Home Truths

I was reasonably pleased with the Conservative Manifesto that Theresa May launched the other day because she didn’t repeat the mistake that David Cameron and George Osborne did in 2015 with promises not to raise taxes that tied their hands completely, she has left herself enough ‘wriggle room’ which makes most sense in uncertain times.

But she did something else which is just as important if not more so, she made the point that if things were going to get fairer in British society then some reallocation of resources between different groups in society is inevitable, this is truth long overdue and something that politicians of all parties should acknowledge, despite the general election. Continue Reading →

Revising British Politics – OAPs

The New Year’s Honours have been greeted by some, one might say the usual suspects with disdain over the continued use of “Empire” in some awards plus the “buggins turn” whereby senior civil servants get an award just based upon rank and service rather than any attempt at justification by personal merit.

This post does not focus on the Honours System which much like the BBC gets hit as an Aunt Sally from all sides of the political spectrum when people feel disgruntled about something and for whatever reason. This post is focused on what reforms we can make to our political system so that it is seen as more relevant and more responsive to, more people. Continue Reading →

Mobile Phone Companies

My basic question when it comes to mobile phone companies lies in whether they are smart or just totally stupid ? I ask this question because of “offers” that my mobile phone provider keeps texting me which are so obviously stupid that I cannot even imagine a sentient life form even concocting them in the first place.

Of course this silly behaviour is indicative of a flawed mindset on the part of the “management” likely supported by the ever incompetent “marketing people”. However it raises some interesting broader issues about both jobs and employment going forward. Continue Reading →

But Not For Me…

I have had a mobile phone since the 1990s and when I was working as a project manager on multiple sites, it was an essential business tool. However shortly after I left London for Somerset to look after my Parents and was no longer able to work, I cancelled my monthly contract and switched to a Pay As You Go arrangement.

By the time I was free and able to resume work, I was coming up for the Old Age Pension and my contacts and work sources of 7 years and more previously had all moved on so that was that and therefore there was no incentive to renew a monthly contract on a mobile. Continue Reading →

Technology and Ageing

I suspect that until physical infirmity finally dominates your day to day life, at a concious level we don’t really feel that we are old providing our brains are fully functional. In fact for me the first time I realised I was degenerating physically was “the tea towel test”. You use a tea towel, reach over to put it on a worktop and for some strange reason, it ends up on the floor ! When this repeats itself you come to realise that whilst your brain still functions well enough, your physical reactions are no longer fully synchronised with it, concious adjustments are now required.

But the other area lies in technology when you realise that “They are no longer thinking about people like me…” Continue Reading →

Us OAPs Can Help

Following Osborne’s Autumn Statement there have been numerous comments about further “swingeing” cuts in public expenditure to come after next May’s General Election regardless of who forms the Government. This is obviously true because the reality is that our current deficit is not just the result of the Global Crash, it is far deeper than that, it is structural which in simple terms we are spending more than we are earning and in the Western World, we are not alone in this.

As with most other countries, if we were to pinpoint the two areas of runaway spending there are two big culprits: Health and Pensions. Both have a “Poor Little Nell” aspect which frightens politicians from even mentioning either in realistic terms but something needs to be done and I believe that us OAPs can and should make a difference here. Continue Reading →

The Problem is Unrealistic Expectations

I went through a divorce in the mid 1980s and quite apart from the emotional trauma for all concerned came the financial one. As an ordinary working class person who wouldn’t wish to see his children unsupported even if that meant also supporting the “EX”, I calculated that I would need to earn roughly triple the amount before tax, I had ever earned in my life previously to maintain them and me separately.

Of course, this never happened which meant that things had to change which for me led to an amusing period of my “wilderness years”. Without boring people with the personal saga, the key to it was the generation I came from and the expectations that we had which were originally set in the post war years of the 1950s when most people had materially, very little. Continue Reading →

The NHS Old People and Reality

As someone who is 68 an OAP without great wealth to insulate me, someone who nursed both his parents through the last years of their lives and well into their 80s, there are some topics I feel reasonably qualified to write about and have views upon drawn from personal experiences. One of these is the NHS.

To my mind, there are two topics which the British public are fixated upon and hold firm views on in the sense of “…the way it should/must be…” and I believe that they are totally unrealistic about, home ownership is one and that sacred cow, the NHS. With a general election next year no politician of any party will want to ‘contradict the electorate’ on these two topics so it is down to others to try and inject some common sense and get a debate going. Continue Reading →