War Hero, Harry Shindler writes to Daily Mail

Harry Shindler, war hero writes to Daily Mail

Harry Shindler aged 92 and a veteran of the 1944 Anzio beach-head invasion in Italy by allied troops against Nazi German occupation. Italy had surrendered in September 1943. The insulting attitude of the Daily Mail towards pensioners residing in continental Europe was the spur for Harry to write this letter: -

To: Editor, Daily Mail. 20th November 2013

“Dear Sir, I have seen the cartoon by “Mac” in your issue of 5th November. It is of course offensive to all those British Citizens who live normal, decent lives in the Country to which they have chosen to live – encouraged to freely move in the new united Europe.

You should – British fair play – inform your readers of the facts. The majority, who live within Europe, but outside the UK. do so because of their employment. They are employed as teachers, interpreters, hotel staff, bar workers, officials in companies based in Europe or International bodies based in Europe.

A percentage are pensioners who after a lifetime of work, for various personal reasons have decided to live abroad. They helped to keep Britain a leading nation in the world. Your cartoonist “MAC” insults them all. These British citizens are the Country’s Ambassadors and daily protect the image of their Mother Country.

Many of them are Ex-Service-men as is the undersigned, who fought a War for Liberty and Freedom. We won that war, so now “MAC” has the freedom to insult more than one million British citizens who reside in Europe, but not in the UK.

In March, 1946 it was said… “…do not suppose that half a century from now, you will not see seventy or eighty millions of Britons spread about the world and united in defence of our traditions, our way of life and of the world causes which you and I espouse” Nothing about lying in the sun! The above was said by one - W.S. Churchill.

Mr Editor, I think an apology is due to all British citizens living in the UK, and in fairness this letter should be published. Harry Shindler Representative in Italy of the Italy Star Association”

Harry Shindler aged 92 and still fighting for justice & freedom.

An example to us all.

Comment by Clive Walley: - "This is the deplorable, tasteless and deeply offensive cartoon by MAC published in a land where political correctness over-rules common sense. Of course these rules don't apply when it comes to pensioners living outside the UK.

The cartoon portrays all expats as fat, lazy alcoholics living in a land with sun 24/7/365 spending their Winter Fuel Allowance on wine. For the average pensioner living here it is a million miles from the truth and more akin to the life style of MAC himself".

Harry Shindler sends his greetings for Christmas and the hope of sucess in our campaign in 2014.

Harry is not the type to sit back and let everyone else do the fighting. He is regularly in touch with major campaigners across Europe and beyond and his fighting spirit is an inspiration to all of us who seek justice and freedom from the British Government like: -

freedom to live wherever we chose and not be attacked for it by lap dog members of the press, ignorant policians and ministers for doing what we were told we could do if we signed up to the Common Market in the beginning.

Justice in not being disenfranchised from voting after 15 years outside our Motherland.

Justice in our pensions not being frozen because we dare to live even 20 miles off the coast of England as is now being threatened and already exists in some parts.

Justice in reciprocal health care between the UK and other European states. And...freedom from the continual and premeditated abuse by the British Government and its lap dog press.

Clive Walley

Writing from a freezing cold Spain with internal temperatures below 3 degrees. 28.11.13

If you are offended by this cartoon and supporting article or empathise with those who have been upset by it please write to the Press Complaints Commission : -


If you are a pensioner and want to voice your anger at the government please visit and sign any or all of the following petitions: -





Thank you!

Exacto. Mike, I might say that I never really had a job, mainly survived. Since I became a 'consultant' (that impresses people - no reason though) I have been paid by the day. Contracts of say 30 days usually involved 40 odd actual work with no way of getting anything for the over 30. I rarely had per diems on country trips that anything like covered costs, etc. Also, delivering a report then waiting three months to get paid because a UN finance officer is (genuinely) overworked and way behind paying people does not impress the bank. For all of that I would rather do that than chauffeur a desk for 40 years ;-)

Nowhere near the top 15% at all. I keep abreast of IMF, World Bank and other indicators. At present I have basic pension and my OH hoping for some commission after close to two years with no real income. I chose to work in the human rights world in which the only well off people are those who enter it philanthropically with a big bankroll in their pockets. My OH is only trying to sell houses because our line of work was among the first out of the window when the crisis hit and reduced incomes to €0/0£/0$, etc.

As for knocking you. No way. Healthy debate exists to help us think, it certainly works on me. But enough of this I have managed to write only a couple of paragraphs of what I am supposed to be doing today.

Hahaha, if only it was so simple Mike. My OH and I have often lived on no income and the generosity of others. I would imagine that we come in the top 40% (which is within the half literally) if I check the figures, with which I am content but would not object to going a tad higher. I chose the sacrifices and am basically happy with that and shall meet my end with a clear conscience.

David, my cousin Ron 'escaped' from the direst part of Dundee with a decent grant and studied architecture. Whilst still working certainly, he became one of the wealthiest people in Ottawa. He also designed hospitals, social centres and homes for children, elderly and disabled in developing countries free. That included going to those places, returning to see work in progress and finished and in his time throwing in a bit of money to get their work started. I do not necessarily have anything against the wealthy who do things like that and certainly not against architects knowing from him that there were hundreds like him worldwide doing the same.

Brian you argue well! I heard that Cameron was told by the Chinese this week that we are a small old nation with little importance. If I make another 10 years I think I will see yet further enormous changes but daily life here in the Monts d'Arree glides gently by. It's when one goes albeit infrequently to the big cities and other countries that such enormous changes are daily happening and not always for the better. Your work must be admired! My work as an architect was and perhaps still is admired by some people but cheap pops seem to be on the up!!! Meanwhile the likes of the Rothermeres, the Russian gangsters, the Mafia and multi national conglomerates with their swarms of acolytes continue on screwing the rest of us!

Yes and no. With the opening up of the former CIS countries you now find some like Kazakhstan on course to become higher earners by the end of this decade. It means a small percentage of the overall population will be rich, but those who are will be excessively wealthy. Whereas when I first worked in my area we talked about first, second and third world, it looked like it would always be that way. Along came 1989 and the end of the second world. Now the expression third world is no longer used other than as a vague reminiscence of back then.

Countries that were classed third world two decades ago included Brazil, now a big league player, Indonesia, Malaysia and some up and comings now rival the UK in real terms. GNI/PPP measurement now excludes countries that were once up there at the top, including the UK and France, HDI measurement similarly. One of the most striking things between 30 years back and now for me is the actual difference between measurements of rich and poor. Back three decades somebody with 20 or so million was classified as rich. In real terms the people who won the €182 million Euromillions jackpot last year certainly are not classed rich now, in fact they are only in the top 300 in the UK. Poor is still measured by per capita income. There are now only 16 countries with an average yearly income per capita under $1000 as against closer to 100 30 years ago. However poverty is now measured differently and includes not only income but food, fuel, health and various other indicators. The number of people worldwide who are now poor is far greater than back then. What is more, it is in what was the first world that numbers have risen alarmingly. Pensioners are among the people who have financial, fuel, food and health poverty problems particularly. Each cut each government in each country makes exacerbates that. My work is with children, there is a poverty problem beyond belief. IMF, World Bank and CIA (yes, they measure everything) figures are an indictment of the growing divide between rich and poor.

So there we have Viscount Rothermere who is in his mid-40s and has never raised a finger to do a day's work, was born very, very rich but lives as a tax exile, thus contributes nothing although he has an income which with his non-domicile tax status and and the way he owns his media businesses through a complex structure of offshore holdings and trusts which enable him to pay almost no UK or any other tax on his income, investments or wealth make him little more than a leech on society. He has also allowed to publish endless hate campaigns against the lower classes, the elderly, the poor, the sick, the disabled and those least able to defend themselves with complete impunity. It has echoes of his grandfather who was well known to be a supporter of Hitler and Mussolini, supposedly because he was convinced that the Nazis and Italian facisti would help restore the German and maintain Italian monarchies respectively. He cultivated contacts to promote British support for Germany, justified what was being done to communists and jews and aligned his paper with that cause.

That is where some of us concerns that we have a government cutting every corner, being supported by the vehicle of the opinions of a family that has only ever cared a hoot about monarchy, empire, what they consider is right and wrong and how they think the 'peasants' should be ruled. That includes supporting a government that is cutting every penny it can from those who need it in their environment but also including people who have paid into the scheme/system for this return (not a scrounge or its like) over many years. It is not per se the £200 but the principle that gets at most of us. Rothermere can live in Monaco with his billions growing by as much each day as somebody wellish off earns in an entire lifetime and a government of people so out of touch and in some cases, IDS particularly, embittered and hateful people of no apparent loyalty to any but themselves and their considerable fortunes taking everything they can away from us all.

Perhaps you are at least young enough to watch the countries that were formerly third world sail past the UK and its ilk, see the divisions between rich and poor growing in once caring welfare states growing and the situation of people diminishing. No, it is not the £200, it is the theft of what is ours by rights, that is being justified by contrived and thoroughly dishonest means by those people who do not care.

Much of my professional work was doing projects for the wealthy and thereby employing me, my employees and the contractors etc who worked on the projects, made the goods etc so that's fine. It's when they take the p**s out off the very people who have helped them make money and don't pay appropriate levels of taxation etc then I think one is justified in at least drawing attention to hypocrisy.

Yes Mike, we amuse ourselves by bringing up that very point regularly. If he closed the rag down he would hardly notice it financially.

Today's Grauniad story about our beloved Mr Dacre:

Paul Dacre sells last DMGT shares
Daily Mail editor-in-chief sells-off 37,861 shares in newspaper's parent company for £347,564

Paul Dacre, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail, has sold his last remaining shareholding in parent company Daily Mail & General Trust for almost £350,000.

Dacre sold 37,861 DMGT shares at £9.18p a share – close to a 52-week high with the price up more than 70% over the same period last year – making £347,564.

The sale was made on the 28 November, although only made public through a financial filing on Monday, exactly a week after DMGT reported a 10% rise in adjusted pre-tax profits to £282m for the year to 30 September.

The final sell-off of shares will further fuel speculation about the future of Fleet Street's best-paid editor, earning almost £1.8m in 2012, who has edited the Daily Mail since 1992.

In October, Viscount Rothermere, the chairman of DMGT, said in a rare interview that Dacre had agreed to a new contract.

Rothermere has also elected to sell off some shares, 105,306 at £9 each, making him just under £950,000.

In 2011, Dacre agreed to a change to his terms of employment in a deal which expired on his 65th birthday on 14 November.

The company's remuneration committee decided that Dacre, who was 63 at the time, would be paid an additional £500,000 for each full year he works at DMGT until the age of 65. As part of the agreement he pulled out of bonus and long-term incentive programmes.

Following the publication of DMGT's results in 2012, Dacre sold off almost three-quarters of his shares in DMGT, however, with the price at a five-month low, he made just £400,000 from disposing of 100,207.

To Roger Boaden. Thank you very much for the chart - it was good of you to send it. Sorry so late to show my appreciation but have been very busy genreating a 9,200 word complaint and report to Helvetia Insurance in respect of the antics of their chosen Loss Adjuster. I wont bore you with the details but I do have 2 very sore finges from typing for so long!

Sad state of affairs when pushing 70 years after they all became friends they still have not learned. The recent poll that showed a majority of people knowing we are EU members but not liking it says it all.

Yes- I have a very good friend who hates Europe, but bought a flat in the French Alps to go skiing!

Mind you my own step father refused to visit me in France as his last visit in '40 resulted in him parachuting from his Hurricane near Nantes after being shot down by a Messerschmidt. He spent 5 years in various camps after being given to the Germans by some French. He was in among other places Stalag Luft III. I couldn't really blame him but as a result my mother never visited me in France after I bought a house here in '72.

I totally agree with you about British public opinion, people snarling when you mention France especially. Germany is never mentioned much strangely, almost as it doesn't exist. However I have also met similar views here with Bretons. They are proud they have never been to Paris let alone abroad. Why drink any other wine or cheese other than French. Spicy food non merci. It's odd though that British culture has to such an extent and life been fashioned by British contract with "abroad" and indeed it was something of which to be proud. Now Europe in particular has become a problem and really until it is reformed there will be increasing problems. Lots of the locals here think so too. Too many self interested functionaries have wrestled the power out of the people.

Not that surprised Brian! Most people I know in the UK are now TOTALLY anti EU. The pub talk is vitriol, not that I've been back since April, and that only for a funeral. I find quite a lot of people very pro USA although they prefer the Republicans. I don't think that my friends and contacts are necessarily totally representative though. As you get north the concept of abroad diminishes. The very idea of British expats is generally so low on the agenda. If Scotland gets full independence it may become worse. Little England as a sort of offshore Switzerland seems to be what quite a number of people would welcome. I'm not justifying it or supporting it. I was very much supportive of "Britain in Europe" all those decades ago, on the I suppose left side of the Tories, a wet "one nation" Tory and a member even for 30 years of the Carlton Club where Disraeli was the idol. You just wouldn't get that now. The pro European Tory is almost worthy of a Bateman cartoon (not a Mac cartoon!!!)

I thought I'd ask a few friends in the UK to support the cause here. If not 65 yet, within what would be a normal school year most of them will be. A few of them are a couple of years younger. I thought they were a good age group to target.

The one who has got the most wonga in his piggy bank shocked me with his response. He thinks that anybody leaving the UK should be stripped of citizenship if they intend to leave for good. Furthermore, he says that he believes there should be measures to prevent the flight of capital by people intending to buy houses outside the UK if they are not keeping the one they usually live in there in the UK. He believes the winter fuel payment should not be made at all.

This was hard to believe. This is a man who must have written to thousands of people about the badger cull and his general disgust with government policy regarding the countryside and wildlife. I thought he was the compassionate type. But the views on people living abroad he expressed are scary. The trouble is that having read it a few minutes ago I am wondering how many other people have those kind of thoughts?

Political morality appears to be at its lowest ebb at present. I certainly do not only mean the UK either.

From this morning's BBC News website:

A committee of MPs has accused ministers of "shifting the goalposts" to reduce the number of households in England classed as in fuel poverty.

The definition of fuel poverty would be changed by amendments to the Energy Bill so that 2.4 million were classed as fuel poor rather than 3.2 million.

The Environmental Audit Committee says that is unacceptable.

The government insists the changes help "to get a better understanding of the causes and depth of fuel poverty".

The cross-party committee's report said families were currently classed as fuel poor if they spent more than 10% of income on fuel "to maintain an adequate level of warmth".

Under the new definition, families would only be deemed to be in hardship if they had "above average fuel costs" leaving them with "a residual income below the official poverty line".

It would be interesting to know how many if any expat pensioners would qualify under either definition. One wouldn't like to ask local expats. He's not British but I have a tenant of a French cottage who is simply terrified of fuel bills. In fact I've installed a wood burner for him, and new windows and an external door and his rent is only 270 a month but I do know that his pension is pretty pitiful. Rent is paid by CAF. It's not just expat pensioners who have problems.

Hi Clive again, I wasn't too sure if the chart would come over OK. Look at the 'Tmean' row, add together Jan, Feb, Mar, Nov and Dec. divide by 5, which gives you an average. No addition just straight Spanish temperatures. These of course are datasets covering the period 1961-1990, and so more up-to-date experiences may be different. They were gathered and published as the baseline for discerning climate change, and, apparently are a recognised 'bible' of weather stats. I'm now told the dataset actually used by the DWP might have more precise data, but are probably the same. I have calculated these figures without the addition of the 'Outermost Region' of Spain, namely the Canaries. Since the DWP have added the French Outermost Regions - the Overseas Departments - to France, I guess the DWP could have used the Canaries temperatures to pad out Spain, but as a comparison with SW England, Spain is of course 'hot', but 7.48 is not exactly hot in real terms. This is another reason why I believe the 'Temperature Test' is so flawed!

Hi Roger,

How sure are you about average winter temperatures in Spain? Just as an example, last night we had rain, sleet, hailstones then snow in a coastal area, although inland and about 80 KMs north of Alicante and temperatures on our mountain of -4 degrees, Last week we had up to 10 cms of snow around Alicante. Our home has been decimated by a direct lightning strike which of course has nothing to do with this discussion but it is a sharp reminder of how cold it is here when you have one small gas fire left after the destruction. It is very cold.

Back to my question. We all know thanks to your research that the IDS gang fiddled the French Average winter temperatures and how it was done. Spain has a total of no less than 34 islands, dependancies, etc in the middle of the Med, off the west coast of Africa and in other hotter areas. Given the obcessional hate with Spain that IDS (not to be confused with the stuff you pour in radiators to stop them freezing) has and if they cheated on France's figures why not Spain also? I would also like to hear or read what your views are on Italy. How on earh did they come up with that figure?

Roger good comments