I guess we all have to die of something….but I never in my wildest dreams ever imagined that I might die from having my pension removed for SIX YEARS by the most brutal, evil and repugnant government – nay, not government, but ‘regime’ – ever to have ruled Britain in my lifetime.
It is April, 2016 and I am 61 years old. I have now lived without my pension for over one whole year. I will NOT be able to live without it for another year, let alone the *further* FIVE YEARS I’ve been ‘sentenced’ to by Millionaire Ministers who do not care if we live, or die.
I am just one of millions of women born in the 1950s who have had their pensions denied to them at 60, for SIX YEARS. 60 is the age we have lived our lives being told would be our retirement age.
In 1995 it was decided women’s pension age should rise to match that of men, thus, we went from 60 to 65. Government did NOT TELL US though, not a single one of us, ever.
In January and February this year, the DWP told me that they had not sent out ANY letters EVER, regarding the 1995 Act. They only started these official letters in 2011, even stopping these between April and November that year, due to concern over the content of them. I am willing to swear this under oath in Court and/or to take a lie-detector test to prove this is true.
ONLY in 2011 did they send out official letters telling us we’d be 66 before we retired. Most had no idea they’d even be 65, let alone that they’d have 5, then 6 YEARS put upon them before they could get their pension. Some have SEVEN YEARS!
They informed a few people, by CHANCE, in 2009, in letters concerning other details, but that was all. I know, I have one such letter and the age rise is given just one tiny paragraph in this letter concerning my National Insurance contributions, which is what I had asked about initially.
Government have now ADMITTED that they did NOT inform a single one of us, yet STILL they refuse to help us, despite KNOWING that so many of us are DROWNING out here.
In fact, they are doing their best to Hold Us Under….
This is my story….
I have been a Carer to Nanny, my now ex-mother-in-law, (who is 101 years old) for the past 15 years, she moving here to live with me after our divorce. My time as her Carer ended a few months ago..and thus, I suddenly found myself thrown into the gutter, spat on by my once Beloved Country, turned from Carer to Scrounger within weeks.
I was given the normal 8 weeks ‘grace’ period after you stop being a Carer, when you are given Income Support which includes the amount given as Carer’s Allowance. During this time, I searched frantically for a job, filled in SO many applications online, endless forms, endless questions, endless (ridiculous) psychology tests, sending so much information about myself off to total strangers, not hearing a WORD back from most. I sent out DOZENS of applications….
The ONLY job I was offered was a Zero Hours one which legally gave me NO protection at all, for I could have been phoned up in the morning to find I was not needed for that day, for that week, even, were times quiet. This would have meant that any Working Tax Credit would be thrown awry too, along with Council Tax Rebate. Thus, endless phone calls, more forms to fill in, more and more confusion and stress.
When my Income Support ran out, I applied for JSA. THIS is what some of the Pensions Ministers have said we should go on, feeling that this is RIGHT for us to endure for SIX YEARS until we reach their new pension age given to us! (You can only claim JSA for 6 months anyway).
HERE is what EVERYONE applying for JSA or ESA is put through…and please, do NOT tell me this is RIGHT for ANYONE, let alone for 60+ year old women who have raised their families, cared for their elderly relatives and paid over FOUR DECADES of NI contributions!
I did NOT fit into their boxes, for you have to have had a ‘real’ job within the previous 6 months. I was a Carer, thus, I had no boss, no address, nothing that fitted their boxes…and my last ‘real’ job was in 2011, which would have ruled me out of getting JSA. Nanny needed me at home full time by then. She’s registered blind (macula degeneration) and just could not be left for whole days or many hours.
So, I rang them up and we did the form over the phone….it took AGES..and it also took AGES to get THROUGH in the first place, having to talk to a bloody ROBOT who kept asking questions and giving examples of the answers I could come out with! PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT!
Well, I finally reached a REAL person and the form was filled in, they too finding difficulty in where to put me, but they sorted it eventually. God alone knows how many questions I answered…dozens and dozens…my life going into boxes yet again, tick, cross, cross, tick, yes, no, no, yes, no, no, no………
Then, I was given an appointment for an interview at my local Jobcentre. This was on a Friday. I went. Whilst waiting, I sat next to a lady who had just had her ESA stopped. She was in a terrible state. She was registered partially sighted, had a very bad leg, making it so hard for her to walk and countless other illnesses. She looked really poorly….
I almost started The Revolution there and then, so INCENSED was I.
My name was called. I went to talk to the lady who called me. She was kind, The System was not. I HAD to attend a training course for 2 days, 6 hours each day, on the following Monday & Tuesday, elsewhere in town, at a course called ‘Eat That Frog’ (GEEZUS!!)…this was, apparently, an ’employability’ course, where I’d learn how to do Interviews, etc……
I took a deep breath, resisted the urge to say “You CANNOT be SERIOUS?!” and explained that I was almost 61 years old (I now am) and thus, I KNEW how to do interviews. MY problem was GETTING an interview in the first place, as my age meant I couldn’t even make it past the internet version of the ‘paper sift’…and there are many jobs I simply CANNOT do now either, due to age/health, etc.
I then asked how much this course was costing. The lady told me I’d probably self-combust if I knew…and she diverted my attention to my signature, asking me sign on a small screen so the computer would ‘recognize’ me next time, when I had to ‘sign on’. My signing on day was the day after the course days…Wednesday.
She told me it took about 4 signatures for the machine to recognize me. TWELVE signatures later, it still didn’t know who the fuck I was! It took TWENTY signatures, by which time I had smoke coming out of my ears over the idiocy of this madness! I’m left-handed, thus I have to write backwards, every single day, to fit into a right-handed world, meaning that my writing is very untidy and my signature is barely EVER the same, each time I write it, because the stress of writing backwards, even 60 years later, is enormous as it messes up my natural brain pattern..
But, I digress………
I mentioned that with that day’s visit to the Jobcentre, plus these 3 new visits to courses and to sign on, meant I’d have to spend almost £20 on bus fares and I didn’t have the money! You can’t claim bus fares back from Jobcentre visits…so, tough. I could for the course, but that would probably have involved many more forms, signatures, computers exploding over my writing and having to prove who I was via my birth certificate, or passport, driver’s licence (don’t have either of the last two) or whatever else insane documentation is required on the day the moon is blocking out the sun!
Yes, I’m getting MORE stressed as I write this……….
Well, by the time I got home, I was in A Right State of nerves, anxiety, depression and ANGER, bloody FUMING ANGER, the sort where you can’t sit down, because, damn It, I SHOULD have my PENSION not this Feckingly AWFUL STRESS being laid out before me!
This state of mind, of being Out of My Mind, continued through the entire weekend and on Monday Morning, I CANCELLED learning how to Eat A Frog and went back to my GP instead, sobbing all over her (AGAIN!) and she gave me a sick note…because I’ve been under her for depression for a few months now, after I began to realize that NO WAY was I going to get a job in my 60s!
I rang The ESA folks up.
By now, I HATED Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’, the music The Robot lets you listen to whilst telling you how to phone in the early morning when it’s less busy!
It WAS THE FECKING EARLY MORNING and STILL I had to wait and wait and wait!
Evenutally, someone answered.
We filled in ANOTHER FECKING FORM!
I sent off my Sick Note the same day…
I rang them back……….
Shut the FUCK UP, Vivaldi!!!!!!!!!
“Why not ring us early in the morning when we’re less busy!”
It’s Springtime in VivaldiLand…and all is FAR FROM WELL!
“For example, you can tell us you’re phoning us because you have a problem with your form, or you’ve been overpaid, or you have another question to ask us….”
FINALLY, I get through, to a lovely lass…her MUM is one of us, one of The 1950s women, so I tell her about The WASPI Campaign, of the five lovely lassies who came together to give us a voice to shout and scream with, to demand something is done about the shocking way we’ve been treated and to get our STOLEN pensions given BACK to us. She said she’d be sure to tell her Mum….and told me my claim was almost ready, but it was being dealt with by Caerphilly….odd, as I live in Devon, but apparently, they move things round the country when busy, so Plymouth was now sending things to Caerphilly…..and………………………
We ended the phone call….
By now it was around the 11th of April. I’d had NO MONEY coming in since 30th March.
So, I contacted my local council, applied for a ‘Crisis Grant’ to help with food, etc.
Yes, ANOTHER FECKING FORM!!
EVERY sordid detail of my decline into ScroungerHood was required, every inch of my life written out before me…..before I could press ‘send’.
Next day, I got a phone call from them. They could not help, for I had the audacity to have £109.00 in my bank account. I sighed, told them that £100 of this was for Direct Debits and it was about to start coming out any day now. She said that didn’t matter, I had money there that could be used for food and thus, they could do nothing. She suggested I apply for a loan from other sources. I asked how I’d pay back a loan with barely any money coming in. She avoided that. She also avoided explaining why the head of the council, our Tory Mayor, spent £20,000 on ONE FECKING PALM TREE not so long ago, having it shipped over from Spain! THEN, not bothered by the outpouring of RAGE from The People, he went and ordered another 12, at a cost of £12,000 this time, for them all, (far smaller ones) sticking them in the dual carriageway into town where they remain to this day, choking on traffic fumes…..This man owns 15 houses, 2 fields and a couple of garages…but *I* had £109 in my bank account, and even though I was shortly to have only £9 of that left, I had to GET A LOAN !!!!!!!!
So, I had to go back to ESA again, to ask for an emergency donation of my claim……
Yes, you guessed it….
Vivaldi, I’m sorry about this, but FFS, I now HATE your music!
Robot Woman greeted me…I resisted the urge to tell her to just FUCK THE FUCK OFF, for my BP was OFF the scale by now, as was my Sugar Level…and being diabetic, this is, of course, lethal !!
FINALLY, yet again, I got through and asked for help….
GOOD GOD!!! That I am having to go through this shit at 61 years old just beggars belief!
This time, I got a SourPuss, but I managed to keep relatively calm, explained I had NOTHING to live on and could they please HELP! I could sense her pursing her lips, doodling the word ‘bloody scrounger!’ on her notebook. She told me I’d be sent £39 by 6pm that evening…and we left it at that, but not before she also told me that this would be deducted from my £73 a week in 4 stages, of just over £9 a time. (!!!!)
Well, the money came through!
I threw caution to the wind and bought fishcake and chips!
So, HANG ME!!!!!
Then, yesterday I found over £40 had gone into my account…and I had NO IDEA why, but it was from the DWP!
You guessed it……
I phoned them back……….
It was STILL SPRINGTIME In FECKING VIVALDI LAND and Madame Robot was STILL Robotting, but EVENTUALLY I got through, this time to a very nice young man in Norfolk….He hummed and haaaed and finally tracked this payment being for JSA, the tiny bit I was owed before I’d gone on to ESA…and he told me there was another £20 or so due to go in today from ESA, or possibly JSA, to make up this, or that…and that tomorrow my FULL ESA of £73 and a few pennies, times 2 weeks, would be going in, seemingly without the £9 odd being clawed back for the emergency funding bit….at this moment in time, although it will undoubtedly happen later….
Well, slap my buttocks with a wet, depressed fish, because everything’s depressed around me at this moment in time….
Today, I woke up ALMOST feeling that today I could COPE, just a fraction, for a few hours…BUT….then…the POSTMAN arrived and he brought with him another FECKING FORM!
Oh, but this was no ORDINARY Fecking Form!
THIS is a ‘Capability For Work Questionnaire’, you see
It has TWENTY PAGES of QUESTIONS!
Of BOXES to fit yourself into, for YOU have had THE BLOODY CHEEK to be SICK, you see, to be DEPRESSED, to be SUICIDAL, to have ended up being Pensionless Pensioners made so ILL by having their pensions STOLEN that they can’t even THINK STRAIGHT any longer….and therefore you will now be Weighed, Measured and Undoubtedly found to be WANTING!
You see, Mr. Postman brought me a form which asks me if I can walk, climb stairs, use my hands, raise my arms above my head, deliver orders, warn of dangers, etc.etc.etc…….
So far, I can’t find the section marked “Are You Fecking Off Your Trolley With STRESS Yet?” but I’m SURE it’s here somewhere!
WHEN I’ve finally Filled In THIS FECKING FORM they will ASSESS it to see if I need Further Assessing by Health Professionals (Hold on, my GP KNOWS I’m NOT fit for work, as does my depression counsellor!)..whereupon I’ll have to find my way to where The Assessors Live and Be Bloody Assessed, from the moment I arrive, my movements, my attitude, my appearance, my answers, my eye contact, my EVERYTHING!
After THIS, no doubt, they’ll deem that I AM Fit for work..and…thus…just like that poor lady in the Jobcentre, way back up this War & Peace Epic of The Pensionless Pensioner, I’ll have my ESA stopped and THAT will mean I’ll have to RE-APPLY for JSA..
And we all know what THIS will mean, don’t we?
Yes, that’s right, back to the phone…to Vivaldi, to Phoning Early, or Late, or Mid-Day or Mid-Way, to explain who I am all over again, in case some Poor SOD is trying to PRETEND that THEY are ME and I’m not ME AT ALL!!
Vivaldi’s Springtime all over again….Springtime For Hitler In Paradise…..
Miss Robot……Robotting ALL OVER ME!
ENDLESS DAYS of NO MONEY
ENDLESS DAYS of DEPRESSION
ENDLESS TRIPS to my GP again…..
Back to ESA
Back to JSA
Refused (only 6 months of this allowed anyway)
ENDLESS DAYS OF NO MONEY AGAIN, NO JOBS, Condemned to Death, basically….and the WHOLE INSANE, BARBARIC CYCLE will start all over again, because I DARED to be born a WOMAN and be born in the 1950s and The Murderous Misogynistic Ministers have taken out their Misogyny on US….which breaks my heart because I’ve stood up for men for AGES now, against the Radical Feminists who put men down ALL the time….and now, I’m caught in the outpouring of HATRED against Feminism……”You wanted equality, so you can have it, with BELLS on!”
There’s talk of a ‘deal’, of taking our pensions early, but at a vastly reduced rate, for LIFE! PUNISHMENT….FOR LIFE..on top of ALL this punishment ALREADY? FOR LIFE? WHERE is the APOLOGY? WHERE is the PUTTING THIS RIGHT? WHERE are OUR PENSIONS?
You see, EVERY day the MONEY for our pensions keeps on Rolling In, but WHERE is it being siphoned off to?
So, David Cameron, Stephen Crabb, George Osborne, Shailesh Vara, Ros Altmann, Priti Patel, Steve Webb……..and [former Work and Pensions Secretary] Ian Duncan Smith, the foul man who DESTROYED our once caring Welfare State, whilst telling people he is a HERO for the vulnerable (!!), THIS is what has been done to we 1950s women; and THIS 1950s woman has saved this country around £500,000 in Care Home Fees after caring for Nanny for 15 YEARS and for my Darlin’ Dad for 3 years to his death, alongside raising my children, home-educating them both eventually too, due to terrible bullying and exam stress.
THIS is what it was all for! To be sent to HELL in Older Age….
And you ‘Ministers’ think this is RIGHT?????? That GOOD WOMEN who’ve done EVERYTHING that was expected should be put throught this SHIT because YOU ALL DECIDED that THIS is what would happen? Because YOU made a HUGE MISTAKE, NOT US??
You have NO IDEA what you have done to us, nor ANY CARE either
We should NEVER have been involved in this MADNESS AT ALL,.and ALL women who have spent their lives thinking they’d retire at 60 SHOULD retire AT 60. Many Eastern European countries have delayed these changes until 2040, knowing the chaos and extreme hardship it would cause doing this too early.
It is INHUMAN to raise anyone’s pension age by FIVE YEARS in ONE GO, let alone 6/7. Only the very, very wealthy could cope with this…and even if we HAD known, which we didn’t, most of us could NEVER have done anything anyway, having young families, no private pensions back then for most women, future divorces ahead.
I had SIX years notice of a SIX YEAR increase in my pension age. That’s the same as putting my age up by ONE year EVERY year for SIX YEARs on the trot, basically.
Gross Negligence has caused this….DELIBERATE NEGLIGENCE in my eyes…and now, this has become SO SERIOUS that every single politician involved in this shocking CARNAGE of The 1950s Women is, in my view, GUILTY OF GROSS NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER for many of us WILL die because of what you have all been a part of…and instead of apologizing to us, putting right this shocking EVIL wrong in days/WEEKS, you turn away…and laugh!
GROSS NEGLIGENCE MANSLAUGHTER, when someone KNOWS what they are doing carries a huge risk of people dying, but they do it anyway….
EVERY single one of the Ministers mentioned above KNOW the DESPERATION I and others are in, for I’ve told them. I’ve either phoned them, leaving messages on their answerphones, or I’ve emailed them, or I’ve spoken directly to their secretaries/assistants, either in London or their own constituencies. You ALL KNOW. There is not a single one of you who can turn around and say you did not know.
You see, I have now HIT that iceberg….the ship is sinking…and the lifeboats are filled with evil ministers who’ve ensured THEIR PENSIONS are VAST and WELL PROTECTED, whilst those of the 1950s women are being used for INSANE IDEAS, HS2, bulldozing council estates to replace them with private ones, Endless Invasions, HS3, Hinkley Point, Thatcher Museum, Private Jet, EU leaflets…£BILLIONS being WASTED, whilst we are DYING OUT HERE!
There is TRUE EVIL going on in the country my Beloved Dad fought for in 1939…and he would have tears running down his dear old face, were he here today to see what has become of his daughter, of the daughters of so many of his fellow men who went to war AGAINST the very kind of minds who now rule his country….what has become of his dearly loved country….
When I went for my first interview at the Jobcentre, I was early…so I went into Oxfam and there I found the story of Harry Patch, the last WW1 veteran. I bought it for 50p…and I kept Harry’s sweet face staring up at me throughout that interview….to remind me that ONCE, my country was filled with HONOUR and INTEGRITY, of GOOD people like Harry who ‘Did Their Duty’ for their country, in the belief they were making a difference, ensuring a better life for all, just as my Darlin’ Dad did too in the next war……
And now, here we are with Barbarians in Power…..those who believe ‘We WILL do WHATEVER we want!’…and to HELL with their People.
I guess though, that these people have the same sort of minds as those who sent so many of Harry’s comrades to their deaths…who viewed other humans in a totally detached way, just as we are now being viewed too, for there is not an OUNCE of concern for us, nor the sick, the vulnerable the disabled, the dying.
Just a contempt for us all.
WHAT happens to us when we cannot claim JSA, nor ESA, nor can find jobs? Would these Inhuman Ministers like to explain this to me, please, because the very system they have ALLOWED Iain Duncan Smith to design is KILLING many of us out here, by NOT allowing us to claim benefits when we NEED to, benefits which MOST of us have PAID for via our NI contributions, just as we also pay for pensions this way too.
My heart is broken…it is shattered into a thousand pieces….and right now, I’m too tired and too upset to even check for mistakes in this blog, so you’ll have to have it ‘raw’…for my words are an Open Wound, A Waterfall of Tears…
I can’t take much more, I truly can’t……
But, I have another FIVE YEARS of this SHIT to endure before these Crooks give me my pension..and in that time, they’ll have stolen around £36,000 from me, from all of us.
I don’t think I have a hope in hell of making it…
I hope WASPI will take them to Court and ensure that when our pensions ARE returned to us, by law, they will also be returned to the children/families of any women who have died whilst being denied what is rightfully and legally theirs.
The WASPI Campaign has united us, but we have to be prepared to ‘Go To War’ over this, to NOT give in…to NEVER let them get away with this Scandalous Crime, which should be on the FRONT pages of EVERY MAJOR NEWSPAPER in the UK now, NOT in their ‘financial sections’ We need to hold MASS Beg-Ins, mass Sit-Ins on The Bridges Of London in protest, perhaps?
This evil HAS to be stopped somehow, for, to quote from the wonderful Show of Hands song: “There are Cutthroats, Crooks and Conmen running this gaol….”
Wake UP, Britain, men and women all, fight for your pensions too, do NOT let them just add years and years on to your ages, for this is so, SO wrong.
Only by all coming together will we find our way back from ‘Cutthroats, Crooks & Conmen’ to Honour, Honesty and Integrity.
Meanwhile, as we continue in our despair, these Corrupt, Discompassionate, Disconnected, Disassocated Bastards & Bitches sip their champagne and continue with their wealthy, protected lives….
We are truly in Marie Antoinette Times again….
The WASPI Women already have their Anthem out there, but soon, it will be joined by another song…..
Do You Hear The People Sing, Ministers? You will do, very shortly…..and it is a song you will never forget….
Lizzie Cornish – The ‘Pensionless Pensioner’
Published with permission from lizziecornish.over-blog.com (edits/additions by Welfare Weekly).