Last year was an extraordinary year for this blog and my readers deserve a big thank you for following me. The number of hits is at record levels topping over a million for the first time.
This is more than double the previous year and the main driver has been the campaign by BackTo60 along with other groups to get back lost pensions for 3.8 million people born in the 1950s. The interest in this issue has been phenomenal. In 2017 I had less than 100,000 hits. In 2018 it was 464,000 and this year’s figure shows it has grown ten fold since 2017 – at over a million.
Reporting the campaign for 50swomen has been a big insight into how difficult it is for such a large group of people to get justice or even get noticed by the mainstream media.
That there was injustice over the five and then six year delay in paying out pensions to the 50swomen is unquestionable. That the Department of Work and Pensions took every step possible to deny the women the money – even down to arguing in court that the ministry has no duty to tell anyone about their pension was unbelievable.
The campaign by BackTo60 has had its highs and lows. The fact the claimants initially won the case for a judicial review at all – when detractors said it would never be granted- was a key victory. But to be followed by a comprehensive defeat at the High Court was a big low.
Ironically the defeat finally brought the issue to front page mainstream media and TV and secured sympathetic coverage.
Then there was the general election campaign. Labour became the first party to publish a compensation package with support from two of the biggest trade unions, Unison and Unite, was a major acheivement.
It was only half way to full restitution – but it opened a debate on how it should be paid and that compensation should be paid to the women.
But Labour was defeated in last month’s election- and the very offer to the women was derided by opponents as an example of the party making too many generous promises with public money.
So where does it go now? There are three routes to justice. First there is the approach to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal the judgement. Lawyers for BackTo60 would not have recommended this action and the raising of money to do it unless they could see there was a good case.
Then there is the approach by Waspi and others to the Parliamentary Ombudsman – putting forward six test cases – this will take some time before he issues a judgement.
There is also the case for a special temporary measure being passed by Parliament to pay out the money on the grounds of inequality – this could lead to full restitution without going to the courts. But the composition of the new Parliament will make it difficult to get it passed.
That all this is problematic does not mean people should give up – and I for one will still continue reporting this campaign – because the sense of injustice has not changed one iota and the women deserve to be compensated.
People will notice this year that many of the blogs are appearing in full on Byline Times – a growing independent print and on-line media group dedicated to holding power to account. I have a retainer with them to analyse and investigate issues arising in Whitehall and Westminster especially as now Britain will be in a post Brexit world.
Given the government now has a solid majority this is needed more than ever and I intend to pursue this vigorously.
Child sex abuse
I have not done so much this year on this topic but it does not mean I have lost interest in it. Many of the cases involve people who have never had justice so I will return to it.
I did put forward my opinions following the conviction of the paedophile Carl Beech for perverting the course of justice.
Travel and reviews
This blog will occasionally do a review of a film and a book. This year I reviewed Andrew Lownie’s biography of the Mountbattens and a film on the Durham Miner’s Gala.
I also travelled this year taking my disabled wife, Maragaret on an eye -opening world cruise – blogging from Bermuda, Samoa, Waitangi in News Zealand, Darwen in Australia, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Singapore.
I am taking another break later this month when I am taking my disabled wife on a cruise round South America, going up the Amazon and across the Beagle Channel and visiting Rio, Buenos Aires, Chile and Panama among other places. So expect some more blogs from unusual places.
I shall be back by April ready to resume full domestic coverage of everything from the continuing battle for justice for the 50swomen and the latest political developments. Have a great New Year everybody.
Thank you David it’s been a pleasure to read your article’s keep them coming. And enjoy your cruise
LikeLiked by 1 person
Happy New Year David; hope springs eternal that someone, somewhere has guts and a sense of justice to overturn the legal ‘no’s’ so far and return to us what is rightfully ours and wrongly stolen from us.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Happy new year to you David and your wife. I am very grateful for your support and coverage of the great pension robbery. Many thanks
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for your magnificent support of us 1950’s women! Happy New Year! X
LikeLiked by 1 person
Enjoy your travels and thankdms David.
If any ladies reading this want to join #tituLondon mid March
They can contact me directly for more details.
Thank you David for your full support. Love reading your blogs. A breath of fresh air compared to mainstream media. Let’s hope we can follow this journey to its end & justice is served this year.
Best Wishes for 2020.
Firstly I would like to wish you and your Wife a Happy New Year, best wishes to you both for 2020.
I hope you have a great time on your holiday.
My hope for this year is that 50’s women get some positive outcomes.
I am another year older and would love to see a change coming soon to our circumstances.
We need to keep fighting for justice.
Thank You David & Happy New Year as you say 2019 was a rollercoaster for us 50s women, it is hard not to feel bitter and disappointed. I also get angry at the amount of time it takes us to get to each stage, especially as we raised the money for the appeal in record time and surpassed the target set. I agree with each point you make about possible ways forward, I am just really sorry that Labour lost the election as they were the only party that promised to put this right, albeit what they offered was not full restitution it was better than nothing at all. Also Labour never said the offer from them meant we had to withdraw our appeal, in fact they hoped we won it and received every penny we are owed.
Brilliant keep up the good work. The VIP child abuse is the key to EVERYTHING thanks
Happy New Year David.
Thank you for all your hard work
Going by the recent behaviour of our MSM – Input such as yours is very much needed and valued
Have a super trip to South America
You will be missed.
All good wishes for 2020!
Thankyou David for your support. I enjoy reading your blogs, strait forward and
informative. Have a lovely holiday and hope you and your family have a ‘Happy
Thank you David for all your efforts on behalf of us 60s women. I was certainly not swayed to vote for Jeremy Corbyn at the general election. I would only have been compensated by around £11.000 over 6 years out of the £52,000 I am being robbed of. Why wasn’t it in his manifesto if he was going to see through some recompense. Because he would never have done anything!!! He also knew he was going to lose the election and threw the subject in at the last minute. There are not enough real life stories being heard by those in power of the suffering going on with women like myself who had to give up work at 50 to look after my husband who has MS and cannot do anything with his hands due to intention tremor ie feed himself, cope with hygiene issues etc. In Scotland there is ‘free personal care’ but due to his fatigue he sleeps 14 hours out of 24 I have to be on hand to feed him when he is awake. I cannot access my pension for another 4.5 years. I don’t have MS but I am living as though I have it. I now have osteoarthritis which drs think has been brought on by lifting and twisting my back while lifting the wheelchair into the car. I am 61 and feel like an old woman.😰. There isn’t enough being heard of the real life stories of those who have had to give up work or who left work at 60 when they were made redundant or thought they would be lifting their pension at 60 when they started work.
Enough of my ramble David. I know you are looking after a loved one with a disability so I wish you well and keep up the good work. Have a great holiday.😎
Thankyou for everything David and enjoy your cruise. Wishing you and your wife a great 2020.
I understand where Chris Currie is coming from I agree in terms of Jeremy Corbyn he was never going to win the election. I am not sure were you live Chris, before I retired a year ago.
I worked for an organisation who supports family or friends caring for someone to enable them to continue living in their own home.
This support was for the person who was caring I am sure there will be an organisation in your ares who could offer you support if you would like it, to find out more you could check Carers UK. online, I hope this is helpful for you and anyone else who is caring for family or a friend.
Heartfelt thanks from a 1950s woman. Reached my 60th birthday before discovering I had to wait another six years. One more year to go.
Both enjoy your well deserved holiday David
Thank you David, you have made an immense impact on getting focus for the 50’s women’s state pension plight. Particularly the £271bn raid on the NI fund.
It is the lies, the cover up, the massive impact on 3.8million 50’s women’s quality of life, identity, welfare, finances, mental health, time and relationships. Women who have had their lifetime morals and principles shattered by dishonesty and dirty tricks. Maybe it’s time to fight fire with fire!
Thank you, have a lovely well deserved holiday.
Thank you for all you are doing for 50s women and other topics. Thank you for your measured but pointed challenges to policy and political actions ( without the nasty name calling of other commentators). Glad to hear you and your wife are getting away for a break and hope you are treated well on your journey.
I have paid National Insurance since I was 16 , I always thought I would get my pension at the age of 60 and planned my life accordingly.My husband spent much time away ,and my career as a Hotel Manager not practical with 2 small children tho worked as a part time chef, piano teacher,private caterer all on the premise I could retire at 60 .Did get enticed into a pension plan through 2 different workplaces promising me security aged 60 Only when 60 realized one paid 16 quid the other not much more/annumCashed them as worth more to me alive.