Thursday, March 03, 2011

When equality ceases to be about fairness

The latest diktat from the EU is that insurance companies may no longer offer cheaper car insurance to women. It is estimated that their premiums will rise by about 25 per cent, to be equalised with the charges incurred by men. At least, that’s the headline grabber. The impact of this ruling on pensions and annuities will be far greater for men (a reduction of around 10 per cent per annum). But the media are only concerned with the problems of the day and with propagating the most alarmist headline: annuities are future things, and consideration of them is ever so slightly soporific.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that unequal insurance premiums amount to sex discrimination. It is, of course, an inviolable human right, according to the European Convention, not to be discriminated against because of one’s gender. Ergo, women drivers may not be shown favour or granted benefit because they happen, on average, to be more careful behind the wheel.

His Grace is genuinely puzzled as to why higher insurance premiums for the elderly and disabled do not amount to ageism or disability discrimination. Why should 17-year-old Kevin, with his GTi modified spoiler, ripping exhaust and interior neon lights, not enjoy the same rate as 50-year-old George, in his accident-free, unmodified and utterly sober Honda Civic Hatchback? Why does life insurance for a gay man with HIV cost more than the straight man? Does that not amount to discrimination on the grounds of sexuality? If health insurance companies take into account pre-existing conditions (as they do), is that not de facto discrimination against someone on the basis of their disability? And are not health insurance premiums generally more expensive for women than men owing to the increased risks their gender suffers because of child-bearing? Will men now be forced to pay an increased premium to cover pregnancy risks?

This ECJ ruling is interesting on a number of levels, not least of which the sheer irrationality and injustice of the judgment. For centuries, insurance companies have based premiums upon risk assessment. They are not concerned with randomly-applied prejudice or unreasoned discrimination: it is assessment based on rigorous evidence, concerned with mathematics, statistics, logic, sound economics, the application of reason and scientific measurement – everything, in fact, that the European Union professes to be founded upon: it is the apotheosis of Enlightenment morality, governance and jurisprudence.

And the EU is fundamentally secular. Secularism purports to be above all superstition and neutral on matter of belief; it asserts that political decisions should be quite independent of religion. Humanism is an ideology which espouses reason, ethics and justice, whilst specifically rejecting supernatural and religious dogma as a basis of decision-making. Secular Humanism is concerned with the pursuit of truth, primarily through science and philosophy.

But the judgment of the ECJ is based on the feeling of what they believe the law ought to be. That belief is irrational: it is decreed by activist judges in faith, irrespective of the science and the facts, which is no different to superstitious dogma prescribed by priests.

Equality that is founded on reason will accord with all that is true, noble, just and admirable. But equality that is founded on unreason can only be a façade of truth, for it can only propagate and perpetuate injustice.

What emerges here is a concept of equality as a universal moral ethic which is irrational: it supplants the science of the highly-trained actuary with the superstition of the zealot judge. And so we observe the EU manifesting a fundamentalist secularism based not upon a notion of morality through reason, experience and scientific inquiry, but through faith in an unknown and unknowable source, the consequence of which will be fewer safer women drivers on our roads and more subsidised dangerous young men, which can only lead to a higher incidence of injury and death.

Insurance companies are supposed to discriminate. But it is not unjust gender discrimination so much as reasoned price differentiation. The equalisation of insurance premiums on the basis of a universal moral ethic is a manifest injustice against those who present a lesser risk.

But, turning back to the tediously soporific matter of pensions and annuities, the ECJ has decreed that men will have to pay more for their pensions than women, because it is an unfortunate biological fact of life that men, on average, do not live as long. Presently, men aged 65 get an income of £3,274 per annum from a £50,000 pension fund, while women receive £2,993.

Is the fact that men die younger not a manifest injustice? Are men not appallingly discriminated against in this regard, that they are carted off to meet their maker before their wives?

Is the ECJ/ECHR going to ensure that the Almighty addresses this appalling anomaly by issuing a divine-right directive that the age-span enjoyed by men and women must henceforth be equal? How otherwise can they rectify the pension injustice?

42 Comments:

Blogger Phil Taylor said...

On the positive side, at least it means no more of those damned annoying "Shiela's Wheels" adverts!

3 March 2011 at 09:58  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

Another load of cobblers from the 'justice' system -
http://ancientbritonpetros.blogspot.com/2011/03/judgement.html
I don't suppose the elderly can look forward to more affordable travel insurance. There's bound to be some excuse.

3 March 2011 at 10:02  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Cranmer said

Humanism is an ideology which espouses reason, ethics and justice, whilst specifically rejecting supernatural and religious dogma as a basis of decision-making. Secular Humanism is concerned with the pursuit of truth, primarily through science and philosophy.

Blimey! That sounds like you are one of us!

Your points are all well made. This judgement is bonkers. Insurance should always be primarily about risk, to ignore it is nonsensical. For car and much domestic insurance one way round this would be for the no claims discount to be higher at the onset so that if you loose it the renewal cost then becomes punishing high. Assuming that young male driving behaviour did not change, women would soon be paying less again. It might even be an incentive for young men to drive more carefully.

3 March 2011 at 10:07  
Blogger Phil Taylor said...

Just a thought, but with this judgement in mind shouldn't it mean that everyone pays the same tax, regardless of earnings? Surely anything else would mean we are discriminating against the rich!

3 March 2011 at 10:18  
Blogger Phil Taylor said...

Oh, and I want to not have to pay off my student loan as I am being discriminated against for not going to university when government paid for it all!

3 March 2011 at 10:19  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

Does this ruling mean that because the rates for men and women will be the same, mens rates will drop? If this is not the case then surely the insurance companies have been given a green light to profiteer due to the fact that they will charge women more purely based on this ruling. Maybe that's what it's really about.

For married couples (yes that's a man and a woman) unless some redress is achieved the overall cost will go up.

3 March 2011 at 10:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember when being
"IN-DISCRIMINATE" meant lacking sound judgement ?
It was a long time ago.sadly.

We are being subjugated by Communitarianism.

Marcus Foxall

3 March 2011 at 11:09  
Blogger andrewg said...

It's not a diktat. A diktat is an executive instrument, not a judicial one.

</pedantry>

How would you react if insurance companies were allowed to set premiums on the grounds of race, or religion? Say for example the statistics show that black people were more likely to have car accidents. Would you be comfortable with higher insurance premiums for blacks?

Insurance is based on risk, yes. But risk is a statistical concept which depends entirely on the information available. My perception of risk differs from the insurer's, but it is the insurer (who has less knowledge) who is in control. My chances of having an accident depend on my behaviour, but the insurance companies can only infer my behaviour from my demographic. This means that my insurance premiums are controlled primarily by other peoples' behaviour and not my own. How is this fair?

3 March 2011 at 11:13  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr andrewg,

Yes, diktat was a little rhetorical hyperbole, but it amounts to the same thing in its effects on the EU citizen.

Your decision to adduce race as a parellel to gender is a straw man. It is fallacious because no such proposition to discriminate has ever been made, though it clearly has on the grounds of age. But you might just consider that when insurance companies charge higher premiums because one lives in a 'rough area', how many of those 'rough areas' have higher proportions of immigrants. It may indeed be adduced that this is akin to a form of racism.

Your assertion that it is insurers who are in control is one based on ignorance. Risk is assessed not by them directly, but by actuarial scientists. If you wish to assert your 'perception' over and above their factual analysis, you prove His Grace's point that the judgment amounts to little more than subjective superstition.

3 March 2011 at 11:25  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

The point I was trying to make in my earlier comment was this and I know it is grossly simplified.

If men pay £100 and women pay £50 then surely it won't end up with both paying £100 as that WOULD be profiteering. What should happen now this ruling has been made is both will pay £75, therefore reducing male contributions and increasing female ones. This means that overall the cost to a couple remains the same and insurance companies don't get a windfall.

3 March 2011 at 11:28  
OpenID scottspeig said...

I duly await the day that all the horses running in the derby have the same odds then, since its not on to discriminate on the basis of breeding?!? Or is it ok cos they're only horses?

3 March 2011 at 11:44  
OpenID Paul Dean said...

As a rule I self-insure because I see insurance as a form of gambling. Apart, that is, from car insurance because it's compulsory to have it. I remember at 21 being quoted over £1000 per year for car insurance on a car worth only £3000. How is that fair? That I paid more because there were a lot of people of my gender and age who were reckless?

It seems to me it's tantamount to saying "all men are potential rapists". Am I the only one to find such mindsets offensive?

3 March 2011 at 11:59  
OpenID Paul Dean said...

Oh, and the outcome will not be car insurance being unfair. The result will be a high premium for everyone in the first year, followed by either i) rapid and large reductions for those who make no claims or ii) large increases if you make claims and prove yourself risky. That will be more fair because the responsibility becomes yours. You are then known by your actions (cf prov 20:11) and not your demographics.

3 March 2011 at 12:03  
Blogger Phil Taylor said...

@ scottspeig
Don't forget that that day will also include everyone losing so as not to discriminate based on the choices you made at the bookies.

@ Paul Dean
How is that fair? Surely that would be discrimination based on whether someone has claimed? I don't want to be discriminated against because of my driving skills!

It's silly, I know, but surely the point is that all this rubbish about equality and anti-discrimination is slowly getting close to what, 10 years ago, would have been considered to be scare mongering and hyperbole if suggested!

3 March 2011 at 12:15  
Blogger andrewg said...

Your attempt to divide insurers from actuaries is a distraction. It does not matter which particular employee or subcontractor of the insurance company makes the risk calculations. In the matter of the insurance contract, there are only two parties - the insurer and the customer. In the consumer market at least, the insurer does not possess sufficient information about the customer to make an accurate calculation of risk. Instead they calculate the risk for an average person within the same broad demographic and assume that the customer's risk is the same as that of the average person. When this technique is used for formulating government policy or hiring employees it amounts to prejudice, and is illegal. How is the case of insurance different? That no insurance company currently uses race as a demographic indicator is immaterial - my example was illustrative.

Your case of the "rough area" is a straw man. The insurance premium due to the vehicle storage location relates to the presumed behaviour of third parties such as thieves and vandals, not the presumed behaviour of the customer.

3 March 2011 at 12:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that the reason most men die before their wives, is generally because they want to!

3 March 2011 at 12:20  
Anonymous berserker-nkl said...

As a Singleton, will I now be able to demand non payment of any single room supplement?

Will eventually, everyone be asked to die at the same time and if you dare to refuse...

3 March 2011 at 12:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will people get it into thier heads equal does not mean the same.

3 March 2011 at 12:40  
Anonymous MrJ said...

MrJ respectfully remarks that this is another of Cranmer's good and cogent homilies, and the topic well deserves the rhetorical questions in the peroration. The parting shot ("Is the ECJ/ECHR going to ensure that the Almighty addresses this appalling anomaly by issuing a divine-right directive that the age-span enjoyed by men and women must henceforth be equal? How otherwise can they rectify the pension injustice?") implicitly touches again on the question of promotion and appeasement of irrational secularism. Commenting on Cranmer's Tuesday piece “...the laws and usages of the realm do not include Christianity, in whatever form” MrJ mentioned the ruling of the House of Lords, then the highest court of appeal in the United Kingdom, in a case about the validity of a testamentary gift to the Secular Society (BOWMAN AND OTHERS, APPELLANTS;_AND_SECULAR SOCIETY, LIMITED, RESPONDENTS. [1917] A.C. 406 see: http://www.uniset.ca/other/cs5/1917AC406.html).

This is noteworthy, among other things, for the year: 1917. Everyone in the Kingdom at that time (the ruling, working and all other classes, as they were then thought of) was affected by the fearful events at sea and abroad in connection with violent belligerence; when this country, with its ancient Christian monarchy and (newly Imperial) Parliament, in alliance with the French Republic and Christian Imperial Russia, was at war with Christian Imperial Germany and Christian Imperial Austria. But in that year, after the collapse in Russia of the Tsarist regime, the Bolsheviks were given the opportunity by Germany (the sealed train) to seize power, an event which so greatly (but not exclusively) resulted in the later sequence of events and the present state of affairs. And so it is that those who have in our time been appointed to make, execute or apply the laws for the people of this country have (as previous generations) become heirs to a time which finds itself out of joint. [Lest these remarks be mis-taken, MrJ is in no way making a case for restoration of any of the previous regimes.]

3 March 2011 at 12:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My theory is that this is a part of long term plan to steal pension funds from men. Insurance companies cannot justify raising the annuities given to women because they are already getting the 'right' amount which is their actuarial due. This means lowering the payments to men to create the required fake equalisation. Average Man will proceed to die leaving behind a large unused lump of pension fund which the Tyranny will proceed to aggrandise for itself. Watch this space!

Or there is always the attractive alternative of quitting the Tyranny and all its less than benign works.

3 March 2011 at 13:19  
Anonymous Tacitus said...

Is this a case of political correctness coming back to bite us?

3 March 2011 at 13:57  
Anonymous Broadwood said...

Absolutely - 'discrimination' has come to be used as a synonym for 'prejudice', when it is an entirely different concept and an indispensible part of sensible every-day decision-making.

There's nothing wrong with making up your mind about something on the basis of evidence, it's doing it without evidence which is the problem. We are not identical units, therefore the just demand for treatment as equals before the law is not the same thing as equal treatment.

What on earth do they teach them at law school these days?

3 March 2011 at 15:40  
Anonymous MrJ said...

PS to above from MrJ: According to information in the public domain [FYI extract below, and note the reference to the Equality Act 2010] there is plenty of time for Parliament to countermand the irrational and feckless ruling of the ECJ, given the theory of Parliamentary sovereignty in this country, epitomised by well worn phrases such as: constitutional monarchy, Queen in Parliament, parliamentary democracy, Foreign Affairs and treaties in the name of Her Britannic Majesty. The only obstruction would be on the part of the two party leaders (Mr Cameron as present Prime Minister and his appointed deputy Mr Clegg), each of whom has other intentions, commitments, affiliations, allegiances and alliances.

See, for example, this: "The ECJ concluded that the current derogation which allows the use of gender based statistical data in pricing risk is contrary to the fundamental principle of equal treatment between the sexes as enshrined in the Treaty on European Union. Recognising the current widespread use of such data within the insurance industry, the ECJ has imposed a transitional period ending on 21 December 2012 for the Governments of member states to abolish the derogation in national law by which time it will become unlawful discrimination to use such data in pricing risk.... it seems unlikely that the UK Government will have a particular appetite to revoke the derogation before the end of the transitional period - such a move would be politically unpopular with both the insurance industry and the hard pressed public alike... the judgment applies prospectively from 21 December ... Article 5(2) of the Gender Directive 2004/113 however contains a derogation which permits member states to use sex where it is a "determining factor" in the assessment of risk and where it is 'based on relevant and accurate actuarial and statistical data.' This derogation is currently implemented in domestic law in the United Kingdom in Part 5 of the Equality Act 2010. This permits insurers to charge different premiums and to provide different levels of benefit to men and women for "insurance business" (as defined in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000)." (from an information source in the public domain: http://www.clydeco.com/attachments/published/44210/Test_Achats_ECJ_Judgment_2011.pdf)

3 March 2011 at 15:43  
Blogger Gnostic said...

So my annual premium will be on a par with the mobile phone using moron who shunted me at 60mph while I waited in a line of stationary traffic at a busy junction? And the same as the idiot who cut across my lane while turning right at a T junction and tore my o/side front wing off?

WTF???

3 March 2011 at 16:19  
Anonymous not a machine said...

The immediate effect is of course to put premiums up , which is very nice of the EU to do at a time of struggling deficets.

The UK still deserves to be the best place for financial services , providing that is of course they run such markets in a proper way which means recognition of the good governanace of what they do. The treasurys recent look at what were termed higly risky investments as opposed to poor investments perhaps shows that , the market does need to offer clarity on its products.

The age of the simple polices seems to have long left the poor behind and much selling of unecessary cover that makes bigger profit has taken place.

The point in this post perhaps goes far deeper , in that risk can never fully be subject to equality because at any given moment an accident event is not a function of the market , the tail cannot wag the dog . If one leads a life a sober driving and manages a no claims bounus , then that is the market noting you have done well in your personal aspect. Gender equality is a bit of rouse because really the market operates on your own behaviour , reviewed at renewal . A misfortune is judged differently to a bad or unknown quantity , this enables the good to recieve lower premiums , the unknown to earn a value and the bad to pay there share . socialising risk does not ensure you distingguish good and bad so well .

3 March 2011 at 16:22  
Anonymous MrJ said...

PS to above from MrJ: According to information in the public domain there is plenty of time for Parliament to countermand the irrational and feckless ruling of the ECJ, given the theory of Parliamentry sovereignty in this country, epitomised by well worn phrases such as: constitutional monarchy, Queen in Parliament, parliamentary democracy, Foreign Affairs and treaties in the name of Her Britannic Majesty. The only obstruction would be on the part of Mr Cameron as present Prime Minister and his appointed deputy Mr Clegg, each of whom has other intentions, commitments, affiliations, allegiances and alliances. EXTRACT FROM THE COURT JUDGMENT..."31 Accordingly, there is a risk that EU law may permit the derogation from the equal treatment of men and women, provided for in Article 5(2) of Directive 2004/113, to persist indefinitely. 32 Such a provision, which enables the Member States in question to maintain without temporal limitation an exemption from the rule of unisex premiums and benefits, works against the achievement of the objective of equal treatment between men and women, which is the purpose of Directive 2004/113, and is incompatible with Articles 21 and 23 of the Charter. 33 That provision must therefore be considered to be invalid upon the expiry of an appropriate transitional period. 34 In the light of the above, the answer to the first question is that Article 5(2) of Directive 2004/113 is invalid with effect from 21 December 2012. " source http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-236/09

3 March 2011 at 16:23  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Paul Dean, the first thing you learn as a trainee Underwriter is that Insurance is NOT gambling e.g.
1) life assurance,you have to have an "insurable interest" in the life of the person being covered- bought about because in the 18th century people were using life policies to gamble on the lives of famous and rich people.

2)General Insurance,again the first thing a trainee learns is the principal of indemnity- which is the basis of the insurance contract and law ever since Edward Lloyd started the coffee shop which would become Lloyd's of London- in that the insurer is responsible for putting you back in the same position as you were before the loss, so that you don't actually profit from the insurance cover.

Re, compulsory motor insurance it is the third party liability which is compulsory,although the public sector is not required to have any of the compulsory insurances (Employer's Liability, Motor).

You can self insure for everthing else, although you are perhaps gambling yourself that your such a good driver you'll never have an accident.

3 March 2011 at 16:55  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

The secular fundamentalists have no concept of what actually makes us equal. They have simply determined so from their own authority. But it is - as you have accurately pointed out - irrational.

Men and women are equal because we are both made in the image of God. We are both equal in our sinful nature. We are equal in worth but not in composition.

The illustration I use when "brain washing" children is that of money. I show them ten pound composed of 2x£5 and 10x£1. Equal in worth but different in nature. The coins are useful for certain situations, the notes for others.

I like what Matthew Henry has to say about this:"That the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved."

As an aside. When I used to work as a statistical analyst in the non-life actuarial dept of a large insurance company we found a real effect in the reduction of car theft claims during large football tournaments! I wonder if any insurer will introduce "world cup year discounts".

The senior statisticians would go to great lengths to ensure that when examining particular factors that they isolated from all other factors. It is easy to find an apparent effect (e.g. red cars are lower risk) but the real skill is determining if this is a real effect when ALL OTHER THINGS ARE EQUAL. When there are so many other factors that could be involved, this is a very real skill. For the judges to simply dismiss this for their blid ideology is the paradox of secularism that you so rightly point out.

Incidentally, I would be more than happy for insurers to consider religious observance and ethnicity as risk factors. (They do the former one implicit in some sense - they ask how long you have lived in the uk, and as you point out, by postcode)

3 March 2011 at 17:02  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Oops ... correction to comment above. Last sentence, I meant to say the latter one of course

3 March 2011 at 17:05  
Anonymous Voyager said...

It is much worse than that Your Grace. Most women marry older men and would, in the case of private pensions be hit doubly. They would have a lower annuity when their husband retires and is compelled to buy an annuity by HMRC.

Then they would in their own right have a lower annuity because of the widows' reduction.

At one time the occupational pension paid a Widows Pension but never a Widowers' Pension.

On the case of car insurance, I pay my wife's premium to Sheils's Wheels. It is my money.

The changes however affect 25 year olds much more than 50 year olds, so now careful (as a clss) young women drivers are subsidising boy racers. More young men die on the road than young women.

3 March 2011 at 17:11  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Maturecheese: Yes, it IS going to be a windfall for the insurance companies; and it will be a pretty continuous windfall at that! Any adjustments made, will always favour the insurance companies. That is, IF they intend some adjustment, which yet remains to be seen.

Finance houses will use this as an opportunity to re-stock their cellars; this is not so much about 'eqality' as about extortion!

3 March 2011 at 17:14  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Your Grace is in error. Car insurance premia rise dramatically for drivers over 70 years,they are a very high risk group.

In fact they cannot change insurers very easily as noone wants them as a risk-group.

The simple fact is that the EU has elevated Sex/Gender Issues to the Fundamental Principle of the whole polity. It is typical of Maoist Barroso and the whole Marxist edifice behind the EU as constituted.

It is so 1960s in its obsessions that it is a cultural museum with no economic future. It is a Continent obsessed to levels of neurosis about Politics with no regard to the world around and how it has evolved.

The fastest growing economies of the world do NOT share any of the vanities and predilections of the EU Ruling Elites, they have an abiding contempt for them. The EU populations have been able to purchase the products of fast-growing economies but are not able to compete with them

3 March 2011 at 17:17  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Pfft! that's 'equality' with its 'u'!

3 March 2011 at 17:18  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Andrewg, the insurance company will use actural calculations when formulating what is call their "book" rates, but other factors will determine the overall premium which can be adjusted upwards or downwards- for example you mentioned theft is higher in poorer areas than richer ones, so whilst the book rate for theft cover in this type of area would be high according to the book rate calcuation, the premium could be decreased if the customer demonstrated the vehicles security, such as alarm (or something more hi-tech), whether or not it is parked on the street when not in use, or tucked up in a garage. All of these factors reduce the risk of a claim being paid out and thus could make the premium decrease.

3 March 2011 at 17:21  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

We should all get the bus. Although from the look of the assortment of profile pictures it's going to be a very strange looking crowd.

3 March 2011 at 17:31  
Anonymous len said...

The EU is spreading its tentacles ever outward ,manipulating and controlling, ever increasing its authority over peoples lives and freedoms.
Of course if you'follow the money' you will find out who is behind the 'hike' on insurance premiums and a lot of other increases!

3 March 2011 at 17:36  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

First of all your insurance is invalid if you give false information on it and insurers take into account the post code where your car is kept.

This causes me no amount of problems when I explain to them a post code is a group of letters and numerals to assist a sorting office and its impossible to keep my car there, if I claim to, then my insurance would be void and pointless paying.

I also pointed out to my insurer that in the small print it stated it was up to me what law applies to my policy, therefore I do not wish my details sharing with anyone because I am applying common law and do not consent.

Thats the point they hung up.

They still cannot answer as to why they made out my STATUS as RETAIL in the Statement of Terms, when I do not run a business, shut up and hand over your money!

It seems insurance is compulsory no questions asked but I am not in the habit of handing over money no questions asked.

3 March 2011 at 17:49  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Has "equality" as an ideology become a new iniquity (of the ancient scriptures)? That is what MrJ is learning from Voyager and some other commentators here who mention experience in statistical and actuarial practice.

3 March 2011 at 18:05  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"The secular fundamentalists [...]"

What on earth is one of those? :O

3 March 2011 at 18:51  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

Does anyone happen to know how one actually applies to this d***ned court? It would be most illuminating were a million irate Ladies to take an action agains thte judges personally for the trashing of their human rights in respect of their safter driving, and for a million men to do likewise in respect of pensions.

Hows about some direct action?

But what do we see on the streets? Nothing except the usual wringing of hands and "nothing cane be done, it's the law, you see"

Sometimes I really do feel that Guido had the best idea, and that direct action is the only way to get a statutory dictatorship to be aware that they've already gone six steps too far.

Dear me, I hadn't realized what a reactionary I was. I must be having a bad day of it. Perhaps a letter to The Times would be more soothing....

3 March 2011 at 21:54  
Anonymous MrJ said...

The problem as MrJ sees it is: to what extent has this case (and others) been the result of the legislature succumbing to any kind of hostile ideology, open or flagrant or disavowed? how has this come about? and whether it is a wrong that should be redressed without delay? It was the UK Parliament which passed the laws about which the two judges were being asked by the parties in this case to give authoritative guidance.

4 March 2011 at 08:57  
OpenID Paul Dean said...

Lord Lavendon,

Having insurance is gambling that your total contributions will be less than the total you claim.

1) If you consider yourself more risky than the insurer does, then the odds will be good.

2) If you consider yourself less risky than the insurer does, then the odds are bad.

3) If the insurer gets your risk assessment exactly right, then you're effectively paying only the administration costs and profits of the insurer.

If one has enough money to cover the potential loss, then insurance is clearly a form of gambling or else you are (expensively) buying peace of mind that you don't even need.

4 March 2011 at 11:56  

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