Friday, November 11, 2005

Help the Aged

My local Community Council observes a long standing tradition of giving a Christmas hamper to all senior citizens over the age of seventy five. On the face of it this is an admirable altruistic gesture, displaying due regard for the privations suffered by the aged at the coldest and potentially most cheerless time of year.

I have a problem with this. It’s not that I object to helping out the needy at Christmas: the problem is that the majority of them aren’t remotely needy. They have mostly retired to this area after selling houses in the south east of England or Edinburgh. They have fat capital sums in the bank and personal pension schemes. Judging by the new cars they drive (Mercs and Jags mainly), it should be obvious to a blind man that they aren’t exactly on the breadline.

Frankly it annoys me that we continue to equate age with poverty. Nobody is proposing that we hand out hampers to people who are unemployed and genuinely in need. In rural tourist areas it is quite common for people to be on benefits during the winter as most of the work available is of a seasonal nature. I’m sure they would appreciate a half bottle of whisky, a plum pudding, and some shortbread.

I’m not a great believer in universal benefits. Surely it would be better to divert greater resources to those in the most need. That, however, leads to means testing, and we all know how loathe the elderly are to accept what they perceive as charity.

I suppose the arctic winter (fat chance) that we have been told to prepare for will kill off most of the 65-75 age group, thus reducing the Christmas hamper drain on resources to a more acceptable level in future years. If that doesn’t get them perhaps avian flu will.

Something’s got to give. If things carry on at this rate nobody will have enough money left to pamper their grasping sprogs with PSP’s and drug rehabilitation therapy. I just don’t know what the world’s coming to.


Sniffy said...

I know what you mean. I'm always expected to contribute to the Connie and Donato Charity for over 65s at this time of year. I have to buy most of the food and pickles for the Boxing Day running buffet. Thank God April sent me some gherkins and a can of salmon!

garfer said...

As long as you aren't expected to buy the booze as well, that isn't so bad. Buying grog and watching other people consume it would be unbearable.

garfer said...

As long as you aren't expected to buy the booze as well, that isn't so bad. Buying grog and watching other people consume it would be unbearable.

Sniffy said...

Well, that does happen, but I don't mind so much. It's when I also buy loads of soft drinks for me and the drinkers swig em all that really pisses me off.

S.I.D. said...

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without hearing about some hardships to make us guilty.

Its just as you say. The unemployed who really need help,just don't get it.

I feel most sorry for the folk whose children have died and have to endure this "family" time of year.

MHN for short said...

There are also a lot of poor folks out there who don't realise that they are poor. They have enough for them and it's ok with them. Those are the people I look up to.

This year will be the first Thanksgiving & Christmas my sister & her daughter will have to be without her husband. I'm sure that they will find some joy in the season somehow.

love to you all! m.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

I think they should retire at 65, be given a free round-the-world cruise for 6 months, then be put to sleep.

It'd save a fortune, give them some nice memories to depart with, make shopping for the rest of us much easier on pension days and would eradicate that piss smell in the post office queue.

Betty said...

There seem to be a lot of people in their 70's who are fairly affluent and living it up, jetting off on holidays every couple of months and having busy social lives. They all seem to have retired at 55 and probably wouldn't consider themselves old at all. No chance of that kind of lifestyle for our generation because we'll all be working until they read the last rites to us. Probably won't get a free Christmas hamper either.

Herge Smith said...

Isn't it predicted that avain flu will affect both the quite young and old?

If so - bring it on!

Finally, a good thing about being in your 30's.

That and no longer worrying about looking fashionable.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

I'm in my 40's. I assume I'm safe then?

And Sniffy? Is that you first thing in the morning in that pic?

garfer said...

We definitely need a cull. There are too many drunken pikeys and belligerent old folks wandering the streets for comfort.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Don't forget Glaswegians... WAY too many of them, for my liking.

*naughty Pigster*

Oh, might as well add Liverpudlians to that list too. Fucking mongs can't even speak properly. Best to get rid of them too.

Herge Smith said...

I actually think the biggest blight on society is the middle class. There just seems to be so many of them. Even the pikeys are middle class now - if you count those that are uni educated (and by uni educated I means those that get a 2:1 for sticking 3 years at Hull on a Psych course that involves 4 hrs lectures a week and 14 hrs rugby inc getting pissed 4 nights a week and standing on a table in the union pointing your bare arse at everyone).

We could lose some of them without missing a beat.

Rowan said...

I worry when I reach retirement age a lot.

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