Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Czar for the elderly

Sorry but this is a bit of rant with zero marketing content.

On waking this morning and reading the newspaper I felt a happier and a relieved person. I think not.

The Daily Telegraph tells me that: “Joan Bakewell (sorry Dame Joan Bakewell) will "put a spring in the step of the elderly”. Her new role in life is to champion the rights of pensioners and the benefits of active living.

Quotes from the Government press release says that Bakewell will not be content simply to comment on policies affecting her generation, but also wants to “celebrate the achievements of older people” and help the middle-aged to prepare for decades of active living. What drivel.

I have absolutely nothing against Dame Joan, who has always come over as a reasonable sort of person. I am sure she will approach the job with the best of intentions.

But, and as usual there is a whopping big but, Joan has as much understanding about the needs, thoughts and emotions of the UK’s elderly (whoever they are) as my cat. Dame Joan is the archetypal media friendly personification of the ‘elderly’ as you can hope to find. She is chattering class ‘establishment’ to her finger tips. This doesn’t make her a bad person, but somebody with experiences and opinions a million miles from a pensioner in her native Stockport who has to eek an existence on the meagre state pension.

This is the worst sort of token politics.

If the women is serious about the job, I suggest she decides to live for a few months on the median income of her age cohort and then let’s hear what she has to say about active living and fulfiling lives. Dick Stroud

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