The heads of all of our power companies must be rubbing their hands with a reasonable amount of collective glee as yet another failed ‘banker’ has removed their suspect charging from the front of public consciousness and, by implication, from the front pages of our newspapers. Well thanks very much Reverend 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 Bishop’s, almost a year on from a vote which resulted in the opposite, proving the point that if you don’t like the result you should 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 that had put so much faith in the Co-op brand, and the disenfranchised congregations within the Church of England that 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. As I said, 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 amount – this option is only available on smaller value pension funds”. That’s me: surely. I’ll let you know how that pans out.