“State pension: Britons forced to wait longer for free bus pass after rule change”
“1.6 million pension savers to be hit with 55% tax charge amid Sunak's freeze on allowances”
+For some reason the Microsoft news feed features quite a lot of rubbish from the Daily Express. Here we have two leading headlines from today. Both stories are basically true, so perhaps I am being overly harsh calling them rubbish. What is rubbish is the inability of this right wing rag to put two and two together. The government is reducing the eligibility for pensioners’ bus passes because it wants to save money (and probably doesn’t think they deserve them anyway) and at the same time it is desperately trying to raise revenue in ways it hopes nobody will notice. So yes, if you have a pension pot of over a million quid you may have to pay a bit more tax (it won’t amount to much) on your pension savings, but if you’re a poor pensioner you will probably be proportionately better off with a bus pass. So the Express’s stance is to pretend to be on the side of the poor pensioner and on the side of the rich pensioner whilst offering no solution as to how the government might raise the cash to help the poor pensioner. It’s the sort of populist claptrap, also found in the other Tory papers which helps sustain the Big Tory Lie (e.g. levelling up, we’re all in it together, we’re on your side).
+The horrific murder of David Amess was a shock. Is this sort of thing going to become more frequent in the UK? Who or what is stoking up this murderous climate? Some blame social media, and I think that may be a reasonable charge, especially in cases of radicalisation and indeed in other forms of harm, such as teenage suicides. But it reminds me of the Mary Whitehouse argument that increased sex and violence on TV was having a deleterious effect on society—was that ever proven to be the case? It is my theory that in the case of ‘terrorist’ murders, many (if not most) of the perpetrators will already be deranged. How else to describe somebody who kills complete strangers? Perhaps they ’hear the voice of God’ or have some other personality disorder which compels them to do what they do. I am sure that the latest ’terror’ killer will now be examined by pyschiatrists. I would love to see ’social’ media reined in, but we will have to face the fact that there will always be deranged people out there. Perhaps we should adopt Sgt Stan Jablonski’s (Hill Street Blues) dictum ‘Let’s do it to them before they do it to us.’ But I’m not sure how that could be achieved in a civilised way.
+I was away last week enjoying a grand tour of the north of England. What a splendid place it is.