Public sector retirements are being savaged

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I HAD dinner recently with my wife and two of our closest friends. My wife is the headteacher of St Margaret’s C of E Primary School, Ifield; our friends are a nursing sister and a police officer.

None of my friends are dustmen, more’s the pity; if they had’ve been, and if they had been present at this meal, doubtless they would have joined in the debate that dominated the evening’s conversation – the strike of public sector workers!

How dare our Great Leader, David Cameron, describe it as ‘a damp squib’?

It was meant to be a peaceful protest, for goodness sake! He should consider himself lucky he didn’t get a brick through his window, but, of course, that’s not how civilised people express their emotions, is it?

But how CAN we let our feelings be known? The word democracy comes from the Greek word demokratia meaning ‘government by the people’; demokratia itself originates from two other Greek words for ‘people’ and ‘power’.

What power do we, the people, actually have? Once every five years or so, about half of us cast our vote; the other half, probably and justifiably believing that it doesn’t matter, stay at home or in the pub. And what effect do our votes have? Most of us don’t even get the party in power that we favour!

At dinner, my wife made a most extraordinary and generous offer. In her school she has a Special Support Centre, wherein pupils who sometimes have extreme physical disabilities are enabled to join in the main stream of education.

She invites David Cameron, himself no stranger to youngsters with great physical difficulties, to visit her school and see the wonderful work carried out by the members of the profession that he disparaged; and then, she suggests, he should go on national television and, for all to see, publicly debate the merits of the Government’s economic policies with the leaders of the unions representing teachers, nurses, and all the others whose legitimate expectations for their retirement are being savaged.

JOHN REILLY

St Leonards Road, Horsham