Recently there has been this nasty lie going around that Gordon Brown has raided the state pensions in order to subsidise the British economy. Aside from the fact that even the Tories grudgingly admit that we have a relatively stable economy (which they try and pin the responsibility on the previous Tory government, even though Labour have now been in power for a decade), this is not exactly true.
This is what happened. Gordon Brown stopped a Conservative government subsidy for people who were wealthy enough to pay for private pensions. He then consequently put the money into the NHS in order to bring down the waiting list:
As the Tories know, the effect on the Pension industry was miniscule. All it did was remove a £5bn subsidy, which can hardly bankrupt an industry worth £1,000bn.
In consequence, Brown has virtually eradicated long-term waiting on the NHS. In 1997, 283,866 people in England were waiting more than six-months for an operation. Today, according to independently verified figures, there are only 299. That is still 299 too many and the system is still imperfect. For the Tories to then try and frighten vulnerable state pensioners is disgusting and vile.
The Express did the icing on the cake today by listing in it's editorial every postwar Chancellor of the Exchequer as being better than Gordon Brown. What, are the noveau riche of Middle England really dumb enough to believe that Norman Lamont (who wiped out 3.4bn of Britian's reserves in one day) is better than Gordon Brown? Richard Desmond has run an industry which peddles to the sad fantasies of sexist men and women which demeans them. A pity he has seen fit to continue in stoking the fantasies that arise from the fears of financial wellbeing from the vulnerable.