Listen to Families of Unpensionables talking about their situation

Monday, August 27, 2012

BBC Radio Five Live:   Interview is approx 1hr into the programme and lasts about 10 mins.  (Story about a Lion on the Loose in Essex used up most of our alloted time!!!)

Listen to the Programme which interviews families of The Unpensionables

Comment by listener to the programme:  by Ms Maggie O’Brien of Tottenham 

The case of the unpensionables is yet another example of the Prime Minister leading by example.  Sadly, the example he is giving to young people is that it’s ok to break your promise.  Young army officers signed up on the understanding of a pension after 16 years’ service.  They kept their side of the bargain, serving in dire conditions and putting their lives on the line every day.  Their families have to make enormous sacrifices, supporting their partners often by putting their own careers on hold, and living with the constant fear that they might be injured or killed in active service.

If you believe the spin, this honourable service is welcomed by the government.  To evidence this, in July of this year David Cameron visited Camp Bastion in Afghanistan and said

“I value our armed services enormously, the whole country does”

 If you value someone, you keep your promises, regarding the contract that both sides signed up to, and honour the officers’ pensions.  The current redundancy decision, and the timing of these, which would appear to be a deliberate cost-cutting tactic, has cost officers and their families HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF POUNDS.

 I would suggest to Cameron that the way you prove you value the armed services, is to stop spouting platitudes and start listening to the families.  He could start by reading the Times of Friday 24 August, where families of Army officers have been interviewed and express feeling “betrayed, disgusted, angry, cheated and devastated.”  David Cameron said in July, “I’m able to look all the Armed Forces in the eye”, I would like to call his bluff and put him in a room for half an hour with army family members such as Jayne and Mary Bullock and Laura Richards.  I doubt that he could meet their gaze, but he would hopefully recognise a sharp contrast to his own spin, as their testaments are searing, genuine, eloquent, convincing, and above all, JUST.  Look and Learn Prime Minister.

 If indeed a genuine mistake has been made by the Defence Secretary, who has already admitted that his evidence to the Defence Select Committee was wrong, then David Cameron and the government now have a great opportunity to lead by example, and show young people that when you make an error, you ‘man up’ and put things right.  I believe that they should apologise to the military and their families and immediately review and rectify this shameful situation.

So, it’s over to you David …

PLEASE SIGN the Parliamentary epetition and get the Unpensionables cases reviewed:



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