Richard Oliff: A week of very mixed fortunes

Paul Flowers pulled the wool over a lot of people's eyes, says Richard
Paul Flowers pulled the wool over a lot of people's eyes, says Richard

The heads of our power companies must be rubbing their hands with glee.

Yet another failed “banker” has removed their suspect charging from the front pages of our newspapers.

Well, thanks very much the Rev Paul Flowers, an ordained Christian Methodist minister, who appears to have pulled a lot of wool over a lot of already closed eyes.

Then we have the Church of England, whose General Synod has recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of women bishops, almost a year on from a vote which resulted in the opposite, proving that if you don’t like the result just keep on voting until things go your way.

One bishop reportedly described the turnaround as “nothing short of miraculous”.

Perhaps this explains why the established religion in Britain has always been represented in the unelected House of Lords, as they appear not to understand the concept of a vote.

So, quite a week for the “golden goose” public consumers of gas and electricity, the disillusioned customers who had put so much faith in the Co-op brand, and the disenfranchised congregations within the Church of England which so obviously needed a referendum on the subject of women bishops.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. One of my smaller paid-up pensions from years ago keeps ticking along, and once per year I receive a forecast of my likely benefits on retirement.

It’s hardly likely to give me more than a few pounds a month in income.

However, the pension pot is not insignificant, and for the first time there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

They say in their literature on stakeholder pensions that one may take “all of your pension fund in one lump sum – this option is only available on smaller value pension funds”.

That’s me: surely. I’ll let you know how that pans out.