Currently pensioners in the UK "enjoy" a triple safety lock on their pensions thanks to the Tory Liberal Democrat coalition government.
Now one Baroness Altmann wants that scrapped as Sunday she says she previously urged former PM David Cameron to look at the triple-lock protection.
Baroness Rosalind Miriam Altmann, CBE, joined the House of Lords May 19, 2015, where she is guaranteed at least £300 a day simply for showing up briefly.
That is much more than the weekly state pension in the UK.
According to the Independent "The triple-lock protection for state pensions should be abolished in order to save billions, the former minister responsible for the benefits has urged. Baroness Altmann, who left her post as pensions minister in Theresa May’s reshuffle, warned the cost of keeping the safeguard in place would be "enormous" after 2020."
The Tory government pledge under David Cameron was to maintain the triple lock until at least 2020.
On Sunday morning TV Altmann tried to spin her words as somehow a positive for pensioners in the UK. But her words ended up a mixture of spin, lies and drivel.
If it is all about saving money the only possible outcome for pensioners has to be negative.
Lucky Altmann born 1956 is not in the position of WASPI women in the UK; women who paid into the pensions system only to be told at the 11th hour they would have to work longer for a pension and in some case be excluded from the new flat rate pension.
Divisive and discriminatory Tory Britain 2016 even has a two-tier pension system.
"The full new State Pension is £155.65 per week. Your National Insurance record is used to calculate your new State Pension. You'll usually need 10 qualifying years to get any new State Pension. The amount you get can be higher or lower depending on your National Insurance record."
But that new pension is not available for existing pensioners.
The rest of us, existing pensioners, receive the old rate which is a maximum of £119.30 per week plus any additional pension earned.
But for the record the so-called triple lock pensions promise has not improved the value of a pension.
But it has stopped them being slashed by the Tory austerity axe.
Pensioners on average receive £600 a month more or less; many receive much less and some rely on top-ups such as pension credits to make ends meet.
Altmann's plans would hit poorer pensioners hardest and possibly end pension credit top-ups.
But bear in mind average pensioners receive no top-ups. They simply receive the pension they paid into year after year as they worked the best years of their lives.
The Tories may want to re brand pensions as welfare but they are not. They are paid for social security.
But they realise older citizens tend to vote and often vote Tory
Altmann was at pains Sunday to claim she still wanted to protect pensions but by a different method.
But again we say if it is about saving money that cannot be true.
Altmann has been involved in some worthwhile campaigns but wikipedia describes her business career as follows "A senior investment management role at Chase Manhattan, running the Bank's international equity department in London, was followed by directorships at Rothschild International Asset Management and NatWest. Her work included advising on strategy for UK pension funds and funds established under the US ERISA rules, and advice to central banks. A full-time job gave her insufficient time with her young family, so in 1993 she became an independent investment consultant with clients including 3i group, BT, HM Treasury, Standard Life, the BBC, Sky and Channel 4."
Yes she will easily be able to relate to an average pensioner in the UK; we think not.
Those in the Labour Party looking for real political change with Jeremy Corbyn note "In July 2004 Altmann was appointed by the Labour Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, to the Strategic Investment Board for a three-year term. The announcement cited Altmann's work on the Myners Report and her then current position as non-executive policy adviser to the Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street on investment, pensions, savings and annuity policies."
So-called Charlie Falconer is a member of the Progress wing of the Labour Party and a Blairite. "Charles Falconer, the shadow justice secretary and former close associate of Tony Blair, was an incongruous fit with Corbyn. In September he upset Corbyn supporters by disagreeing with the Labour leader’s plan to strip the Bank of England of its independence. In January he publicly disagreed with the decision to sack the Europe minister, Pat McFadden."
There goes that tangled web again.
The one which means at times it is difficult to spot where the Tory Party ends and the Labour Party begins.
Baroness Altmann:Parliamentary House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW
Tel: 020 7219 5353
Department for Work and Pensions, Caxton House, 4th Floor, 6-12 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA
It was a real family affair with young children, families, teenagers, individuals and older citizens.
After Corbyn had finishing speaking I was close enough to get on the stage to try for a close up.One woman who had brought her 85-year-old mum got Jeremy to talk to the older lady and pose for a photo. This wise older citizen told Jeremy how angry she was when she witnessed the "bastards" (her words) behind him in the House of Commons attacking him. She said I know you do kinder politics but I say this for you.
She was a sweet looking elder citizen but spoke for many of us.
I managed to shake Jeremy's hand, wish him well and so did others as his team tried to prise him away for the journey to Leeds for a rally tonight.
I was slightly sad for my neighbour that she had not been closer. If the crowd had not moved in she could have been seated near the other older lady.
But the crowd dispersed a little and we decided to go for a cuppa.
And there he was!
As we retraced our steps across the top end of Queens Gardens Jeremy was being mobbed in rock star style by a large group of good looking young women.
In never say die style I managed to push my neighbour through the crowd saying "retired teacher coming through" and bless them they helped her.
There she was face to face with Corbyn, shaking his hand.
She is one happy lady who tells me she will not sleep tonight.
Using my old digital camera the images and footage I captured on the day will hopefully complete this story. Bear in mind they are as they come-not cropped, photo-shopped or tweaked but simply an accurate record of the event.
Note: The Hull Daily Mail reports a crowd of 1500 but journos there on the day set it much higher http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/jeremy-corbyn-to-lead-1-500-strong-rally-in-queens-gardens-hull/story-29567764-detail/story.html
[Footage will be added later]
If Corbyn wins the leadership election again what will happen next?
Will spoiled brats throw their toys out of the pram again and demand he goes?
While they throw tantrums, pontificate and procrastinate THEY are doing the Labour Party untold damage and guaranteeing election defeat for years to come.
Op-ed: Any negative news pertaining in any way to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, be it fabricated, pure lies, fiction, imaginery or spin, is headline news as the leadership of the party comes under attack.
But what about any news that proves a story false or puts it in its proper place in the dustbin of history?
Sadly such stories are rarely if ever given the same pride of place by the British gutter press.
Take a story we also covered to set the record straight at the weekend.
It involved MP Seema Malhotra who opted to very publicly cry foul when she claimed her former office had been wrongly entered.
She is one of the members of the parliamentary Labour Party who resigned their shadow cabinet jobs in an attempt to force Jeremy Corbyn to resign as party leader.
Seema Malhotra is the Labour and Co-operative MP for Feltham and Heston. As her Twitter feed says she is the "Former Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury."
It apears Ms Malhotra thought she could resign her shadow cabinet post but retain her prime position office.
She named Mr Corbyn's office manager Karie Murphy and accused her, and other aides, of being "aggressive and intimidating" towards the staff involved.
Sunday we learned Karie Murphy could now face disciplinary action which could include dismissal.
You can find Seema's letter raising a formal complaint about the alleged office incident posted online and it is also available at the bottom of this report.
Sunday the mainstream media ran with the story some making it their top story.
Tuesday John Bercow speaker of the House of Commons rejected Ms Mahotra's claims that an office manager "broke into her office."
But the Daily Mail earlier this week had already opted to demonise the office manager with a report titled "Corbyn sidekick accused of raid on rebel MP's office: Aide implicated in vote-rigging scandal 'entered office twice of former shadow cabinet minister when she was not there'."
In the story the Mail digs up old history and many of its readers will have no idea if it is true, false or just plain fake. They claim "Miss Murphy, who is close to Len McCluskey, head of Unite, was at the centre of a row over Labour’s selection of an election candidate in Falkirk amid claims of vote rigging by the union in Scotland."
The dirt is irrelevant to the Mail's story but hey we are talking about the Daily Mail.
What Ms Malhotra hoped to achieve by going public with this story is not clear.
But Tuesday the Independent reports "The Speaker of the House of Commons has poured cold water on claims by a Labour MP that there had been “unauthorised access” to her office by Labour staff loyal to the leadership. John Bercow told Seema Malhotra that claims of unauthorised entry into her office did not amount to a possible breach of Commons rules."
"Mr Bercow said no rules were broken."
So that should be the end of the story but will there be a public apology? Will Seema receive a warning to handle future perceived complaints more sensitively?
Perhaps we should end with a Tuesday tweet from Labour MP Paul Flynn "After BRICKgate, BREAK-INgate. BULLYgate & PIFFLEgate can we have PEACEgate, PUT A SOCK IN ITgate & UNITE LABOURgate?"
We are with you on that one Paul.
Tuesday's Jeremy Corbyn news story is complicated, sleazy and more.
Today he is in court defending his place on the leaderhip ballot.
He is the current leader of the Labour Party and as such the big question is whether he should be automatically on the ballot after MPs launched a coup to unseat him and Owen Smith put himself forward as a challenger.
The Labour Party's NEC, national executive committee, has already met and agreed Corbyn could be on the ballot without the required number of MP nominations.
But the rules are open to interpretation and one rich party donor, Michael Foster, has aleady launched a legal challenge.
Today is their day in court but a ruling is not expected until later this week.
The justice system will have to play this one carefully or it may look as if they are interfering in a major political party and thus influencing British politics.
According to the Guardian Tuesday "Leader likely to get chance to collect 51 nominations if challenge against decision to automatically put him on ballot wins."
But all of this saga following a long standing plot by some Labour MPs could result in a mass exodus from the party.
Who is Michael Foster?
Michael Foster, whose family has given £400,000 to the Labour Party, said he was concerned over the "apparent manipulation" of party rules by the ruling body, the National Executive Committee (NEC).
The Labour Party is currently on a hiding to nothing while the Tory government go on their merry way with a budgest slash here and a sneaky change there.
Is Michael Foster worth more than the so-called "three quidders" to the party?
What a terrible look for a left-wing political party.
Still as if to balance the party it is also being sued by some of its "ordinary" members. "Group hires law firm to challenge NEC decision that anyone who joined after 12 January can only vote if they paid £25 fee."
Conclusion: A tangled mess becomes a tragedy.
Op-ed: It looks like plotters within the Labour Party are working toward at least one story a day to undermine the party leader Jeremy Corbyn during the current leadership challenge.
Corbyn is lucky enough to have huge support within the party but not from some of his own MPs and today the tittle tattle comes from that 'other place' the House of Lords.
According to the Guardian "Lady Smith [Labour leader of the House of Lords] said of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership: ‘If we only rely on people who agree with us, then we won’t win an election.
Well Ms Smith the way some of you are carrying on election defeat is a certainty no matter who you talk to and who leads the party.
Perhaps you all believe that posting spurious allegations across the media will somehow give the electorate confidence in you?
If you are so deluded, a term many of the plotters like to use about Corbyn supporters, heaven help us all.
For some reason the Labour Party has always opted for very public and damaging political spats.
The current Conservative government is in turmoil but you will have to dig deep to find out what is going on there.
To the World they are trying to show a united, all sweetness and light, front.
Having worked on the right-wing principle of united we stand divided we fall for years they will do whatever it takes.
Unlike the Labour Party the Tory's do not feed the mainstream media a diet of divisive tittle tattle to suit.
The unnecessary badly-timed Labour leadership challenge has weeks to play out.
The gloves are off so expect a series of msm reports that are true, fake, fabrication, pure lies, carefully crafted spin and more.
Petty party political stories have already grabbed headlines news indicating sources such as BBC news have their own agenda.
He who pays the piper calls the tune and who with big money has most to gain from ousting Corbyn?
Post your thoughts in the comment section below.
Today's story as it goes in the Guardian is:
Labour’s leader in the House of Lords has said 10 months of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has convinced her that despite having the “right values” he cannot persuade voters of his cause nor win a general election.
The Telegraph picked the story up and has opted for:
Angela Smith, Labour's leader in the House of Lords, has abandoned her support for Jeremy Corbyn because she said he had not been involved in key campaigns yet had claimed credit for them.
We have now picked the story up and we say bunkum.
Ms Smith et al are in the process of alientating many long and short term Labour Party supporters.
They appear to think that is a price worth paying to oust Jeremy Corbyn.
Big Bad Labour Party story Sunday involves office space spat
Jeremy Corbyn damned if he does and damned if he does not
Op-ed: Unless any other Labour MP declares an intention to stand as the next potential leader of the Labour Party it will be a two-man race between Jeremy Corbyn the incumbent and Owen Smith the challenger.
But at time of writing Jeremy Corbyn appears more popular than ever.
Angela Eagle crash landed out of the race Tuesday as she withdrew hoping along with other members of the Parliamentary Labour Party that one challenger could beat Corbyn and become a so-called unity candidate.
The problem is many words have been exchanged face to face, online and in the mainstream media and although any person can apologise at any time words cannot be unsaid.
Unity in the Labour Party will not come easily and division allows the right-wing of politics to carry on their merry way.
It is basic common sense that united we stand divided we fall.
Apportioning blame continues but does not help.
Too many times it is one side's word against the opposing side.
Owen Smith only joined the leadership race recently but his reputation is being torn apart as things hot-up.
The Labour Party has weeks of unnecessary in-party electioneering that will leave us all bloodied and bleeding.
It will not be easy to forgive and forget in some cases.
Many people including this writer have voted Labour for decades but sometimes while holding their nose and admitting the vote has been for the lesser of the evils.
But it should not be like that.
The Labour Party has to stand for and represent something different or people may as well vote Liberal Democrat, Green or even Tory or Ukip.
There are many parties available these days in the UK and the rise of the SNP in Scotland has killed the two-party system.
Hell if the SNP were to field candidates in other parts of the UK even I might give them a vote.
Wednesday ahead of the leadership race Owen Smith has reached out to Corbyn and his supporters.
BBC News reports "Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith says he will offer Jeremy Corbyn the role of party president if he wins. Mr Smith praised his rival but said he was "not a leader", saying he had "sloganised" on austerity without setting out what he would do instead."
Who knows how that offer will be received by Corbyn, his supporters, Smith's supporters and the PLP.
Is it even possible?
Is it a genuine reach out or done because Smith knows Corbyn is still likely to win?
Then there are what I would say are the most important players in the Labour Party - the voters.
Without members of the electorate voting Labour the party can posture and procrastinate as much as it wants but it is finished.
In this report we will not go down the road of attacking Smith; that is not Jeremy Corbyn's modus operandi and as a supporter I will follow his lead this time.
There could still be another challenger throwing their hat in the ring and as they say in any crisis report the situation remains fluid.
But Labour, we the people are watching, and many of us do not like what we see.
Apparent self indulgent MPs playing games instead of doing their jobs is not a vote winner.
The sooner we are back to a functioning Labour Party the better.
Time and patience is after all running out.
Opinion: Sunday a report in the Daily Mail, sometimes dubbed the Daily Fail, claims that Labour MP Stephen Kinnock and 150 MPs are looking at breaking away from the Labour Party to form a new political party if Jeremy Corbyn wins the leadership race again.
You have to wonder why Labour is even going through this damaging attempt to oust Corbyn if it will split anyways.
If true it shows how self-indulgent some Labour MPs have become.
The sub-plotters reportedly intend to call this new party Continuity Labour.
Forming new political parties is expensive and not easy.
Making that party electable and gaining enough support to make a real political difference is difficult.
One conclusion has to be that those involved in this new sub-plot have financial backing and their own agenda.
Stephen Kinnock is the son of former Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock: Kinnock senior never won a General Election but secured a family fortune "riding the EU gravy train" along with bis wife Glynis.
The Daily Mail story claims:
More than 150 Labour MPs are plotting to form a breakaway party codenamed 'Continuity Labour' if Jeremy Corbyn wins the leadership battle – with Stephen Kinnock tipped to head it.
As usual an unnamed source is cited for the story.
Is it simply fabrication, mischief making from within or without the Labour Party, spot on or what?
If once again it is a leak from within the Labour Party it is yet another attempt to create instability and undermine Corbyn.
The Mail continues:
A senior source said: 'If Corbyn wins, the party is finished in its current form.
Stephen Kinnock's words add credence to the story.
After all his words mean he and others will not work for or with Corbyn if he is re-elected.
The right-wing of the Labour Party is busy trying to ensure Corbyn does not win but what if they fail?
Watch this space!
British political scene
The next General Election in the UK may not be scheduled any time soon but the British political landscape is changing. With that in mind this blog will concentrate on the political scene but with a left wing perspective. Opinion pieces and news will bring you the stories that the MSM prefer to ignore.
Running a news based website is fun, time consuming and can be costly. If you would like to help the site keep afloat please use the donate button