Joined: 03 Jun 2005
|Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:16 am Post subject: PENSION STRIKES BY THE NON PRODUCERS, DO WE NEED THEM?
|Pension strikes: You might as well protest against rain
By Peter Hitchens
Last updated at 10:11 PM on 3rd December 2011
We are all going to get poorer and poorer for the rest of our lives. This is because this country long ago chose to live beyond its means, and the blazing red Final Demands are now cascading on to the national doormat.
What is it, exactly, that we do to justify our comfortable way of life? Is it our world-beating export industries, supported by wise energy policies and a modern transport system? Or our superbly educated population, whose knowledge and skills are sought worldwide? Or our renowned work ethic?
No, that’s somewhere else. We are living on a reputation we long ago ceased to deserve. All our luxuries are bought on tick.
Petulant: The public sector strikers who protested on Wednesday were daft - as well as wrong
But our creditors have run out of patience, and we cannot pay them, so the bailiffs won’t be long. They will take the shape of severe inflation, already getting under way.
My guess is that most of the pensions we are now squabbling about will be worth little more than a box of matches by the time they are paid.
That is why last Wednesday’s petulant, self-righteous strikes were daft as well as wrong.
Anyone with ears to hear has known since the great balance of payments crisis of the Sixties that we were in bad trouble (we solved that problem by ceasing to care about it. It’s worse by far now than it was then).
But, led by empty and self-seeking politicians from all three parties, we have hidden the truth from ourselves.
Unlimited credit? Yours for the asking. Government borrowing? If we hide it in off-the-books fiddles, who’ll notice? Launching stupid invasions of other people’s countries? Count us in. We’ll pay somehow.
Like all swindles, the fruits of this have been rotten ones. Oceans of money were poured into the NHS, and it still can’t keep its wards clean or look after its patients properly.
And then there are all those Lego schools and ‘universities’, churning out mountain-ranges of certificates and diplomas which are for the most part direct tickets to the dole queue.
And in the middle of this there are actually people who are ready to go on strike because their pensions aren’t going to be as good as they thought? You might as well hold a strike against the annoying fact that it’s colder and wetter in winter than in summer; or against the fact that the pound in your pocket is worth less with every minute that passes.
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The real question is how much longer we can afford to employ so many people who don’t actually make anything that anyone wants to buy.
Knowing in their hearts that they were striking against their fellow countrymen, who will have to fork out if they win, the public-sector militants claimed that they were shutting down the schools, hospitals, crematoria, swimming pools and the rest because of a deep, unselfish desire to make these services better. Oh, please. And they talked as if they were morally superior simply because they worked in schools and hospitals. Is that so? Funny, if they do it so selflessly, that they accept payment for it at all, let alone squabble about how much.
It strikes me that a milkman who rises before dawn to deliver reliably to his customers is just as moral as a teacher or a hospital cleaner.
So is everyone who gives a fair day’s work in return for a fair day’s pay, the forgotten side of the ancient bargain on which all riches depend.