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From: Notebook, 31 October 2011: Brief articles and notes on the Socialist Party website

Search site for keywords: Pensioners - BBC - Salford - Cuts

BBC discriminates against pensioners

Last week was pensioners' campaign week, to highlight the basic rights in retirement:

1:The right to a basic state pension, set at 178 per week which would take pensioners out of poverty in old age.

2:The right to be cared for with dignity in the community or by the NHS.

3:The right to a warm home with a winter fuel allowance of 500 per household. In the winter months between December and March 25,400 pensioners died in England and Wales of cold-related illnesses.

But you won't hear much about this on the BBC.

We've been trying to get the general secretary of the National Pensioners Convention, Dot Gibson, and others, onto the BBC's flagship Question Time programme for two years and the latest statement from the programme is that 'the bright lights and pressure would be too much for them'!

David Dimbleby, by the way, who presents the programme, was 73 last Friday!

So last week Salford Pensioners' Association, along with members of Salford against Cuts, lobbied the BBC at Salford's Media City, against ageism.

The BBC response was to tell us to remove our banners from the BBC's wall. When we refused, the BBC security removed the pensioners' banners, dropping them on the ground.

We were then told to get off the square as it was private property, though a duty manager was later summoned and listened to protesters' complaints.

The protests will continue, and Unison activists intend to raise the issue shortly with retired members.

George Tapp, UNITE electricians and Salford Pensioners' Association

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