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Think Again Auntie

The general consensus regarding the furore over the TV Licence and the withdrawal of free licences for pensioners is that the BBC have got this wrong. In this we concur.

It is however, symptomatic of the general age bias now prevalent in the UK. For far too long there has been a noticeable degree of ageism at work. It is in fact, not new; as far back as 1975 Janet Street-Porter, then a young TV reporter, was bringing to TV screens a series of mainly youth-oriented programmes and in 1987 she became BBC2's head of youth and entertainment features. Street-Porter was at the forefront of what became known as the 'Yoof' movement, in which anybody over a certain age was ignored.

Since then, the concept that older people count for little has gained greater traction and took root especially from 1997, when Tony Blair became Prime Minister. His embracing of 'Cool Britannia', his habit of associating with pop stars and others followed by the young, propagated the ideal that only the young are important. Anybody over a certain age is worthless.

Today we are paying the price for this flawed ideal; older people abused in care homes; left to rot on hospital trollies, abandoned by all and sundry simply because they are old. This ideal is flawed for one simple reason; barring early terminal illness or any other catastrophic early death, everybody, no matter who they are, no matter how cool and funky they are, no matter how trendy they are...all will get old one day. Including you. You cannot avoid it, you cannot delay it, you cannot vote it away, you cannot stop it.

You...will get old one day. How do you want to be treated when you do?

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