While reflecting upon the centenary of the old age pension, it was pointed out to me by a senior citizen of my acquaintance that citizens over the age of sixty can now travel for free on England’s buses.
The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme has been welcomed by millions of pensioners and is a rare progressive policy by New Labour administration – though since pensioners are most likely to vote, it’s likely to be a cynical move.
Note that the cards feature the St George’s Cross and the red rose symbol of England:
The Labour party would be advised to drop Brown’s Britishness agenda as well as Brown himself (because he’s a useless Tory, not because he’s Scottish) – if there’s one issue the Conservative and Unionist party are weak on, it’s the position of England in the UK.
The ENCTS is a modest social-democratic policy, but it’s exactly the kind of inclusive Englishness needed to fight the fascist BNP and embarrass Cameron’s New Tories.
Government ministers are considering a windfall tax on the energy giants, with the monies going to help people struggling to pay the soaring bills – which is a pretty radical policy for Thatcherite New Labour. While they’re feeling open-minded, let’s hope they consider giving us an English parliament to go with the bus passes…