As I become 60 on Sptember 3rd, I have been sent a form to fill in to collect £125 or £250 depending on my circumstances.
Now a few things come to mind as I check this form.
Nowhere does it say what the circumstances have to be to get one or the other sum of money.
It clearly has my birth-date, my NI number ( I always think of it as National HEALTH Insurance - but then I'm old) my address and my full name on the form. The accompanying leaflet tells me a) my Date of Birth is unchecked and b) my NI number is unverified as well.
Now if that's the case, how could they send me the form in the first place?
I have to send them my ORIGINAL birth certificate. This ignores the fact that all this information is actually stored by the Government both in the NI computers and the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages computers and ledgers.
So instead of a couple of clicks on a computer, a complete industry/department has been set up to receive bits of paper, look at them, put some ticks on another bit of paper, initial it, and then post the original bits of paper back to me.
I mean, really.
PS I was collecting a cheque last night for the Gurkha Welfare Trust from a Rotary Club in Renfrew. I know these people are not left-leaners in any way, but I was staggered at the vitriol and hate that emerged about Labour, Gordon Brown and the Government in Westminster in general.
These are the people who should want to keep the Union, and who probably voted for Tony Blair.
They no longer want the Union nor anything to do with Labour.
Just shows how good a leader Brown has been.
I think "has been" is the appropriate expression.