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November 30, 2008


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Natural Health Remedies

Yeah, But we can just pray for them.

Philip Thomas

Thanks for being honest, would that all politicians were as such. I reckon even Kay Tie will be impressed.


Thanks. My views are pro-legalisation, but it's unobtainable in the near future. That is why I putting my energies into a new Convention which is attainable and could help millions.

We cannot make Sweden into Holland or the UK into Switzerland. But we can get them all to agree that health soulutions work and are better value than the criminal justice system.

Kay Tie

"I'm not clear if you're actual pro-legalisation, whether with markets or with state-shops."

Paul is never going to answer that in public. You remember Clair Short being shot down in flames for some very mild opinions in this area? It's going to tip eventually, like a dam bursting, but don't expect it to happen on a blog!


Pity that Gordon McBroon hoovered so much cash out of pension funds whilst leaving public sector pensions to get even more bloated and leaving future generations with a huge burden.

Philip Thomas

Any advance on how alone you are in speaking sense on drugs? Okay, loaded question, on holding your particular perspective of medicalisation over criminalisation? I'm not clear if you're actual pro-legalisation, whether with markets or with state-shops.

Kay Tie

"KayTie I wonder whether it was wise of you to opt out of SERPS."

The Government has virtually guaranteed that anyone on a salary of more than about £32k/year will lose by staying in S2P: this is because the S2P pension paid out is capped in line with a contributions level of £32k/year, but the S2P component of NI levied on wages above £32k/year continues. Anyone with a salary significantly above £32k is insane to continue paying into the S2P (notice how it was renamed from SERPS to S2P? That's because it's not earnings-related, and anyone who thought that it would provide a pension in proportion to their earnings has been cheated).

The problem with any kind of government-backed pension scheme is that you have to be in it for 40 years or so, and this means you have to trust that 40 years of ministers will not cheat you. This has already happened with SERPS. It happened years ago to married women who paid a "half stamp" and discovered decades later that they'd been cheated out of their own pension entitlement.

paul flynn

KayTie I wonder whether it was wise of you to opt out of SERPS. It depends on many things, but SERPS has proved good value to many who have retired in the past 15 years plus. The drop in value of all money purchase values in recent years has been at least 37%. That was a calculation by the Equitable Life Campaigners

Kay Tie

I am very pleased to read what you wrote on drugs policy. The War on Drugs has been a scourge on our society and created far more hagn than it sought to prevent.

I opted out of SERPS. With my eyes open - I did not trust a future government to pay me an earnings-related pension. I was proved right - SERPS payouts are to be capped, but payments in are not. Anyone on an average salary is better off out of SERPS (or S2P as it's called now) - even with weasel salespeople and their commission.

Paul Flynn

You are wrong. SUAS. Classic Labour still lives. It ii due for another renaissance, as idealistic as ever. It will happen in the slipstream of Obama.

Yes the Tories wanted to unload people from SERPS, They did not abolish it and managed only half the job. The Insurance industry did not want to take on the bottom end of the market.

Philip Thomas

Okay, Conservative councillor here, just dropping by to say it's nice to see a Labour MP talking sense on drugs (I'd read your archived post on the drug tsar). I'm a pro-legalisation type for both civil liberty and practical outcome reasons. Can I ask how many of your colleagues feel similarly to yourself? I think our current drug policy (largely inherited from decades of previous administrations) visits huge social, economic and human harm, that few in government seems willing to consider alternate solutions towards.

BTW, you're by far the best Labour MP blogger I've so far encountered because you're using the medium to voice personal opinions rather than the party line. Very refreshing.

Stop using American spelling...

Paul, Paul, Paul..

I am disappointed in your naivety. Are you seriously thinking the Tories did this because they thought people would get better pensions on the back of stock market 'growth'?

This was done to get these liabilities off the state's books.. - and now that Gordon Brown has loaded up the books again with PFI debt and banking bailouts, it will not be long before the Tories get in, and remove all the other public sector final salary schemes. So that we are all slaves to big business. Just like under Labour - only a bit more so..

Please don't expect us to believe one party is better than the other - it is like Pepsi and Coke - both are rotten, just one tastes slightly less bitter..


"In the belief that Private is always better than Public"

Unfortunately for us all, Paul this belief has endured under the Blair/Brown ToryLite regime, perhaps not in pensions but in the NHS and in Welfare to name but two. In the latter case this is thanks to the multimillionaire amateur "welfare reformer" David Freud. I am sure Mr Freud votes New Labour though

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