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Nick Cohen
Tuesday 26th October 2010
PunditAid Please Give Generously

In these hard times, common decency tells us to think of those less fortunate than ourselves. As David Cameron says, in the Big Society we must all take on the responsibilities for others the state can no longer afford. You may be wondering who to give your hard-earned money to. I urge you - nay, beg you - to consider the sufferings of pundits struggling to provide the public with 1000-word opinion pieces.

As Mary Ann Sieghart of the Indpendent explains in a piece recommending that benefits for pensioners be cut, we should not just care about the elderly but also about her. For beneath the cocksure facade of the commentariat lies a life of cold and misery, haunted by fears of how to pay for the next electricty bill. She says of her plans to cut the winter fuel allowance for pensioners,

 It's very nice to have help with your heating costs, particularly if you stay at home all day rather than going out to work. As someone who works from home, I would be delighted to have winter fuel allowance to save me having to write in bed with the electric blanket on. But a payment that is welcome is different from one that is essential.

Please give all you've got to allow columnists to get out of their beds, and then take out a loan and give some more


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October 28th, 2010
9:10 AM
Of course there are Pundits of Kashmir who are being wiped out from their own land as we speak. I suppose we can do something for them?

October 26th, 2010
9:10 PM
And some of these pensioners also have a salary because they are continuing to work, according to the columnist, which she appears to disapprove of. Apparently because pensioners have paid taxes and continue to pay taxes, providing education, security etc. for younger generations they expect to get somewhere between £400-250 pa for heating and free local travel. Perhaps the columnist should look for a full time job if she cannot afford her heating bill.

October 26th, 2010
9:10 AM
I saw that piece yesterday and quietly seethed at the self-entitled drivel that came of the page. Don't ask why I was reading the Indy, but I shan't be buying it again for a long time; it lives on a different planet to the rest of us.

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About Nick Cohen

Nick Cohen is a columnist for the Observer and author of You Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom (Fourth Estate) and What's Left? How The Left Lost Its Way (Harper Perennial). Living With Lies, a collection of his writing for Standpoint, is available as an ebook. 

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