment? Really?  He and his businesses will pay more BACK through taxes and the various other ways that HMG suck us dry than we can possibly dream of.

The real issue is that once the populace have accepted, as they are now being led to accept, that wealthy pensioners are scroungers and that those benefits (which all pensioners have worked for, all their lives) should be removed, everyone will lose out.

If HMG remove the right to free bus passes, they will stop funding the bus companies and the bus companies will stop running socially needed buses. In many areas, this is already a huge problem but if bus company revenue dries up even more, they will provide less services. If winter fuel payments stop (which don’t actually cover the cost of winter fuel anyway) then more ‘wealthy’ and not-so-wealthy pensioners will die.

I don’t want my parents (in their 80s) or their contemporaries to have to remain in the house simply because there are no buses or worse, to die because they can’t afford to eat AND heat.

And I don’t want to be faced with the same options myself at any time in the future.

Remember – my generation has paid its dues for over forty years; everything various governments have asked. We have done so in the knowledge (the belief?) that our payments were being invested in a social service that aimed to improve the lives of pensioners and those unable to fend for themselves. And to secure our own futures.

Do not let this change. Do not let the insidious drip-feed of lies become the truth.


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Creative Commons re:http://www.flickr.com/photos/12567713@N00/What is it about mini-roundabouts that often makes drivers forget all about driving laws, lose their common sense, become temporarily insane and/or blind?

Just down the road in Golcar (one direction) and Slawit (the other direction) there are important mini-roundabouts.

The one in Golcar is placed so that traffic entering a fairly major road (Scar Lane) from Sycamore Lane, which filters a series of housing estates, can easily do so. The one in Slawit (Slaithwaite) allows two minor roads to join a major road dog-leg at a crossroad. Both are attacked ferociously by users of the historical routes (straight up or down Scar Lane in Golcar, and left onto the canal bridge – or visa versa in Slawit). Users of each minor road simply sit and wait for traffic to pass – even if they are at the roundabout first, often by a long period.


When I approach these roundabouts, and see someone on one of the other approaches, obviously there before me, I slow and wait for them to manoeuvre – but often they just sit there waiting for me to join before them. For no other reason than I’m on the road that used to be (many years ago) the main road.

I’ve never seen mini-roundabouts anywhere else I’ve driven in the world. In the USA, wherever there are no other crossroad controls, they have ‘four-way-stops’. Each approachee has to STOP. They then proceed in turn. That seems to work. So why doesn’t ‘give way to traffic on the roundabout’ work here?

Is it just me?

Extra info: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/3899/mini-roundabouts-report.pdf

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