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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 September 2005, 07:09 GMT 08:09 UK
Naked pensioners make their point
By Brian Wheeler
BBC News political reporter, in Brighton

Pensions protest
The nine braved bracing winds to make their protest
"It is not something I normally do - parade around Brighton in my skiddies."

Gordon Dodd says his friends and family were a little surprised when he announced he was planning to stage a naked protest at the Labour party conference.

But it was the only way Mr Dodd and his eight friends could think of to make Chancellor Gordon Brown, making a keynote speech in the hall opposite, take notice of their plight.

After a lifetime of paying into occupational pension schemes they were left with nothing when the companies they were working for went bankrupt.

The government's compensation package, unveiled last year, does not cover them - only people within three years of retirement age. There is also a ceiling of 12,000.

Gordon Dodd
Gordon Dodd: 'I can never retire'

The men claim 80,000 people are in the same position as them - having to carry on working because they cannot afford to retire.

"I can never retire. That is the reason for doing this. I can never envisage being in a financial position where I could retire," says Mr Dodd, a former steel worker.

"The government have a duty to look after our pensions. They have said they will help but they have let us down."

He said he will keep "getting his kit off" at conference until the government changes its policy - "even if I am walking up the beach with my Zimmer frame".

Cheeky protest: The men make their point

This is the fourth year the men have braved the autumn weather to stage their naked protest - or nearly naked protest, the men have taken the precaution of wearing boxer shorts. Brighton's nudist beach is some distance from the conference hall.

"We never need to be asked twice to get our kit off," joked 61-year-old John Hayter, as he shivered in the bracing south coast breeze.

"It started out with the Full Monty - they were steel workers.

"We just want justice from the government and Gordon Brown. We will keep coming back until we get it."





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