Any day now my bribe winter fuel allowance will thud onto the front door mat and again I will be amazed at HMG's generosity, such a nice man that Gordon . . . er, whatever his name was . . . it almost makes me feel guilty for not having voted for him, indeed, quite the opposite, I shuffled a little jig in celebration when he lost! Typical malevolent behaviour to be expected from a crotchety old pensioner, you may think, but you see I don't like being bribed. You may wonder at my use of this word but the reason has been obvious for years but lest you doubt I am grateful to Jim Pickard on the FT Westminster blog for spelling it out, with my emphasis added:
Anyone wondering why this is the case should read this research from De Montfort University and Age UK showing that 4 in 10 votes cast are by the over-55s.
By the year 2025, 466 seats will see at least one third of turnout comprised voters aged 65 and over.
I am the living (for the time being) proof of the inherent waste in universal benefits. I am anything but rich but I could squeak by without this bribe. In an uncertain world it is more than likely that Sir Phillip Green, or Lord Sainsbury, and their ilk, could get by without it, too, but, no, each year HMRC sends out the cheques willy-nilly. Of course, I could do the decent, principled thing and send the money back but alas, dear reader, that would break an even higher duty to which I needs must bow the knee; it is enshrined in The Honourable Company of Second-hand Car Dealers: 'Never Give a Sucker an Even Break!' Perhaps one of my many well-educated readers could translate that into Latin, give it more of ring, 'know wot I mean, John?'