Take Me To Your Leader Writer

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...has written more leaders (newspaper editorials) than anyone alive or dead, an honour still to be recognised by the Guiness Book of Records or the Nobel judges. I have produced them for the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Today, the Sunday People, the Evening Post (Hemel Hempstead), the Caithness Courier and the Student (Edinburgh). My creed is: Have opinions, Will travel.

Thursday 10 March 2011

Double standards: Part 86

One of the main arguments Tories use against the education system is that Labour, egged on by liberal educationists, want to level down teaching.
Instead of accepting that some pupils should be allowed to do better than others, they say, the comprehensive system forces the brightest to be pulled down to the level of the rest.
That point of view doesn't extend to pensions, however.  In fact, the Tories now say the opposite. They insist that it isn't fair for public-sector workers to have a better arrangement than the majority of those who work in the private sector.
Why should this be? They don't complain if, say, banks or oil companies continue to provide final-salary pension schemes for their employees.
It is clearly prejudiced nonsense for the Government to insist that those who work in the public sector should have their pensions cut so they can do as badly as those in private schemes.
It is also rubbish, though still widely accepted, that "the nation can't afford" it. Like it can't afford to pay for higher education and all those essential services which are being axed.
We can afford to pay for it all  - remember how £70 billion was conjured up for the banks to sort out the crisis created by their naked greed.
The one arguable case for changing pension arrangements - and valid for private as well as public schemes - is that we live longer and remain fitter and active til far later in life. So those of us who can work on - which tends to mean people who have had a comfortable working life, not ones who have dug roads or performed other heavy manual tasks - should work on to offset the increasing demands to fund pensions.
That is what the debate should be about. Not a nasty campaign based on it being fair to drag public-sector workers down to the level of exploited private-sector employees.

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