With Christmas fast approaching and a general election even sooner, three subjects arise daily on social media discussions: the NHS, Education and whether or not people over a certain age should be allowed to vote.
More extracts from my book,
'Comments of a Common Man'
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Chapter 9 The Death of Wisdom
You don’t stop playing because you grow old; you grow old because you
George Bernard Shaw (and Janet Clough to me - KJ)
The phrase has become well-worn now. Used almost without thought by every politician and in very nearly every form of news reporting and with great frequency, it is a phrase of three words that should be of huge concern.
Those three words are, ‘An ageing population…’
In case it had escaped your attention, let’s state the obvious; there are three stages of life. The first is birth. Without that, there is no life. The second stage is life itself and the third is death. The first and third are the most natural in existence and they are an unchangeable given – they have to be so. Only the middle bit can be a little unpredictable.
Yet there is no escape from any of them. We will be born, we will live and we will die. That middle part can sometimes be tragically short. It can also be remarkably long. Whatever its length, one unavoidable, unalterable, unswerving ever-present fact remains; once born, we are all heading in the same direction.
In the news recently was a man who celebrated reaching 100 by going parachuting; he had done the same on his eightieth and ninetieth birthdays. Others do similar things frequently. Such an attitude is not unusual and can be found around the world. In many countries, older people are revered, they are listened to and when needed, looked after and cared for. Their life experience is considered valuable.
Except in one – this one.
The United Kingdom has gone out of its way to drive a wedge between generations. It manifests itself in a number of ways, most notably the way in which older people are left to rot in hospital corridors or denied the basics of dignity in some outwardly respectable yet ill-named ‘care’ home - and also in those three words, ‘An ageing population.’ By using them so often and in such a throwaway manner, politicians are, in effect, saying to those who haven’t yet become more mature, that older people don’t matter and they are causing the rest of society a problem. The old are a nuisance and we need to find a way of getting rid of them.
So why has it happened? How did it happen? Is it possible to find a moment, a period of time, in which this ideology really took hold? Is it possible to do something about it? There is an answer to the first three questions. The fourth? Maybe. But it will take a sea change in attitude to find the right one. I live in hope – no matter how many mountains I leap off, I too will get old one day.
The when was….
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Chapter 10 The Orwellian Enigma of Subtle Oppression
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you
end up being governed by your inferiors.
This used to be a free country. Allegedly it still is. Allegedly – but we Brits have meekly surrendered many of our freedoms. Among those are the freedom to be an individual and the freedom to make a mistake and without being criminalised for it… three things have been used, and often with ruthless stealth, to erode and remove freedom. Terrorism or the threat of it is one. Paedophilia the second and the third is Health.
…what single organisation has unrestricted access to kids all day every day, access enforced by law and spends each day, of every week, putting information into them? Answer – the State, via the school system - including the UK.
Most people in the UK don’t really care where somebody comes from or what their faith is, or for that matter, what their skin colour is either. Younger generations are fortunate to have grown up and are growing up, in a place where it’s okay to be different. Yet at the same time, that viewpoint is tarred by those who have imposed it upon them, rather than allowing the young to formulate it as their own. As I’ve said above, only the education system has everyday all day access to children and young people and it is their job to put information into and influence those young minds. Yet again – is it? Actually no – it’s not.
Both schools and universities are today stuffed full of left-wing ideology and that is the only ideology imparted to students. There are thousands of dedicated teachers across the UK, all of whom want to see their students leave school with a decent command of all the subjects they teach; English, Maths, History, Geography and more. All the traditional subjects as well as new ones, but they are hamstrung by the one-sided view of a number of their colleagues and significantly, those in charge. A classic example is the number of Head Teachers that sent out letters and emails to parents attacking Conservative policies in the run-up to the 2017 general election. The National Union of Teachers set up a petition and urged parents to sign it. Such partisanship is, or should be, unacceptable but the aim now is not to send students to university with a well-rounded education but to send them with the seeds of one viewpoint and one alone firmly planted in their young minds. Once at university, their education will be completed and the socialist citizen emerges, ready to take on the evils of any other thinking.
There is no discussion, no differing point of view. It is not allowed. Yet schools and universities are where young minds should be opened up to alternatives, where the idea that somebody either had or has a different outlook, can be discussed and dissected.
An open mind can make up its own mind. A closed mind can’t.
There are many who seem not to realise the threat faced by ordinary people in the UK. Perhaps they don’t want to realise. Perhaps some follow the hard-left mantra of there being only one permissible point of view. The National Health Service, covered in the next chapter, is an organisation close to the heart of those on the left and in the Labour party, but the debate over it has led to some remarkable statements; one excellent example was featured on the letters pages [a national] newspaper, on Monday 16 October, 2017. The writer of the letter said:
The problems the NHS faces would disappear if we all lived a state-approved lifestyle…
…history shows that the approval of the state for one thing, leads consistently to the requirement for the approval of the state for everything else. Think back to my comments in the first chapter as well as in this one. It is the route of McCarthy, the road to dictatorship and the path to oppression.
Freedom is under threat like never before. George Orwell got it right - he was just a bit early with the date.
Chapter 11 Three Letters
No society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied
medical aid because of a lack of means
Am I the only one tired of pygmy politicians blatantly lying every time they open their mouths and telling us that the National Health Service, the NHS, is free at the point of delivery?
Why are politicians lying? The NHS is not free and never has been free - why?
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© Kevan James 2019