As the summer break draws near, the thoughts of politicians, as those of
ordinary mortals, turn to sunny beaches where one can forget the travails of
life and relax in pleasant company. For the British and American soldiers
sweltering in temperatures of 50 degrees, dodging Iraqi bombs and bullets, this
pleasant prospect is further away than for most of us. And for Tony Blair,
besieged by an ever more hostile press and public, the holiday season cannot
come quick enough.
We live in an epoch of sudden and sharp turns. On Thursday night, as Tony Blair
slept aboard a Boeing 777 bound from Washington to Tokyo, he was rocked by the
news of the death of Dr David Kelly. In a single instant the whole situation was
transformed. The magnitude of these events signifies the
inevitability of resignations at the highest level, so the Prime Minister is
frantically looking around for friends prepared to fall upon their swords in
order to protect their Lord and Master.
Why are pensions being cut or not paying out money that was promised? All over
Europe pensions are under attack. Everywhere workers are being asked to retire
later, to give up on the idea of a guaranteed state pension and to look to the
private sector for a pension. British Socialist Appeal looks at the real reasons behind the pensions crisis.