A large group of pensioners, some in their late 80s, and at least one over 100 years old, gathered in Trafalgar Square today to protest about a lack of government funding for elderly visitors to music festivals.
One octogenarian described how he and his wife (78) could no longer afford designer Wellingtons for trips to Glastonbury, and how the lack of a hearing aid loop at the outdoor venue had spoiled the music. "It's a disgrace, when there's a 4 kilowatt PA system, and you're stood next to the speakers as usual, and can't hear your wife speaking to you. What if there'd been an emergency?" he said. "The government should have a Wellington allowance for festival goers over 65, at least. As for a hearing loop, well, should be standard equipment, surely?"
His wife complained about the lack of high seats on the portaloos.
Other protesters had noticed that no pension payments could be collected at the giro caravan, and only child benefit and unemployment benefits were dealt with. "I had to use a mobile to get my pension sorted," said one, "Mobiles aren't cheap, you know, and the burger stand had no discount for over 65s, either. Absolute disgrace. I fought in the war, you know."
The protesters denied having anything to do with some booing that had occurred during the Kaiser Chief's set. "Let bygones be bygones", they said. "That war was over in 1918, and the Kaiser is long dead. Just because a musical group cares to call themselves after a German, doesn't mean they're unpatriotic. We thought it was funny, really. We fought in the war you know."
Some pensioners had horror stories about a lack of prescription drugs available at the site, although they had discovered some other drugs which temporarily relieved arthritis pain.
Several had broken skateboards, which they attribute to low pension payments. "We just can't afford to get them fixed." They said. "You try riding one of these with a dodgy hip and no zimmer, see where that gets you."
Local MP Sir Init Forthemoney was not available for comment, as he had a luncheon engagement with his "secretary".