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Pension age will keep rising, UK chancellor George Osborne announced in his autumn statement today (5 December 2013). Young people now finishing their education will probably have to wait until they are in their 70s. This will have a devastating effect on some areas and sections of society.
The fright wig and jester's mask slipped last Wednesday. Boris Johnson, delivering the annual Margaret Thatcher lecture, showed the ugly reality behind the motley as he made his bid for the support of the Tory right and attempted to position himself as successor to David Cameron.
Austerity measures are causing avoidable illness and death on a major scale, public health experts have shown. In the UK and internationally, harsh cuts in public services and social services are damaging child and adult health and hindering economic recovery, yet some governments are pressing ahead.
Politicians tend to become grandiose when they are trying to sell us an idea. The rhetorical use of the concept of 'nation' to corral us together under a conveniently high-sounding label has, in recent months, tried to sign us up to being both 'one nation' and an 'aspiration nation.'