It’s official. There is a peril more likely to carry you off to your maker in the wee small hours of the morn than smoking. It must be so, the government says it is so.
No, its not eating more than three Pomegranates a week, nor taking a bath with less than five people. Give up?
It’s enjoying a peaceful retirement. Quit yer laughing, they’re deadly (sic) serious. They are forming government policy round this notion as we speak.
Evidence is now emerging of the dangers associated with elderly people becoming lonely and isolated after retiring. David Halpern, a senior No.10 aide, said loneliness was a “more powerful predictor” of whether a pensioner would be alive for more than a decade than whether they smoked.
It seems that living in the house that you paid for, happily bereft of a partner with rank socks that need washing on a monthly basis, spared the nightly ritual of agreeing that of course you don’t mind watching Top Gear, eating what you want, watching what you want, getting up when you want, going to bed when you want – is a deadly danger, you are liable to drop dead at any moment.
Fear not, the Government’s Behavioural Insight Team, known as the “nudge unit” is galloping to the rescue. Can’t have you popping yer clogs from too much bliss, can we? They have a solution, and it doesn’t involve only allowing annuity packages to be sold in plain pockets, nor removing Saga magazine from the bottom shelves. Far more simple.
We’ve been here before, but the ensuing ridicule hasn’t stopped them. iDave is out in Sweden at this very moment expounding on the wonders of…
“A big issue we have is under-occupation of houses,” he said. “We have more TVs than people in the house.”
A report last year suggested there were 25 million empty bedrooms in the country. Ministers were urged to draw up proposals to encourage elderly couples to downsize and create more affordable family homes.
Yes, a family of Kosovan refugees will be moved into your spare bedroom, purely to alleviate your loneliness, you understand. You’ll be able to practice your multi-culturalism as you stand on the landing in the morning waiting your turn for the bathroom behind a queue of Chinese cockle pickers.
But that alone may not be enough. They will go to work during the day, or maybe the night, and then where will you be?
Crikey! What to do? Simples!
Mr Cameron said he supported plans to increase the retirement age in line with life expectancy which could see workers remaining in employment until well into their seventies.
“We know smoking is really bad for you,”
“[but] A smaller number of young people working and paying taxes will be expected to support a growing number of older people,” they wrote. “Experience shows that apart from increasing the pension age, older people can be encouraged to stay longer in the workforce. This is something that many older people welcome, especially as health is no longer a problem for many persons even in their 70s.
The workhouse beckons, work until you drop…can’t have you dying peacefully at home; die surrounded by your exhausted fellow pensioners.
Told you not to laugh, didn’t I?