A Senior Moment, by John Docker, March 21, 2017

Loooking down on The Houses of Parliament from the London Eye.  
June 22, 2002.
See Family Fun Break travel story...
Loooking down on The Houses of Parliament from the London Eye. June 22, 2002. See Family Fun Break travel story...

Back in 2012, I had a lengthy search to find a doo-dah to waggle my wotsit at – the wotsit being my newly gifted debit card from Barclays and the doo-dah being the machine to enable it to purchase all manner of goodies with a mere flick of the wrist.

It took over 12 months to find one but look at them now with ‘tap and pay’ comprising one in four of all card payments.

I am sure I am not alone in appreciating the convenience they’ve brought, but not-so the news that cancelled cards can be used by thieves for months after they’re lost or stolen.

I recall that chip and pin was hailed as the best, most secure system since sliced bread – until the crims cracked it. Seems like a case of here we go again.

But it’s not only the criminals nicking our hard earned money we need to worry about.

It’s the same-old same-old political shenanigans apparently as we discover in the budget small print that government is set to whack up probate charges in May – bringing in a massive £1.5 billion windfall to the Treasury.

We will apparently face an increase from the current £215 fixed fee (£155 through a solicitor) to a massive sliding scale starting at £300 and finishing at £20,000 - depending on how many £millions you leave when you pop your clogs.

I have to ask, why should we have to pay this tax in the first place?

What has our demise got to do with government anyway - apart from being a benefits blessing!

And what contribution do they make to the process? Surely solicitors’ fees cover it, let’s face it they charge enough! Then there’s stamp duty. How on earth can government justify a tax on home ownership?

Seems to me we’ve been conned – and robbed by successive governments for yonks and our sheep-like antipathy about it all has led to the vast array of stealthy cash-cows currently enjoyed by successive chancellors.

And many small businesses must wonder why a Tory government seems bent on bashing them with business rate hikes and slashing of the perks which make their overworked and frequently underpaid lives worthwhile – especially when they read that allegedly the Chancellor used these very same tax loopholes to build up his own millionaire status.

It just doesn’t seem right to this oldie. Politicians all the while drone on about fairness but all the while they’re busy trying to building up their own bank accounts.

I see the Palace of Westminster is “falling apart” and is “at risk of catastrophic failure.”

So what’s new you might ask? It will apparently cost £3.9 billion to fix over six years but I have a much better idea.

Give it a thorough drenching in super glue, make it a paying tourist attraction and erect a marquee in the middle of Parliament Square to house the MPs – complete with hot-air extractors for the Commoners and snooze-chairs for the Lords!