Voice of the Mirror: Suspending Parliament is scandalous sidelining of democracy.

Voice of the Mirror: Suspending Parliament is scandalous sidelining of democracy.



Voice of the Mirror


29 AUG 2019.




Suspending Parliament is a scandalous sidelining of democracy by an unelected Prime Minister.

Shamefully dragging the Queen into a constitutional crisis that he has engineered only underlines the charlatan’s complete lack of respect for our country’s treasured values, institutions and conventions.

Deceitful Mr Johnson brazenly lied in the 2016 referendum and is lying now in Downing Street. Closing down Parliament to avoid scrutiny of his threat to push Britain off a Brexit no-deal cliff is cowardly.

Afraid his egotistical journey would be ended by the sovereignty of Parliament, this is the coup of a pompous PM.

And the great British public must unite to defeat this outrage. This is not about whether you want to remain in Europe or leave. This is about saving Parliament from a piratical PM.

Age old shame


Cynical Boris Johnson has confirmed he is an unprincipled Tory, putting himself first, second and third.


When our senior citizens will have spent the equivalent of the annual state pension with four months of the year remaining, we see what a pittance it really is.

To be nearly £4,500 a year short means those without occupational pensions must eat into often meagre savings – or not eat at all.

Poverty among the elderly is on the up.

With talk about raising the qualifying age to 75 from the 67 to be imposed in 2028, 

Tories are already under fire for axing free TV licences, do not deserve the votes of our elderly.


Switched Off: Save free TV for older people.

Off: Save free TV for older people.

We’ve now handed your signatures into 10 Downing Street.

For over a million of the oldest people in our country, television is their main form of company. Right now, that’s under threat.

The BBC has announced they plan to means test TV licences for the over 75s. That means they’ll only be free for people receiving Pension Credit. We believe this change will harm millions of older people who rely on their TV. Together, we must demand the Government takes back responsibility for funding free TV licences.

How you can help.

We’ve handed in our petition with an incredible 634,334 signatures to Downing Street, but we still need your help to reverse the decision to means test free TV licences.

Get in touch with your MP

Ask your MP to save free TV for older people by using our simple online form.

Why means testing isn’t the answer

Many people who are most in need of a free TV licence would lose it under a means-tested system.

The most in need often miss out.

Under new plans, only older people who receive a benefit called Pension Credit will receive a free TV licence. But two fifths of people who are entitled to this benefit – about 1.2 million pensioners – aren’t getting it. Some don’t know they can claim, many struggle to apply and lots more feel embarrassed about needing help. These people are some of the poorest in our society.

People who are barely scraping by will suffer.

Lots of older people have struggled throughout their working life to save a little extra for retirement. But that small pot of savings for a rainy day means they don’t qualify for means-tested benefits. Others are coping with the costs of ill-health or disability. Taking their free TV licence away is a cruel blow.

How will older people be affected?.

Removing older people’s access to TV would be an unthinkably cruel blow when many are already facing huge challenges. Quotes on this page are from real people who’d be affected by the decision.

• Half of all over 75s are living with a disability, and many rely on their TV for companionship and entertainment.

• For those who don’t have the internet, TV lets them stay up to date with what’s happening in the world.

• Nearly a third of over 75s are living in poverty or just above the poverty line. Paying a hefty extra bill would simply be impossible when they’re barely scraping by as it is.

• Our research shows that more than 2 million over 75s will have to go without TV or cut back on heating and food if free TV licences were scrapped.

“I have had a stroke and I am housebound. TV is my main pleasure. Don’t do this to us please.”

What older people are telling us.

We’ve received thousands of responses from people across the country who are worried about losing their TV licence, or are concerned for others who may be affected.

Their words are a powerful reminder that, for many people, TV is so much more than just ‘background noise’.

“In my advancing years I have to spend longer hours at home, so watching TV is not just a pastime but a necessity. TV is my “life support machine!” I am convinced it ought to be free for people on low income and particularly so for the over 75s. I do hope the proposition will be rescinded.”

“I am on a small pension and if it came to a choice between food and TV, I would lose out and become isolated and alone. TV keeps me company. the planned changes to TV lice

ANGRY OAPs have told Boris Johnson they’ll never forgive him if he breaks a Tory pledge to keep TV licences free for over-75s.

ANGRY OAPs have told Boris Johnson they’ll never forgive him if he breaks a Tory pledge to keep TV licences free for over-75s.


Earlier this week the PM told the Mirror the BBC should “cough up”, to keep the licences free, meaning the Government won’t.

The dismayed pensioners told Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson yesterday how the benefit is a lifeline for many, including veterans.

Ex-Army cook Jim Tennant, 70, branded the PM’s decision not to keep the Tory pledge “mean and dishonest”.

He said: “I would tell him to keep his promise – if he doesn’t, a lot will never vote for him or his party again.”

Mr Watson threw down the gauntlet to the PM when he visited the Age UK Onneley Centre in Birmingham. He said: “People think he is a liar anyway, he has lied about his private life and about policy.

“There is an easy thing for him to do to rebuild some trust.

“That is why I am challenging him to honour Labour’s pledge to back the free TV licence for the lifetime of not just this Parliament, but the next one as well whenever it comes.”

Mick Horton, 63, who served 12 years with the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers, pointed out that the £154.50 a year they now face paying will put many OAPs in the red.

He said: “This is going to do a lot of harm to pensioners and veterans in particular. People are proud and they don’t want to be seen asking for help. My neighbour is 94 and lives alone – the sound of her TV is how you know she is OK. “The Tories have come for our TV licences and they’ve raised my wife’s retirement age. What next? Is the winter fuel allowance safe?” Another former solider Bob “Knobby” Clarke, 72 with 31 years in the Royal Signals, said that for many ex-serviceman the TV is a chance for some company and support in difficult times.



“I visit my former Sergeant Major, he’ll speak about his family, but the other thing that keeps him talking is TV – speaking about what he’s seen.”

He also stressed how telly also helps people with dementia: “They Jim makes his point, below, Tom with OAPs know if Good Morning Britain is on they should have lunch and if the News at Ten is over it is time for bed.

“It makes me furious to think of Boris Johnson taking that from people who’ve worked their whole lives.”

Carol Goult, 63, said that for her 95-year-old father, who died earlier this month, the TV was a friend that allowed him to explore the world when ill health confined him to just four walls: “He loved Blue planet and the Discovery channel.

“Boris Johnson should come here and talk to people about what he is taking from them.”

Alan Powell, 75, an ex-street furniture fabricator from West Bromwich, laid out what for most is the biggest injustice: “I worked my whole life in a dirty job which is now affecting my health.

“For so many, the TV makes all the difference – and that extra expense is going to mean so many aren’t going to be able to live out the end of their lives how they would have wanted.”

In 2017 the Conservatives made a manifesto promise to keep free licences for all over-75s. But the BBC was made to fund the benefit from June 2020 and is likely to restrict it to 1.5 million OAPs on Pension Credit. More than 900,000 veterans are among 3.7million pensioners set to lose the perk.

More than 18,000 have backed The Mirror’s campaign for the Tories to reverse their stand while 634,334 have signed Age UK’s Switched Off petition – handed to No10 – calling for free licences to be kept and the Government to fund them.

Last night a Government spokesman shifted blame, saying: “We are very disappointed with the BBC’s decision. We expected them to continue free TV licences.”


More than 18,000 have backed the Mirror’s campaign for the Government to be the ones to “cough up”.




Further to LTB 487/19 dated 13th August 2019, please see below ballot result for the UNI Europa Youth Conference which closed on the 30th August 2019.


Postal Constituency 

1 Lay Member

John Carson 45,686 *Elected
Scott Hartles 20,034  
Daniel Hermitage 18,973  


Please find attached a branch analysis of the ballot results.

Any enquiries regarding this Letter to Branches should be addressed to the Senior Deputy General Secretary’s Department on telephone number 020 8971 7237, or email address sdgs@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely,


Tony Kearns

Senior Deputy General Secretary


Ballot Returns

BT Hybrid Pension – One Month to Decide – Deadline 30 September

BT Hybrid Pension – One Month to Decide – Deadline 30th September

 The BT Hybrid Pension Scheme (BTHS) has been open since April. Those eligible now only have only until 30th September to decide whether or not to join.

 To help draw attention to this deadline the CWU has today:

  • Emailed and texted all those members we believe were previously a member of Section B or C of the BT Pension Scheme. A copy is attached below.
  • Launched a new CWU podcast via social media


Eligible members have to make an individual decision about whether to join before the end of September. This is an important decision that could have wide ranging implications.

 Those eligible to join are strongly advised to:

  •  Listen to a webinar provided by Wealth at Work.
  •  Take part in a 1-2-1 session provided by Wealth at Work in work time.

Member Queries and Financial Advice

Members who have questions about the BTHS should contact Wealth at Work in the first instance. Wealth at Work can be contacted via 0800 083 5056, or www.bt-hybridpension.com/bt or bt-hybridpension@wealthatwork.co.uk

The CWU is legally prohibited from giving financial advice. If members are unsure which pension option to take then they are strongly advised to take independent financial advice.

All CWU members are entitled to a no obligation initial financial consultation with Lighthouse Financial Advice. Further information on this option is available on the CWU website at www.cwu.org/my-union/member-benefits/ . Please note that sign in to the CWU site is required to access details.

Yours sincerely


Nigel Cotgrove

Assistant Secretary

LTB 522.2019

LTB 522.2019 Attachment 1


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