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If the Hutton report hath offended

March 10, 2011

The heat is on! Lord Hutton, the author of the report tackling reforms of the UK public pension system has been grilled by the representatives of the whole  British media; TV, radio, Reuters, and no doubt he is making a case with newspapers and magazines too. The question on everybody lips is: what’s the damage? What’s the bill?

The scale of the comment to the report has been sensational, my mail-box has been hit with comments from the CBI (the bosses association), the ABI (the insurers association), the NAPF (the pension fund association), Labour, a countless number of pension consultancies, not to mention the trade unions, some of which are on the war path.

Since the 215-page- report has quickly spun out of control into a national debate with many experts and lobby groups giving their thoughts, I could not help but wonder what some great Britons would have said – if they were alive. What would Shakespeare say?  What would he make of this talk of cuts cuts, the strike threats, the comments, the aspersions?

And so, to honour the one Briton who has not sent me his opinion on the report, I take the liberty to make a few changes to one of his immortal works and make his voice heard on this momentous occasion. Shakespeare purists look away.

 If this report hath offended,

 think but this, and all is mended

That your longevity hath grown here,

That’s why this report did appear

And this be not a weak and idle theme:

You will live longer and it will be grim

Unions; do not reprehend:

Please, do not strike, try and understand.

And (turning to the cabinet, the Bard would say)

as you  are a honest Puck

If you get unearned luck

now to ‘scape the pension-robbery-jazz and song

You will make amends ‘ere long

Else the Puck a liar call

So, good luck unto you all

Shake hands, if thee be friends

And David Cameron/George Osborne/Ed Milliband/Amnesty International shall restore amends

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