As the 2015 General Election in the UK approaches, I find myself reflecting on 55 years of voting
in such elections since I reached the voting age applicable in the UK.
My key interests were generally: -
1. To keep my country well defended against all foes and potential foes alike.
2. To make the economy work well for all in the UK for employers, employees and others.
3. To ensure that Law and Order was kept in our country and the general safety of the public protected and improved.
4. To keep taxation levels at a minimum and achieved by open and fair means.
5. To extend hope and assistance to the needy, the sick, the disabled and the aged to afford them better lives.
6. To ensure that the NHS remained free at the point of delivery to all citizens and kept up to date medically.
7. To reward enterprise but not at the expense of decent wage levels for those employees who worked to help create the success.
8. To ensure that 'time-served' taxpayers were well provided for in their old age.
9. To ensure that educational standards for the whole country continues to improve year on year.
10. To have a government who could achieve this with compassion, commitment, determination and fairness.
Of course there was never one party who could satisfy me in all aspects of my wish list but through more years than not, I found that the Conservative party seemed to achieve better results than the alternatives.
Thereafter and always with my checklist in mind I proceeded to vote Conservative until Mr Heath’s
capitulation to Skargill.
After this there was nothing at all that inspired me to vote
for Wilson and so I abstained from voting in the next election.
I was greatly
inspired later by Margaret Thatcher and through her my confidence in the Tory party was restored. Maggi was a hard task master and of course she upset many but she always had and showed a conscience and through sheer dint of hard work and determination brought
the UK back from the precipice that the outgoing government had placed the country in.
She also showed the courage and determination to restore the freedom of the Falkland Islanders and saw to it that our brave
military dispelled the invaders.
In 2010 although doubtful about the sincerity
of Cameron, I felt that a Conservative led coalition with the Liberals was the best possible mix to once again rescue the economy from the unskilful and careless hands of Labour.
Frankly, it saddens me that not enough credit has been given to the Liberal partners in general and Nick Clegg in particular in this coalition government since their
restraining hands on an overly right-wing Conservative party which included UKIP - fifth columnists was most needed by the electorate.
The economy has been dealt with quite expertly but is not yet healed. However, far too much of the pain has been dished out to the genuine needy, the sick, the disabled and the state pensioners - in other words
those who are generally poor.
Their needs have been dealt with quite callously and often not
at all whilst the rich have grown significantly richer. Money has been taken away from pensioners who choose to live on the European Mainland by deliberate discrimination, simply because they have chosen to exercise their fundamental rights under the EU's
Freedom of Movement Laws and don’t spend their income in the UK.
With one hand a ‘few’ million is saved by taking Winter Fuel Allowance away from them
perhaps as their contribution to saving the country's finances whilst with the other hand it is given by the same government, not as a few million but as 500,000,000 (half a billion) to India which has helped them launch a space rocket to the planet Mars!
Good luck to them on their journeys amongst the planets and stars but the UK had to quit its own space race in the late 1950’s because it could not afford it.
‘Blue-Streak’ and ‘Black-Knight’ were every school-boys’ dream of promised outstanding success with these wonder rockets being blasted off all over the universe. This dream was
shattered by cancellation of the projects.
Now we are being told that the government cannot afford Winter Fuel Allowance for State Pensioners living south of Bournemouth!!!!!!!!
There is so much bunkum to this to beggar belief, but every UK pensioner dependant on this allowance in Europe to help with the high costs of heating nevertheless must swallow the broken glass
to help India in its space race. Even Cameron in February 2015 has admitted that the value of this ‘snatch-back’ does not cover the cost of the administration of it!
quite poorly off people who are disabled have been included in the infamous ‘Bedroom Tax’ and so partners (marital or otherwise) who are also carers can no longer afford to get the odd night of undisturbed sleep in separate bedroom on their own
to rebuild their strength.
Hospitals continue to cause very large numbers of premature deaths for their inpatients through poor hygiene, stupid mistakes, mismanagement and
neglect. People are afraid to go to hospital!
Large corporate bodies continually evade tax in the name of increased profit so that the government needs to steal from pensioners
and the unfortunate to make up its shortfall.
Countless people suffer severe injury and very often death from villains who patrol the streets and dark passageways whilst
the police have to stay in doors to complete the massive burden of government inspired paperwork instead of being there to protect the public and catch these obnoxious people.
‘time-served’ taxpayers living outside of the UK but still having links with the country are disenfranchised from voting at elections in the UK after 15 years the results of which inevitably have a direct effect on them despite living elsewhere.
The UK is one of only 4 western countries that behave this way. The UK however, tends to have the biggest mouth on the planet when it comes to lecturing other countries on democracy.
Cameron, sensing that there was the potential for a few more votes in the pending election said with words to the effect that ‘If a Conservative Government was elected – it would reinstate the rights of all these disenfranchised voters
He simply must stop treating the electorate as fools!
you want to be rewarded Mr Cameron, do something first like removing this disenfranchisement without conditions and let us consider rewarding you. You have time to do it yet and would get all-party support but you lack the courage or commitment to it.
Cameron has stated time and time again that ‘he wants the UK in Europe but not governed by Europe’ but gives all the impression that in truth he wants the country out of Europe to
appease the would-be UKIP voters and stay in power himself as a result.
Party leaders and in particular Prime Ministers should stand up for their country and its interests
not the narrow-minded views of a minority of Europhobes and their own self-interest.
The UK is far too small to go into isolation from Europe from both a trade and defence
perspective – just as Scotland realised that they were stronger inside the United Kingdom than outside of it.
So you see Mr Cameron, I cannot vote for you and I certainly
would not vote for my local MP for his blind allegiance to the corrupted party line. To be worth their salt MP’s must be prepared to go against bad legislation and if they want my vote.
They must also resist the temptation to join the rush to the Westminster Petty Cash tin to get their costs of running a SECOND home paid for.
It is basically
immoral and hypocritical to do this whilst insisting everyone else particularly those on fixed-incomes are called on to make big sacrifices.
So it comes to this: -
Below are copies of my email conversations with my MP in the UK who still is supposed to represent me until 2019 given that he is re-elected, when I will automatically
be disenfranchised from voting in the UK elections unless there is a change of policy on voting rights there which I doubt.
Readers may judge for themselves as to how helpful or supportive this MP wishes to be of his constituents against towing the party line. I hope people in his constituency in particular will take note.
My email to my MP asking for his help; -
From: clive walley [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 20 January 2015 12:03
To: email@example.com; BRIDGEN, Andrew
Subject: Sir Roger Gale's tabled "Prayer".
I am a 73 year old expat pensioner living in Spain for the last 11 years and most dependent on my State Pension. Our winters here, particularly at night are
bitter. Currently our night time temperatures are zero degrees and lower. In Spain we have a premature winter death rate of elderly people which is 16% higher than the UK. I am a type II diabetic and it is very important for me to keep warm in the cold weather.
Heating costs are extremely high here.
Before I left England I did, over a period of 20 years create almost 1,500 man years of work with substantial contributions to the local
(Hinckley & Bosworth) constituency and literally millions of pounds to Central Government. For myself, I ended up with nothing.
I have done my bit and as a time-served taxpayer
and member of British Society, I believe that I am just as entitled to WFA as the next person regardless of where I live. Under the Freedom of movement laws of the EU, I am entitled to live anywhere in the EU without being punished for it.
By means of dodgy data and 'fiddled' statistics the DWP produced an argument to justify taking our WFA away from us which will be challenged in the ECJ if implemented. They have ill-advisably rushed
through a S.I (SI 2014 N0 3270) to try to insure that it is on the statute book quickly regardless of the quality of their argument.
The much respected Sir Roger Gale M.P. has
tabled a "prayer" on an EDM because he too finds this S.I unjust and distasteful.
Where I to be living at my last UK address you would be my Parliamentary Representative and
so I write to you to ask you to please support Sir Roger's "prayer" by signing up to it and encouraging other Members particularly Conservatives to do the same. I am not yet subjected to the 15 year disenfranchisement yet so effectively you are still my PM.
The SI was laid on 10th December and there are 40 days for Members to pray against it. Allowing for Christmas that takes us to 9th February and we need all the signatures we can muster.
This is a very important issue to many elderly people and I hope you will sign up to it. Would you please be kind enough to confirm your position on this to me by email? Thank you.
Campaigner for UK Expat Rights.
reply I received 20 days later.
Subject: RE: Sir Roger Gale's tabled "Prayer".
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2015 11:46:26 +0000
Dear Mr Walley,
Thank you for contacting me about the payment of Winter Fuel Payments in France.
The purpose of Winter Fuel Payments is to provide reassurance that people can keep warm during periods of cold weather. As you are aware,
changes are being made to the eligibility criteria for Winter Fuel Payments to ensure public money is better targeted on those who live in EEA countries with a cold climate.
The Government has worked closely with the Met Office to determine the average winter temperature in EEA countries and from winter 2015/16, Winter Fuel Payments will no longer be payable to individuals
in EEA countries which have an average winter temperature higher than the UK.
I appreciate you have concerns
over the treatment of France in these calculations. The French Government treats its French Overseas Departments as integral parts of the French State and so they are treated in the same way as mainland France. Therefore, the hotter French Overseas Departments
have been included in the calculation of the average winter temperature. The calculation of the average winter temperatures for Spain and Portugal also includes these countries' respective, relevant overseas territories, where the same EU social security coordination
I believe these are important changes which will re-focus the benefit on its original purpose and avoid a situation where the Government will be paying 115,000
people in warmer countries a Winter Fuel Payment by 2015. As such, I will not be signing EDM 695.
I hope this helps
explain the reasoning behind these difficult decisions. Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
My final reply to my MP: -
Subject: RE: Sir Roger Gale's tabled "Prayer".
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2015 16:32:08 +0100
Dear Mr Bridgen,
Thank you for
your eventual email reply to my much earlier correspondence on the subject of the WFP, the EDM and my request to you to sign up to it.
Although you do not say so in your email, the DWP were 'dragged' kicking and screaming into telling the truth about the 'fiddled' temperature statistics and eventually admitted that they had tampered with the
figures provided by the Met Office despite earlier denials.
It is, of course, helpful to IDS and Co to have overseas territories' averages added into the average winter temperatures
for France and Spain in particular so that people living there in absolute freezing conditions and well below those in Bournemouth, can tell themselves that they are only imagining that they are shivering and that they are 'blue with the cold'!
So wonderful of those supporting this despicable legislation to stretch their imaginations so in support of this deliberate act of discrimination! However, we don't see any of these folk
around these parts of Europe at this time of year. Most are in Italy which as you see from the earlier Met chart I sent to you is in better health weather-wise than we are in Spain but still favoured by IDS to be given the heading “Cold Country”.
It is a fact that the premature winter death rate of the elderly in Spain is 16% above that in the UK.
It is a fact that the purpose of the installation of the Winter Fuel Payment by the Labour Government was to provide extra assistance to the elderly in heating their homes to help protect these more vulnerable people and did not preclude
British pensioners living in another part of the EU.
It is a demonstrable fact that most recent temperatures on the Cost Blanca have been at -16 degrees, yes
minus 16 degrees!
From my understanding, the temperature comparisons were always about average minimal winter temperatures and not how you have addressed it as 'average
The writer asks you to explain why the DWP did not include the overseas territories of the UK in their statistics? Could it be that the average minimal
winter temperature for the UK’s 17 overseas territories would have increased the UK average most considerably?
Is this why the South Coast was employed as the single starting
point below which our temperatures had to fall to qualify, instead of the UK average?
Examination of the average minimal temperature for these 17 British Overseas Territories
reveals that the average for the group throughout the period 1st October through to 31st March is precisely 14.72º C including the Falklands, South Georgia, South Sandwich and the British Antartic Territory!
What a sizeable difference to the UK average minimal temperatures it would make if a little honesty had been applied and these averages added in to the UK just as was done with France and Spain.
Aided by the Gulf Stream Drift, the UK is more often than not treated to less inclement winter weather than the likes of Spain and France. Even in the summer as the Sun Newspaper frequently and proudly boasts,
the UK weather maximums exceed those of the ‘Costas’. You must have seen that somewhere on a bill board, a TV news channel or even the paper itself.
the churning out by you of the ‘DWP’s standard and deceitful response to criticism’, in reply to my letter leaves me cold and has only convinced me that ‘Our pensions, future voting rights, passports and reciprocal health care are NOT
safe in Tory hands’.
There are tens of thousands of angry ‘time-served’ British Taxpayers who have decided to teach the Cameron Government a lesson by voting
against it in the May General Election.
For my part, at the age of 73 I have been a lifelong supporter of the Conservative party and helped out at elections in a variety of
ways. Today I am resolved to hurt this once great and compassionate party by voting against it in May 2015 in repayment for the hurt it has done to me and others of my generation.
UK government will in due course be forced to answer to the ECj for its quite deliberate and selective act of discrimination and we firmly believe that it will be a humiliating but unnecessary experience for instigators and supporters of this Statutory Instrument.
Twenty years ago, I penned the line “There are none so stupid as those who treat others as fools”. Never has this been more appropriate than it is today.
Campaigner for UK Expat Rights.