The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

All the Life You Can Afford

A Danish team of gerontologists displays a touching ignorance of Government policy past, present and likely in calculating that at least fifty per cent of those born in Britain in the year 2000 will live a hundred years, and that those born since 2000 will live even longer. It is not clear where the Danes have got the idea that fifty per cent of any sample of Britishness-oriented human resources at the dawn of the twenty-second century will be able to keep a roof over their head and avoid being eaten by their children; let alone what percentage will be able to afford the medical care necessary to survive the cancer, heart disease, dementia, arthritis, diabetes and general frailty which even the researchers admit will continue to afflict those who survive the next few decades of globalisation, climate change, austerity, nuclear waste, health service reform, welfare reform, pension reform, feral youth, water wars and other manifestations of our leaders' tough love. The researchers also blithely suggest shorter working weeks as a means of coping with the demographic change; apparently their assessment of present trends has failed to take account of British pragmatism, whereby Protestant morals and Thatcherite justice combine to reform the vulgar, continental and agriculturally inefficient "carrot and stick" into the more economical "small stick and big stick" or, under a liberal administration, "wagging finger, small stick and big stick". They even claim that "the old will need younger people to look after them", which looks perilously close to being an argument for increased immigration.


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