Friday, August 01, 2008


Every now and then I pop along and have a nosey at the Fabian Society's website, it usually gives me a giggle and today was no different.

Mike O'Brien, our glorious Pensions Minister, made a speech mid-July about ageism and it is reported on the FS website. I may be being simplistic, but while we are unfortunate to have the state providing so much of the poulation with pensions, I would say the job of Pensions Minister was to maximise the amount of money available to people through their pensions. But Mike seems to have taken on God-like powers and thinks he, or the state, can reverse the whole ageing process. Here is the speech in full, if you can be bothered.

He claims that ageing presents us with 'five new giants'. They are:


Poverty could be alleviated by reducing tax. Less not more government would therefore help.

Loneliness hasn't been helped by pubs closing down due to government policies, including high taxes and the smoking ban. Petrol costs (tax) also helps isolate people.

Frailty is a physical symptom of ageing. Sadly it's inevitable and no amount of governement mithering can reverse it. New Labour is not some kind of Dorian Gray.

Discrimination. I have yet to see anywhere stating 'old people not welcome'. I have seen more rude and inconsiderate behaviour from older people than I have younger people. But it is often older people who discriminate, in my experience, against younger people.

Fear. As the government is the most terrifying thing in the country the thought of it becoming 'active' with older people probably terrifies them more than anything else out there. Lots of things scare us throughout our lives, it's called life, mortality, all kinds of things, but is inevitable and natural.

Get back to your abacus Mike and leave poor old people alone!

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