A significant slow-motion inter-generational theft is taking place in Britain, and has started or will start in other European and North American countries too.
Driven near to bankruptcy by the profligate and inefficient spending of the past 40 years, governments are robbing, and proposing to rob more broadly, the older generations. Such behaviour seems less likely in the Asia/Pacific region, where olderhood remains a more respected condition.
We all know about the reduction to near-zero in interest rates in Europe and North America. Older people who have saved for their dotage, are being denied a fair return for the product of their life’s savings. That’s old news.
In Britain, pensioners are given a pass that enables them to travel for free on the country’s buses. Many receive a £200 ($320) allowance towards the cost of their winter heating. Winter cold kills numbers of old people who cannot afford suitable heating.
British politicians now propose to remove these benefits, since to do so would reduce the stress on the national budget.
Now, in the most heartless proposals to date, the National Health Service, the birth-to-death free care system in the UK available to anyone who cannot afford better medical services, is thinking about refusing to licence new drugs that would help the elderly.
The NHS proposes to license only those drugs that “benefit a wider society”.
Pharmaceutical firms saw through the rhetoric to explain that this unethical policy would curtail lives. The companies have an interest: they profit from the sale of drugs to older people. They will undoubtedly stop researching age-related cures if they are unable to sell them.
But what kind of society limits medical care to people because they are old?
A heartless society. An unfeeling society. A society in which young people, and even the middle-aged, fail to understand that one day they too will be older.
“Health experts have warned that vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, may lose out because they do not contribute as much to society as younger people,” The Daily Telegraph reported last week. Who do these ‘experts’ think built society?
Like many others, I was alive, but do not recall, when rationing of food was in force. Like many others, I worked hard for much of my life, saving my beans so that my old age, when I would be forced to retire, would be less painful. Now we are told that because we contribute less today, we may not take part in all of society’s progress.
Whatever age you are, you should be able to see that such a policy is shameful. All the political parties in Britain subscribe to it, because the old have already decided which way to vote and so do not need courting.
“Thanks, Grampa, but now drop dead” is not a national health policy. It is a programme of extreme selfishness, operated by heartless men and women.
For once, I am ashamed to be British.