The two photographs are of today’s English edition and Scottish edition of the right-wing tabloid newspaper the Daily Express.
The English edition – along with a good many other British “nationals” – rings the alarm bells of a black hole in pension funding, another milestone in the long-term neo-con, neo-liberal attack on the social order, benefits and cohesion, forcing some countries to legislate their elderly get pensions delayed by many years, (if they live to reach it) or take out private pensions, and so are forced to work longer. Tabloids and broadsheet newspapers are at odds over the exact amount disappearing down a bottomless sink hole. Is it £1 billion, £80 billion, or according to the USA run IMF, trillions? Each newspaper clings tight to its own figure.
The Scottish edition advises the people of Scotland their pensions are safer within the bosom of England.
The Scottish edition purports to refer to state pensions which are irrevocably protected now and after independence, as any ex-patriot will attest living in Spain or Cyprus or Italy, or anywhere abroad, for that matter. Westminster would have to bring in legislation rescinding state pensions paid to subjects outside England!
The English edition refers to private pension funds – but …
…both are an attack on the welfare state to demoralise belief in its benefits, and to induce us to shift to private pensions universally and exclusively.
If that black propaganda was not blatant enough, no newspaper discusses the reasons for a deficit in pension funding, if one of any unmanageable size exists, or if the wildly varying figures are justified, or that private funds were raided to keep bankrupt departments of banks and financial institutions afloat, their directors and middle-managers mega-bonuses protected. They do not remind us that the acquisition of state wealth has been shifted from the masses into the hands of a few hyper-rich and powerful people with tax havens and concessions they are free to use.
Nor do newspapers discuss how a country can shift spending from (say) armaments and wars to support its people.
Meanwhile, Gordon Brown today, the UK chancellor who actually did raid pension funds laid open by his predecessor’s regime the Tories “led” by John “Grey” Major, is giving speeches to warn the people of his homeland their pensions are not safe under an independent Scotland. The former “socialist” chancellor aligns himself with a right-wing newspaper that did its best to undermine his prime ministership of the United Kingdom.