Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Here’s a set of random observations:

Last November electricity prices increased by 2% and gas by 9%.

In April retirement pensions increased by 4.6%, and it was announced that pensioners under 80 would lose £50 a year (or 25%) of their winter heating allowance, and those over 80 would lose £100 (or 33%).

It was announced today that in August 2011, 9 months after that last rise, electricity will increase by 10% and gas by 19%.

Pensioners get £102.15 per week to live on; with pension credit they get £137.35.

It is estimated that people on duel tariffs (electric and gas) will face a further rise of £175 a year as a result of today's announced increases.

In Scotland, last December there were snow blizzards and snow lay for around 6 weeks, meaning that some older people couldn’t get out (thus using someone else’s heat).

It has been a cold summer so far, with daytime temperatures around 12 or 13˚C on the east coast. Many pensioners have been forced to have their heating turned on, even in June.

Last year there were around 30,000 cold weather deaths in the UK.
The United Kingdom, which is responsible for these pensions, and for the reductions in benefits (which you may remember Cameron not only promised would not happen under the Tories, but vilified Labour for suggesting that they would. “I don’t often use the word ‘liar’, but today I’m going to because they [Labour] lied”), is currently engaged in two wars costing tens of millions of pounds a day, and has increased its commitment to foreign aid by £12 billion about which they tell us we should feel proud.

Shouldn’t we feel ashamed of the horrific cold-related death toll, especially given that far colder countries do so very very much better?


  1. Gas bills to soar - to fund nuclear power

    Scotland is energy rich. Our elderly and vulnerable, and our industry, should not be facing ruinous gas prices. We are told the Union is about providing a social security net through sharing Britain’s resources. The reality is we give away our gas and share a 19 per cent price increase.

  2. It seems we get to share all the bad things like their stupid wars and wanting to run the world as if it were 1870, the nuclear submaries and mrs Thatcher (all of them poisoness); and they get to share our oil, fish, gas (we have enough to power Scotland for donkeys' years) wind and wave power... and they shoot our birds ;¬)

    What a deal we got! No wonder they were called a parcel of rogues. I think that was very mild... Where's Sandi Toksvig when you need her?

  3. The short answer is yes we should feel ashamed. But that liar David Cameron and his odious Tories should feel deeply ashamed.

    I undestand that the G8 has a target for member nations to give a proportion of their GDP as foreign aid. It is expected of so called rich countries and none like to feel richer than the UK.

  4. The UK is a gangster piece of gerrymandering - and I mean this literally.

    This may not be a unique state of affairs - and despite best efforts, Japan springs to mind as a mirror image - but it is, in the light of recent developments, becoming a more obviously, bolder than brass, plain as a pikestaff case-study in a failed "state" run for gangsters by gangsters (the yakuza are more compassion ate to the elderly and infirm than the UK politico mob).

    That our elderly, vulnerable and infirm are being treated in such a manner is beyond risible and is morally criminal.

    Further reason for independence and the unilateral declaration thereof before we have more corpses on our hands?

    I think so.

  5. Well I do Munguin. Ashamed that we can't be bothered to keep our elderly alive in the winter while the Westminster chief minister swanks around with important people pretending that he's one of them. Idiot.

    It's much more, though, than the 30,000 across the islands that die. There are hundreds of thousands who worry and who dread the electricity bills and gas bills, who sit in the coats and hats and golves, eating cheap food and having a cup of tea to keep them warm; eking out an existence for the last years of their lives, miserable, cold and scared about getting cut off.

    But why would Westminster care about that?

    How could he do what he did with the pensioners' payment, after buying their votes with his promise? What kind of man is he?

  6. David

    I suspect that all governments, even apparently benign, like the Scandinavian ones, are actually gangsters.

    But I feel very strongly about people who paid their taxes all their lives being left on pathetic pensions (and because of the works of the last pm, even private pensions are pathetic unless you have amassed a pot of hundreds of thousands of pounds) to struggle on the cheapest of everything.

    The state pension is around £5,000. The average civil service pension (supposedly miles better than any other) is £7,000. The poverty line is around £16,000. Go figure.

    And despite a small rise in the limits, people still pay tax on income over £7,000, and if they have £12,000 they’re unlikely to get any rebates on your Council Tax, so they can kiss goodbye to £1,000 + of that right away. With electricity and gas bills taking another £1,000, what on earth are they supposed to live on?

    I have absolutely no doubt that Japan will be the same sort of country, more efficient, more modern, but still run by gangsters. It seems from what you say that they are a little less unkind to their elderly. Perhaps their people are bright enough to know that, unless we die young, we are likely to end up elderly ourselves one day.

  7. PS, David: As for the desperate need to get ourselves detached from governments that are happy to allow old people to live in fear of the next bill, I couldn’t agree more with you.

    One of the Liberals’ proud boasts is that they have taken the harsh and uncaring edge off Tory government, which would have crashed all over the under classes.

    But of course, with the idea that they still have nearly 4 years in power and that there are bound to be casualties (vacancies at Health and Justice in the English government look likely) people like Michael Moore are keeping their noses clean with the Eton Boy.

    After all, the Liberals are dead in the water after this. Moore probably should look for another job in 2015, and you can secure far better positions if you have been a proper Cabinet minister. Secretary for Scotland really doesn’t count as the main tasks are moving furniture around Dover House, spending as much of the Scottish government’s budget as possible, and looking for fights with our First Minister.

    No, Danny Alexander hit it lucky that they had to sack Laws for theft. He got a proper job in Westminster. Moore and all the other junior people are praying for the demise of someone a bit farther up the food chain, before their careers in politics are well and truly over, forever.

  8. TRIS

    Seeing as it is Scottish power who have raside the price 20% what i say what is Salmond dong about it he should call in Scottish power and demand a reduction forwith..........

    do they not know what damage they are doing to Salmonds idea of the 'common weil.

    stll now is the time for the snp Government to stand forth for the Scottish people and do something constructive for once,

    I await my Reduction in my gas bill!

  9. Niko:

    I think Labour tried a prices and incomes policy once didn't they?

    I think it didn't work, did it?

    But I'm with you. Eck should be looking into how Scottish people can survive this massive hike in what is one of poor people's biggest expenses...ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHER FOUL THINGS THAT ARE COMING FROM LONDON.. oh and yeah, that's what he was doing today in London with England's chief minister.

  10. tris

    Selling out! selling out!